McCarty Maintains National Horseplayers Championship Lead Into Final Day - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

McCarty Maintains National Horseplayers Championship Lead Into Final Day

David McCarty of San Diego grinded out another day of consistent mid-range prices to maintain his lead after Day 2 of the 2022 NTRA National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) presented by Racetrack Television Network, Caesars Entertainment, and Bally's Las Vegas. McCarty has amassed a bankroll of $248.80 to lead 643 entries in the richest and most prestigious handicapping contest in the world. Sally Goodall, inducted into the NHC Hall of Fame last year, sits a menacing second with $245.60.

All players made mythical win-place wagers on 18 races Friday and 18 races on Saturday from eight racetracks. McCarty, making his eighth NHC appearance, began the day atop the TVG Leaderboard with a mythical bankroll of $162.80.

“My biggest winner today was 7 or 8-1 and yesterday it was 13-1,” McCarty said. “I haven't had any bombs. I wanted to get another $100 today and I almost got there. I've just been bouncing around between chalk and mid-priced horses.

“I'd like to capitalize on the fact that I'm already up there and at least finish in the top five.”

McCarty, 79, is a biotechnology consultant who ran multiple startups, including one that was purchased by a company that soon went public. He is a Turf Club member at Del Mar. McCarty has been playing horses since he was a teenager and ran daily double wagers to Santa Anita for his friend's father.

Goodall, a 20-time NHC qualifier, moved into the top 10 with a win in Tampa Bay's fourth. Five-year-old mare Moniques Daredevil won easily at 8-1 stretching out to two turns on the dirt.

“You have strategies and sometimes they work, sometimes not,” she said. “Every day is different and you just hope for the best. I like to make pedigree plays and today they worked for me.”

Both women in the NHC Hall of Fame are in the top 10. Judy Wagner, the 2001 NHC winner, is seventh with $201.80. There are two former NHC winners among the top 10 – Wagner and 2019 champ Scott Coles (ninth, $200.70).

NHC Tour winner Kevin Costello made the cut with both of his entries, sitting in 16th ($187.40) with Entry 1 and 54th with Entry 2 ($162), which is the one eligible for a $5 million bonus should he win the NHC.

The leading earner on Day 2 was Mike Somich, who put together a $169.80 performance. Even after getting blanked on Day 1 the performance was enough to make the cut in 37th place with $169.80. Somich, 38, of Raleigh, N.C., will receive a Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge entry worth $10,000.

The three-day NHC concludes Sunday at Bally's. The top 64 entries (top 10%) after today's Day 2 action carry their mythical bankroll into Sunday's Semifinals round, which will require mythical win-place wagers on 10 races from a menu of 22 races. The top 10 from the Semifinals advance to Sunday afternoon's Final Table presented by Caesars Sportsbook and Global Tote, A BetMakers Company, to determine the 2022 NHC champion. The grand prize winner will receive the $725,000 first-place prize and an Eclipse Award as Horseplayer of the Year.

For the complete TVG Leaderboard and other contest information, please visit

Defending champion Justin Mustari will not continue on to the Semifinals. He checked in at 108th ($137.20).

Canale Wins Charity Challenge
Michael Canale, senior producer of broadcast and video content at Oaklawn Park, won the 8th Annual NTRA NHC Charity Challenge presented by Four Roses Bourbon with a final bankroll of $87.30 from eight contest races. Matt Rybaltowski, the sports betting writer, finished second with $82.50 and Sean Clancy checked in third with $79.10.

Canale selected the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance to receive a $2,500 donation in his name to go along with another $2,500 committed to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

“I've been in this game well over 20 years and I just think it's important to give back to the horses and make sure they're well taken care of,” Canale said. “The two causes in acing that are closest to my heart are the jockeys, because I've gotten to know so many of them over the years and have such respect for what they do, and the horses.”

A field of 71 contested the NHC Charity Challenge. Canale, who covered previous NHCs on site in his roles as a producer with TVG and HRTV, joins an illustrious list of past winners: track announcer and jockey agent Jimmy McNerney (2021), broadcaster and public handicapper Jude Feld (2020), public handicapper Dawn Lupul (2019), racing executive and public handicapper Ed DeRosa (2018), public handicapper Ellis Starr (2017), broadcaster and handicapper Matt Bernier (2016), and broadcaster Bob Neumeier (2015).

In addition to its three presenting sponsors – RTN, Caesars Entertainment, and Bally's Las Vegas – the NHC is supported by official partners Daily Racing Form, EquinEdge, FanDuel Group, Four Roses Bourbon, NYRA Bets, Race Lens, TVG, and 1/ST Bet. The Final Table, where only the top 10 players advance to determine final placings based on seven climactic races, is sponsored by Caesars Sportsbook and Global Tote, A BetMakers Company.

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