MATTIES AND KAPLAN TOP NHC QUALIFIER AT LOS ALAMITOS
Duke Matties and Dan Kaplan (photo), two of the most respected and successful handicappers in the nation, finished 1-2, respectively, in the Los Alamitos Summer NHC Qualifying Tournament held on Sunday, July 4. As a result, Matties and Kaplan each earned a berth to the 2022 NTRA National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas. Matties finished fourth in the 2016 NHC behind his brother, Paul. The Laguna Beach resident is annually among the favorites to win the NHC in Las Vegas. He finished first in the Los Alamitos contest, his best finish at the Orange County track.
Kaplan, who is always among the top players at the Los Alamitos qualifiers, finished second on the 4th of July tourney. A Las Vegas resident, Kaplan won the 2016 Horseplayer World Series and has now qualified to the NHC at least 11 times. Cheryl Kaufman finished third, while Danny Chavez, a Los Alamitos-based horseplayer and racehorse owner, finished fourth.
Paul Belanger was also recognized during the contest with the “highest churn” title. Belanger wagered 2,500 during the contest. There was a total of 90 entries aiming for $9,000 in cash prizes. The Orange County track is already planning a similar handicapping contest during the L.A. County Fair Meet here in September.