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NYRA Wins 4th Straight Conny Award

By Jon Forbes | 01/21/2013 01:02 PM ET

For the fourth straight year, The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) has received American Turf Monthly magazine’s Conny Award for “Top On-Track Tournament.”

The 2012 Conny Awards honor NYRA’s tournaments at Belmont Park and Aqueduct Racetrack, which were also feted in 2009 and 2010. NYRA’s “Battle of Saratoga” contest at Saratoga Race Course won “Best New Tournament” for 2010 and the “Best On-Track Tournament” for 2011.

“I am really pleased to see that the efforts of the NYRA operations teams have been recognized for the fourth year in a row,” said Kathy Locke, NYRA Special Events Coordinator. “I am grateful to American Turf Monthly for recognizing the results of all of our hard work and dedication to our players.”

According to the magazine, the Conny Awards were created to honor “excellence in the world of horse handicapping tournaments.”

American Turf Monthly lauded NYRA for hosting mythical money contests where all entry fees are returned as prize money, offering excellent perks to players, using a format  restricted to win, place, and show wagers, and implementing a 15-1 odds cap that prevents a contestant from winning with a single long shot.

“The format of these contests is excellent, too – perhaps even the best – with entrants making win, place, or show bets on 10 races a day for each of the two-day events,” wrote Noel Michaels in American Turf Monthly. “The bets include nine regular daily bets and one ‘powerball’ double bet on the races from NYRA and the two best simulcast tracks running at the time. The powerball has become such a popular institution in this contest, that the NTRA has even taken the idea and adopted it into the finals of the National Handicapping Championship for the first time in 2013.”

The top three finishers in NYRA’s contests at Belmont, Saratoga, and Aqueduct are awarded berths in the 2013 NTRA/Daily Racing Form National Handicapping Championship (NHC), which will be held January 25-26, 2013 at Treasure Island on the Las Vegas strip.

NYRA’s contests are limited to 240 entries with a maximum of two entries per person. Michael Emmanuele of Huntington, N.Y. earned $40,000 for his win in the Belmont tournament, Emad Himaya of Lindenhurst, N.Y. took home $100,000 for prevailing in the Battle of Saratoga, and Edmund Teicht of Englewood Cliffs, N.J. garnered $37,500 for his tournament score at Aqueduct