Sticking to a simple betting strategy against the top horseplayers in the game, Brad Anderson of Sarasota, Florida turned a 9-2 win bet on Vino Rosso in the Breeders' Cup Classic into a spectacular victory in the 2019 Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge at last week's Breeders' Cup World Championships.
The 11th annual Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge, Thoroughbred racing's biggest live-money tournament, was held November 1-2 at Santa Anita Park and featured a record 457 entries from around North America.
In addition to those playing at Santa Anita, individuals also participated from official satellite locations at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida, Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey and Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Entrants also played online at TVG.com, the Official Wagering Partner of the Breeders' Cup, and on Xpressbet.com.
Anderson finished with a total score of 145,040 points and, with a first place prize of $343,000, had total winnings of $488,040. That put him ahead of second-place finisher Bill Chenvert of The Villages, Florida, who had 137,750 points and combined with his second-place prize of $229,000 had total winnings of $366,750. Dick Jerardi, former racing writer for the Philadelphia Daily News, finished a close third with 137,420 points and $126,000 in prize money, for total winnings of $263,420.
In this year's tournament each player was required to fund a $2,500 buy-in and a $7,500 betting bankroll ($10,000 total). All buy-in monies were applied to the prize pool, making the total prize pool $1,146,500 (including funds from Breeders' Cup to round up prize payouts). Players made real wagers (Win, Place, Show, Exacta, Trifecta and Daily Double) with their $7,500 bankroll on 22 races over the two days and kept all monies earned from their wagering.
Anderson, 58, just recently moved to Florida following a technology career while residing outside Chicago in Libertyville, Illinois.
“I'm overwhelmed and just speechless without a voice, and to triumph with my wager on Vino Rosso at the end of the day, just brought me to tears,” said Anderson afterward. “You go into a contest like this, against these horse-playing legends, and beating the best of the best, well it makes me shake my head, for a simple horse player like me to win, this is just amazing.”
Going into the Classic, Anderson had 25,900 points. He had not scored at all in Friday's action, but did cash in early Saturday on a daily-double combination of Covfefe in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint and Belvoir Bay in the Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile. Jerardi had taken the tournament lead in the Longines Breeders Cup Turf with a $2,000 cold exacta of Bricks and Mortar and United, which improved his earnings to 137,200.
“I needed about $140,000 to win the tournament,” Anderson strategized. “I wanted to go to McKinzie (in the Classic), but his odds dropped to 5-2, and I would not have been able to overcome the leader. After strategizing on possible bets I could make to overtake the leaders, I decided on a simple win bet for $25,900 on Vino Rosso and let it go. With all that money on one horse – and I've never done that before – and to see Vino Rosso run a race that spectacular was unbelievable.”
Complete tournament results are available at: http://www.breederscup.com/experience/bcbc/leaderboard.
In this year's BCBC, participants wagered $3,196,153 which represented 16.8% of the total on-track handle at Santa Anita over the two days of the World Championships.
Six former BCBC Champions finished in the top 34 positions: David Wilkenfeld (2009), #6; Nissan Gabay (2017), #9; Bob Hansan (2010), #11; Friday leader Robert Traynor (2014) #7; Peter Behr (2013), #23 and defending champion Chuck Grubbs (2018), #34.
This year's BCBC awarded 15 automatic berths into the 2020 National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), February 7-9, in Las Vegas.
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