Michael Beychok of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, parlayed a third-place finish in the TwinSpires.com Online Handicapping Championship into a $1-million first prize as the winner of the National Handicapping Championship January 27-28 at Treasure Island Casino in Las Vegas.
Beychok, who uses TwinSpires.com for both his contest and horseplaying endeavors, needed $11 to reach the top of the NHC standings on the last race of the two-day tournament, and he achieved that goal by a nose and $1 when Glorious Dancer rallied top nip Greeley's Agenda to pay $8.20 to win and $3.80 to place.
Beychok entered the final stages of the tournament within striking range of TwinSpires.com member Dave Flanzbaum, who led throughout most of day two, but did not make up the necessary ground until the final race.
"After the last mandatory race, I still had four options left to play," Beychok said. "I started thinking about likely winners in the 2-to-1 and 5-to-2 range, which isn't my normal strategy, but I knew I could win this thing.
"When I went up to bet [Glorious Dancer] he was 7-to-2, but afterward he clicked down to 5-to-2. Everyone was excited when he won, but I knew I'd need 3-to-1. When they flashed those odds up there I was feeling pretty good."
In addition to being involved in Thoroughbred racing as a horseplayer via TwinSpires.com, Beychok is managing partner of That's Me Stable, a racing partnership that campaigns horses in Louisiana.
"I definitely plan to invest this back into racing," Beychok said. "I own a few horses and would like to own a few more."
Before winning $1-million at the NHC, Beychok's biggest score was a six-figure Pick 6 score in January 2011 at Santa Anita Park.