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106 play in Handicapping Championship

April 27, 2010

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Joseph Fierro of Holstville, NY, captured the $20,000 grand prize in the 2010 National Harness Handicapping Championship on Saturday, April 24 at Meadowlands Racetrack.
Fierro finished the tournament with a $1,909 bankroll to top the field of 106 players from across North America who competed for $50,000 in prize money. The NHHC contest format required contestants to bet 10 races: eight Meadowlands races of their choice, plus one mandatory race each from Balmoral and Woodbine racetracks. Bets had to meet a $40 minimum, $100 maximum per race. Contestants could only bet one horse per race and wagers could either be win, place or a combination of the two.
Fierro’s key plays were $100 win bets in the tournament’s two mandatory races. Fierro cashed $750 from his wager on Hallin Hanover, a 6-1 shot trained by Erv Miller, in the opener at Balmoral Park. The eighth race at Woodbine gave him the biggest score of the night as he cashed $1,505 from a bet on Last Call Hanover, who was sent off at 14-1. Fierro secured his NHHC title with a final $90 place bet on Art Maker in the 13th at the Meadowlands. That wager yielded $144, which was enough to keep Fierro $69 ahead of runner-up and 2006 NHHC champion Scott Alberg,
“I’ve been coming to this tournament since 2005,” noted Fierro, a lifelong racing fan who manages a taxi company on Long Island. “I finished seventh in that first year, but this is the only other time I’ve finished in the money. It feels wonderful to win it.
“At Balmoral, the horse was shipping in from Hoosier and it was a trainer change to Erv Miller and Marcus Miller was driving, so I expected the horse to improve,” he said of his strategy. “At Woodbine, I liked the Sylvain Filion/Don Fellows combination and thought the horse had a realistic chance to win. For my last bet, I knew Scott was $15 behind me and I had one bet left. Had [Tim] Tetrick [and Art Maker] not gotten second, he would have won the tournament.”

In addition to the Meadowlands, the following partner outlets sent players to compete in the 2010 NHHC: Balmoral Park, Buffalo Raceway, FigIsBig.com, Harrington, Hawthorne, Maywood Park, Penn Reading OTW, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Racing and Gaming Services, Rosecroft, The Meadows, Tioga Downs, TVG, Western OTB and Youbet.

Rank, Name, Prize ( Bankroll)
1st--Joseph Fierro, $20,000 ($1,909)
2nd--Scott Alberg, $10,000 ($1,840)
3rd--John Panetta, $7,500 ($1,745)
4th--Fred Macchia, $5,000 ($1,662)
5th--Peter Rogers, $2,500 ($1,640)
6th--James Acs, $1,000 ($1,420)
7th--William Meisel, $1,000 ($1,165)
8th--Art Weiner, $1,000 ($1,050)
9th--Steven Ormsbee, $1,000 ($955)
10th--Kevin Fry, $1,000 ($861)
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