Ohio Invaders Take Top Spots in Keeneland BCBC/NHC Challenge
Sometimes the favorites in a maiden special weight race for two-year-old fillies offer appropriate value. That was certainly the case on Sunday at Keeneland as three of the five qualifiers pounded the win pool or the chalky exacta when 2-1 shot Oceanwave literally nosed out favorite Lassofthemohicans in the 9th and final race of the 2014 Keeneland BCBC/NHC Challenge.
Champion Joe Whitacre of Springfield, OH wagered his entire bankroll on the winner, and sweated out a photo to capture first prize, with a winning total of $7,675.80. Runner-up Gary Johnson of Massillon, OH also went all-in, amassing a total of $5,808.50. Third-place finisher Steve Leving of La Grange Park, IL held his own in the last and wound up with $4,921.55. Blaise Brucato of Highland Heights, OH hit a $700 exacta to move up 22 places to overall fourth with a bankroll of $4,690.65. Rounding out the top five was Ken Hopkins of Flushing, NY; Ken was in contention all day and wound up with $4,675.00.
Long-time leader Sarah Wiener of Clearwater, FL slipped to sixth with $4,588.50, only missing the top five by $16. Local player Al Roehl of Lexington rounded out the top seven with $4,586.70.
The top five players received fully-paid berths plus expenses to both the $10,000 buy-in BCBC Challenge and the DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship. The sixth and seventh place finishers received entry-fee only entries to the BCBC Challenge ($2,500). In addition, the top ten finishers received prize money, ranging from $7,500 for the winner to $1,000 for sixth through tenth places.
Seventy-five of the country’s top handicappers competed in the $3,000 buy-in contest, and enjoyed a beautiful day as Keeneland begins to wind down its 2014 fall race meet. Keeneland sponsors numerous handicapping tournaments throughout the year, and will send a total of sixteen players to the NHC. Also, for the first time, Keeneland will serve as a satellite location for the 2014 BCBC held at Santa Anita, with players in the upscale Green Room competing with those on-site at the Breeders’ Cup.