Dan Flanigan Wins The BIG One

Dan Flanigan, a 45-year-old investment executive from Medina, Minn., hit a veritable “all-in”, $1,000 wager on Belmont’s 9th race that returned $5,858.30 — good for first place in a field of 51 at this weekend’s The BIG One tournament at Laurel Park in Laurel, Md.


Flanigan, a horse owner who runs equity trading for an investment bank in Minneapolis, came into The BIG One with a strategy that played out to perfection.

“I mapped out both days and got excited about the 9th at Belmont on Saturday,” said Flanigan. “I really liked the 3 [Ten Penny Princess] and I liked the 6 [Rosedale Arch] too. I wanted to bide my time, preserve my bankroll and then put everything on this race. We all make plans and it’s not often that they work out, but this one did.”

Indeed. Ten Penny Princess won and paid $8.20, and Rosedale Arch completed an $84.00 exacta. Flanigan had $400 to win on Ten Penny Princess and $100 on the 3-6 exacta combination that paid $84.00 for a $2.00 bet. Total return for the race; $5,840.

Flanigan leaves The BIG One with his $5,858.30 final bankroll, plus first-place prize money of $35,200, plus an NHC package, plus a $10,000 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge entry. The BIG One offered $103,000 in prize money, 10 NHC seats, eight BCBC seats and 10 Horse Player World Series entries. Total value of The BIG One including bankroll, tournament seats and all benefits was $375,600.

“This was my first time at The BIG One, and I loved the format. It was a select field with a live-bankroll format, and you really had to handicap. There were 20-1 shots coming in both days that no one had. That would never happen in a mythical money tourney, Flanigan said.”

Larry Burns…


led for much of Day 2 before being passed by Flanigan. He then hit the last race at Gulfstream but fell just shy of catching the leader. Burns finished with $5,121.10, more than twice as much as third place finisher Tony Zhou.

Burns received $17,600 in addition to his final, live-betting bankroll. Like Flanigan and the other Top 8 finishers, Burns wins NHC and BCBC seats.

All 51 The BIG One contestants were winners when it came to the hospitality shown by the gracious and industrious staff at Laurel Park. Laurel officials pulled out all the stops for its tournament guests, providing sumptuous buffets, open bar and attentive customer service to all players throughout the two days.

“Laurel Park and its staff was great,” said Flanigan. “It’s terrific to see all the improvements and renovations being made here. And yet it still retains that great feel of an older track.”

Michael Caposio, Gary Johnson, Kevin McIntyre, Pete Acocella, Eric Moomey, Brett Wiener and Frank Sorenson completed the Top 10 at The BIG One.

Players started with a $1,000 live bankroll and were required to make 10 plays of at least $50 on each day of the two-day competition. Contest tracks on Saturday were Laurel, Gulfstream, Belmont and Parx. Sunday tracks were Laurel, Gulfstream, Belmont and Churchill Downs.

Next year’s The BIG One competition is expected to once again take place at Laurel Park in September or October of 2017. Qualifiers for the 2017 The BIG One will be offered exclusively at starting this coming January.

Here are the complete final standings of this year’s event:

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