$500 charitable contribution up for grabs in Ellis Park Independence Day Smackdown
It started out with a tweet announcing that Joe Kristufek will make daily selections for Ellis Park on Brisnet.com: "To play @EllisParkRacing without @JoeyDaKRacing picks is a handicap, not handicapping."
"Unless you've got my picks," came the quick response from Megan Devine (@MissMeganDevine), new paddock analyst for the Ellis meet that runs July 2 through September 5.
"Shots fired!" chipped in C.J. Johnsen (@CeeJayJohnsen), racing manager for Kentucky Downs, which markets Ellis' simulcasting product.
Thus was the inspiration for Coady Photography to sponsor the Ellis Park Independence Day Smackdown, a charity competition whose first three recruits were Kristufek, Devine and Johnsen. They'll be joined by Ellis Park president Ron Geary, Ellis announcer Jimmy McNerney (@JimmyMcNerney) and Horse Racing Radio Network's Jude Feld (@RaceHorseReport).
The six handicappers will make selections for a $2 win and place bet on one horse in each race on Monday's special July 4 card at Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky. Their selections will be posted early Monday morning at facebook.com/CoadyPhotography and @CoadyPhoto on Twitter, with standings updated throughout the day.
Coady Photography, America's leading track photographer whose 29 client tracks include Ellis Park, will pay $500 to the charity of choice for the handicapper ending the day with the largest mythical money, not to mention getting bragging rights.
"C.J. is the one who started it by saying 'shots fired,'" said Kurtis Coady, the third-generation track photographer who has been president of the family-owned Coady Photography since 2007. "And if there's one thing Coady Photography knows something about, it's taking shots.
"We just decided to create a light-hearted smack day, like a battle royale of handicappers going into Ellis Park, making a fun event for a good cause."
The charities potentially benefiting are: Aubrey Rose Foundation (Jimmy McNerney), Ellis Park chapter of Kentucky Race Track Chaplaincy (Ron Geary), Kosair Children's Hospital (Joe Kristufek), Old Friends (Megan Devine), Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (C.J. Johnsen), and Race for Education (Jude Feld).