Keeneland NHC-BCBC Challenge Draws Record 145 Entrants; Ryan Steigmeier Captures the Crown
The city of Cleveland, OH is enjoying a banner year in sports after years of disappointments, and Cleveland-area native Ryan Steigmeier on Sunday made a memory of his own, capturing the Keeneland NHC-BCBC Challenge on a glorious fall day at Keeneland. Players competed for seven fully-paid entries to both the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge and the National Handicapping Championship, three partially paid entries to the BCBC, and $45,000 in prize money.
Ryan, a 38-year-old Title Insurance executive from North Royalton, Ohio, topped a field of 145 entrants, including many of the best handicappers in the country, by parlaying his original $2,000 live bankroll into a final total of $13,870. His key play was early in the contest, keying favorite Verve’s Tale in the third race over four horses in second with Sardinia in third. One of his four horses used in the second spot was 43-1 longshot Sacred Luna, and he cashed a $50 exacta and a $20 trifecta for a total of $14,343 in winnings.
Steigmeier played conservatively for the rest of the day. The format of the contest requires the contestants to play one-half of their bankrolls in one of the last two races. Ryan “dutched” the eighth race by spreading win bets among the field, and maintained a fairly comfortable lead to the end.
David Gamble of Brentwood, Tennessee, who entered the contest courtesy of TVG, followed a different path to a second place finish with $9991.40 in his bankroll. Waiting until the end to make his move, Gamble hit a $25 trifecta in the eighth, with 4-1 shot Moiety heading up a tri that netted him $2022. He then nailed the trifecta for $2 in the ninth, with 28-1 shot Long Ago keying an all-longshot trifecta that paid him $7730 and moved him all the way to second.
Proving that there are a multitude of ways to cash in a live bankroll event, Cheryl McIntyre of Massillon, Ohio played patiently until the 8th race, then went all in ($1890) to win on 4-1 shot Moiety, netting $10,017 in winnings on one race. Cheryl has had a banner year on the NHC Tour, and this third place finish in a big on-track tournament could move her to the top of the tour and headed toward a possible million-dollar bonus if she wins the NHC.
The top three all earned fully-paid $10,000 berths to the BCBC Challenge, along with 4th-7th place finishers Ken McMahon, Tom Maloof, Dan Hartmann, and Jim Casey. Ryan Stiegmeier, David Gamble,, Tom Maloof, Dan Hartmann, Jim Casey, Steven Shaffer, and Will Nefzger earned fully paid berths to the NHC (Ken McMahon and Cheryl McIntyre were already double-qualified).
Following is a listing of winners with bankroll figures, contest entries, and prize money won:
|Steven Shaffer||$5,011||NHC/Partial BCBC||$2,000|
|Will Nefzger||$4,943||NHC/Partial BCBC||$2,000|
|Lawrence Kahlden||$4,352||Partial BCBC||$2,000|