Weekend Recap (Dec. 2-4)

Eric Wing
December 6, 2016

It was an exciting three days here at HorseTourneys with some closing weekend stakes at Del Mar helping to decide a number of the featured competitions on Saturday and Sunday.

Our $5,000 Guaranteed game on Friday went to David Sullivan who prevailed over Brisnet’s Ed DeRosa. The runner-up finish was hardly a disappointment for DeRosa, who has been playing the races enthusiastically for most of his life but only began playing tourneys a year or two ago.

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Actually it would have been a major upset had DeRosa not Tweeted in some way about his Friday exploits. He is the author of more than 100,000 Tweets (accurate as of press time)!

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In Saturday’s $12,500 Guaranteed tourney, Joe Ward and Raymond Riley accounted for the lion’s share of the dough.

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And Annals of Time (in the Hollywood Derby) was the last link…

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…in Joe Link’s winning chain of selections in our Horse Player World Series full-package qualifier. Link and William Ortega each won $1,500 HPWS entries, plus four nights at The Orleans (separate rooms) and $500 cash.

Sunday’s star of the day (as far as I’m concerned, anyway) was Michael Lazarus. And not just because he won our $1,500 Guaranteed Exacta Box game.

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A lot of hardcore Horse Tourneys stalwarts have shied away from our exacta box games – worried, perhaps, that those tourneys are dramatically different from the mythical win/place affairs they are more familiar with. At the end of the day, though, it’s always all about handicapping races. Just ask Lazarus.

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Utilizing the same strong opinion that earned him a $1 three-horse exacta box payoff of $116.50 on Aqueduct’s 8th race, Lazarus tabbed 14-1 winner Da Wildcat Girl in our Horse Player World Series entry-only qualifier. That, along with a well-chosen longshot at Fair Grounds, won Lazarus an HPWS entry along with Tim Downs. Such success across two different tourney formats on the same day is seldom seen here at HorseTourneys or anywhere, for that matter. It’s a little bit like a switch hitter homering from both sides of the plate in the same game. So congratulations, Michael. Mickey Mantle would undoubtedly be proud.

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Elsewhere on Sunday, Michael Marlaire captured our package to the Surfside tournaments on Dec. 30 – Jan. 1. Look for more such qualifiers for the next few Sundays.

Our first crack of the year at an NHC 18 Last Chance qualifier proved to be very popular at the entry box.

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Congratulations to our nine (count ‘em nine) winners: Jay Parker, Jon Van Niel, Barbara Bowley, James Carey, Charles Nelson, Jeff Bussan, NHC winner Stanley Bavlish, Curtis Meyer and Chris Larmey.

Lastly, our $7,500 guaranteed tourney was particularly exciting due to the circumstances surrounding the tight finish in the game’s last race, the Matriarch Stakes from Del Mar.

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(Photo credit: Benoit)

That was Edgar Prado riding the winner (#12) Miss Temple City and Florent Geroux aboard runner up (#7) Roca Rojo. But from a HorseTourneys standpoint, it was Howard Welsh atop Miss Temple City and James Michelson at the controls of Roca Rojo. Those were the horses Welsh and Michelson (our top two heading into the race) had selected in the Matriarch, and the results of the blanket finish dictated the results of our tourney and its $3,750 first prize. Had Roca Roja nipped Miss Temple City, Michelson would have nipped Welsh. Still it was a nice payday to James for running second.

It’s excitement, outstanding accomplishments and unmitigated joy like all of the above that’s on display virtually every day here at HorseTourneys. Thanks for reading about some of last weekend’s highlights. And here’s to you creating some of your own this weekend. Good luck!

First Qualifier for NHC/TI Last Chance Slated for Sunday

Eric Wing
December 1, 2016

It’s incredible how robust the week in, week out tournament schedule has become. For every brick-and-mortar grand finale that takes place, another one seems to emerge on the horizon. And with it comes opportunities to qualify online, of course.

This weekend’s “new” addition to the qualifier rotation in the NHC “Last Chance” tournament to be held on NHC eve, Thursday, January 26, at Treasure Island. Our first of several qualifiers for that event will be held this Sunday. But before we take a look forward to the weekend ahead, let’s take a quick look back to yesterday.

