Dan Shugar Shows Experience With Conservative Strategy Bets For KDBC

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.

2017 Kentucky Derby Betting Championship Qualifier Mike Kappel Looks Forward to Competing

by Alastair Bull

Retired computer store operator Mike Kappel has been a horseplayer for 48 years, but nothing has matched the thrill of qualifying for the Kentucky Derby Betting Championship.

Kappel, 69, of Belleville, Illinois, just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, earned his spot after finishing second in a qualifying tournament Feb. 19.

His prize: a $12,000 prize package guaranteeing him entry to the second Kentucky Derby Betting Championship, which otherwise would have cost him $12,000 to enter, and a competition seat at Churchill Downs for the Oaks and Derby May 5-6 if he wishes (he also has the option of competing online via TwinSpires.com).

Kappel began well the day he qualified for the KDBC, but fell back a little before changing his plan and placing a winning bet at Oaklawn Park. However, he fell back prior to the last race, a maiden claiming at Santa Anita Park, where he backed favorite Hook’ Em Kurt, who he decided was very likely to win.

“I saw I could not catch the competition leader, but I could make second depending on what the others above played, so I thought Hook ‘Em Kurt was my best chance to get second.

“Hook ‘Em Kurt won (rallying from well back to win by a nose), and I was thrilled.”

Kappel said he became interested in horse racing from the time his father took him to the track. He’s taken part in tournaments for 15 years, and said his biggest moment had been finishing first to qualify for the National Handicapping Championship at Kentucky Downs’ first all-turf contest – until now.

“My biggest win is the entry to the Kentucky Derby Betting Championship,” he said. “I look forward to competing.”

The Kentucky Derby Betting Championship runs on Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby day, May 5-6. Contestants 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.

(Coady Photography/Churchill Downs)