Terry Cook takes first place in Aqueduct Challenge
by Najja Thompson
Maryland native wins third consecutive NYRA handicapping tournament
Entering the Aqueduct Challenge Handicapping Tournament after winning both days of the Saratoga Challenge tournament this summer, Terrence "Terry" Cook was the prohibitive favorite to take first place honors again and did not disappoint, compiling a bankroll of $2,277 on Saturday to win his third the tournament on the NYRA circuit.
The Baltimore, Maryland native, who routinely plays tournaments with partners Mark Komen, Mark Saperstein and Bob Schmidt, deployed the same strategy that has garnered wins in the last three NYRA live-money handicapping tournaments.
"We use the same strategy we use in every cash tournament," said Cook. "We try to hit one big bet."
Cook and his partners capitalized in Race 6 on Saturday's card at the Big A cashing in on a $20 12-9 exacta box, with $55 winner Time on Target over post-time favorite Unleveraged.
"That race put us on top, returning $2,000, and we just shuffled our way from there watching everybody else to hang on," said Cook.
Winning $7,613 in total prize money, Cook elected to capture a seat to the National Handicapping Championships in February having won two seats to the Belmont Stakes Challenge via his wins in the Saratoga Challenge tournament.
Konrad Kleinbub finished second with a bankroll of $2,071, winning $3,698 and a seat at to the 2018 Belmont Stakes Challenge. Charles Welch took third-place with a bankroll of $1,951 and a total of $2,828 in prize money. Having already double qualified to the National Handicapping Championships, the remaining NHC seat went to Nicole Cox, who finished in fourth with $1,655 and $2,393 in prize money.