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Congratulations to Joe Petoskey who, with four wins and no places, captured the $1,000 first-place prize in our newly enhanced $2,500 Guaranteed game on Wednesday nights. The event was a sell out – which means you can certainly anticipate this tourney as a regular fixture on humpdays going forward.

Enough about humpdays. Our TGIF feature this weekend is our $5,000 Guaranteed game with $2,500 to the winner and prizes down to fourth. Entry is $185. Contest races will be the 6th through 8th at Aqueduct; the 1st through 4th at Del Mar; the 7th and 8th at Tampa; and the 6th and 8th at Woodbine – 11 races in all.

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We also have some nice feeders on Friday, including a couple (one on Aqueduct races 2-9 and one on Del Mar races 1-8) that will get you into both our $12,500 Guaranteed tourney on Saturday AND our $7,500 Guaranteed game on Sunday. One in 10 will win and so for just $43, you can win yourself some big money action for the entire weekend. (Similar feeders are available on Thursday as well.)

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Our two marquee games on Saturday are our aforementioned $12,500 Guaranteed event ($195 entry fee, $6,250 to the winner with payments to sixth place) and our Horse Player World Series Full-Package tourney. The HPWS game offers a $1,500 entry to the HPWS plus four nights at The Orleans and $500 travel on top of that. Entry is $116 with one per each 25 entries emerging victorious. Contest races for these events are Gulfstream’s 7th through 11th; Aqueduct’s 7th and 8th; Del Mar’s 5th through 7th; and Tampa’s 7th and 9th (12 races in all).

Also note, though, that Saturday is opening day at Gulfstream, which means it’s Claiming Crown Day, which annually means plenty of wide-open, juicy betting races with horses shipping from all over. As a result, we will offer a wide array of tourneys Saturday that focus solely on the 3rd through 11th races on the Gulfstream card.

On to Sunday:

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On Sunday, our headliner is that “first chance at the last chance” – The NHC Last Chance tournament the day before the start of the NHC at Treasure Island. Entry to this direct qualifier is just $58 with one in 10 winning. If you have one NHC entry, you’re going to be in Vegas anyway, and would like to shoot for a second entry, this is a great opportunity. And if you win this qualifier and later win a second (or a first) NHC entry and wish to receive $500 in site credit rather than the Last Chance entry, we will let you do that! If that’s the case, just be sure to  let us know before January 21. That is our deadline for sending our list of competitors on to Treasure Island.

We’ll also have two nice direct qualifiers on tap Sunday. One is for the Surfside tourneys on Dec. 30- Jan. 1. Entries here cost $98 with one in 20 winning $1,180 in entry fees (enough for all three days) plus $500 travel. The other is our entry-only Horse Player World Series qualifier with one in 20 (at $87/entry) winning a $1,500 entry to the 2017 HPWS.

For cash game specialists, there’s our $7,500 Guaranteed game on Sunday with $3,750 up top and payments down to 5th. Entry is $190 if you haven’t qualified via feeder before then. And, of course, we’ll be hosting our $1,500 Guaranteed Exacta Box tournament for $54 ($600 to the winner). One good hit in this affair can win you the whole kit and kaboodle right then and there. (That’s what happened last Sunday.)

There’s plenty of shopping days left before Christmas. So put that unimportant stuff off until later and spend the weekend with us, having fun right here at HorseTourneys!

Wednesday Weekly Featured Tourney Upped to $2,500 Guaranteed — And Don’t Miss Our Free Wednesday Feeder This Week

Eric Wing
November 29, 2016

Due to popular demand, we have raised the stakes on our Wednesday featured contest to $2,500 Guaranteed. (As with all guaranteed events, we will pay full prizes regardless of how many – or few – sign up.)

The entry fee is $79 with entries capped at 35. Prizes will be paid down to fifth place, with the winner earning $900. We also have feeders leading into the Wednesday $2,500 game.

