Local boy made really good in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge last weekend as Torrey Pines native Nisan Gabbay parlayed big scores in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf and the Breeders’ Cup Classic to win racing’s biggest live-money tournament with a total record bankroll of $537,000, including at $350,000 first prize.
New participation records were set in the ninth annual BCBC with a record 439 players wagering on site at Del Mar, at satellite locations at Churchill Downs and Gulfstream Park, and online through TwinSpires.com and Xpressbet.com.
Gabbay’s $537,000 tally is the largest-ever total earned by a champion in history of the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.
“It’s always special to win, but to win it at home is extra special,” said Gabbay, 40, who works in software development and now lives in San Francisco, but started going to the races at Del Mar as a teenager.
Gabbay made his boldest moves starting with the Breeders’ Cup Turf, when he wagered $4,000 of the $7,500 allotment, most of it on Talismanic to win. The wager returned $52,000, which moved Gabbay into the Top 10 in the standings going into the Classic.
“I liked Gun Runner best of all,” said Gabbay on his betting strategy for the Classic. “I was originally planning to bet it all on him but with the odds fluctuation, I wasn’t clear if a win bet on him would win the tournament.”
So instead, Gabbay spread out the $52,000 earned from the Turf into four wagers in the Classic, three of them being exacta bets with Gun Runner on top over Collected, Gunnevera and West Coast. His $11,000 exacta score on Gun Runner-Collected netted $187,000, and the tournament title.