Guaranteed The BIG One, $12.5K, $7.5K Games Plus Orleans, HPWS, Del Mar and Keeneland Tourneys Highlight Big Final August Weekend

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The final weekend of August promises to be a big one, both on-track and online, and HorseTourneys will be there every step of the way with exciting and valuable games (many of them guaranteed).

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Friday gets things started with a pair of fun, guaranteed cash games. One is for $5,000 with prizes down to fourth place and $2,500 to the winner. It’s a Pick & Pray (so no worries about being “caught” at work) with an entry fee of $185. The 10 contest races are Saratoga’s 7th through 11th, Monmouth’s 7th through 9th and Gulfstream’s 9th and 10th. The other Friday guaranteed cash tourney is a $1,000, Saratoga-only Pick & Pray on the Spa’s 4th through 11th races. It pays down to fourth place with the winner receiving $425. Don’t let either of these tourneys go off as overlay events without signing up. You’ll also see  a couple of interesting Friday feeders, including one that will qualify you for not one, but two lucrative cash games during the weekend. Now that’s killing two birds with one stone!

Saturday has four featured games led by a Guaranteed $12,500 cash tourney with $6,250 to the winner and payoffs down to sixth place. Entry for this is $195. If winning seats to Vegas tournaments is more your thing, we’ll have direct qualifiers on Saturday to both the Orleans Fall Classic and the 2017 Horse Player World Series (also held at The Orleans, of course). The Orleans Fall Classic game costs $97 with 1 in 15 winning a $500 entry plus $750 in travel. The HPWS event is an $87 entry-only affair with 1 in 20 entrants winning a $1,500 seat. Also on Saturday is a feeder to Sunday’s The Big One direct qualifier. You can get into this feeder for $106, and 1 in 5 will win a spot in Sunday’s $478 event. Here is an overview of Saturday’s featured tourneys.

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Sunday is topped by the aforementioned The BIG One qualifier with two seats guaranteed. Our two winners will receive entry plus hotel plus travel as well as the food and drink amenities always part and parcel of The BIG One at Laurel. There are also a pair of direct qualifiers to two other high-end, onsite tourneys. One of a $212 game with 1 in 25 winning a full package to the Del Mar Fall Classic (Nov. 12-13), including $4,000 entry and $500 travel. And we’re also proud to be hosting the year’s first qualifier to this year’s Keeneland NHC/BCBC Challenge. This game carries an entry fee of $160 with 1 in 25 participants receiving a $3,000 entry to the Oct. 16 tourney, along with $500 in travel. Cash game players also have some nice options on Sunday with a Guaranteed $7,500 game ($190 to enter) with $3,750 to the victor and prizes down to fifth place. And there is also another of our popular (three-horse) exacta box tourneys. It has a guaranteed pot of $1,500 with $600 allocated to the first-place finisher and payments to fifth. Entry fee here is just $54. Here’s a look, at-a-glance, at our top Sunday action.

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Whether you’re after tournament seats or cash (or both), you’ll want to drop by HorseTourneys this weekend and be a part of the competition. Good luck in all of your tournament and parimutuel play!

Weekend Recap (August 20-21)

 

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Some people may remember this past weekend for Songbird and California Chrome. And, sure, those two were fine, I guess. But we HorseTourneys players are more likely to remember it for the truly exciting horses…like John Jones and Souper Knight and Camp Creek…the kind of longshots so essential to a successful tournament weekend!

John Jones

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John Jones (above at Laurel winning a stakes first off the claim) and Souper Knight (Del Mar) were the stars on Saturday. And they helped make stars out of several HorseTourneys competitors. Jeff Bussan, Ronald McKinnon and Steve Arrison missed on John Jones but they all had Souper Knight, and that was enought to propel them to full NHC packages in Saturday’s big qualifier.

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The top two finishers — Scott Coles and Jamaal Barnett — in Saturday’s $25,000 Guaranteed game had both John Jones and Souper Knight, but Scott’s smaller pickups were the difference, and he took home the $12,500 first prize.

