Rick Hammerle of Chatsworth, California won the eighth week of the TIF BetMakers Summer Prop Contest with 11 correct props, a result good enough to tie Doug Slayton of Champaign, Illinois for first in the overall standings. 

Hammerle's tiebreaker guess ($2,345.60) was closer to the actual result of Del Mar's late pick five ($3,626.60) than Slayton's ($5,647.40), giving Hammerle his second TIF BetMakers Summer Prop Contest win in the last three years.

“I’m a good closer,” said Hammerle, a long-time racing official, currently stationed at Kentucky Downs for their six-day meet. “It really is pretty wild to have won it again.”

Hammerle chose to divide the $5,000 first-place donation - $3,000 to New Vocations and $1,000 each to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund and the Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs. His $1,000 first place donation for winning week eight of the contest will also go to New Vocations.

Slayton is no stranger to success in the contest, either. For the second consecutive year, Slayton finished tied for the overall lead after eight weeks but lost on the tiebreaker. 

“I suppose it’s becoming a tradition for me to be a bridesmaid,” said Slayton. As he did last year, Slayton chose to divide the $3,000 second-place donation to each of the three nominated charities.

Jesse Hearin of Pass Christian, Mississippi was one of seven players tied with a best four-week score of 33 correct props and had the closest guess to the week’s tiebreaker which was the late pick five return at Del Mar. Hearin chose to direct the $1,000 third-place donation to the PDJF.

While Hammerle was the only player with 11 correct in the final week, four players tied for second with 10 props correct. Alan Levy of Wilmette, Illinois had the most accurate tiebreaker guess and claimed second, and also chose to direct $600 to New Vocations. Craig Milkowski of Moore, Oklahoma was next and chose to direct $400 to the Backside Learning Center.

Overall, $25,000 will be directed to the three charities based on the direction of the weekly and overall contest winners. The final tally has $10,200 going to New Vocations, $8,500 to the PDJF and $6,400 to the Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs.

“We are very appreciative for the support of the many racing fans and horseplayers who took part in the contest,” said TIF Executive Director Patrick Cummings. “This has been a big summer for the potential of fixed odds betting on racing following it’s direct legalization in New Jersey. Our sport needs to improve the quality of its pari-mutuel offerings and find ways to maximize customer participation.

"The status quo has not been working, as evidenced by inflation-adjusted handle decline of nearly 50% over the last two decades. We are hopeful more states will follow New Jersey’s lead and the greater industry realizes the need to present its customers with modern betting options.”

The final top 25 standings are below as are the breakdown of selections from the 12 props in the final week.

Tied – 1st Place (35)

Rick Hammerle – Chatsworth, CA (11,9,8,7) (won on tiebreaker)
Doug Slayton – Champaign, IL (9,9,9,8)

Tied – 3rd Place (33)

John Cleary – Rockville, MD (9.9.8.7)
Jeffrey Coakley – Waikoloa, HI (9,9,8,7)
Walker Hancock – Paris, KY (10,8,8,7)
Jesse Hearin – Pass Christian, MS (9,9,8,7) (won 7-way tiebreaker)
David Karb – East Aurora, NY  (9,9,8,7)
Connor LeClair – Ravena, NY (10,8,8,7)
Henry Wessel – Roselle, IL (9,9,8,7)

Tied – 10th Place (32)

Jeffrey Amster – Oceanside, NY (9,8,8,7)
Chuck Brower – Saratoga Springs, NY (9,8,8,7)
Robert Donati – Lexington, KY (9,8,8,7)
Chris Garafola – Live Oak, TX (9,9,8,6)
Natalie Gils – Lexington, KY (8,8,8,8)
Craig Milkowski – Moore, OK (10,8,7,7)
Tyler Whisman – Union, KY (9,8,8,7)

Tied – 18th Place (31)

Priscila Beloch – Lexington, KY (10,8,7,6)
Joe Kristufek – Louisvlle, KY (9,8,7,7)
Tim Mazanec – Cambridge, MA (10,8,7,6)
Kevin McIntyre – East Meadow, NY (9,9,7,6)
Tim Meister – Camarillo, CA (9,9,7,6)
Chad Sabo – Tariffville, CT (9,8,7,7)
Matthew Taylor – Tewksbury, MA (9,9,7,6)
Michelle Yu – Monrovia, CA (9,8,7,7)

1. Which horse will have the better finishing position in the Prioress (Race 5) at Saratoga?

#1 OXANA (62%)
#2 EDIE MEENY MINY MO (38%)

2. Which horse will have the better finishing position in the Saranac (Race 8) at Saratoga?

#2 LIKE THE KING (35%)
#5 FOUNDER (65%)

3. Which horse will have the better finishing position in the Flower Bowl (Race 11) at Saratoga?

#5 LOVELY LUCKY (50%)
#7 COASTANA (50%)

(both answers awarded as correct due to scratching of Coastana)

4. Which horse will have the better finishing position in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (Race 12) at Saratoga?

#3 CHESS CHIEF (24%)
#5 NIGHT OPS (76%)

5. Which maiden race at Saratoga will have the highest-priced winner?

Race 1 (28%)
Race 6 (41%)
Race 7 (31%)

6. Which brother will accumulate more points on Saturday at Saratoga with the following scale: (1st = 5, 2nd = 3, 3rd = 1)?

Irad Ortiz Jr. minus 3.5 points (66%)
Jose Ortiz (34%)

7. Which horse will have the better finishing position in the John C. Mabee (Race 9) at Del Mar?

#1 MAXIM RATE (27%)
#3 DOGTAG (53%)
#6 BODHICITTA (20%)

8. Which horse will have the better finishing position in the Del Mar Derby (Race 11)?

#7 PETRUCHIO (26%)
#9 ZOFFARELLI (48%)
#13 SWORD ZORRO (26%)

9. Which of the current leading riders at Del Mar and Saratoga will accumulate more points on Saturday with the following scale: (1st = 5, 2nd= 3, 3rd = 1)?

Flavien Prat (74%)
Luis Saez minus 2.5 points (26%)

10. Which track will have the highest win payoff on Saturday?

Del Mar (44%)
Saratoga (56%)

11. Which number will be LARGER?

The margin of victory in the Kentucky / Louisiana-Monroe college football game (45%)

The combined number of lengths between the first and last finishers in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Flower Bowl and Saranac. (55%)

12. Which number will be LARGER?

The combined number of turnovers in the Alabama / Miami college football game (17%)

The combined winning margins of the four graded turf stakes at Del Mar and Saratoga  (83%)​​​​​​