Jose Giron Captures MJC Champions Handicapping Tournament

August 20, 2023

Earns $11,357 in Prize Money & Berth in Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge

David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club

LAUREL, Md. – Jose Giron of Silver Spring, Md. finished with a balance of $1,885.50 to top a field of 98 entrants and capture the Maryland Jockey Club’s Champions Handicapping Tournament held Saturday, Aug. 19 at Laurel Park.

The fall edition of the bi-annual Champions Tournament was hosted in Laurel’s refurbished second-floor clubhouse sports bar, open to players for a fee of $500 that included $300 per entry and a $200 bankroll.

In addition to prize money, the top four finishers qualified for automatic berths to the 2024 National Handicapping Championship (NHC) and Pegasus World Cup Betting Challenge (PWCBC) and this fall’s Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC).

After making a minimum of 10 win, place and/or show wagers on races from Laurel, Gulfstream Park, Monmouth Park, Saratoga Race Course and Woodbine, Giron ended with a $643 cushion over runner-up James Hansen and earned $11,357 in prize money.

Given his choice of four tournament berths, Giron selected the BCBC to be held November 3 & 4 at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif. Hansen, of Staten Island, N.Y., finished with a bankroll of $1,242.50 to earn $6,500 in prize money and a spot in the NHC, scheduled for next March in Las Vegas.

Third place went to Jerry McLenin of Staten Island, who finished with a balance of $1,123.20 and earned $3,250 and is headed to the PWCBC in late January at Gulfstream Park. Steve Luca of Reisterstown, Md. was fourth with a balance of $1,060 and earned $1,625 and a seat at the NHC.

Rounding out the top 10 finishers were Gregory Lewis with a tournament balance of $798, Phillip Lam ($710.50), Jim Murphy ($614), Carol Trageser ($595), David Mason ($564.50) and Clifton Carter ($445.50). Each player earned $1,625 in prize money.

Laurel Park is set to close its 33-day summer meet Sunday. Following the Maryland State Fair Meet in Timonium which begins Aug. 25, the MJC will resume live racing with a boutique nine-day fall stand at historic Pimlico Race Course beginning Sept. 8.

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