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Souper Knight was key (along with 6-1 Saratoga 10th race winner Orino) for James Michelson, who took the $6,250 first-place share in our $12,500 Guaranteed game.

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In our hotly contested Orleans Fall Classic qualifier, there was no single formula for success. In the end, it was Mark McGuire, William Sullivan, Lisa Cipriano, Steve Stange and James Nace who walked away with full packages.

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Sunday’s big parimutuel star was Camp Creek (above) who upset the third jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown, the Breeders’ Stakes at Woodbine, to the tune of $55.30 and $26.20 — or as we are fond of saying here in contestland…$42.00 and $22.00.

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Out of 40 contestants in our The BIG One Pick & Pray qualifier, only winner Sean Nolan had Camp Creek. Nolan and runnerup Jill Himes — who tabbed six winners at prices ranging from $4.40 to $31.20 — will both be at Laurel on Sept. 24-25 for The BIG One. Only eight online spots remain, so be sure to play with us again next Sunday.

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Camp Creek was less of a mystery to players in our $7,500 Guaranteed game. Gary Machiz and each of the next three finishers nailed the Woodbine longshot. Machiz won $3,750 for his Sunday efforts.

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In our $1,500 Guaranteed Exacta Box game, winner Stephen McNatton totally whiffed on Camp Creek. But these exacta box games are a different animal, and here it was McNatton’s $83.50 exacta (for $1) on the first contest race (MTH R6) that did the major damage en route to his victory, which was worth $600.

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In our Horse Player World Series entry-only qualifier, Joseph Muzio eschewed Camp Creek but racked up six winners at prices ranging from $6.60 to $31.20 to take one package. Tye Brown won the other package. He was the only player out of 52 to pick Camp Creek, and he added a couple of other 4-1 winners to his mix just for good measure. Honorable mention also to 3rd-place finisher Stephen McNatton. Some say it’s not easy to do well in both a conventional win-place game and an exacta box tourney on the same day, but Stephen did just that.

Good luck to you this week in your upcoming contest endeavors. As the rest of the sport obsesses over the Travers, may you scope out that cap horse that makes the week truly memorable!

Keeneland BCBC/NHC Challenge Entries Now Available at HorseTourneys

Top-Story-KEENELAND-1BFor the second consecutive year, HorseTourneys.com will be offering online qualifiers to the Keeneland BCBC/NHC Challenge, which will take place this year on Sunday, October 16, at Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington, Ky.

The Keeneland BCBC/NHC Challenge is a high-end, live-bankroll contest that will award up to six qualifying seats to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC), up to six berths to the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC) and prize money. Participation at Keeneland will be limited to 150 entries with a maximum of two entries per person.

The first online qualifier at HorseTourneys will be held on Sunday, August 28. It will carry entry fees of $160, and will award one $3,000 entry to the Keeneland contest plus an additional $500 in travel expenses per each 25 entries participating in the qualifier. The first qualifier is already selling quickly and is expected to award a minimum of three packages to the event. Low-cost direct feeders to the August 28 qualifier are running now at HorseTourneys.com.

Qualifiers to the Keeneland contest are expected to continue each weekend at HorseTourneys through the weekend of October 8-9.

Questions should be directed to HorseTourneys Customer Support at support@horsetourneys.com.

NHC, The BIG One Qualifiers Plus $25,000, $12,500 games Headline Big August Weekend

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August weekends are always big at HorseTourneys and especially when they involve NHC qualifiers. But first things first.

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Our Friday prelude to Saturday’s NHC bonanza comes in the form of a pair of nice, guaranteed cash games: a $5,000 multi-track game that pays to 4th and has $2,500 reserved for the winner. And a $1,000, Saratoga-races-only event paying down to 7th with $425 to the winner. Again, these games are both guaranteed, so value hawks will want to be watching entries for these two very closely.

