The US’s richest horse race just got $1 million richer with Authentic claiming the Breeders’ Cup Classic and, in-turn, collecting the first-ever ‘BetMakers Bonanza’.
Australian-based racing technology group BetMakers, in conjunction with Monmouth Park’s Dennis Drazin, created the ‘BetMakers Bonanza’ for any horse that could win the 2020 Haskell Invitational Stakes, Monmouth’s premier race, go on to win the Kentucky Derby, and then finish it off with the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
The history books will now show the Bob Baffert-trained Authentic has completed this amazing feat with victory in Saturday’s Grade I Breeders’ Cup Longines Classic at Keeneland in Kentucky.
Re-igniting the successful ‘all-the-way’ tactics deployed in his Derby success, Hall Of Fame jockey John Velazquez claimed his first ‘Classic’ win by taking Authentic (9/2) straight to the front, controlling the race at a perfect tempo, then holding off the challenges in the run-to-the-wire to prevail by 2 ¼ lengths from stablemate and equal 3-1 favourite Improbable, with 25-1 outsider Global Campaign a further length back in third.
Equal 3-1 favourite Tiz The Law, who Authentic defeated in the Derby, finished midfield and was never a factor.
“Oh my God, I’ve been chasing this race for a while, and for him to win it for me, wow, what a feeling,” Velazquez said.
Riding just as hard as ‘Johnny V’ was BetMakers CEO Todd Buckingham who, from his Australian office, is thrilled to be signing a cheque for the winning connections.
“With all the winners of the majors competing in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and Authentic proving he is an absolute super-star was very exciting,” he said.
’Initiatives like the ‘BetMakers Bonanza’ are great way to get the best horses competing against each other and what a great way to finish off with a race like we had.”
BetMakers and Darby Development LLC, owner and operator of Monmouth Park, signed a landmark agreement earlier in the year with the aim to facilitate fixed-odds betting on horse racing in the State of New Jersey, with a bill to do so now before State Legislature.
“We believe the US racing industry is on the verge of enormous growth,” Buckingham said.
“That exact same growth scenario has played out in Australia when the sports bookmakers entered the market and we expect the same to happen in the US.
“And hopefully the ‘BetMakers Bonanza’ is the first of many other initiatives with our partner tracks that will significantly add to the US racing landscape.”
The ‘BetMakers Bonanza’ will continue for at least the next two years but with a different pathway.
This year’s COVID-19 adjusted racing schedule saw the middle leg being the Kentucky Derby and with the expected return to a regular calendar next year, the Haskell Invitational Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic will again ‘book-end’ the Bonanza with the middle leg to be determined.
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