TSG Ultimate Betting Challenge

December 10, 2019

National Champion Arsenault Part of TSG Ultimate Betting Challenge Field

Live Money Tournament Saturday at Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita $1 Million Bonus if Winner Goes on to Win BCBC

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Ray Arsenault, a winter resident of Fort Lauderdale who won the National Handicapping Championship (NHC) in Las Vegas in January, will be at Gulfstream Park Saturday to take part in the The Stronach Group Ultimate Betting Challenge.

The live money tournament takes place at TSG-owned Gulfstream and Santa Anita Park and requires players to wager a minimum of $200 per race on a minimum of six races, three from each track.

Players have a $3,000 bankroll from their $4,500 buy-in to make win, place, show, exacta and/or trifecta wagers over the course of the contest. Top prizes include cash and berths in the 2018 NHC and Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC), to be held in November at Del Mar.

The Stronach Group is also offering a $1 million bonus if the winner of the TSG Ultimate Betting Challenge goes on to win the BCBC.

“I was thinking to myself, ‘How can I [top] what I did in January,’ but I did my work so when I get there I’m prepared and just hope that the horses I’ve come up with run well and I’m betting them right,” Arsenault said. “You have to have [nerve] in these live money contests. I’m learning, that’s for sure.”

A Canadian transportation broker from Thornhill, Ontario, the 64-year-old Arsenault finished the three-day NHC tournament with a bankroll of $407.70 to defeat 2003 NHC champ Steve Wolfson Jr. and take home the top prize of $800,000. Arsenault also earned a berth to the 2018 NHC and will be honored with an Eclipse Awards at the 47th annual ceremony next January at Gulfstream.

“It was great, unbelievable. It’s what I’ve been playing for years. Last year I got close and I thought, ‘Well I had my shot,’” Arsenault said. “This year I had a great feeling going into the last day and it all just came about. It was thrilling. It was unreal, amazing. You never expect it. You always want to win but you’re up against 650 of the best players in North America. It’s in the back of your mind but you go to have a good time and give it your best shot.”

Arsenault began playing horses in his teens at Greenwood Raceway and Woodbine Racetrack near Toronto and has continued through the years, spending three or four days a week at Gulfstream during the winter.

“I go way back, probably to when I got out of high school and started my first job,” he said. “I got hooked up with a fellow that worked at the same place and he liked the horses so we started playing. I’ve been playing between standardbreds and thoroughbreds pretty well all my life.”

Well-regarded as a long shot player, Arsenault said the strategy for the TSG Ultimate Betting Challenge differs from an event such as the NHC.

“A lot of the guys that do well are guys that take a shot in the last few races to go all in. Vegas is mythical two-win, two-place and you come up with the horses and it just adds to your total,” Arsenault said. “Some of those $100 horses I had I probably would bet at Gulfstream but I wouldn’t put $3,000 on him. It’s a totally different thing trying to figure out the betting part of it.”

For more information on the TSG Ultimate Betting Challenge visit http://www.gulfstreampark.com or email

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