10/31/2015 8:12PM

Fornatale: $4,000 exacta hit in Turf propels Massis to victory in Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge


Tommy Massis has won the seventh annual Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge, taking home more than $345,000 between prize money and his bankroll. Massis qualified for the BCBC by winning the Keeneland live-bankroll contest back in April.

 Massis is not your typical contest player.

“I don’t consider myself a horseplayer. I’m a gambler,” he said. “I’ve been a loser most of my life but I was born with big stones.”

After losing $12,000 in the Sprint, to halve his overall total, Massis went in big in the Turf, boxing a $4,000 exacta with Found and Golden Horn.

“I’m a big replay guy,” Massis said, “and I watched the tape of the race two back, a 12-furlong race in Europe, and she never got to run the whole length of the stretch – you don’t see that too often.”

 Three other players took home more than $100,000: David Kramer, John Gamane, and David Bajorek.

 Kramer went into the last race with just $2,600 left on his bankroll. He played a $300 straight trifecta with American Pharoah, Effinex, and Honor Code and built his bankroll to an amazing $71,735.55.

 Massis and Kramer also receive interests in West Point Thoroughbreds horses: $25,000 to Massis, and $10,000 to Kramer

 For most of the day the contest looked like a battle between Damian Roncevich and Gary West. West was the leader coming into Day 2, until Roncevich hit a $50 trifecta and a $20 exacta in the fifth race, the Filly and Mare Sprint. They ended up in fifth and sixth place, with West $10,000 ahead of Roncevich.

The top 15 players all win seats to the National Handicapping Championship, where they will compete for their share of more than $2.5 million and an Eclipse Award.

 The BCBC has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception. The final field consisted of a record 322 players, up from around 275 last year. Of those 322 players, 222 played live at Keeneland and 100  were spread among simulcast locations at Belmont, Gulfstream, Del Mar, and Santa Anita.

 Players bought into the contest for $10,000 -- $2,500 of that number funded the prize pool – which got paid back at more than 100 percent -- and the remaining $7,500 acted as a live-bankroll for the two days of the Breeders’ Cup. Players had to bet certain minimums of the two days and could bet up their entire bankrolls at any time. Participants kept any amount remaining on their bankrolls at the tournament’s end.

Here are the final 16 finishers:

Rank Name Final Bankroll+Prize money

 1 Tommy Massis           $90,682.25 +   $230,000.00   

2 David Kramer  $71,735.55+ $165,000.00  

3 John Gamane    $42,755.65+$112,000.00

4 David Bajorek  $40,874.00+$75,000.00         

5 Gary West           $38,844.00 +  $45,000.00 

6 Damian Roncevich         $28,963.00 + $35,000.00   

7 John Hewitt       $26,320.20  + $30,000.00   

8 David Wolff       $25,917.50  + $20,000.00  

9 Eric Moomey**     $25,873.00  + $18,000.00  

10 Joseph Cirone            $24,872.60 +  $15,000.00      

11 Jim Sebes         $24,440.00 + $14,000.00         

12 Sean Espino    $22,305.10+$13,000.00     

13 Paul Viskovich                $20,838.50+$12,000.00

14 Kevin Cox        $17,190.00 + $11,000.00     

15 Patrick Gianforte         $16,835.00 +  $10,000.00    

16 Robert Mathews         $16,585.50 

** already double-qualified