Horses at the starting gate. Photo credit: RennettStowe

The handicapping champion with a million dollar heart

Horses at the starting gate. Photo credit: RennettStowe
Horses at the starting gate. Photo credit: RennettStowe

by BILL FINLEY

Cross-posted from ESPN Commentary

When Michael Beychok won the $1 million first prize in the National Handicapping Championship he never forgot about the filly who made it all possible. The horse that put him over the top is named Glorious Dancer, who came through for Beychok in an $8,000 maiden claimer at Golden Gate Fields. But for all the determination she showed that day to win the race by a nose, she would always be a cheap horse and cheap horses often wind up on someone’s dinner table.

So Beychok vowed that no harm would ever come to this horse.

“I watch that race and she absolutely didn’t have to win,” he said. “She shouldn’t have won that race, but you can just tell that she wanted to so bad. I figured I owed her something. I owed it to her that she had a good life. After all, I have a better life because of her.”

Two starts after Glorious Dancer gave Beychok his big score, the new millionaire, along with brother and a friend, claimed Glorious Dancer for $6,250. He had no reason to believe that her former owners would ever send her off to slaughter, but he didn’t want to take any chances.

“I figured this was a great opportunity to do what I thought was the right thing and make sure, regardless of how she finishes her career, that she would be around for as long as she could be,” he said.

Learn how Ferdinand impacted Beychok’s thought. Read full story >>

3 thoughts on “The handicapping champion with a million dollar heart”

  1. He has a heart, compassion, and is a very sensitive human being. And has respect for all life. If only all could follow after him. This horse is very blessed. This does my heart well.

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  2. I wish all the owners would feel as this wonderful man does………………………………… It makes all the sense to feel this way !!!!!

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