Columbus, OH --- Minnesota resident Gerry Tuzzolino won the inaugural USTA online qualifier for the 2014 World Harness Handicapping Championship on Thursday evening by one dollar with a total of $108.80. Only two dollars separated the top three finishers in the contest involving the first 12 races from Northfield Park among the 942 who entered.
Bryan Jackson ($107.80) and James Gillam ($106.80) were second and third, respectively. Fourth-place finisher Keith Rosintoski was only another three dollars back with $103.80.
Tuzzolino clinched the first USTA qualifier when his original choice #5 Lets Just Dance scratched and his alternate selection #6 Calchips Muscle won paying $5.60 and $3.60 in Race 12, the final race in the contest. Each of the other top four finishers correctly selected the winner.
With his victory, Tuzzolino earned a free berth ($800 value) to the $60,000 World Harness Handicapping Championship (WHHC), which will be held at the Meadowlands on Saturday, April 19, 2014.
The second contest in the series of 10 USTA Free, Online Qualifiers to the WHHC takes place tonight (Friday, Jan. 31) with the first 12 races from The Meadows where first post time is 6:55 p.m. (Eastern).
Contestants can enter free at www.HorseTourneys.com prior to the start of the first race. Free TrackMaster Platinum Past Performances are available now on that site.
Following are the top 10 finishers in the first USTA online qualifier for the WHHC:
USTA Free, Online WHHC Qualifier 1 - Northfield Park, Jan. 30, 2014
# Name Earnings
1 Gerry Tuzzolino $108.80
2 Bryan Jackson $107.80
3 James Gillam $106.80
4 Keith Rosintoski $103.80
6 Richard Riccaldo $100.00
7 Joseph Ferriero $ 97.00
8 Joe Barre $ 96.00
9 William Stanczak $ 95.60
10 Charles Amsden $ 95.00
Following is the schedule/results with featured racetracks for the 2014 USTA Free, Online WHHC Qualifying Series:
Date Track Winner
Thursday Jan. 30 Northfield Park Gerry Tuzzolino
Friday, Jan. 31 The Meadows 6:55 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 7 Meadowlands 7:15 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 8 Yonkers 7:10 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 13 Dover Downs 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 15 Cal Expo 8:45 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 21 Buffalo Raceway 6:40 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 22 Pompano Park 7:05 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 28 Maywood Park 8:10 p.m.
Saturday, March 1 Balmoral Park 8:10 p.m.
by Dan Leary for USTA