Matt Miller of Northbrook, Illinois is the winner of the 2020 TIF Summer Prop Contest after a weeks-long battle with fellow Illinoisan Doug Slayton, of Champaign. Miller and Slayton, finished the last week of the contest each with a best four-week score of 36 points.

On the tiebreaker, Saratoga’s late pick five on Saturday would be in play. Miller guessed $2,468 with Slayton guessing $2,200.05. The actual result was a sensational $28,144, putting Miller's guess closer to the actual return.

Miller chose to direct $5,000 to the Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs. Slayton chose to split the $3,000 second-place donation across all three charities at $1,000 each – including the Belmont Child Care Association (Anna House) and the Edwin J Gregson Foundation.

Donald Wells of Paris, Kentucky improved his overall score with a nine-win week in the final opportunity to finish in a third-place tie with TIF Board Member Tom Reynolds of Dallas, Texas, who also had nine wins. Wells won the tiebreaker and chose to direct $1,000 to Churchill’s Backside Learning Center.

The eighth and final week of the contest went to Craig Brogden of Lexington, Kentucky, who was one of two players tied with 10 correct props and won on the tiebreaker. Brendan McGowan of Bethesda, Maryland finished second while Cory Stauble of Louisville was best of nine with nine correct and won the third-place tiebreaker.

Brogden chose to direct the $1,250 to be split across the three charities, and indicated he will match that contribution with a personal one as well (thank you, Craig!). McGowan directed $500 to Anna House and Stauble directed $250 to the Churchill Downs Backside Learning Center.

Over the eight weeks of the contest, which generated more than 800 total entries, winning participants chose to direct a total of $14,420 to the Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs, $6,915 to the Belmont Child Care Association and $3,665 to the Edwin J Gregson Foundation. Contributions will be made from the Lavin Family Foundation on behalf of the winners.

“We are incredibly thankful for the participation of so many over the course of the contest, and especially the generosity of the Lavin Family Foundation for providing the donations to the three nominated charities, each of whom do tremendous work, enriching the lives of our industry’s incredibly dedicated workers and their families” said Patrick Cummings, TIF’s Executive Director. 

The final, updated overall Top 20 for the contest is below:

1st – Matt Miller – Northbrook, IL – 36 (11-9-8-8)*
2nd – Doug Slayton – Champaign, IL – 36 (10-9-9-9)
3rd – Donald Wells – Paris, KY – 35 (10-9-8-8)*
4th – Tom Reynolds – Dallas, TX – 35 (9-9-9-8)
5th – Bradley Anderson – Sarasota, FL – 34 (10-8-8-8)
6th – Craig Brogden – Lexington, KY – 33
6th – Len Dodson – Carlsbad, CA - 33
6th – Connor LeClair – Cohoes, NY - 33
6th – Robert Lee – Albany, NY - 33
6th – Patrick Ray – Vancouver, BC - 33
6th – Phil Spade – Dallas, TX – 33
6th – Anthony Stabile – Howard Beach, NY – 33
13th – Tommy Massis – Toronto, ON – 32
13th – Jeff O’Reilly – Springfield, PA – 32
13th – Josh Ross – Westport, IN – 32
16th – Sean Beirne – Louisville, KY – 31
16th – Jeffrey Coakley – Waikoloa, HI – 31
16th – Ken Kasowicz – Chicago, IL – 31
16th – Alex Kibrick – Boston, MA – 31
16th – Patrick O’Connor – Wichita, KS – 31
16th – Paul Weizer – Leominster, MA – 31
*Won tiebreaker

The Week 8 prop results are below:

1. In the Saranac (Race 3), will the winner be making their first start in a graded/group stakes race?

YES (64%)
NO (36%)

2. HEAD TO HEAD: Which horse will have the better finishing position in the Saranac?

#1 VANZZY (40%)
#4 L’IMPERATOR (60%)

3. Race 6, for maiden juveniles, will be won by a horse…

Sired by a winner of the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (#1 NEWBOMB, #8 JIMMY THE KID, #10 HAPPYMAC) (56%)

Sired by a winner of a Triple Crown race (#2 MAJESTIC STREET, #3 STRETCH THE TRUTH, #7 REGULAR GUY) (14%)

Sired by another stallion (#4 HIGHLY MOTIVATED, #5 FOUNDER, #6 NERVES OF STEEL, #9 CHARLESTON STRONG) (30%)

4. HEAD TO HEAD: Which horse will have the better finishing position in the Amsterdam (Race 7)?


5. HEAD TO HEAD: Which horse will have the better finishing position in the Forego (Race 8)?

#10 MIND CONTROL (64%)

6. What will be the winning margin of the Forego, according to the final published Equibase chart of the race?

1.5 lengths or shorter (69%)
1.75 lengths or longer (31%)

7. What will be the final odds for the favorite(s) in the Sword Dancer (Race 9), according to the final published Equibase chart of the race?

2.05 – 1 or lower (34%)
2.10 – 1 or higher (66%)

8. How many races will Chad Brown win on Saturday at Saratoga?

Under 2.5 (70%)
Over 2.5 (30%)

9. Will any offspring of Runhappy finish first or second on Saturday at Saratoga?

YES (62%)
NO (38%)

10. Which maiden race at Saratoga will have the higher win return?

Race 6 (20%)
Race 10 (80%)

11. Using this points scale (5 – 1st, 3 – 2nd, 1 – 3rd), which trainer(s) will have a higher total on Saturday at Saratoga?

Mike Maker MINUS 0.5 (17%)
Todd Pletcher (73%)
Combination of Chris, Jeffrey and Jeremiah Englehart (10%)

12. How many horses bred in New York will win on Saturday at Saratoga (a dead-heat counts as one win)?

Three or fewer (there are two races for New York breds) (68%)
More than three (32%)


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