Fun in the Sun, Xpressbet’s fun and profitable $100,000 Saratoga/Del Mar Handicapping Challenge, concluded Saturday with Darelene Wolfson capturing the lucrative $12,000 Seasonal First Prize. Wolfson’s final competition earnings totaled $1,084--just $9 better than runner-up Barbara Georgette and merely $71 ahead of John Sampiere in fifth. Richard Bombik finished third with $1,046 and Randy Murphey checked in fourth with $1,025.50. Seasonal prizes included $8,000 to second, $5,000 to third, $3,000 to fourth and $2,000 to fifth.
The final juicy $5,000 top weekly prize went to Randy Bird with a hefty $465 in earnings. That was just $1 less than Brett Weiner’s season-leading weekly total of $466 established August 19. Lawrence Kahlden finished second Saturday with $399 in earnings and he collected $2,000 in prize money. Jeffery Coleman was third with $359, Tony Zhou fourth with $351 and Craig Kaufman fifth at $343.50. Third place was worth $1,500, fourth $1,000 and fifth $500 in prize money.
Fun in the Sun was offered each Saturday of the Saratoga and Del Mar meetings and included an equal balance of competition races from each track. The seven-week challenge included weekly prizes to the top five earners and seasonal awards to the highest five cumulative earners. Since Fun in the Sun wagers were live, players kept whatever mutuel payoffs they earned, in addition to prize amounts.
Heading into Saturday’s action neither cumulative winner Wolfson nor runner-up Georgette seemed likely to cash. However, closing with a huge rush, Wolfson earned $311 Saturday to rally from 18th for the win. Georgette earned $208 on the final day to climb the prize ladder from 8th to 2nd.
Analysis of Wolfson’s winning cumulative total shows weekly average earnings of $155--based on single, live $10 win wagers on one horse in each of 10 competition races ($100 total investment). By comparison, the 50th-place Fun in the Sun finisher totaled $702 in cumulative earnings—an average of about $100 per week—the break-even point!
Out of a total of 35 weekly prizes (seven weeks, five prizes per-week) there were 32 different winners and no player earned more than one first-place prize. Players that earned multiple weekly prizes are: Richard Bombik, the cumulative third-place finisher, who was 2nd & 3rd; John Giolito 3rd & 4th and Tony Zhou 4th & 5th.
The season’s average weekly first prize-winning mutuel total was $330--more than twice that of Wolfson’s seasonal championship average weekly earnings ($155).
Amazingly, neither cumulative first-prize winner Wolfson nor runner-up Georgette won a weekly prize of any kind!
Congrats to Fun in the Sun prize winners and thanks to everyone participating in the competition. As one satisfied Xpressbet account holder thoughtfully e-mailed: “…The past 7 weeks were the most enjoyable of all my years following horse racing. Regardless of my success, even if I didn't win anything, the Fun in the Sun was a great format. I looked forward to each and every Saturday for the four hours of competition
I would like to thank you and the entire Xpressbet organization for providing this contest during the Saratoga/DelMar summer meet. It is a great opportunity for the average bettor to have his once in a lifetime moment.
I enjoyed Dime a Day (Xpressbet’s former Saratoga/Del Mar Handicapping Challenge), but Fun in the Sun, in my opinion and notwithstanding my success, is better. I hope it returns next year. In the meantime, as you would say, race on!”
What more can I say? Perhaps, Race On!