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Churchill Downs wants $14K back from Wes Welker after payout error

Wes Welker money Kentucky Derby

Wes Welker hit it big at the Kentucky Derby earlier this month, and the Denver Broncos wide receiver was ecstatic about it. Welker made his exit from the race carrying stacks of hundreds and was spotted handing money out to random strangers. Now, Churchill Downs is claiming they accidentally overpaid him by $14,000.

TMZ reported on Friday that Welker sent a friend to collect his $57,193.90 at the track a few days after he placed the winning bets himself. Due to a computer malfunction that was caused by human error, Welker’s friend was supposedly given $14,000 he wasn’t entitled to. Churchill Downs is asking for the money back.

“An individual believed to be a member of Wes Welker’s group on Kentucky Derby day was the beneficiary of an overpayment north of $14,000 on a wager due to a tote malfunction,” Churchill Downs spokesman Darren Rogers said in a statement. “In turn, a letter has been sent to that individual in an attempt to resolve the error.”

Welker, who won most of his money on 37-1 long shot Commanding Curve, told “The Dan Patrick Show” on Friday that he’s not giving the money back and that he never calculated what he was supposed to take home.

According to TMZ, Welker is likely going to have to pay the money back. He can obviously afford it, but you would think Churchill Downs should be responsible for their own mistake. What if someone who had no money in the bank was accidentally given $15,000 and spent it? Winner beware, I suppose.

Bowen Wallace of Tilden Wins $278K on Kentucky Derby Superfecta Ticket

When you see that a horse with odds of 50:1 wins the Kentucky Derby, your (or at least my) reaction was to wonder who’s holding that winning ticket. While a $10 investment would have netted you a comfortable $500 profit, nothing compares to what Bowen Wallace of Tilden, Texas got from picking the ponies properly on Saturday.

The 41-year-old Tilden resident won $278,503.20 on a $1 superfecta ticket for the 135th Derby, which was simulcast live at Retama Park.

He won by correctly picking the top four finishers. The winner was Mine That Bird, a 50-1 long shot. Wallace’s winning ticket was a five-horse superfecta box, which cost him $120. He says he took home $209,000, after taxes were taken out at the track.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, there were 23 outstanding winning $1 superfecta tickets. Dizzamn. That’s some serious cash. Remember though, when an underdog (underhorse?) wins like that, all that money coming in on the favorites gets flushed down the drain. Wallace says jockey Calvin Borel was a major factor influencing where he bet his money. On Saturday we sure found out why.

(via Ben Maller)

Calvin Borel’s Ride on Mine That Bird Just Like His Kentucky Derby Victory on Street Sense

As much criticism as horse racing takes for supposedly being cruelty to animals, it’s hard to have seen the Kentucky Derby and not thought you were watching a sporting/athletic event. This was a race in its simplest form, one where animals were competing. Sure, you mix in jockeys whipping the horses, trainers injecting steroids, deaths on the track, and things begin to get kind of fuzzy, but the race itself on Saturday was pretty exhilarating. Specifically, jockey Calvin Borel’s ride on Mine That Bird to win the Derby was extremely impressive. Check out the race in its entirety below, and then skip ahead to the 8:20 mark to see Borel’s run on Mine That Bird as it compares to his ride to win the ’07 Derby aboard Street Sense. It’s pretty incredible:

If you heard the call on NBC, Tom Durkin was so stunned by the upset he didn’t even know Mine That Bird’s name until the race had already been won! Furthermore, to underscore the comeback ride by Borel, Durkin didn’t even mention Mine That Bird until the horse was out in front. Impressive ride by Borel. And a few quick cool facts about the gelding — he was purchased for only $9,500, and he got his name from the mare, Birdstone (’04 Belmont Stakes winner), and the dame, Mining My Own. Quite a nice pedigree if you ask me.