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The Notebook March 27, 2014

NHC News

NHC News




Name: Marshall Gramm

Memphis, Tenn.

Economics Professor at Rhodes College

Qualifying Site:

Favorite Track:
Parx Racing, Derby Lane

Favorite Wager:
Pick 4

NCAA Final Four pick:
Florida, Villanova, Creighton and Wichita State


How did you first get into horse racing? I grew up in Washington D.C. and in junior high school got into it because of the numbers/quantitative aspect of handicapping. The Washington Post has charts for the Maryland tracks, and I started reading Andrew Beyer's columns and ultimately bought and read his books. When I had the energy and $2 I'd walk a mile to the People's drug store to buy the Form. Some kids get into baseball because of the numbers, but I got into horse racing.

How many times have you previously qualified for the DRF/NTRA NHC? This is the first time I've qualified.

What is your best finish in a handicapping tournament, and what is your largest tournament payout? My best finish was fifth in the NHCQualify.com online tournament that earned me a Vegas spot. I've not played in tournaments before this year.

What wager created the largest payout for you? Oaklawn Park on Feb. 17, 2013. There was a decent carryover in the Classix (Pick 6) and a buddy and I decided the sequence was playable and put in a ticket. We got a break early in the sequence when our key horse won and paid $24. In the final leg, we were alive to four horses. Unfortunately we were beaten in deep stretch by an 18-to-1 longshot but got $13,000 in consols. We later learned that there were no winners. There was a $303k carryover that might have been ours had our pick held on. It turned out we had four of the 15 consolations. Oaklawn does not give will pays for Classix so we had no idea that a six-figure payout was on the line.

What is your most memorable horse racing experience? Getting my first win as an owner with a gelding named In the Woods in 2010. I had lost my first 35 races. Getting my first stakes win as a breeder when Aunt Ellipsis (by my mare Aunt Dot Dot) won the Donna Freyer in February at Parx. Being there for the Smarty Jones-Birdstone Belmont Stakes (2004).

Do you have any interesting hobbies, experiences or past accomplishments that others might find unique or interesting? I own and bet greyhounds; Greyhound racing is a great sport. For some reason Greyhound racing gets a bad rap but the dogs are much more sound than racehorses. They rarely break down and, in the rare cases they do, the breakdowns tend not to be fatal. Plus Greyhounds are easier to place when retired.

My main line of academic research is betting markets. I am slated to teach the Economics of Betting Markets sometime in the next few years.

I enjoy going to different racetracks and have been to 28 total. I got engaged at the races in Fredericksburg, Texas (Gillespie County Fair).

Does anyone else in your family share your enthusiasm as a horseplayer? No, but to share the joy I feel for the sport I throw a big Kentucky Derby Party every year (150 people).

What would you do with the NHC grand prize if you won? Buy into a few more horses and do some traveling to the great international races like the Melbourne Cup and Royal Ascot.


Registration is now open for the Saturday, March 22 NHC Tour Free Online Challenge.  Four 2015 NHC berths will be awarded, including airfare reimbursement (maximum $400) and a four-night stay at Treasure Island.  This will be the first of five free NHC tour contests in 2014.  Register now!  You must be a 2014 NHC Tour member to enter.  NHC Tour points will be awarded.

You will be able to start making your picks after all the selected race program numbers have been drawn.  

Treasure Island Wager to Win VII, VIII & IX - May 2, 3 & 4 (Friday, Saturday & Sunday one-day contests)
Treasure Island will be hosting three NHC contests awarding four NHC 16 berths each day Kentucky Derby weekend. The entry fee for each contest is $250.  You may have a maximum of two entries and the contest will be capped at 200 players each day.  Treasure Island will provide airfare reimbursement (maximum $400) and hotel accommodations to the top 4 finishers on each day for NHC 16.  All entry fees will be returned in cash prizes.  Tour points will be awarded each day. Contact Casino Marketing for hotel and contest registration info (800) 944-3777.

NHCQualify.com - March 29

DRF Bets- March 30


Surfside Race Place - April 4, 5 & 6  Surfside Race Place will be hosting a "Handicapper of the Year Event " on Saturday, April 5.  Jose Arias, 2014 NHC Champion, and Jon Lindo from the Daily Racing Form will be hosting a handicapping seminar Saturday morning.  Plus enjoy free giveaways from Del Mar, NTRA and DRF.  Come out and support Surfside and NHC Champion, Jose Arias.  Click here for event flyer.

Monmouth Park SSC Qualifier #4 - April 5 

NHCQualify.com - April 5, 12, 26

Horsetourneys.com - April 6, 19, 27

Santa Anita Double Down Challenge II - April 12-13

Keeneland Grade One Gamble - April 13 (SOLD OUT)

Horseplayersqualify.com - FRIDAY, April 25

Hawthorne Spring Super Qualifier - April 25, 26 & 27

Lone Star Park First Chance Qualifier - April 26

Monmouth Park SSC Invitational - April 26 (must have qualified in advance)

Emerald Downs - April 26


NHC presenting sponsor Sovereign Stable, which is off to a terrific 2014 racing season with two victories and 67% of its nine starts in the money, is syndicating a two-year-old filly purchased from this month’s two-year-old sale in Florida.  Click here for details.


Click here for the current 2014-2015 NHC Tour schedule.

Click here to join the 2014 NHC Tour.

Click here for an alphabetical list of current 2014 NHC qualifiers.

Click here for the overall 2014 DRF NHC Tour Leader Board. 

"Horseplayers" has moved to Wednesday nights at 10:00 P.M. ET on the Esquire Network.

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