Murphy Captures Simulcast Series Challenge #1 and OFFICIAL Results

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

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You aren’t likely to find Jersey-native Michael Murphy snapping his fingers to get his winner home, or whooping and hollering with his program slapping his thigh. Instead you’ll find this modest horse player studiously selecting his charges and then relying on a little luck to get them across the wire first.


Murphy admits that winning handicapping contests is “mostly luck,” but something that he has found success in – having already qualified for the NHC in Las Vegas in recent years.


“My strategy is to identify two or three horses for the day and to try to build the pot a little,” Murphy stated, “I play certain trainers.”


Murphy’s strategy served him well in Saturday’s Simulcast Series Challenge #1. Murphy bested 185 other competitors – by a nose. With $220 riding on his value play, Murphy’s horses got up in the final strides to win the nightcap at Gulfstream Park. The resulting payout vaulted Murphy to the top of the leaderboard with $1,698 in winnings and earned him the 1st place prize of $9,300.


“I enjoy the format and the unlimited wagers.”


The Simulcast Series Challenge is a Win, Place, Show format where players start with a tournament bankroll of $100. Each player must bet a minimum of ten races, minimum $10 per race, and one horse per race. Contest wagering was permitted on Aqueduct, Tampa Bay Downs and Gulfstream Park.


Murphy and fourteen others advance to the Simulcast Series Challenge Invitational on April 9. There they will compete for two spots to the 2012 DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas.


The contest was the first under a new set of rules set forth by the NTRA. As of January 1, 2011 all players wishing to be eligible for the NHC must be registered for the NHC Tour. Players noted with an * are non-tour members and competed for prize money only.


Upcoming Contests:

  • Simulcast Series Challenge #2 - Saturday, February 26
  • Simulcast Series Challenge #3 - Saturday, March 19
  • Simulcast Series Challenge Invitational - Saturday, April 9 (must have previously qualified)


OFFICIAL Results for Simulcast Series Challenge #1 - January 15, 2011


  Name  City  St  Prize Money   Winnings  
1  Michael Murphy  Oceanport  NJ  $9,300  $1,698.00  
2  Frederick Kanter  Lyndhurst  OH  $3,720  $1,319.20  
3  Gary Johnson  Cleveland   OH  $2,232  $1,227.60  
4  Robin Buser  Delran  NJ  $1,302   $1,179.00  
5  Aniello F. Salsano  Brick  NJ  $651   $1,116.00  
6  Greg Kilka  Hackettstown  NJ  $279  $845.00  
7  Joseph Scanio  Brooklyn  NY  $279   $705.50  
8  Joe Koury  Douglassville  PA  $279   $601.50  
9  John Nagel*  Ewing  NJ  $279  $578.00  
10  Robert Staudt  Lincroft  NJ  $279   $521.50  
11  Gary Johnson  Cleveland   OH  Q   $491.90  
12  Herb Iannuzzi  Howell  NJ  Q  $464.75  
13  Peter Rogers  Summit  NJ  Q  $445.50  
14  Lawrence Harned  Long Branh  NJ  Q  $402.00  
15  Frank Zummo Sr.  Hackettstown  NJ  Q  $368.00