Saturday’s highlight, of course, is our NHC qualifier with three seats guaranteed and a fourth possibly available depending on participation. Winners receive a seat, hotel plus $1,000 in travel…all for just a $160 entry fee. You won’t find a lower takeout rate/price point at any non-ADW NHC qualifying site.

There’s also a $97 live-format qualifier for a full package to the Orleans Fall Classic with winners getting a $500 entry plus $750 in travel.

Cash game specialists have two great options to pick from: our $25,000 Guaranteed game (live format) that pays down to 8th with $12,500 up top for just $260 (representing an industry-low 9.3% takeout)…and/or our $12,500 Guaranteed Pick & Pray that day for $195 that pays to 6th and reserves $6,250 for the winner.

There’s also a Pick & Pray feeder to the following day’s The BIG One qualifier for $106. One of every five players will advance to the following day’s $478 gateway game.

Here’s a more visual summary of Saturday’s prime events:

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Sunday’s marquee game (as you probably surmised) is our The BIG One qualifier (a Pick & Pray). With 40 of 50 online seats already spoken for, there are now only 10 seats left to be won here for this high-expectation event at Laurel on Sept. 24-25.

Also on tap for Sunday is an entry-only, Pick & Pray qualifier to next year’s Horse Player World Series for $87.

Though cash gamers may prefer our $7,500 Guaranteed Pick & Pray game paying to 5th with $3,750 to the winner for $190…or our live-format $1,500 Guaranteed Exacta Box game where you get to pick three horses per race (a three-horse box) instead of one. This tourney carries a price point of just $54 with prizes down to 5th and $600 to the victor. As mentioned many times in the past, these exacta box games are a lot of fun. There are no price caps and you just never feel like victory is ever out of reach.

Here is an info-packed peek at some of Sunday’s top games:

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We also want to give you an early heads-up that our first qualifier for the Del Mar Fall Classic will take place a week from Sunday on August 28. Winners (1 per 25) will receive a $4,000 entry plus $500 in travel reimbursement. Cost for the August 28 direct qualifier is $212 and between now and then we are running feeders to August 28 for just $47.

Whichever tourneys you choose this weekend, we wish you good fun and good racing luck!

Visiting the Recent Saratoga and Monmouth Tourneys

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I had the privilege of traveling North to the Battle of Saratoga last Wednesday and Thursday and back down South for the big 10-seat NHC qualifier at Monmouth on Saturday. It was a pleasure meeting so many HorseTourneys players and getting to put faces with names. Here are some impressions from the three days at the track:

Most players already know that the New York tourneys are a great deal due to New York State law, which requires that 100% of all monies taken in be returned as prizes. And this doesn’t even take into consideration tourney seats. NYRA paid for the four NHC seats and two BCBC spots out of pocket. So it was a positive expectation event for the players.

It was also a positive expectation event for manufacturers of anti-perspirant. Boy, was it sticky there. Fortunately Donny Nelson and the NYRA staff did what it could to keep people as comfortable as possible in the upper Carousel (not sure if they still call it that anymore). All in all, it was a very well-run event. There was a very low reading on the Complaint-O-Meter. Special kudos to the unsung guys who kept the water, iced tea and lemonade jugs filled at all times. I made about 35 trips there over the two days and never once came up empty. And that was with a player contingent of 205 on Wednesday and 210 on Thursday.

I heard a few grumblings about the shift to a live-bankroll format but none whatsoever about splitting the two-day tourney into a pair of one-day tourneys.

For a while there, it didn’t look like the split was going to make any difference. Incredibly, the winner of Day 1, Mark D’Amato of Green Bay, Wisc., was leading for about the first half of Day 2 as well. D’Amato’s approach was very straight forward. Win, place, show, exacta and trifecta bets were permitted and D’Amato stuck (for virtually the entire two days) with playing $60 (the typical race-to-race bet size in this contest where bankrolls started at $600) cold trifectas on a single combination. He hit 2 such plays on Wednesday to win that day, and started out hot doing the same thing Thursday before he was done in by a cold streak and some other players really stepping up their bet size on Day 2. The most successful of these plungers was Scott Carson of Publichandicapper.com. He wagered his entire bankroll of about $1,700 on Thursday’s final race, and he connected with one of his plays — a $500 cold exacta that he had envisioned as a saver. (Nice saver!)

