A bit of Derby Wars history was made on Saturday with the 1st-ever $25,000 Monthly Shootout taking place. The tournament was a rousing success as it sold out before 10 AM with all 165 entrants being accounted for and an all-star cast assembled.
Races involved used the cards from Tampa Bay, Gulfstream, and Santa Anita on days which those tracks hosted stakes for three-year-olds with the Tampa Bay Derby, Swale, and San Felipe being the featured events. There were a total of 15 races in this contest and players made mythical $2 Win-Place plays with the Derby Wars' cap of 15-1 for win and 8-1 for place being in-play.
Overall, the results were rather chalky and in the end it was John Esterbrook, aka 'Vermonster', taking down the 1st-prize of $10,000 plus an entry into the $30,000 April Shootout, scheduled for April 14th.
"The key for for me had to be hitting with Malibu Way (13-1) in the 9th
, closest thing there was to a capper
today", said Esterbrook
, who added, "Clement is solid sending out firsters
on the turf and he and Bravo have had a good couple of years together on the turf".
"I'm just thankful to have a site like Derby Wars available for me to test my handicapping skills against others who love horse racing as much as I do", stated Esterbrook. This victory was his biggest ever in a handicapping contest.
Finishing in 2nd-place was 'bigbert', Chris Bertolucci of the legendary Bertolucci clan from Northern California. Chris earned $4,850 for his efforts though knowing his family, he was probably disappointed not to win.
While the runner-up may not have been thrilled with the result, the 3rd-place finisher, David Abrams of Buffalo Grove, IL was extremely pleased to have won $2,400, especially since he finished a mere 40 cents in front of the 4th-place finisher. Abrams claimed, "We all know I'm no better than anyone picking horses, probably worse than most...my point is, if I'm winning, certainly one of you can too." Modest stuff from someone who has fared quite well since Derby Wars' inception but this was his biggest ever score in a handicapping contest.
Here is a full list of those who cashed...
1. Vermonster - $126.40 ($10,000)
2. bigbert - $104.40 ($4,850)
3. dabrams - $99.40 ($2,400)
4. Icelam33 - $99.00 ($1,150)
5. Equinometry - $94.20 ($828)
6. sandria prince - $94.00 ($575)
7. ptscott - $90.40 ($460)
8. UGA - $88.00 ($345)
9. dougefresh - $84.80 ($253)
10. (tie) kris johnson - $83.80 ($253)
10. (tie) celebrity - $83.80 ($253)
12. SMARTY JOE - $81.60 ($253)
13. awesomegeo856 - $81.40 ($253)
14. Ray Odyssey - $77.40 ($253)
15. McCarron - $77.20 ($230)
16. JBaker826 - $76.40 ($230)
17. pgn401 - $75.40 ($207)
18. eaoa89 - $74.60 ($207)
19. thestockbroker - $74.00
20. Skip Away - $73.40
Please note those who finished in Top Ten as well as those who finished 19th and 20th received $175 entries into the $30,000 April Shootout, scheduled for April 14th featuring Blue Grass Day from Keeneland and Arkansas Derby Day from Oaklawn.