ARCADIA, Calif. (March 20, 2010)—Santa Anita’s $1 million St. Patrick’s Horseshoe Pitch nearly produced its second million dollar winner in three years as Kory Curtis of La Habra missed by just 5 5/8 inches from a distance of 47 feet following the seventh race on Saturday.

Curtis, 18, was the first of five contestants and was “closest to the pin” in Santa Anita’s annual horseshoe toss that enables all fans in attendance to fill out an entry blank and have a chance at having their names randomly drawn.

Two years ago, on March 15, 2008, John Placzankis of Rancho Cucamonga tossed a perfect ringer and thus became the first-ever winner of the $1 million contest.

For his efforts, Curtis will receive a check for $5,000 and three other contestants, Eddie Garcia of Long Beach, Mario Jauregui of Whittier and David Felix of La Puente will each receive checks of $1,000 each.

“It looked like it was dead-on,” said Curtis, who graduated from La Habra High School in 2009 and is currently an Electrical Engineering major at Cal State Fullerton. “Even though we didn’t get the million, this is very exciting. I don’t think I’ve stopped smiling.”

Curtis noted that the St. Pat’s Pitch competition is what brought him to Santa Anita. “We come once a year, to the infield for the St. Pat’s Pitch. I came today with my dad (David) and we’ve got a group of about 60 people.”

When asked if he’d practiced for the $1 million opportunity, he said, “No, I wish I did. We had a great day though and I might be back again before St. Patrick’s day next year.”