Low Scores Mean Big Returns for Chute – Again (Weekend Recap, Dec. 17-18)

If George Chute were an NBA player, he’d probably be one of those (increasingly rare) guys with a very good mid-range jumper.

Scores were low on Saturday due to the simple fact that a lot of short prices were coming in. The longest-priced winner in a featured event was 9-1. So having that 9-1 shot was the surest road to success with the successful players being those who did the best job at padding their score sheets over and above the 9-1 winner.


In Saturday’s Horse Player World Series full-package ($1,500 entry + four nights’ hotel + $500 travel) qualifier, it was George Chute ($80.40) and Alan Noring ($77.80) who emerged victorious.

Both Chute and Noring had the key 9-1 shot and built their totals around that winner. If this has a familiar ring to in where Chute is concerned, it should.


On November 26, in another Horse Player World Series full-package qualifier, the highest-priced winner was $17.80. All Chute did that day was to pick the $17.80 horse and another seven winners in addition to that. Eight out of twelve in all.

Many feel that tournament success is dependent on the ability to pick bombs. But in less than a month, George Chute has won two difficult tourneys by selecting horses that came in at odds no higher than 9-1. It seems clear that Chute is an excellent handicapper. And perhaps he is strategically benefiting somewhat from zigging when so many others of us are zagging.

Gary Brous and Craig Horn also had a good Saturday.


They finished one-two in our $12,500 Guaranteed tourney that paid $6,250 to the victor. Like Chute and Noring, Brous and Horn got it done with scores in that low-80s, high-70s range.

There were a different set of races in play for our Saturday night $1,500 Guaranteed event.


John Heiney amassed the best 9-race tally to take the $750 top prize. Note that this tourney was a strong overlay event for the player with only 18 entries at $69 each. Keep that in mind the next time you see a guaranteed Saturday night tourney – or any guaranteed tourney, for that matter.

On Sunday, scores were again compressed –this time due to reduced opportunities brought on by Fair Grounds prematurely aborting its card due to heavy rain, thereby knocking out three of the races from our 12-race featured menu. There WERE prices to be had on Sunday, but – as the woman in the Liberty Mutual commercial might say – you were still left with three-quarters of a car. Unlike Saturday, though, longshots were out there on Sunday.


When cap horse Love Flute ($42.00 to win, $22.00 to place for tourney purposes) won Gulfstream’s 10th race, the final race of our abbreviated featured tourneys, it rocketed Cara Yarusso to the top of the heap in our Last Chance Surfside qualifier. Yarusso will be representing HorseTourneys there along with Jim Templin who managed to finish “in the money” despite not having Love Flute.

Somewhat remarkably, none of the top three finishers in our $7,500 Guaranteed game used Love Flute either.


And neither did the two winners in our Horse Player World Series entry-only qualifier.


In fact, first-place finisher Nicholas Fazzolari won his HPWS entry by picking five winners and two place horses from his first seven plays in the nine-race contest. It was very kind of Fazzolari to whiff on his last two picks, thereby allowing his opponents to make the scoring look a little more respectable!

Our $1,500 guaranteed Exacta box tourney went to Kevin Kline, whose two $1 exacta winners came from opposite ends of the spectrum.


One paid $129.60 and the other paid $16.00. But it was that $16.00 payoff that got Kline the top prize of $600.

Lastly, participation was very strong in both our Treasure Island NHC Last Chance qualifier and our Round 2 feeder for our December 31 $50,000 Guaranteed tourney. As a result we’ll be sending another 10 to the Last Chancer…


And 11 on to our rich New Year’s Eve game:


Keep an eye out for more Last Chance qualifiers and $50,000 feeders. There is obviously a strong demand for those.

And while Monday got us off to a slow start this week with Parx and Mahoning Valley canceling, action will pick up as the holiday week goes on. Essentially Friday December 23 and Monday December 26 will serve as our two “weekend” or “featured” days. We’ll fill you in on all that as the time draws closer.

Congratulations again to all of this past weekend’s winners. And thanks to all of you for taking part.