Steve Wolfson Jr.
Home: Holly Hill, Fla.
Road to the Finals: Finished first and won a total of $26,000 in prize money in the Aqueduct Handicapping Challenge on Nov. 13-14.
Bio: Wolfson became the fourth Daily Racing Form/NTRA Handicapper of the Year in 2003 thanks to his victory in NHC IV on Jan. 17-18, 2003 at Bally1s-Las Vegas. Wolfson used his trademark assortment of longshots throughout the two-day event to defeat a field of 213 players and claim first prize of $100,000. Going into NHC VI, he still stands as the all-time career NHC money earner with prizes and bonuses totaling $105,833. His final NHC IV bankroll of $279.60 is also a National Handicapping Championship record since the tournament was switched to its current 30-race format following the inaugural event. That total was enough to give Wolfson a winning margin of $20.60, and send him packing for the 32nd annual Eclipse Awards ceremony in Beverly Hills where he received his trophy a week later. Following his national championship, the Handicapper of the Year topped off a memorable 2003 when he married his wife Darlene later that year. His NHC V earnings were enough to pay for a new tuxedo, which he wore to the wedding. After finishing 172nd in his bid to defend his handicapping title at NHC V, Wolfson qualified for the national finals for the third year in a row with a hard-fought win in NYRA1s Aqueduct Handicapping Challenge on Nov. 13-14, 2004. It was his fourth contest win including the inaugural Saratoga SHOWdown contest in 2001 and his NHC qualifying win in Autotote1s On The Wire phone betting contest in Oct. 2002. Wolfson has been an avid handicapper for many years and has been a tournament enthusiast since 2001. As a member of a prominent horse racing family, he has been around the sport nearly his entire life. Wolfson is the grandson of Louis Wolfson, the founder of Harbor View Farm who owned 1978 Triple Crown winner Affirmed. He is a partner in the Happy Valley Stable, which is operated by his father, fellow tournament player Steve Sr., as well as his uncle Martin Wolfson. Steve1s interests outside of racing include crossword puzzles.
Photo: Ron Koch