It was a big Pick & Pray-centric weekend here at HorseTourneys. Saturday was characterized by a number of featured tourneys in which a dollar or two either way made a significant difference in the final standings.
Our $12,500 Guaranteed tourney went to David Scharf ($6,250 first place prize) by just $1.20 over runner up Stephen Walsh. It is somewhat interesting to note that Scharf won thanks to having picked 5-2 shot Buymeabond in the contest finale at Del Mar. It is thought in some quarters that, in a Pick & Pray, it is wise to pick a longer-priced horse in order to expand the number of ways that can propel you forward. For example, a longshot winner…or even a robust place mutuel from a second-place finisher. Scharf eschewed that theory Saturday and it paid off nicely for him.
Saturday was the first day this year that we offered a full-package qualifier to the 2017 Horse Player World Series. As a result, our two winners of this tourney — Paul Mahre ($152.20) and Craig Horn ($151.10) will receive $500 travel plus four nights’ hotel at The Orleans in addition to their $1,500 HPWS entry. Look for these full-package HPWS qualifiers every Saturday in the weeks and months ahead as we march forward to HPWS 2017.
One of our regularly popular direct qualifiers, perhaps due to its easy-on-the-wallet $58 entry fee, is the Twin Spires Online Championship qualifier. This past Saturday saw three winners advance to the Nov. 26 final. They are Chris Bertolucci, Stephen Diaz and Bernardo Wiesner.
What was already shaping up as an intriguing finish to Sunday’s tourneys was made more exciting when #3 Dynamic Mizzes K ($20.40 to win, $10.00 to place) won the contest nightcap in the 7th at Del Mar.
Due to solid participation, we were able to award three packages rather than the guaranteed two in our big NHC qualifier. Finishing in first was Rick Broth with $133.50. But he was already double-qualified to the NHC. So while Rick will garner nice NHC Tour points, the NHC packages fell down to our 2nd, 3rd and 4th place finishers: Jeffrey Jolliffe ($132.70), Robert Shoemaker II ($113.20) and Mark Stovall ($108.30). Keep in mind that you only have two opportunities left this year (the next two Sundays) to win 2017 NHC spots at HorseTourneys. This week’s qualifier will again offer at least two, and as many as four, NHC berths depending on participation.
We also had a $7,500 guaranteed game on Sunday, and Rick Broth made his excellent Sunday opinions count.
Using the exact same selections that he used in our NHC qualifier, he finished first in this event, good for $3,750. Charles Browning held second over a late-closing Peter Osella.
Thanks to Dynamic Mizzes K, Timothy Jacobs was the winner in our Hawthorne Fall NHC Super Qualifier qualifier.
The big event (two separate one-day tourneys) is the weekend following Thanksgiving. That means that your last chance to qualify for this seat-rich event is next Sunday here at HorseTourneys.
Our Sunday HPWS entry-only game was a lower-scoring game compared to some of the others.
Kenneth Jordan and Mitch Prado each had Dynamic Mizzes K (as did third-place finisher Joe Koury), and so Kenneth and Mitch will be battling it out at the HPWS with a full-funded $1,500 entry next spring.
Our Sunday $1,500 guaranteed exacta box games have enjoyed increased participation lately as more and more players catch on to the fun format.
John Heiney caught a $167.90 exacta (for a buck) in the 4th at Del Mar…and he further padded his total with three other winning exactas from his three-horse box plays to take the $600 first-place money over Cruz Talamantes who also put in a very strong performance.
Lastly we offer our congratulations to Vic Stauffer who won this weekend’s Del Mar November Handicapping Challenge on the heels of a strong performance at the previous weekend’s BCBC.
You can read more about Vic’s win in yesterday’s blog or at the Del Mar website.
As you look ahead to next weekend’s featured slate of tourneys, remember that we’ll be running low-cost feeders to all of them all week long here at HorseTourneys.
Best wishes for a winning week ahead.