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Brooklyn Resident Wins Belmont Park Handicapping Challenge

By Jon Forbes
Belmont Park Handicapping Challenge winner Kevin Cox
PHOTO/Adam Coglianese

Kevin Cox, 42, of Brooklyn, won the 2013 Belmont Park Handicapping Challenge, earning a $40,000 cash prize and a seat at the 2014 Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championshipin January in Las Vegas.

In second place with four races left in the contest, Cox took the lead after selecting Big John B ($7.80) in the ninth race at Monmouth Park and added to his lead when Sunny Surprise ($5.00) took the ninth race at Arlington Park.

Cox finished with a final bankroll of $1,400, edging runner-up Joe Scanio ($1,274) and third-place finisher Jamaal Barnett ($1,262). Scanio and Barnett earned $15,600 and $10,000, respectively, for their finishes.

The top three all won seats at the DRF/NTRA tournament. Paul Buttafuoco earned the fourth seat and a $7,500 prize, courtesy of NYRA Rewards.

In addition to the $40,000 grand prize, Cox won a $1,500 bonus for leading after the first day of the tournament.

“I’ve seen so many people have a great first day and then go 0-10,” said Cox, a professional horseplayer. “I prepared my wife and told people, ‘It could happen. The back of the pack will catch up and the top 20 will stay stagnant.’ So I expected to be passed and make a late push, and that was part of the plan.”

Cox is former policeman and jockey agent who now wagers on horse races and plays in handicapping tournaments full time. Having already qualified for the 2014 DRF/NTRA championship through a HorseTourneys.com contest, Cox’s win in the Belmont Park Handicapping Challenge will give him a second seat at the Las Vegas tournament.

Chronicling the tournament was a video crew from the new docuseries “Horseplayers.” Set to air on the Esquire Network, “Horseplayers” will feature successful handicappers on their quest to reach the DRF/NTRA championship.


Click here to view final standings