NHC Rundown: Olsson Double Qualifies For NHC 2022

Each week, the NTRA will provide a rundown of those who have qualified for the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) the previous weekend. A total of five players earned automatic entries into the 2022 NHC from May tournaments on Horseplayers.com and on HorseTourneys. Chris Olsson of Bellmore, N.Y., qualified last Saturday through on Horseplayers.com and on Sunday gained a second NHC qualifying spot playing on HorseTourneys.

The NHC is the most important tournament of the year for horseplayers and is the culmination of a year-long series of NTRA-sanctioned local tournaments conducted by racetracks, casino race books, off-track betting facilities and horse racing and handicapping websites, each of which sends its top qualifiers to the national finals. The 2021 NHC is slated to take place in the Bally’s Events Center from August 27-29 with the 2022 NHC set for January 28-30 at Bally’s.

Last weekend’s qualifiers, and their respective contest sites, are as follows:

Horseplayers

Christophe Huttepain of Los Angeles, has qualified for his third NHC. In his first NHC, in 2015, Chris finished 24th, and cashed for $17,400.

Geoffrey Schutt of Salem, Mass., has qualified for his fourth NHC. In 2017, he bankrolled $9,500, finishing 52nd overall. Geoff finally qualified for his first NHC in his ninth attempt. “I realized I needed to change my handicapping completely because it wasn’t just the horses, it was trying to learn (and handicap) other players who seemed to be doing everything right,” he recalled. “I know racing luck is a big thing, but there are players who consistently do well, and who consistently make the NHC (and win tournaments). So I tried to study the picks they made. It’s been a huge thrill each time I’ve qualified since, and last Friday’s Pick-and-Pray contest is no exception.”

Gregg Kingma of Las Vegas, has qualified for three of the past four years for the NHC.

HorseTourneys

Chris Olsson of Bellmore, N.Y., has qualified for his fifth NHC. His best finish was 26th in 2017, cashing for $15,600. Chris described qualifying twice last weekend for the NHC as “surreal,” and “just feel fortunate that a couple of photos fell my way.” On Saturday, Chris nailed three consecutive races, starting with a $28.80, 10.80 win-place payout on Philo, who won the 12th at Gulfstream by a nose. Later at Santa Anita, Big Passion paid $28.40 with a half-length win in the sixth race, and right after that Niege Blanche ($13.40) won the Grade 3 Santa Barbara Stakes by a nose.

In registering his second 2022 NHC qualification on Sunday, Chris scored on Sanctuary City ($15.40) in the seventh at Belmont and then hit it big with Kanderel coming from behind in the stretch to take the fifth at Santa Anita,  and paying $31.40. Two more 7-2 shots “sealed the deal.”

As a teenager, Chris got interested in harness racing first, going to the Roosevelt Raceway on Long Island with his father before gravitating to Thoroughbreds. He credits Noel Michaels’ book on tournament play and the contests and seminars that Michaels and Steve Phillips organized at Nassau OTB that were “instrumental” in Chris’s improvement as a contest player.

Phil Hoedebeck of Wichita Falls, Texas, is now a 10-time NHC qualifier. He finished 20th in 2012 and 58th last year, cashing for $11,110. Last Sunday, Phil hit four of his last five races, including Runaway Rumor ($21.60) at Belmont and, like Olsson, bagged Kanderel ($31.40) at Santa Anita. Phil started playing the races in the Southwest at Remington Park, Blue Ribbon Downs and Louisiana Downs. He also owns a few claiming horses with friends, and races them at Will Rogers Downs and Lone Star Park.

Click here for the full NHC Leaderboard

Click here for upcoming NHC qualifiers

The post NHC Rundown: Olsson Double Qualifies For NHC 2022 appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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