22nd Annual Dog Days Handicapping Contest & more….

The 22nd annual Dog Days of Summer Handicapping Tournament takes place this Saturday and Sunday. The event dates back to the 90s before handicapping contests were as popular as they have become today.  Dog Days is perhaps the first, but most certainly the longest running, live bankroll contest in the country.

In the early years, cash was the main prize. One year the winner received entry to the old World Series of Handicapping at Penn National, at the time one of the most prestigious contests going.  The National Horseplayers Championship , sponsored by the NTRA, came along soon after that and since then the coveted NHC seats have been the prize to the top two Dog Days players. A couple of years ago, a $10,000 entry to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge was added to the winning prize.

Here are the details:

$650 Entry of which:

$150 is Entry Fee

$100 to prize pool

$400 for Live Bankroll betting

First prize: $10,000 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) entry AND National Horseplayers Championship (NHC*) entry plus 15% of prize pool.

Second prize: NHC* entry plus 35% of prize pool.
*To be eligible to win an NHC berth, entrants must be NHC Tour members. NHC membership is $50

Third: 25% of prize pool

Fourth: 17.5% of prize pool

Fifth: 7.5% of prize pool

The contest rules allow entrants to wager, using the $400 bankroll, on any track and pool offered throughout the day on Saturday. On Sunday, the same rules apply but the contest ends around 5:30 or 6pm. Each entrant must wager at least $200 each day.

The entrants with the largest bankrolls at the conclusion win the prizes.

Here are the complete rules.

On Friday, handicappers also have a chance to win one of two NHC entries via the Ultimate NHC Qualifier.  Entry fee is $500 of which 4400 is live bankroll.  In use is the Ultimate Format where entrants wager at least half of the bankroll in each of six mandatory Canterbury races. All the details can be found here.

Odds and Ends

With just four days of racing remaining, the battle for top thoroughbred trainer could not be any more intense. Mac Robertson, who leads by one with 49, erased a six-win deficit over four days of racing and passed Robertino Diodoro. Both are firing with quality horses the next two days.

The owner title is up for grabs as well. Novogratz Racing Stables, who employs Robertson, has 14 wins. Silva Racing and trainer Miguel Silva has 13. Diodoro trains for Charles Garvey who has 12 wins. One more back are the Butzows.

Orlando Mojica would need to really tear it up to catch Ry Eikleberry in the jockey standings. Ry is 10 in front and would have to go ice cold not to hang on.

Nominations to the four stakes on closing weekend, Sept. 14 and 15, can be found here.

Pigskins & Ponies
Can you pick football winners as well as you do horses? Get in on our Pigskin & Ponies Pick 6!

In this free to enter contest, you can win cash prizes each Sunday from Sept. 9 to Dec. 30.
• First place – $100
• Second place – $75
• Third place – $25

To win, you have to handicap six select races and choose which of two horses will have the better finish. Then, choose the winning team from six select NFL games.

The player making the most overall correct selections will be the winner!

Get your selections in by noon on Sundays to get your dose of football and horse racing action with our Pigskin & Ponies Pick 6!

Spectacular Setting, Strong Business Results at Del Mar’s First Breeders’ Cup

$25 Million On-Track Handle Sets Breeders’ Cup Record

DEL MAR, Calif. (Nov. 4, 2017) – Gun Runner’s thrilling victory in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic capped a picture-perfect day at the Del Mar racetrack, the first-time host of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Racing fans responded to the full fields of the world’s fastest horses with their support at the betting windows, as the two-day wagering totals for the event were the strongest in several years.

The two-day on-track wagering total of $25,181,317 is the highest for the event, which expanded from one day to two in 2007, and a 21.4% increase over the two-day total of $20,742,847 in 2016.

Common-pool handle on Saturday’s 12-race Breeders’ Cup card was $113,803,603, a 6% increase over the $107,210,210 wagered in 2016.

Saturday’s full-card on-track handle of $15,981,250 was the highest since 2006, the last year the Breeders’ Cup Championships were conducted over one day.

Common-pool wagering for the two days was $166,077,486 an increase of 5.9% over the 2016 total of $156,861,811. The total handle was the highest since the 2010 Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs when there were two additional Breeders’ Cup races.

Saturday’s on-track handle was $15,900,813, an increase of 18% over the $13,563,884 wagered on track at Santa Anita last year. The on-track handle at Del Mar for the two days was $25,181,317.

