Horseplayer Jeff O’Reilly was the only participant out of 211 entrants to correctly select 16 of 19 “props” in the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation’s (TIF) Belmont Day Challenge. As a result, the Pennsylvania resident won the chance to direct $1,000 to the racing-related 501(c)(3) charity of his choice – the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
The TIF Belmont Day Challenge was designed to better familiarize racing stakeholders with a future that could include fixed-odds bets and proposition-style wagers on horse racing. With a lower takeout and a style that is much more familiar to mainstream bettors, TIF believes racing must embrace a new way forward which includes fixed-odds betting. To learn more about the topic, read our white paper “Horse Racing and ‘Legal’ Sports Betting.”

“In order to stay competitive and not fall by the wayside, I think it is necessary for racing to be involved in this arena given the widespread legalization of sports betting,” said O’Reilly. “With the very legitimate issue of high takeout not being addressed year after year, this could be one way for horse racing to diversify itself and continue to try and grow its base.”

Ten players were correct on 15 of 19 props, forcing the tiebreaker into action. Entrants were asked to identify the total of the win, place and show pools for the Belmont Stakes. With a guess of $21 million, horseplayer and owner (Final Furlong Racing Stable) Kevin McIntyre of New York claimed second while racing fan and bettor Jim Sweet, also of New York, guessed $22 million and finished third as a result.

Next best in the tiebreaker was horseplayer and handicapping contest regular Paul Weizer of Massachusetts who predicted the pool total to a precise $22,702,815. The total win, place and show pool was $17,352,418.

Both McIntyre and Sweet opted for donations to be directed to Old Friends at Cabin Creek, the Bobby Frankel Division of the legendary racehorse retirement home, based in Saratoga County, New York.  

The Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund “provides financial assistance to thoroughbred and quarter horse riders who suffered catastrophic on-track injuries.” To learn more and donate, visit their website.

Old Friends at Cabin Creek “provides dignified retirement for all racehorses, but known and unknown. Completely staffed by volunteers and run entirely on donations, our goal is to provide a natural, nurturing forever home to retired racehorses, and offer the public an up-close and personal experience with our thoroughbred horses.” To learn more and donate, visit their website.


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