Man Who Says He Won $609K on Derby Is Offered $35K Due to Sportsbook’s Cap


Dr. Steve Friedlander. Pictured: Two winning Kentucky Derby betting tickets

May 14, 2019, 04:47 PM EDT
  • Maximum Security's disqualification from the 2019 Kentucky Derby led to one man hitting a string of miracle bets.
  • Dr. Steve Friedlander turned $2,760 into $609,464 -- or so he thought, until he got some brutal news.

Dr. Steve Friedlander walked into the Tamarack Junction sportsbook in Reno, Nev., and spent $2,760 on bets for the Kentucky Derby.

He put $600 on the No. 8 horse Tacitus to either win, place or show and he did a $100 exacta box and a $40 trifecta box using the 8, 13, 16 and 20 horses. If any of those four finished first and second, he would win the exacta. If any of those four finished first second and third, he would cash in the trifecta.

When Maximum Security, the No. 7, crossed the finish line first, it appeared as though Friedlander had lost all his bets. But then Maximum Security was soon turned into a loser when the horse was disqualified and taken down.

“I actually didn’t know that’s what happened,” Friedlander told The Action Network. “I bet on horses a couple times a year, so I thought maybe he fell to second place.”

In reality, every horse was moved up one slot.

The new order was: Country House (20), Code of Honor (13) and Tacitus (8).

Friedlander couldn’t believe it. He hit every bet.

Country House went off at 65-1, the biggest longshot to win the Derby since Donerail in 1913.

The board flashed.

He started to do the math…

The $2 exacta paid $3,009.60

Friedlander had $100 exacta.

  • $2 x $50 = $100
  • $3,009.60 x 50 = $150,480

Then came the trifecta.

The $1 trifecta paid $11,475.30

Friedlander had a $40 trifecta.

  • $1 x $40 = $40
  • $11,475.30 x 40 = $459,024.

His $600 bet that yielded a Tacitus show win grossed $560 (lost $40 on the entire bet).

Steve Friedlander had bet a total of $2,760 and returned $609,464.

A return of more than 25,000%! Or so he thought.