“We were treated to world championship performances over two days of the very best in international racing, combined with spectacular weather, smooth operations and excellent customer service from our hosts at Del Mar,” Breeders’ Cup President and CEO Craig Fravel said. “Del Mar proved to be an extraordinary venue for our Championships and we want to thank its staff, our volunteers and the greater San Diego community for the warm welcome and gracious hospitality extended to our guests from around the world. We also want to thank racing fans for their enthusiastic support of our event.”

DEL MAR, CA – NOVEMBER 04: Spectators crowd the paddock before the Breeders’ Cup Classic race on Day 2 of the 2017 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Del Mar Racing Club on November 4, 2017 in Del Mar, California. (Photo by Kazushi Ishida/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup/

“Del Mar, its staff and the community of San Diego absolutely shone for this Breeders’ Cup,” said Joe Harper, president and general manager of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. “I could not be more proud of the effort that was put forth by everyone at our racetrack and all the folks in San Diego who jumped on board for this marvelous event and made it into something spectacular. This was racing at its best; it was Del Mar at its best; and it was San Diego being all it could be.  It was a complete winner.”

Saturday’s attendance was 37,692. The two-day attendance was 70,420. For the comfort of its guests and because of Del Mar’s smaller capacity, Breeders’ Cup limited ticket sales to 37,500 for each day.

Breeders’ Cup Two-Day Attendance and Handle (common-pool) history: 

2016, Santa Anita Park – 118,484; $156,861,811

2015, Keeneland Race Course – 94,652; $149,869,035

2014, Santa Anita Park – 98,319; $151,158,813

2013, Santa Anita Park – 94,628; $160,704,877

2012, Santa Anita Park – 89,742; $144,272,332

2011, Churchill Downs – 105,820; $161,512,867

2010, Churchill Downs – 114,353; $173,857,697

2009, Santa Anita Park – 96,496; $153,271,176

2008, Santa Anita Park – 86,588; $155,740,328

2007, Monmouth Park – 69,584; $129,197,262





DEL MAR, Calif. (Nov. 4, 2017) – Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm’s Gun Runner ($6.80) went to the front shortly after the break and never trailed as he defeated Collected by 2 ¼ lengths to win the 34th running of the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) for 3-year-olds and up Saturday afternoon to close the first Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Del Mar racetrack before a crowd of 37,692.

Defending champion and favored Arrogate finished in a dead heat for fifth in his bid to join Tiznow (2000-2001) as the only back-to-back winner of the Classic.

Trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Florent Geroux, Gun Runner covered the 1 ¼ miles on a fast main track in 2:01.29. Gun Runner is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Candy Ride.

It is the sixth Breeders’ Cup victory for Asmussen and second in the Classic, having prevailed 10 years ago at Monmouth Park with Curlin. It is the fourth Breeders’ Cup victory for Geroux and first in the Classic.

It was the fifth victory in six starts in 2017 for Gun Runner and fourth Grade 1 triumph. It also avenged his lone defeat to Arrogate, who had prevailed by 2 ¼ lengths in the Dubai World Cup in March.

Gun Runner went to the front at the break and Collected immediately took up the chase. The two raced through early fractions of 22 2/5, 46 1/5 and 1:10 2/5 in their own little duel.

Leaving the far turn, Collected made one more run at Gun Runner but was quickly rebuffed as Gun Runner drew away to improve his career mark to 18-11-3-2.

West Coast finished another 1 ¼ lengths back in third and was followed in order by War Story, Arrogate and Gunnevera who dead-heated for fifth, Churchill, Mubtaahij, War Decree, Pavel and Win the Space.


Official results of the BCBC can be found here.   

The contest has a $10,000 entry fee of which $2,500 is added to the prize pool and $7,500 is used for live wagers over the two days of Breeders’ Cup.  The winner, Nisan Gabbay, had a final bankroll of $176,000. First prize was estimated at $300,000.   Brian Kubik of Chaska won his way to the event through his first-place finish in Canterbury’s annual Dog Days of Summer Tournament. He finished with $4,551,  113th of 435 entries. Other Minnesotans included Lisa Herrity who finished fourth overall with $87,183 and will earn an additional $110,000 in prize money. Horse owner and handicapper Dan Flanigan was 33rd with $22,678. Mike Ferrozzo, currently in the Top 5 on the NHC Tour, was 65th with $11,570.