Longtime tournament horseplayer Shawn “Spike” Turner of Middletown, Maryland, took “The BIG One”, held at Laurel Park Oct 11-12. Turner turned a single $25 feeder entry into a qualiifer into a haul of $70,500 in grand prize money plus a Breeders’ Cup Challenge and NHC berth. Gary Johnson of Massillon, Ohio, was second, with Michelle Podratz of Santa Clarita, California, third.
Total prize money was $175,000, with the top five winners earning coveted seats to both the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge and NHC. Finishers 6th thru 15th earned seats to the Horse Player World Series. In total, nearly $300,000 in cash, prizes and amenities were awarded at this year’s event.