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The Notebook May 23, 2013

NHC News

NHC News



Name: Joel Winicki 

Resides: Maui, Hawaii 

Occupation: Horseplayer/Dad 

Favorite Track: Santa Anita/Del Mar

Favorite Wager: Pick 4/Pick 6

Qualifying Site: Horsetourneys.com 

How did you first get into horse racing? My grandparents used to take me to the track every weekend since I was a toddler.

How many times (and in which years) have you previously qualified for the DRF/NTRA NHC? This will be my first time, in just my second attempt at qualifying.

What wager created the largest payout for you? I hit a pick 6 for $77,000. This is my largest payout to date. It was on Feb. 13 (Friday the 13th), 2010 and I had to survive a lengthy inquiry with my single pick in the fifth leg of the sequence. In the last leg I had the favorite, who faded in the stretch, and an 8-1 shot named Xodo came from last to win it by a neck. I purchssed the ticket at a Del Mar OTB but the race was held at Santa Anita.

What is your most memorable horse racing experience? I cancelled a winning pick 6 ticket on Belmont day 2010 and played the pick 4 instead. Only one ticket hit that day.  It paid $997,000. I won about $9,000 with my pick 4 but my half of the $997,000 was gone with the wind.

Do you have any interesting hobbies, experiences or past accomplishments that others might find unique or interesting? I am a former jockey's agent from the SoCal circuit. Besides all things horse racing I am an avid disc golfer. 

Does anyone else in your family share your enthusiasm as a horseplayer? Yes, although he doesn't actually "play" the horses, my stepfather, Tony Matos, is the current agent for Garrett Gomez and Alonso Quinonez. His accolades rival anyone in the business and his passion for horseracing has been an inspiration for me.

What accomplishment in life are you most proud of? Hands down, being the best husband and father to my wife, Jessica, and three wonderful daughters, Mercedes, Naomi and Avery! I lovingly refer to them as "Team Estrogen."

What would you do with the NHC grand prize if you won? Whatever "Team Estrogen" wants me to do with it ... 


Horsetourneys.com - May 19 & 25


Treasure Island will host its final 2013 Wager to Win NHC contest on Sunday, June 9.  The entry fee is $500 and all entry fees will be returned as cash prizes.  The top three finishers will earn NHC 15 berths.  Contest players will also receive reserved seating in the TI Race and Sports Book on Belmont Stakes Day, Saturday, June 8.  Reserved seating is limited.  For more details on the Wager to Win tournament, contact Treasure Island Casino Marketing at 1-800-944-3777.


The first free DRF NHC Tour online contest has been rescheduled for June 1.  This free contest will award five NHC 15 berths, including a four-night complimentary stay at Treasure Island Las Vegas and a flight reimbursement up to $400.  Stay tuned for registration details.


Horsetourneys.com - May 11


Click here 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.

Click here
to join the 2013 DRF NHC Tour.

Click here
to view the 2013 DRF NHC Tour rules.

Click here to view the 2014 Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping official rules

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Fan Photo of the week

Congratulations to Grace Holland, winner of this week's Fan Photo Contest!

From Grace: "Wee Alex, son of 2005 Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner Afleet Alex, gets a pat from his exercise rider during morning workouts at Keeneland Race Course." Want in? Send a .jpg and brief description to photos@NTRA.com for consideration!

Photos of the week

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