Straub Takes MJC Champions Handicapping Tournament

James Staub of Ellicott City, Md. finished with a balance of $3,672 to top of field of 176 entrants and capture the Maryland Jockey Club’s Champions Handicapping Tournament held Saturday, at Laurel Park.

It was the first in-person Champions tournament since 2019 after being canceled in 2020 and 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic. Once again, it was held in Laurel’s refurbished second-floor sports bar.

The tournament was open to players for a fee of $300. In addition to prize money, the top four finishers qualified for automatic berths to the National Handicapping Championship (NHC), Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) or The BIG ONE.

After making a minimum of 10 win, place and/or show wagers on races from Laurel, Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita, Aqueduct and Tampa Bay Downs, Staub finished with more than a $1,000 cushion over runner-up Paul Buttafuoco and earned $14,340 in prize money.

Given his choice of four tournament berths, Staub selected the BCBC to be held Nov. 4 and 5 at Keeneland. Buttafuoco, of New York, N.Y., finished with a bankroll of $2,042.70 to earn $9,560 in prize money and a berth in the 2023 NHC, which typically takes place in late January in Las Vegas.

Third place went to Patrick Connell of Fairfax, Va., who finished with a balance of $1,684.60 and earned $4,780, and is also headed to the NHC. Thomas Perrot of Millersville, Md. was fourth with a balance of $1,359.60 and earned $2,868 and a seat at The BIG ONE this fall at Laurel.

Rounding out the top 10 finishers were John Zielinski with a tournament balance of $1,200.60, Anthony Laurino ($1,200), Robert Engelhard ($911), Norman Butz ($834), Keith Simon ($748) and Kevin Engelhard ($703). Each player earned $2,868 in prize money.

The post Straub Takes MJC Champions Handicapping Tournament appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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