They say it doesn’t make sense to take a knife to a gun fight. My takeaway for the two days at the Spa it might just be a good idea to take swings at the most lucrative bet types available within the rules of a given tourney (i.e. trifectas in this case) unless your bankroll is so big that you can get away with making safer plays. D’Amato obviously did this right from the get-go — eschewing the $60 water-treading show bets that many others opted for early on. His competition played, collectively, more conservatively. But they all seemed to catch on part way through Day 2 as word continued to spread about the guy crushing cold tris. Plays got bigger and bolder as it became clear that even a sizable straight bet wasn’t going to get the job done. Scott Carson’s ultimate winning play may have been on an exacta, but it was a $500 exacta — the type of play that probably wouldn’t have been feasible earlier in the day due to a combination of bankroll size and in-game strategy. The exacta return of $14,875 was plenty big enough to win the contest, but if Carson, in 15th place at the time, had only been able to afford (or only had the guts to play) a $50 or $100 unit on his exotic wagers, he too probably would have needed to opt for the trifecta.

The temperatures were even hotter, and the humidity even more oppressive on Saturday at Monmouth. Fortunately the Monmouth facility offered its players an ample choice of comfortable, air-conditioned rooms from which to play. The contest drew 166 entries, with the top 10 winning NHC seats plus cash from a prize pool. While I saw players there who hailed from coast to coast, the overall makeup of the contestants seemed a bit more casual than at Saratoga.

Only win, place and show wagers were allowed here with players (who started with a $200 bankroll) having to make at least 10 $20 plays at Monmouth and Saratoga, with at least five of those plays on Monmouth. As many of you know by now, the contest was put on its ear with the sudden announcement that Saratoga had canceled its card after the 5th race (of what was an 11-race card). By that time, Monmouth only had four races remaining.

I was tremendously impressed by the composure of the players while Monmouth officials huddled to decide what to do. Some players wanted Arlington added as a replacement track. Others felt it was fairer to just stick with Monmouth and Monmouth alone.

Ultimately Monmouth’s Brian Skirka (himself the picture of calm at all times) made what was a very well-received decision. Not wanting to hit unprepared players with a new track from out of left field, Skirka elected to just finish out the contest with Monmouth and waive the 10-play minimum as long as players had made at least five $20 Monmouth plays — which was the players’ responsibility all along and was unaffected by the Saratoga cancellation.

It was almost like one of those turbo poker tournaments where levels and blinds go up faster than normal. With so few races suddenly left, players instinctively knew that those high up the leader board now had an increased advantage. But with bet sizes now sure to increase due to a paucity of opportunities, players also knew that the three races still to come would mean a lot more than those that had already taken place.

The Monmouth main track on Saturday had a 24-karat gold rail with a bias pronounced enough that prices were hard to find. In the last race, Way to the Bank ran to his name, wiring the field from post 1 at a generous $6.80. HorseTourneys player Rob Ramirez from Ronkonkoma, NY saw the bias and put his entire $418 bankroll on Way to the Bank’s nose to win. The win boosted his winning bankroll to $1,421.70, which Rob won…along with a $9,800 first place prize and an NHC seat.

It turned out to be an excellent contest at Monmouth, but only because tournament officials and players kept cool heads and acted gracefully under pressure. There’s probably a lesson in here somewhere!

Sunday Recap (August 14)

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Juan Benedetti was in for $7,500 just eight days after winning at the $12,500 level. But this was no jam job…and fitness was clearly not in question.

