Sunday, November 16, 2014

Matt Bernier takes top prize in Aqueduct Handicapping Contest

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Contact: Sean Morris


Matt Bernier takes top prize in Aqueduct Handicapping Contest


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Matt Bernier stayed in contention on Saturday and closed with a rush on Sunday to take the third New York Handicapping Series contest at Aqueduct Racetrack, earning himself a $40,000 payday.


With just two races left in the contest, Bernier, 25, was despondent. The young horseplayer sat in seventh place, but had just let a golden opportunity slip away - a horse he had intended to bet, Chang's Secret, blew up the tote board at odds of 27-1 in the last race at Aqueduct, but he elected not to play the long shot.


Bernier, who works for the Daily Racing Form, quickly re-gathered himself and scanned the past performances for the final two races of the contest, which were at Woodbine. With back-to-back winners at odds of 15-1 and 8-1, Bernier vaulted into first place, experiencing the gamut of emotions horseplayers know well.


"I told Peter Fornatale, who works at the Racing Form, that it was over [after I didn't bet Chang's Secret]," said Bernier. "With these last two races - Woodbine is quickly becoming my favorite track."


Stephen Thompson finished in second-place, earning $15,000 and a berth to the National Handicapping Championship on January 23-25 at Treasure Island in Las Vegas. Joseph Muzio finished in third, netting $10,000 in prize money to go along with a paid entry to the NHC.


Since Bernier works for the Racing Form, and is ineligible to compete in the NHC, fourth-place finisher Joe Girardi received the third entry to the Championship. Girardi, who took home $8,000 for his fourth-place finish, also earned $1,500 for leading the field at the end of Saturday.



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