Also be aware that direct qualifiers will start this Sunday for the NHC Last Chance Tournament to be held at Treasure Island in Las Vegas on January 26, 2017.

Entry fee on Sunday is $58 with one in 10 winning a $500 entry to the NHC Last Chancer. This is a great opportunity for those looking to win a second entry…or for those who will be heading to the NHC with a friend who has yet to qualify.

We will be running feeders for the Sunday events as well, and we are starting with the best kind of feeder there is – a free one.

On Wednesday, November 30, we will host a free feeder restricted to players who have played at least $1,000 lifetime at HorseTourneys. The top 8 finishers on Wednesday will earn an $18 entry to our Thursday NHC Last Chance feeder where you can win an entry in the Sunday direct qualifier. (Thursday feeder races will focus on Del Mar.) Entries for this free Wednesday game are capped at 400, so sign up now and don’t risk getting needlessly shut out.

Here’s a visual of the above:

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In closing, we want to offer special congratulations to the four HorseTourneys qualifiers who finished in the top 15 and therefore won NHC berths at last Saturday’s Twin Spires Online Championship. They are: Joe Jarvie, Howard Blumberg, Harlan Malter and Dennis Gates. And congratulations also to HorseTourneys qualifiers Bill O’Neal and Sean Nolan who finished in the top 50 and won themselves Horse Player World Series entries.

Congratulations again – good luck in Las Vegas — and thanks for making us proud!

Seven Punch Tickets to Vegas in HorseTourneys 2016 NHC Finale

Eric Wing
November 28, 2016

It was an exciting holiday weekend at HorseTourneys that culminated with our final NHC qualifier of 2016 – a blockbuster 500-entry, seven-seat tourney.

But Saturday was big too.

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We had a special $25,000 Guaranteed tourney that was captured by David Sellner, who measured out winners throughout the competition. He prevailed over James Michael to take the $12,500 first place prize.

George Chute and Adam Crickman were the winners in what is fast becoming one of our Saturday staples – the Horse Player World Series full-package qualifier offering a four-night stay at The Orleans and $500 cash in addition to the $1,500 entry fee.

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There are some who say that to win a tournament of more than a handful of participants, you have to stab at bombs. We know this is a wrong-headed sentiment, but Chute really disproved it here. Take a look at his scorecard.

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Yup…eight winners from 12 races. Longest price: 7-1…with plenty of chalk mixed in to boot. Well done, George!

Sunday was essentially the conclusion to what had been a disappointing previous weekend when our featured tourneys had to be scotched due to wind-related cancellations at Aqueduct and Woodbine. We round up rolling our aborted 2-seat-guaranteed NHC qualifier on 11/20 into 11/27 (the latest date we are allowed to offer NHC qualifiers) and turned our 11/27 event into a five-seat-guaranteed affair. Happily, we wound up attracting an even 500 entries and, as a result, we were able to throw two more NHC berths into the kitty for a total of seven.

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Our top seven finishers were Scott Fitzgerald, Louis Constan, Tim Smith, Dennis Delaney, Cheryl Knepper, Terry Armas and Cheryl McIntyre. However, the redoubtable McIntyre was already dual-qualified for the NHC, so she was playing for Tour Points only. That meant that the coveted seventh NHC berth fell to our eighth-place finisher Mark Aylward. All of us at HorseTourneys appreciate your support of our NHC qualifiers all year long. We look forward to what promises be an exciting 2017.

Our $7,500 guaranteed tourney on Sunday was an interesting event.

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Tony Martin cashed on the last four races of this Pick & Pray to finish with $129.60. Unfortunately for Tony, Hesham Ragab scored with his last five plays – good for a final tally of $133.80 and the $3,750 top prize.

Sunday was our first of several direct qualifiers for the three, single-day Surfside tournaments to be held Dec. 30 – Jan. 1.

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Initial honors go to Dan Kovalesky ($116.60 on five winners). He receives $1,180 in combined Surfside entry fees plus $500. Look for more of these tourneys on upcoming Sundays.

Elsewhere in Sunday action, Scott Randolph, David Snyder and William Roth each won Horse Player World Series entries in a well-attended qualifier.

