Updated on 11/07/2016 11:29AM

Appelbaum hits exacta in Classic to win Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge


Joseph Appelbaum has won the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge. Appelbaum, playing from Santa Anita, hit the exacta in the Breeders Cup Classic for $13,000. He walks away with a total of $364,000. His winning play was Arrogate over California Chrome, one way. He also had a $1,000 exacta with Arrogate over Effinex.

“I loved Arrogate,” said the 48-year-old who runs Off the Hook Stables, a breeding and sales operation in Ocala, Fla., and resides in New York City. “He just ran a huge race in Saratoga, and I thought if he even ran anything close to that, he was going to win.”

Heading into the Mile, Appelbaum was alive on two tickets. In the Mile, he bet $20,000 on Alice Springs. “That obviously didn’t work out, but I still had a chance.”

The contest featured a record 397 entries, up from 322 last year. The overall purse was $1 million. Of that total, $990,000 was generated by the prize pool, and the Breeders’ Cup added $10,000 to get the total to a cool million.

Part of the BCBC growth can be attributed to the addition of simulcast sites to the contest. In addition to Santa Anita, there were BCBC contestants at Keeneland, Aqueduct, Churchill Downs, and Gulfstream. Also, for the first time, players were allowed to play online from home and were allowed two entries.

Second-place finisher Charlie Davis had a great day. He was down to his last $1,000 before the Juvenile Fillies and placed $1,000 on Champagne Room, who won and paid $69.20. Davis has had a fabulous year, with good finishes at the National Handicapping Championship and the Del Mar Betting Challenge as well.

Vic Stauffer was playing for a $1 million bonus, the result of his winning a contest earlier this year at Santa Anita. He made a deep run and had $50,000 heading into the last race. He bet it all, a result of the overlaid odds he was getting when taking the bonus into account. He hit a $500 trifecta to keep $37,000 but fell short of his goal. “I decided to take a shot,” he said. “I needed California Chrome to win.”

Allen Harberg was the leader going into the last and was in an interesting position. He is a fan of Arrogate, and was alive to him in the pick six for $292,423.20. “I couldn’t bet him,” he said of the last race. “I froze in place because I had too much riding on the pick six.”

2016 BCBC final standings

1. Joe Appelbaum, $64,000.00 + $300,000
2. Charlie Davis, $61,505.00 + $200,000
3. Allen Harberg, $59,830.00 + $110,000     
4. Blaise Brucato, $58,042.90 + $75,000
5. Robert Traynor, $49,800.00 + $60,000
6. David Gutfreund, $45,050.00 + $50,000
7. Robert Mathews, $44,010.00 + $40,000
8. Steve Jaffe, $41,225.20 + $35,000
9. Lee Searing, $40,831.00 + $30,000
10. Al Sirica, $40,080.00 + $25,000
11. Garett Skiba, $40,074.20 + $20,000
12. Paul Weizer, $38,121.00 + $17,500
13. Sam Alipio, $37,300.00 + $15,000
13. Vic Stauffer, $37,300.00 + $12,500
15. Jackie Jenkins, $35,030.00 + $10,000
16. Chris Ewing, $33,841.00

All listed win NHC seats except Davis, who was already double-qualified.