Updated on 05/16/2014 3:22PM

Churchill Downs wants money back from Welker's friend


Photos taken at the Kentucky Derby show Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker passing out $100 bills to fans after scoring big on the Derby at Churchill Downs. But did he or someone from his group win too much?

Churchill Downs said Friday that someone from his party received an overpayment in winnings of $14,898 from a betting-terminal malfunction combined with mutuel-clerk error, track spokesman Darren Rogers said.

According to Rogers, the overpayment occurred when the betting-terminal screen went blank as the winning patron was cashing multiple tickets, confusing the clerk and resulting in the patron being paid twice on some tickets.

Churchill Downs has sent a letter to the ticket-cashing person in Welker’s party, requesting that the overpayment be returned, though he is not financially obligated to do so, Rogers said.

As a guest via telephone on “The Dan Patrick Show” on Friday, Welker said he never knew the precise amount he and his friends were due after winning on the Derby, a race in which they keyed their wagers on 37-1 shot Commanding Curve, the runner-up.

He told Patrick he won “pretty much everything: exacta, trifecta, superfecta. I had [Commanding Curve] across the board. You name the bet, I pretty much had it.”

He declined to disclose the amount of his winnings on the show. Later, when asked by Patrick what he thought of Churchill Downs requesting that more than $14,000 be returned by someone in his group, he scoffed at it, saying, “Well, get in line.”

The mutuel clerk involved in the incident is not being penalized by the track, Rogers said.

“We’re not worried about this,” Rogers said of Churchill’s claim of overpayment. “At the end of the day, we hope they come back to the Derby next year with extra bullets to fire. The irony of this is that we must have a million tickets cashed here Derby Day, and the person this happens to is an acquaintance of a NFL football player.”