Sunday, December 3, 2006 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . December 3, 2006 . . . Karen Baker has won Turfway Park's qualifier for the 2007 DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship, securing one of the qualifier's three spots at the national contest in Las Vegas next month. Baker, of Mountlake Terrace, Washington, also took home Turfway's top prize of $7,500 for winning the qualifier, held Sunday at the track.
Also qualifying for the national contest were Bob Williams of Philadelphia, who won Turfway's second-place prize of $4,000, and Diana Ferguson of Columbus, Ohio, who won $2,150 for her third-place finish.
The Turfway qualifier required each player to make mythical $2 win and place bets on 6 mandatory races from Turfway and a total of 6 races of the player's choice from Turfway, Aqueduct, Calder, and Fair Grounds. Baker topped the contest's 300 entries with $115.20 in mythical winnings. Williams finished with $107.30, just ahead of Ferguson's $107.00.
Baker has competed in qualifying contests for about seven years and qualified for the national tournament once before, when she finished "about in the middle" of 215 players. The trip to Turfway Park for Sunday's qualifier was a surprise birthday present from her husband.