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As proof, the ultra-sharp Horse Tourneys cash game player won our $7,500 ($3,750 to the winner) Guaranteed tourney just a week and a day after winning our $12,500 Guaranteed game on Saturday, August 6. Look for Benedetti to “step up in class” for our $25,000 Guaranteed tourney coming up this Saturday, August 20.

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Sunday was our last chance qualifier for Indiana Grand’s first-ever NHC tournament (they’ll be giving three seats away in Shelbyville on August 20). David Browning and Samuel Alipio were our two winners yesterday and they’ll both be heading to Indiana Grand with not one but two entries at their disposal. We wish Indiana Grand the best of luck with its event on Saturday, and hope that it becomes a regular fixture on the annual brick-and-mortar contest calendar.

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The BIG One filled its 39th and 40th available seats on Sunday in our Two-Seats-Guaranteed qualifier. Ryan Steigmeier and Michael Caposio were our two top finishers and both will be heading to Laurel on a full ride on Sept. 24-25. Just 10 more seats remain available in online tourneys for this high-expectation event, so be sure to play in our The Big One qualifiers the next few Sundays.

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We also held an entry-only Horse Player World Series qualifier on Sunday with the top two finishers winning seats. It, like each of the above three tourneys mentioned, was a “Live Format” tourney. The going-away winner was Vince LaRocco who posted a monster score of $124.40. Second was our The BIG One runner-up Michael Caposio and you will note that his scores in each tournament were identical — $83.80. Further investigation reveals, as you might have guessed, that Michael used the exact same picks in both tourneys.

Either Michael had outside obligations that precluded him from monitoring the tournament in real time, or he just got on a roll and figured he would stick with his first hunches throughout.

In any event, it just shows that good picks are good picks — and during those times when life inevitably gets in the way of our horseplaying, you don’t have to limit yourself to Pick & Prays. Live-format tourneys are winnable too.

Congratulations to Michael and to all of this weekend’s winners. Check in here tomorrow for musings about this past week’s Saratoga and Monmouth on-site tourneys.

Guaranteed $25K game, The BIG One Qualifier Highlight Weekend Tourney Action

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It’s already been a busy and important week for tourney play. Mark D’Amato and Scott Carson won the Battle of Saratoga tourneys on Wednesday and Thursday (HorseTourneys qualifers, representing about 12% of the field, made up half the top 10 on Wednesday and accounted for runner up Paul Shurman on Thursday). On Saturday, Monmouth will award 10 NHC seats and Hawthorne has a tourney of its own on Saturday-Sunday. But there’s also plenty of action this weekend to be had online.

It kicks off in earnest on Friday with a $5,000 Guaranteed game that closes at 3:48 pm ET. $2,500 will go to the winner and prizes are paid down to 4th. Contest races are Saratoga 6th through 10th, Woodbine 7th through 9th and Laurel 8th and 9th (10 races in all). Be aware, though, that less than a handful of spots remain open. So if you’re interested, act fast. Entry is $185.

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Saturday’s “feature” is our $25,000 Guaranteed game with payments down to 8th place, including $12,500 to the winner. This one is $260 to enter and, again, this tourney is guaranteed to run and to pay full prizes. Contest races for this event (and all featured multi-track events on Saturday) are Saratoga 6th through 11th, Arlington 6th through 10th (it’s Million Day!) and Monmouth 8th and 9th — a robust 13 races in all.

We’ll also host our increasingly popular Saturday $2,000 Guaranteed exacta box tourney, which you can enter for just $42. It pays down to 5th with the winner receiving $750. There’s also a direct qualifier for the Orleans Fall Classic ($97), awarding entry and $750 travel per every 15 entries.

