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The Notebook August 07, 2013

NHC News

NHC News


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The NTRA, NHC and all who love handicapping Thoroughbreds lost a good friend on July 26 with the passing of Cary Fotias, a multiple qualifier to the NHC. 

Cary had many passions. He was loud and brash, but never took himself too seriously. His laugh could fill a room. A graduate of the University of Michigan with an MBA from Indiana University, Cary loved bridge, poetry, reading, baseball, good food and conversation, coffee, cigarettes, and, most of all, betting on Thoroughbreds, which he turned his attention to full-time in the 1990s after a successful run on Wall Street as a currency trader. He was the founder and president of Equiform, a New York-based handicapping data company, author of the handicapping book, “Blinkers Off,” and a frequent and popular guest at numerous handicapping seminars. His handicapping was highly sophisticated and focused on form cycles compiled using his own figures.

A decade ago, Cary was an important voice on the NTRA Players’ Panel formed to examine an array of pari-mutuel wagering issues related to integrity and fairness, and to advise the industry on recommended standards and practices. He was also a board member of the Horseplayers Association of North America. He was an early proponent of bringing exchange wagering to the United States and his pet peeve was takeout, which he believed should be lowered to grow handle and attract new blood into the game he so dearly loved.

Below is a Q and A with Cary, in his own words, submitted to the NHC in 2011.

Cary Fotias

Residence: Astoria, N.Y.

Favorite track: Saratoga

Favorite wager: Win

Occupation: President - Equiform 

How did you first get into horse racing? I started looking at the results in the Detroit Free Press when I was a kid. Then I discovered the Racing Form and Tom Ainslie and never looked back.

What is your best finish in a handicapping tournament, and what is your largest tournament payout? First place, $10,000.

What wager created the largest payout for you? Pick Six on Cal Cup day at Santa Anita about 10 years ago - my partners and I hit the Pick Six three times and collected over $250,000.  

Do you have any interesting hobbies, experiences or past accomplishments that others might find unique or interesting? I like to play bridge and enjoy reading and writing poetry

What is your most memorable horse racing experience? Attending 17 of Easy Goer's 20 races in person - even though he lost, the ‘89 Preakness is the best race I have ever seen.

Does anyone else in your family share your enthusiasm as a horseplayer? Not really, although my wife likes to go to Belmont Park to relax.

What would you do with the NHC grand prize if you won? Probably plow it back through the windows.

What accomplishment in life are you most proud of? Being able to make a living doing what I love to do.

Which person in Thoroughbred racing would you most like to have dinner with? Tom Durkin - for his wit and to see if he could eat more than me at a Rodizio Place in Astoria.

Who is your favorite horse racing writer? Bill Murray and his Shifty Anderson novels.



Derby Wars – Aug. 10, 17 & 24

Twin Spires.com 
- Aug. 10, 11, 17, 18, 24 & 25

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Lone Star Park
 - Aug. 10

Canterbury Park
 - Aug. 10-11

 - Aug. 11, 18 & 25

DRF Bets - Aug. 17

Sovereign Stable Free Online Challenge - Aug. 17

- Aug. 24-25

"The Big One" Ellis Park 
- Aug. 31-Sept. 1


Keeneland - July 27

Del Mar
- July 27-28


Click here to enter Saturday's DRF NHC Tour free online contest.

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for the current 2013-2014 NHC Tour schedule.

Click here for an alphabetical list of current 2013 NHC qualifiers.

Click here for the overall 2013 DRF NHC Tour Leader Board.

Click here for the 2013 DRF NHC Tour First-Half Leader Board. The First-Half Leader Board standings will be official Monday, August 5. The top eight finishers will receive cash prizes. 

Click here to join the 2013 DRF NHC Tour.

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Fan Photo of the week

Congratulations to photographer Danica Cochran, winner of this week's Fan Photo Contest!

From Danica: "Handshakesnkisses coming back from the track after the third race at Saratoga on July 25, 2013." Want in? E-mail a .jgp and brief caption to photos@ntra.com!

Photos of the week

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