12/08/2014 10:49AM

Fornatale: Player picks 9 winners, wins contest by a dime


There was a truly historic performance on BCQualify.com on Sunday, as C.J. Johnsen, of Hendersonville, Tenn., picked an astounding nine winners in the contest and cashed in every race. Johnsen ended up with $131.80, good enough for first place in the 200-player event.

His ticket is worth a look. He backed the first five winners: Boss Daddy ($6.60) in Aqueduct’s sixth race, Fan Base ($4.80) in Gulfstream’s sixth, Sun Storm ($9.10) in Aqueduct’s seventh, Itsaknockout ($12.80) in Gulfstream’s seventh, and Casiguapo ($11.20) in Aqueduct’s eighth.

He missed the capper in the sixth contest event but picked up place points on Personal Delivery ($6.20) in Gulfstream’s eighth. He then tabbed Socialsaul ($3.30) in Aqueduct’s ninth and Pugsley ($13.20) in Woodbine’s eighth.

Johnsen had the place horse in both Gulfstream’s ninth and 10th with Dudeman ($3.80 to place) and Zarleeza ($4.80 to place). He completed his strong day with a late double at Woodbine: Turkish ($7.30) in the 10th and Oro Vero ($8.30) in the 11th. Take a bow, Mr. Johnsen. That is some fine picking.

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Johnsen is one of two players out of the contest who wins a trip to the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge at Keeneland, the other being Jim Sebes of Hillsborough, N.J.

Sebes finished the contest with $131.70 on the strength of just three winners. He had the cap horse in Gulfstream’s eighth, My Storm Trooper ($57.40 to win on the tote but limited to $42 for the contest), along with Pugsley and Petite Lapin in Gulfstream’s 10th ($26.80).

It’s notable that a player with three winners was able to get within 10 cents of a guy with nine winners. Also notable is the effect the price cap had on this contest – without it, despite his nine winners and 12 cashes, Johnsen wouldn’t have qualified. Robert Crowe, of Snoqualmie, Wash., would have leapfrogged him as well.