Last but not least, we’ll also be hosting a feeder for Sunday’s The BIG One direct qualifier. This one is a Pick & Pray for $106 with one of every five participants winning a $478 seat to Sunday’s event. Here’s an at-a-glance look at some of Saturday’s biggest tourneys:

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So now you know about Sunday’s The BIG One event. Two packages are guaranteed on Sunday and keep in mind that just 12 seats remain available to be won online. The BIG One, a live-money event for the first time this year, will take place at Laurel on Sept. 24-25 and offer 10 NHC seats, 8 BCBC berths, 10 Horse Player World Series (HPWS) entries plus a cash prize pool of up to $200,000 (based on qualifying participation). There will be a maximum of 57 entries at The BIG One, which should be one of the real high-expectation events of the year.

Also on Sunday is an entry-only HPWS qualifier for $87, a $7,500 Guaranteed tourney for $190 with $3,750 to the winner and payments down to 5th place, and your very last chance to qualify for the August 20 Indiana Grand NHC qualifier. This is the first-ever NHC qualifier at Indiana Grand, and they are awarding three NHC seats. All HorseTourneys qualifiers receive not one but two entries to the Indy Grand event. This should be a great opportunity to win an NHC seat and/or rack up some valuable on-site NHC Tour points.

Here’s a visual on the top Sunday tourneys:

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As much of the nation battles high temperatures this weekend, here’s hoping you beat the heat — and your tourney opponents — wherever you happen to be playing. Good luck!

Change in Policy for New York Residents

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Last week, the governor of New York signed into law new legislation covering Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in the state. As part of the provisions, the new legislation prohibits fantasy-style games on horse racing.

While the exact legal status of horse racing tournaments is still open to question, after conferring with our legal counsel, we have made the determination that we must restrict play from New York residents at this time.

Effective immediately and until further notice, the following policies will be in place regarding play from New York residents at HorseTourneys:

(1) Players from New York may no longer withdraw funds from player accounts; any credit must be played only in contests at HorseTourneys. In other words, players from New York are prohibited from winning real money, including travel reimbursements that may be part of qualifying packages (travel funds will be credited to accounts and may be played in other tournaments).

(2) Players from New York may continue to play in any events toward the pursuit of on-track/on-site qualifiers supported by the industry, such as the National Handicapping Championship (NHC) and other on-site events. Again, please be aware that New York residents may not withdraw travel allowances that may be included as part of any qualifying packages.

New York players with current account balances may make a one-time withdrawal up to the amount currently held in the player balance. There is no deadline for this request.

To make a withdrawal, players must email support@horsetourneys.com or fill out a Customer Support request form. Please include:

(1) The amount of the withdrawal requested
(2) Preference for either Check or PayPal (include Paypal email address); please note that bank transfers will not be available

We regret that changes in New York law have affected your participation at HorseTourneys. Please know that we are actively working on a long term solution to allow full online tournament playing privileges and will notify you as soon as any change to our policy in New York has been made.

Thank you for your understanding and for your patronage at HorseTourneys. Please let us know if you have questions.

Sincerely,

McKay Smith
President
HorseTourneys.com

Check back This Week for Live Updates from Saratoga, Monmouth

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Two important East Coast brick-and-mortar tournaments take place this week, and HorseTourneys will be onsite providing live updates to its members.

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On Wednesday and Thursday, it’s the Battle of Saratoga which, for the first time this year, is being conducted as two separate, single-day tournaments. Cash, two NHC spots and one BCBC seat will be up for grabs each day. It’s an especially player-friendly competition with 100% payback to the players (as is the case in all New York State tourneys). And that was reflected by the tremendous response to our qualifiers. No fewer than 26 HorseTourneys-qualified players will be participating in each of the Spa tourneys.

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Saturday the tournament scene moves about five hours south with another live-money event — this one at Monmouth Park. Here, 10 (yes, 10) NHC spots will be awarded. If you’re in the area and haven’t already qualified or signed up, there is still time to do so. Entry is $500, including your live bankroll. Contact Brian Skirka at Monmouth Park or go to monmouthpark.com for more information.

As the respective tourneys take place we’ll be here providing recaps, updates and other news as it takes place. Check back here or on Twitter (@HorseTourneys) for all the latest info from Saratoga and Monmouth.

