Howard Welsh of Basking Ridge, N.J. became the second-ever winner of a HorseTourneys $100,000 contest, when he picked five winners and two runners up from 15 races to amass $160.60 and secure Saturday’s $40,000 top prize.
Welsh joins August 26 champ Victor Mendes Sr. as winners of six-figure games at HorseTourneys.
Welsh got off to a flying start in the first contest race when Bucchero scored at $42.00 (for scoring purposes) and $17.20 in the 5th at Keeneland. Another Keeneland winner, Zipessa ($35.20, $12.00) in the First Lady Stakes was also key.
But nothing was settled until the final race in the tourney. Welsh was nursing a slim lead over Richard Grose and Eric Moomey (recently 3rd in The BIG One at Laurel).
Both Welsh and Moomey had selected Just Kidding in the Pick & Pray’s finale—the 9th at Santa Anita. Just Kidding took every penny of late tote action and held on for a narrow win to return $7.20 to win and $4.60 to place. Had Welsh selected a different horse in the nightcap, Moomey would have finished first. Instead the Air Force Lt. Colonel settled for second, though $17,500 was not a bad consolation prize.
Roger Ball ($10,000) Terry Wraight ($8,000) and Richard Grose ($5,000) rounded out the top five.
Also of note: Eric Moomey played three entries and finished 23rd and 27th with his other two. And Victor Mendes Sr. ran a very respectable 37th out of 148 entries in his bid for a $100,000 tourney “double”.
One of the other nice things about this tournament was that, thanks to the $100,000 guarantee in place, the contest operated with just a 2.8% takeout to the players. Hard to beat that!
We’ll have more on Howard Welsh in our next blog. In the meantime, let’s see what else took place during the just-concluded weekend.
On Friday, Kimberly Moffatt hit for $61.40 in win/place earnings from the 2nd at Santa Anita…
…and coasted to a comfy win (worth $3,000) in the day’s $6,000 Guaranteed Pool-Style cash game.
Over at HorsePlayers, Sarah Wiener added yet the latest notch to her 2017 belt…
…by earning a $10,000 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge entry in Friday’s Low Ratio qualifier. Robert Crowe and Kerry Bassore each earned $2,500 partial entries.
In addition to the big $100,000 game, Saturday featured the last-chance qualifier to next Sunday’s Keeneland NHC-BCBC Challenge.
Congratulations to Matthew Baiungo, 2016 NHC Tour Champion Cheryl McIntyre and Charles Hatton who each won $3,500 Keeneland packages. Good luck next weekend!
HorseTourneys is the exclusive home of online qualifiers to the NHC in October.
Michael Romano and Jeff Bussan were the first two to punch their NHC tickets this weekend after finishing one-two in Saturday’s Guaranteed $165 qualifier.
During October HorsePlayers is focusing exclusively on BCBC entries now that we’re inside a month until racing’s most exciting weekend.
Jennifer Chenvert crushed the field in Saturday’s Super Qualifier. Fortunately for Joe Johnson, two $10,000 entries were on offer and he was able to grab the second one.
There was also a regular ($179) BCBC qualifier on Saturday and Peter Osella put up an imposing score of $154.60 to win this event.
Osella hit four winners and two runners-up from 12 races to amass his lofty score. And we imagine he was in a very good frame of mind when he handicapped Sunday’s races.
Because Osella collected in six of the first seven races in Sunday’s sold-out $15,000 event. And, yep, he finished first in this one too. This one was worth $7,000 in cash—a nice complement to the $10,000 BCBC seat he earned the other day. Only $100,000 winner Howard Welsh had a better weekend.
And Welsh’s weekend nearly got even better on Sunday.
But his score of $55.80 was only second-best to Ken Seeman in Sunday’s NHC Super Qualifier. There were only 15 entries in this affair, but Seeman put together a score that was impressive regardless of the number of foes in against him. He hit three winners at odds of 9-1, 5-1 and 4-1 and tossed in three place horses for good measure.
In Sunday’s regular NHC qualifier, Joseph Costello hit six winners including five of the first seven to score a handy win.
The other available NHC package in this 2-seat-guaranteed event went to Tony Calabrese who spotted his entry wisely. His score of $79.00 got him second in the $165 qualifier. Had he instead played the same horses in the Super Qualifier for $1,000, he would have finished second to Seeman and not won anything.
Not participating in these two NHC qualifiers was Stephen Diaz—who had won two NHC seats in recent weeks. One came in a $50 qualifier, the other in a $75 qualifier. Obviously now in search of more challenging contests (!), Diaz tried his luck in Sunday’s Del Mar Fall Classic qualifier.
Not bad! Diaz had three wins and three places, but it was Vegas Vic ($7.80, $4.60) in the next-to-last contest race (the 7th at Santa Anita) that put him over the top.
John Covault hit a $1 exacta for $51.70 in the last contest race…
…and that got him first money of $1,338.12 in Sunday’s $2,000 Guaranteed Exacta Tourney that finished with a total pot of $2,776.
In Sunday’s Horse Player World Series qualifier, Kevin Willett like Papa Turf first off the claim in the final contest race (SA8).
When Papa Turf won and paid $15.00 to win and $8.00 to place it propelled Willett from 4th place to 1st place, earning him the $1,500 entry to the Orleans extravaganza. James Snapp held second to snag the other $1,500 prize.
Last but not least, over at HorsePlayers, Ronald Peltz had just two winners (at 9-1 and 4-1 odds).
But he sprinkled in four place horses that grew his bankroll just enough to garner a $10,000 entry in Sunday’s Low Ratio BCBC qualifier. Congratulations to Joseph Wenzel and writer extraordinaire Dick Jerardi who each won $2,500 partial BCBC entries.
Thanks to all of you for your part in a very memorable weekend at HorseTourneys and, again, we’ll be back soon with a profile of $100,000 winner Howard Welsh.