By Dick Downey
Michael Sussman, a resident of Park City, Utah, won the Kentucky Downs Handicapping Contest, which came down to the wire in more ways than one on Wednesday.
Sussman's final bankroll was $126.20. He ediged Nathan McCauley of nearby Nashville, Tn. by less than two dollars. McCauley finished with $124.40. Mike Brown of Floyds Knobs, In. finished third with $111.00.
Each player in the contest, which drew 174 entries, placed a mythical $2 win-place bet on a single horse in races 4 through 13. Sussman won on the last race of the day, which was a blanket finish in which Knows How to Rock edged Alexander Thegreat by a nose, with I'm Star Struck a half-length back of them. Thus, Sussman, who was in third place before the race, pulled off the win in the final jump.
Sussman's prize is an entry seat to the Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge, where there's a cash prize pool up to $500,000. In addition, he gets round trip airfare, deluxe accommodations for three nights, clubhouse and track apron seating and VIP party tickets at the Breeders' Cup, Nov. 1 and 2 at Santa Anita. There is an alternate grand prize of $5,000.
McCauley won $1,000 for second place, and Brown got $500 for third. The fourth through tenth finishers were each paid $100, equal to the amount of the entry fee.