Kentucky Derby Betting Available at Montana Bars

By Beacon Staff

MISSOULA — Montana Simulcast Racing has an agreement with Churchill Downs Inc. to make off-track betting on the Kentucky Derby available at eight Montana bars.

Last year, Montana horse racing fans could bet on the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes, but not the Derby.

Nick Alonzo launched the simulcast network last spring. He tells the Missoulian he had to put up a letter of credit to convince Churchill Downs to take a chance on Montana because the state’s previous simulcast network fell into debt.

Derby wagering opens Friday morning. The race is set for about 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Bets can be placed at two bars in Billings and one each in Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, Miles City and Missoula.

The lone location in Kalispell is Scotty’s Bar and Steakhouse.

Frac Daddy, a horse owned by two Billings men, is considered a long shot in this year’s Derby.

Williston Basin Oilmen Have Horse in the Derby
WILLISTON, N.D. — Two Montana oilmen who do a lot of work in North Dakota have a horse in the race in Kentucky, as well — literally.

Billings residents Carter Stewart and Ken Schlenker own a horse that is running in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. It’s named Frac Daddy, a take on the oil drilling technique known as fracking.

Stewart tells The Forum newspaper that the horse is a tribute to all of the oil field workers in America and especially the Williston Basin in the Dakotas and Montana.

Frac Daddy’s odds of winning are posted at 50-1, but Stewart says he’s optimistic. He says he thinks the horse has a shot.

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