It’s not easy to pick six winners out of 12 races. It’s even more difficult when those six winners score at odds of 6-1, 10-1, 12-1, 4-5, 6-1 and 9-1. But that’s exactly what Bill Shurman did in Saturday’s $25,000 Guaranteed game.
Shurman was the deserving winner of the $12,500 top prize in that big-money game, having won by more than the price of a capper ($64.00). And Shurman nearly pulled it off again the next day.
Adam Thoutt was the only player to finish ahead of Shurman in Sunday’s sold-out $15,000 guaranteed tourney. Shurman, therefore, had to settle for a prize of $3,500, compared to Thoutt’s $7,000. But it was a pretty great 24 or so hours for the West Coast Shurman–$16,000 in all.
Mario Sanchez got his weekend off to a profitable start on Friday.
He whiffed on the last three contest races. But he was the only player to pick 26-1 winner Wondermeister in Aqueduct’s 9th race and that gave him a big enough lead to secure the $3,194 top prize in the day’s $6,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray.
Seven NHC spots were up for grabs during the weekend.
The first two of those were claimed by Edward Osterhout and Joseph Costello in Friday’s $75 qualifier at HorsePlayers. Both Osterhout and Costello cashed in the last race, and it was a good thing. Osterhout had the 3-2 winner and Costello caught a $6.60 place payout. Those collections, respectively, allowed each to preserve their positions and safeguard their NHC spots from a slew of would-be leapfroggers.
Three more NHC seats were awarded on Saturday. In the Super Qualifier at HorsePlayers, Frank Story prevailed by a buck over Anthony Trezza.
Story may someday thank Greyvitos for the memories of playing in the 2018 NHC. Greyvitos ($41.80, $9.20) added $51.00 to Story’s score following his win in the Bob Hope Stakes. Story blanked on the last race, and then had to sweat out the parimutuel payoffs when Anthony Trezza’s selection of 6-1 shot Excessive Kid won the final contest race at Del Mar. Trezza needed $25.00 to tie Story, but the $17.40-$6.60 win/place payoff left Trezza figuratively a day late and literally a dollar short.
Back at HorseTourneys, Gloria Kahlden and G.T. Nixon claimed the two NHC seats in Saturday’s “regular” NHC qualifier.
Kahlden did the bulk of her damage on the strength of 19-1 and 7-1 winners. She beat runner up Mike Ferrozzo by $14.90. But the double-qualified Minnesotan was in it purely for the NHC Tour points, and so the second available seat went to third-place finisher G.T. Nixon.
There were five winners in Saturday’s popular last-chance qualifier to next weekend’s Aqueduct Challenge.
Congratulations to Terry “Red Rock or Bust” Flanagan, Joseph Muzio, Gary Wright, Jeff Bussan and Thomas Barone
Parimutuel returns were lower in Sunday’s featured contest races compared to Saturday’s. But that didn’t matter to G.T. Nixon.
This time, in the NHC Pick & Pray qualifier at HorsePlayers, G.T. Nixon was able to grab second place—behind only winner Anson Clark—to grab his second NHC seat in as many days. Now if Nixon can put a couple of days together like that out at Treasure Island next February, he may be in for an even more memorable weekend.
Ken Kieras had a pretty memorable weekend himself just based on his Sunday performance.
In our live-format Horse Player World Series qualifier, Kieras led a group of three winners that also included Kyle Snowden and Steve Arrison.
And despite the fact that our Hawthorne qualifier was also a live-format tourney, Kieras just copied his HPWS picks over to his Hawthorne entry and won that as well with the same score of $93.90.
Congratulations also to Marty DeRoin and John Ukleja, who will be joining Kieras out at Hawthorne.
David Nelson and Stephen Diaz will be enjoying the second Saturday of the upcoming Gulfstream Park (East?) meeting.
They each won entries to the 100% payback Gulfstream Caribbean Classic Betting Championship on December 9.
Jon “Hurricane” Hurd—runner up behind Ed Peters at this year’s The BIG One—is glad racing was still being held at the western version of Gulfstream Park on Sunday.
He hit a $133 exacta in the 9th race at GPW, and then chipped up modestly from there to take down the top money in our $2,000 Guaranteed Exacta tourney.
For those looking ahead to upcoming weeks, note that we have a $100,000 tourney ($70,000 Guaranteed) now slated for Saturday, December 2. And starting this Saturday we begin offering full-package Horse Player World Series qualifiers each week (on Saturdays, with entry-only games offered on Sundays). And we also kick off qualifiers to Surfside this coming weekend.
Thanks, as always, for being part of last weeknd’s fun. Have a great week ahead.