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Manhattan man wins Aqueduct handicapping tournament

By Jenny Kellner
Jeffrey Siskin
PHOTO/Adam Coglianese

Making his first-ever appearance in a handicapping tournament, Jeffrey Siskin of Manhattan took down top prize of $37,500 and earned a trip to Las Vegas for the $1.5 million national championships as he coasted home to victory in the New York Handicapping Series presented by NYRA Rewards on Sunday at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The tournament, which attracted 229 entries, produced the final four representatives from the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) to move on to the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championships on January 24-26 at Treasure Island Las Vegas, where the first prize will be $750,000.

Siskin, who was in sixth place after Saturday's first day of tournament action, moved up steadily in the standings and held a commanding lead late in the day to finish with a grand total of $1,278 in mythical wagers, $133 more than runner-up George Longobardi of Marlboro, N.J.

"I just handicapped like I always do," said Siskin, 66, who is retired from the apparel industry and also owns several racehorses. "I got lucky and had five winners today, most of them here at Aqueduct. I never had the time to enter a handicapping contest before. I'm very excited."

Joining Siskin in representing Aqueduct in Las Vegas will be Longobardi, who collected $12,500 in prize money; third-place finisher Mitch Schuman of Brightwaters, N.Y. ($9,000), and fourth-place Eric Moomey of Elwell, Mich., who won the bonus seat provided by NYRA Rewards. In addition to $5,600 in prize money, Moomey also won $1,500 as the leader after the first day of the tournament.

Each player had to make 10 selections a day on each day of the two-day tournament, nine $20 plays and a single $40 play.

Final Top 20 Leaderboard

Place Name
1st Jeffrey Siskin
2nd George Longobardi
3rd Mitchell H. Schuman
4th Eric Moomey
5th Monty Engler
6th Darren Yarwood
7th Rob DiFusco
8th Kathie Falcone
9th Ronald Budhua
10th Bruce Berg
11th Steven Wrecker
12th Terrence O'Brien
13th Eddie Herman
14th Roger Ball
15th Stelios Kandias
16th Alphonse Malangone
17th Kelly Smith-Lawless
18th Louis Filoso
19th David Chamberlin
20th Joe Khoury