Weekend Recap (August 6-7)

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With Saratoga and Del Mar in full swing, it’s a given that things were hopping at HorseTourneys this past weekend.

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Our big event on Saturday was our 3-seat NHC tourney, run in the All-Optional format whereby players make 10 plays from among 20 eligible contest races. The red hot Shawn Turner finished first. But he had already garnered two NHC entries, so he was competing essentially just for the NHC Tour points. The NHC seats, themselves, went to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th-place finishers, Ty Alexander, Dennis Klein and Pete Manzo.

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Saturday was our last chance to qualify for this week’s Battle of Saratoga, which is being conducted for the first time this year as two single-day tournaments. Our winners were Trey Stiles, Steve Arrison, Chris Dewey and Frank Foss. We thank all the players for their outstanding participation in these Saratoga qualifiers. Since starting these tourneys (the first ever to offer seats at a Saratoga tournament), we managed to send no fewer than 26 to Saratoga with full, 2-day packages that included a generous $750 in travel. I’ll be in Saratoga this week and hope to meet all 26 of you!

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While Saturday represented a last chance for Saratoga, it represented a first chance to qualify for one of the stalwart tournaments on the schedule — the Horse Player World Series. William Payseno and Wayne Tam rode the parimutuel power of longshot Paola Queen (Test Stakes at Saratoga) to victory. Look for HPWS tourneys pretty much every weekend between now and next March.

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Saturday also featured a pair of popular cash games. Our $12,500 Guaranteed game went to Juan Benedetti who tabbed not just Paola Queen but four other winners to grab the $6,250 first place prize. And Paola Queen was also a prominent part of our $2,000 Guaranteed exacta box game. Rick Vasquez correctly picked the Paola Queen-Lightstream exacta (it paid $289.50 for $1) to win the $750 first place money. This was hardly the highlight of the day for Vasquez, though. He also finished second that day in the prestigious Wynn Handicapping Challenge, earning $45,000 and an NHC seat. Congratulations, Rick!

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The Sunday headliner was our The BIG One qualifier. There weren’t a lot of longshots winning on Sunday so the standings were tight. In the end, it was Nicholas Fazzolari and Gary Johnson who captured the two guraranteed full packages (from just 29 entries). Be aware…there are only 12 more seats available to The BIG One. So if you haven’t already earned one, be sure to keep playing each Sunday at HorseTourneys. We also have feeders during the week.

Our $7,500 Guaranteed game was another tight affair. Here it was Matthew Whitaker who took the crown (and the $3,750 top prize).

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One of the top scores posted anywhere on Sunday at HorseTourneys was the $119.30 registered by Ryan Scharnowske in winning a double-entry to the August 20 Indiana Grand NHC qualifier. Scharnowske really demonstrated the power of multiple entries in a tournament. He controlled three of the 17 entries in this particular tourney, and while his first two didn’t make much noise, the horses he opted for in entry #3 really got him where he needed to be (and then some!) For the $123 cost of three entries, Scharnowske won $350 in entry fees, and now has a shot at one of the three NHC seats on offer at Indy Grand on August 20.

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There were a pair of Last Chance contests on Sunday. Ryan Leeper shot out to a nice lead, then held on late to take our full package to next weekend’s Hawthorne tournament. And Douglas Schenk prevailed by a dime to win the Last Chance Monmouth qualifier over Anthony Kite and…Anthony Kite.

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Schenk also took the exact same picks he used in the Monmouth tourney and entered them in our first-of-the-year qualifier for the Orleans Fall Classic. Smart move. This time, Schenk only managed second place. But that was more than good enough for an Orleans package. Look for Schenk at the Alligator Bar this fall along with winner Wayne Kwan and 3rd-place finisher Phil Cleek.

Congratulations to all of this weekend’s winners. And the very best of luck to all our HorseTourneys qualifiers playing this week at Saratoga, Monmouth and Hawthorne.