And Sean O’Malley hit a $1 exacta for $282.30 in the 8th at Fair Grounds.

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That left his competitors in our $1,500 guaranteed exacta box game on their knees and begging for mercy. His final score more than doubled that of his nearest competitor.

A couple of early heads-ups (?) for later in the week:

This Sunday will be our first qualifier for the NHC Last Chance Tourney at Treasure Island on January 26. We’ll, of course, have low-cost feeders leading up to the Sunday qualifier. Look for a free contest Wednesday offering a place or two into our Thursday feeder.

And our Wednesday night featured cash game is about to get bigger and better. Plans call for these games to have an enriched, $2,500 prize pool. Be sure to join us.

We hope that you and your loved ones had an enjoyable Thanksgiving Day and weekend. And that your week ahead is a fine one.

Sunday’s Last Chance NHC Qualifier — with Five Seats Guaranteed — Headlines Thanksgiving Weekend Action

Eric Wing
November 23, 2016

Our Weekend Preview comes at you early this week because, well, so does the weekend. But we think we’re saving the best tourney for the last day.

We have two special games slated for Turkey Day closing at 2:50 pm ET.

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If you prefer to stuff your turkey with cash rather than seasoned bread crumbs, there’s our $5,000 Guaranteed tourney, a Pick & Pray, with $2,500 to the winner and prizes down to 4th place. Entry fee is $185, and contest races will be Aqueduct’s 7th through 9th; Churchill’s 9th through 12th; Del Mar’s 5th through 7th; and the 7th and 10th from Fair Grounds – 12 races in all.

Utilizing the same 12 races, we will also host a special holiday edition of our Horse Player World Series entry-only qualifier with one in 20 winning a $1,500 entry for the 2017 event next spring. This, too, is a Pick & Pray with entries costing $87.

There will also be a bountiful table of single-track and multi-track cash games and feeders on Thanksgiving. So fill your plate as many times as you wish.

And regardless of heavily you indulge on Thanksgiving, there will be plenty of tasty leftovers the next day. Should you win, Friday will be anything but Black.

Our Featured weekend schedule resumes in earnest on Saturday – one of the great betting days of the year with the Cigar Mile and Remsen at Aqueduct, the Golden Rod and Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill, plus excellent cards at Del Mar (two graded turf stakes races) and elsewhere.

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Our two marquee games on Saturday are a $25,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray with $12,500 up top and prizes to 8th place for a buy-in of $260 — and a full-package Horse Player World Series Pick & Pray for $116 with one in 25 winning a $1,500 HPWS entry, four nights’ accommodations at The Orleans, plus $500 for travel.

Then, on Sunday, the holiday weekend closes with a bang.

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Sunday is the day of 2016’s final NHC qualifier at HorseTourneys. And what a qualifier it is. For the usual $160 entry fee, we are guaranteeing five packages (including accommodations at Treasure Island plus $1,000 travel) and if we get enough players, we will award as many as 10 packages. Unlike most of this weekend’s tourneys, this one will be a Live-format contest.

We’ll also be hosting our first qualifier of the year for the popular Surfside tourneys on December 30-31. One in 20 contestants will win $1,180 in entry fees (sufficient for both days) plus $500 in travel. Cost to enter this Pick & Pray qualifier is just $98.

There’s also our customary Sunday Horse Player World Series entry-only qualifier for $87, with one in 20 emerging victorious.

And for cash gamers, there is a $7,500 Guaranteed Pick & Pray paying down to 5th, including $3,750 to the winner – and our fun $1,500-Guaranteed three-horse Exacta Box game with the victor receiving $600. This one, like all our Exacta Box tourneys, will operate with a Live format.

As always, you may qualify to virtually any of the above tourneys through one of our low-cost feeders between now and the final event.

Lastly, we wish good luck to our five HorseTourneys qualifiers playing at Hawthorne this weekend and the 30 players we have sent to TwinSpires for their Online Championships on Saturday.

Wherever you’ll be this weekend – and whomever you’re spending it with – we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. We here at HorseTourneys are thankful for YOU!