Tournament veteran Tony Zhou bested a field of 68 horseplayers to capture the 2022 Belmont Stakes Challenge, which was contested online via NYRA Bets and on-track at Belmont Park during the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival.
Zhou, a 38-year-old New York City resident, took home $85,800 in prize money plus $52,945.50 in live bankroll for a total of $138,745.50. With the victory, Zhou secured a seat at the 2022 Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge in November at Keeneland.
The Belmont Stakes Challenge was a live-money contest featuring a $5,000 Entry Fee [$3,500 in Live Money Wagers/$1,500 to Prize Pool], contributing to a prize pool that the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) seeded with $50,000 – including $40,000 to the winner and $10,000 to the runner-up.
Contestants were permitted to make Win, Place, Show, Exacta, Trifecta, Quinella, and Daily Double wagers and required to wager a minimum of $200 per race on at least five separate Challenge Races conducted on Friday; and an additional $500 per race on a minimum of five separate Challenge Races conducted on Saturday.
“After 3rd and 2nd place finishes in previous years, getting this win in a major brought pure joy,” Zhou said via Twitter. “My 1st day at the races was Belmont Stakes 2010 when I left with an empty wallet. I vowed to figure out the game and with some hard work and deliberate practice, things do work out!”