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Amityville Resident wins Belmont Handicapping Challenge

ELMONT, N.Y. – William Garb, a 52-year-old former computer operator from Amityville, N.Y., claimed the $40,000 grand prize in Belmont Park’s 2009 Summer Handicapping Challenge, defeating 229 other contestants en route to victory.

Along with the second and third place finishers, Garb will be on the three-member Belmont Park team for the 2010 NTRA/Daily Racing Form National Handicapping Championship (NHC), to be held this coming January at the Red Rock Casino, Resort, and Spa in Las Vegas. The NHC is giving out a grand total of $1 million in prize money with the first-place winner receiving $500,000 and earning NTRA Handicapper of the Year honors at the 2010 Eclipse Awards.

After the first day of the contest on Saturday, Garb was in second place, just $1 behind the leader, Christopher Olsson, with $834. On Sunday, Garb, currently self-employed as a professional gambler, took an early lead and never relinquished it, earning his first trip to Las Vegas for the NHC.

“My strategy was to get on the board the first day with longshots,” said Garb. “I lucked out with Big Jerome ($40.20) in the eighth race at Belmont Saturday, which got me into first place, and then I was just $1 behind at the end of the day. Today I made an early move to get in the lead for good.”

Paul Shurman, an attorney from Dix Hills, N.Y., finished second to qualify for the Nationals for the eighth year. Shurman was third in Las Vegas in 2008.

Third place in the Belmont Park Summer Handicapping Challenge went to Darryl Mays of Plainfield, N.J.

The tournament format allows each contestant nine $20 win, place, or show mythical wagers and one $40 wager during both days of the weekend competition. Garb finished with a total of $1,020, while Shurman finished with $932 and Mays had $905.

Shurman won $13,000 for his second-place finish while Mays took home $9,500. Olsson won $1,000 for being the day one winner, and John Ferraro won $1,000 for dominating day two of the competition.

The top 20 finishers all received prize money, as well.

The New York Racing Association, Inc., operates three Thoroughbred racetracks: Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park Racetrack, and Saratoga Race Course. NYRA was founded in 1955, and franchised to conduct Thoroughbred racing in New York through 2033. To learn more about NYRA, please visit http://www.NYRA.com.


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