Richard Goodall, a 64-year-old retired attorney from Las Vegas, defeated 276 Thoroughbred racing handicappers by a record margin to capture the ninth Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship at the Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa in Las Vegas Jan. 26. Goodall earned the top prize of $500,000 for his victory in the $1-million contest.
Goodall secured his big payday by amassing $272.30 in mythical money to earn the championship in the challenging two-day event. He finished $78 ahead of the second finisher, which was the largest winning margin in DRF/NTRA Tournament history. The previous high margin was $31.60.
Competitors were required to make 15 mythical $2 win and place selections each day (eight mandatory, and seven optional picks) from racetracks across the country.
Goodall, who earned a berth for his fifth DRF/NTRA NHC in late December via the NHCqualify.com online contest, finished ahead of runner-up Don Beardsworth, who qualified at Hollywood Park and finished with $194.30. He won $150,000.
The race for the remaining top five slots almost required a photo finish.
Roberta Cote (NHCqualify.com, $194), finished third and earned $100,000. Albert Wong (Hastings Racecourse, $193.90) and Harry Seaman (Publichandicapper.com, $188.70) finished fourth and fifth and were awarded $45,000 and $30,000, respectively.
Goodall has been an accomplished handicapper and dedicated tournament player for years, but had little success in the rich event until this year.
“This is my biggest thrill, because of my wife (Sally Goodall),” said the winner, whose wife has qualified for the NHC on six occasions. “It’s very exciting, because I never earned a dime in my other tries. It was all worthwhile, though.”
With his win, Goodall is accorded the moniker as “Handicapper of the Year,” and he will receive an Eclipse Award at next year’s ceremony.