06/08/2016 8:07AM

Streiff surges to Monmouth Pick Your Prize win


Before Mark Streiff finished second last year in the Santa Anita Gold Cup Challenge, he said he’d been “dead money” in recent contests because he hadn’t “been doing the work you need to do to be successful.” He clearly did the work heading into last weekend, when he won Monmouth Park’s first Pick Your Prize contest.

In addition to keeping his $4,740.75 bankroll, Streiff won a Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge seat plus $23,668 in cash. That’s a total haul worth more than $37,000 for the man who won the 2012 National Handicapping Championship Tour.

The buy-in for the contest was $2,000, with $1,000 funding the prize pool and $1,000 acting as a live bankroll. Players had to make at least 10 $100 bets on races at Monmouth, Belmont Park, and Churchill Downs, with five coming at the home venue.

Streiff got things moving in Belmont’s fifth race, where he played a $50 cold exacta, Lotta Gold over Mascarello ($42.60 for $2) and had $25 win-place on Lotta Gold ($8.20-$4.70).

Like many in the field, he got very active late in the contest. In Monmouth’s ninth, he played a $50 cold exacta, Padre Graz with Mello Groove, that returned $1,000. He also had $50 to place on Padre Graz ($3.80).

In Monmouth’s 10th, he played a $50 three-horse exacta box that included winner Brandy’s Girl and second-place finisher Tizanillusion and returned $505. He also cashed more than $750 in exactas there, keying the winner in weighted combinations.

Race 10 at Belmont was the last in the contest, and Streiff ended on a high note. He played a $200 cold exacta of Aripeka with Sinatra that returned $1,800, plus $70 worth of exactas keying Aripeka that returned $650. Additionally, he made $450 in win bets on Aripeka that netted more than $800.

Streiff wasn’t the only former NHC Tour champ to be heard from on this day. Brent Sumja, the 2013 tour winner, landed his two entries in the money and walked away with a BCBC seat, an NHC seat, and more than $13,000 in cash between prize money and bankroll. The only other player to land two entries in the money was George Chute, who won a BCBC seat, an NHC seat, and more than $11,000 in cash.

The contest attracted 145 entries who bet an impressive $258,385 just within the contest. That represents a live-handle jump of 11.3 percent over the corresponding card in 2015, which had an extra race.

In total, Monmouth awarded four BCBC seats, 13 NHC seats, and more than $50,000 in cash. In a twist, players finishing at the top of the standings had the ability to choose between seats and money based on where they ended up. The top four were able to pick two prizes. Here is the breakdown of who picked what:

Mark Streiff – $4,740.75 bankroll – Picked BCBC and $14,668 (plus guaranteed $9,000 for first prize)

Joe Perry – $4,675 – Picked BCBC and $8,067 (plus guaranteed $5,000)

Brent Sumja – $4,050 – Picked BCBC and $4,400 (plus guaranteed $2,800)

George Chute – $3,553 – Picked BCBC and $3,667 (plus guaranteed $1,800)

Lou Filoso – $3,201 – Picked $2,933 (plus guaranteed $1,402)

George Chute – $2,602 – Picked NHC

Gary McMaster – $2,600 – Picked NHC

Bill Rendino – $2,540 – Picked NHC

Mike McIntyre – $2,518 – Picked NHC

Brent Sumja – $2,466 – Picked NHC

Jose Appelbaum – $2,140 – Picked NHC

Brandon MacDonald – $2,088 – Picked NHC

Pete Rogers – $2,053 – Picked NHC

Matt Mungiole – $2,015 – Picked NHC

Don Chung – $2,006 – Picked NHC

Scott Carson – $1,945 – Picked NHC

Mitchell Schuman – $1,935 – Picked NHC

Jeffrey Pesot – $1,853 – Picked NHC

Sally Goodall – $1,834 – Picked $1,833

Steve Orecchio – $1,787 – Picked $1,102