DAILY RACING FORM/NTRA NHC PLAYER SPOTLIGHT
STEPHEN THOMPSON (LEBANON, PA)
Occupation: Owner/Operator of Thompson Funeral Home, Inc.
Favorite Track: Saratoga
Favorite Wager: W/P and also trifectas with a key horse and the all button
How did you first get into horse racing? I first got into racing when my parents and brother brought me to Penn National when I was nine.
How many times (and in which years) have you previously qualified for the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship presented by Sovereign Stable? I have qualified four of the last five years. I just qualified for 2014 last week at NHCQualify.com.
What is your best finish in a handicapping tournament, and what is your largest tournament payout? My best finish has to be winning two Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge entries worth $10,000 each in the last three years. I have also had several wins at Penn National and Delaware Park. And I have had some strong finishes at Horseplayersqualify.com and Horsetourneys.com.
What wager created the largest payout for you? Please elaborate on the circumstances (date, track, etc.)? My largest payout was a few years back when my brother, Tom, picked a 45/1 shot and asked me if I liked him a minute to post. I took his word and picked a 30/1 to hook him with and I took the whole pool with a $29,847.38 trifecta. I also had the exacta for $980 several times.
What is your most memorable horse racing experience? Watching Rachel Alexandra at Saratoga and Blame beating Zenyatta at the Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs.
Does anyone else in your family share your enthusiasm as a horseplayer? Tom, my older brother, is a walking racing form. He usually follows me to tournaments but he doesn't have the stomach to make certain bets if you want to win.
What accomplishment in your life are you most proud of? I am most proud of continuing to own and operate our family funeral home which has been in the family since 1890. I am proud my father, John, and late mother, Irene, got the chance to enjoy life and get away from the funeral home when I graduated college in 1985. It is a 24/7 lifestyle that is very demanding and it takes its toll emotionally on you. Horseracing is my out. I am especially proud of my wife, Connie, and son, Pierce, for putting up with my lifestyle knowing there is a lot of travel and time I put in between work and racing.
What would you do with the NHC grand prize if you won? I would give most of it to the poor. I have been blessed in my life with my family, work and racing hobby. I would love for everyone to be able to experience a pleasurable life.
Which person in Thoroughbred racing would you most like to have dinner with? Steve Cauthen. I met him last year at the wonderful South Dakota HPQualify tournament. We had a few beers and a great conversation but ran out of time for dinner.
WEEKEND CONTESTS ON THE ROAD TO THE NHC
Santa Anita - March 9-10 (SOLD OUT)
Horsetourneys.com - March 10 www.horsetourneys.com
Click here for a list of current 2013 NHC tournaments by contest date.
NHC TOUR LEADER BOARD STANDINGS
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 an alphabetical list of 2013 DRF NHC Tour point earners.
Click here to join the 2013 DRF NHC Tour.