Christian Hellmers Does This to Win the 20th Annual Del Mar Summer Challenge

del mar delmar paddock sceneChristian Hellmers, a Del Mar native, claimed the victory over 128 total entries with two massive exacta wagers in the two-day Challenge. His $32,000 score on day one and another $23,000 exacta on day two sealed the victory. Second place finisher Frank Mustari, of Des Plaines, Illinois, briefly passed Hellmers on day two but it was short lived. The winner turned the $4,000 starting bankroll into $49,241.

Hellmers wins $89,500 cash, a $10,000 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) 2023 entry and a $4,000 entry to the September 2 Pacific Classic Betting Challenge (PCBC) at Del Mar or online through All in all, he netted $152,741 in cash and prizes.

Mustari, also participating with two entries, finished second and sixth for $37,400 in cash plus two BCBC entries and a PCBC spot.

Participants started with a $4,000 live money bankroll in the two-day Challenge offering more than $250,000 in total prizes. The top 12 finishers receive a combination of prizes including cash, six $10,000 Breeders Cup Betting Challenge entries, National Horseplayers Championship spots and entries to the Pacific Classic Betting Challenge.

Del Mar’s signature handicapping contest is presented by Yammava’ Resort and Casino at San Manuel.

View the top players’ standings for the 2023 Del Mar Summer Challenge


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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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