Troop hangs on to win NHC

LAS VEGAS -- Brian Troop, 61, of Barrie, Ontario, won the $500,000 first-place prize and title of Handicapper of the Year at the 11th annual Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship Saturday night.

Troop amassed a winning score of $266 from 30 mythical $2 win-and-place wagers over the two day tournament held at the Red Rock here. After putting up an NHC record score of $232.60 on Friday, he proved best in a field of 300 handicappers who earned their seats in the NHC XI finals in qualifying tournaments over the past year.

Robert Gregory, 53, of Durango, Colo., made a run and finished with a score of $249.80 to win the second-place prize of $150,000. Tim Simmons, 55, of Lexington, Ky., was third at $249.20 to collect $100,000 plus another $5,000 for having the top Day 2 score of $181.80. Brian Herrity, 53, of Mankato, Minn., was fourth at $240.80 to take home $40,000 as well as another $1,000 for having Saturday's third-highest score. Elaine Kowaleski, 57, of Farmingdale, N.J., was fifth with $237.80 and earned $25,000 plus $2,500 for having Saturday's second-highest score.

The NHC XI finals paid out to the top 30 finishers out of a purse of $947,850.