by Alastair Bull
Dan Shugar has learned quite a big in eight years playing horse racing tournaments, which included a victory in the Wynn Handicap event a few years ago.
He leaned on that experience when choosing a conservative strategy for the Kentucky Derby Betting Championship on March 26.
“With only 20 entries, I looked for low priced horses in most events,” Shugar said.
He got to the last race in a good position, but wasn’t sure how he was going when his selection, Edwards Going Left, crossed the finish line second at Santa Anita Park. But he benefitted when the winner, Passed By Paul, was disqualified and placed second for interference with Edwards Going Left.
“The last race was tough because of the DQ,” Shugar said. “I was in the lead and not sure who the second place participant had. But when they put my number up, I knew I was Derby-bound for the first time!”
The Kentucky Derby Betting Championship runs on Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby day, May 5-6. Contestants – apart from those who win qualification – put forward $12,000, of which $8,000 is their betting bankroll and $4,000 goes into the prize pool.
The prizemoney will depend on the number of entries. If there are 75 players entered, the winner receives $140,000, the runner-up $80,000, and the third-place finisher $30,000. All three, plus the fourth- and fifth-place finishers, also receive entry to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge, which is worth $10,000.
All players get to keep their remaining bankroll at the end of the tournament.
Shugar, who says he loves wagering on TwinSpires.com because of how easy it is to use, says earning a place in the KDBC is one of his biggest moments in racing, but there’s one other highlight that’s special to him.
“My most memorable moment was being on track at Saratoga to watch my horse break its maiden on the turf!”
Learn about more betting options for the Kentucky Derby.