Derby Wars hosted its biggest contest in their brief history this weekend with the $30,000 April Shootout taking place. There were 195 entries at $175 apiece and the event consisted of 15 races from Aqueduct, Oaklawn on Arkansas Derby Day and Keeneland on Blue Grass Stakes Day.
Although many of the 15 contest races had double-digit field sizes, there were no big-priced winners in the tournament and the winning score from $15 mythical $2 win-place plays was merely $96.20. And grinding out the victory was chuckk, Chuck Kuehhas from New York City, a long-time DRF employee whose name occasionally pops up in the selection boxes of 'America's Turf Authority'.
Kuehhas has been a massive Derby Wars supporter since its inception and because of the VIP points Chuck had in his Derby Wars account, he was able to enter a special $1000 free-roll last Thursday which entry was gained by using a large number (10,000) of VIP points. From the $200 Kuehhas won in the $1000 free-roll when finishing as the runner-up in that game, he took $175 out of it, bought into the $30,000 April Shootout and went on to garner the $10,000 first prize.
"I had a decent start, and then with Daisy Devine winning, I thought I could be in the thick of it throughout. But I only collected $7 in the next six races. After getting through the Derby preps, with one race left, I was still on top. Then I just needed to get the chalk home, without a limit horse finishing 2nd for one of the closer pursuers. You know how that usually works. So while my final total wasn't high, it was just a function of how the races played out."
Talking about the host of this weekend's big event, chuckk had this to say, "I'd like to thank the Derby Wars team for developing such a great site, one that is forhorseplayers made by horseplayers. You've help fill a large void. The customer service is outstanding. Keep up the good work."
From a solid cast which included recent NHC and HPWS winners, tournament veteran Darwin Labordo was the runner-up finishing just $3.60 behind Kuehhaswhile another Derby Wars regular, William Ortega, rounded out the trifecta finishing in 3rd-place. Chris Bertolucci took down 2nd-place in the March Shootout and followed up that performance with a strong 4th-place finish in the April Shootout, missing out to Ortega by a paltry 20 cents for 3rd-place.
Here is a look at the Top Ten, please note there were payouts all the way down to 32nd-place:
1. chuckk, $96.20 ($10,000)
2. dlabordo, $92.60 ($5,000)
3. BromosDad, $86.00 ($2,500)
4. bigbert, $85.80 ($1,500)
5. guggie, $82,60 ($1,250)
6. BobD, $81.70 ($1,000)
7. mdoche, $80.60 ($900)
8. jayrob 27, $77.30 ($750)
9. affirmed, $76.20 ($600)
10. Roaddog 1964, $75.40 ($500)
Stay tuned for upcoming big announcements regarding Derby Wars and Kentucky Derby Day.
By Dave Gutfreund