The crummy weather in Baltimore on Preakness Day seemed to do a couple of things. It created a surface at Pimlico that generated a lot of short-priced winners—and the uncertainty of slop and boggy turf contributed to a reduced field in our Preakness Day $100,000 Guaranteed tourney. But HorseTourneys’ misfortune meant good fortune for contest players…in the form of a positive-expectation contest run at a 1.3% overlay to participants.
Of course, to make those overlaid percentages work for you, you still have to pick some winners, and the player who did the best job of that was Allan Sadler.
The 63-year-old mortgage company president from North Vancouver, British Columbia, recorded six wins and three runner-up finishes from the 14 contest races to claim the $40,000 first prize in the event that paid out to the top 15. Evan Barshack earned $16,000 for finishing second and Steven Meier checked in third, which was good for $10,000.
Friday weather was no bargain either, but don’t tell that to Dave Nichols.
Nichols selected five winners and three runners up from just 10 contest races to win $5,212 in our $7,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray that finished up with a total pot of $10,425. Nichols’ victory was made possible by Song of Spring ($21.00, $6.80) in the 13th at Pimlico, but perhaps even more impressive was the fact that Nichols cashed in the final seven races. Every collection helps!
At HorsePlayers on Friday, the two players to score in the 70s walked away with NHC berths in the day’s $75 qualifier.
Congratulations to Peter Dresens (5 wins, 1 place) and Dino Herrera (4 wins, 2 places) who, like Dave Nichols, had a Black-Eyed Susan Day to remember.
There were plenty of big tourneys on Preakness Day in addition to the $100,000 Guaranteed game. Remember Evan Barshack, runner up in the six-figure contest?
He and Paul Weizer became the 19th and 20th players (joining Allan Sadler among others) to earn all-inclusive packages to the 2018 The BIG One at Laurel Park on September 22-23. Both players hit So Long Sailor ($31.60, $13.40) in the 7th at Santa Anita. For Barshack, it propelled him to the lead in the $100,000 game and second in the qualifier for The BIG One. That left him with a tough decision in the final contest race because he was torn between number 8, Cordiality (who wound up winning at 9-2) or number 3, Cheekaboo.
“Going into to the last race, I thought the 8 was logical, and 3 was a good closer but [in] a paceless race,” Barshack wrote in an email. “I used 8 in the Big One, but was afraid that the $150K leader [Allan Sadler] would use 8 and block me, so I used 3. In hindsight, I should have used 8 on both…a $24k mistake. Still a VERY successful weekend.”
It was also a very successful weekend for the third-place finisher in the $100,000 game, Steven Meier.
Meier also used So Long Sailor as the springboard to victory in a Saturday qualifier—in this case, the Saratoga Challenge qualifying tourney.
Russell Wilkes and David Conover were the two winners in Saturday’s NHC qualifier Pick & Pray.
Wilkes was strong throughout. Conover got himself up into second by hitting Cordiality in the final race.
Cordiality was also key in determining the outcome of the Preakness Day feature at HorsePlayers.
Here it was Dan Shugar, who successfully used the Santa Anita 9-2 shot pull out a $10,000 BCBC entry. Shugar had five winners from what were just 10 contest races in this affair, edging out $100,000 tourney winner Allan Sadler.
Sunday brought with it better weather and some outstanding individual performances.
The richest tournament of the featured schedule saw Mark Aylward (6 wins, 1 place) and Randall Cunningham (5 wins, 2 places) ding-dong it down to the wire. In the end it was Aylward who prevailed by 80 cents, earning himself the top money of $6,833 in the $12,000 Guaranteed game that finished up with a purse of $15,186.
As terrific as Aylward’s and Cunningham’s scores were, they paled in comparison to Luke Peltz’s.
Peltz registered five winners and three placings to amass $233.30 and lead the way in the 108-entry qualifier to the June 2 Monmouth Pick Your Prize qualifier. Joining Peltz at the Jersey Shore will be G.T. Nixon, Kevin Jones and Rob Ramirez.
Here’s a look at Peltz’s gaudy scoresheet:
J. Treadwell didn’t pick as many winners (three), but he picked the right ones.
Treadwell had 24-1 shot Beas Wild Cat in the 7th at Santa Anita and 47-1 winner Soi Phet in the 9th at Santa Anita to propel himself to victory in the Belmont Stakes Handicapping Challenge qualifier. Treadwell earned a $10,500 package to be there at Belmont with Justify and Third Eye Blind for the third jewel of the Triple Crown.
There was one other unusual performance on Sunday, and it came in our $2,000 Guaranteed Exacta tourney.
After the first nine races, Edward Osterhout was tied for last with a score of $0.00. He then hit his three-horse exacta box play in each of the final three races but it was really only the last one that mattered as Soi Phet and B Squared combined for a gimmick that paid $316.90 for a buck. Because there are never any price caps in play in our Exacta games, that allowed Osterhout to slingshot his way to the top—and the $1,115 prize that went with it.
For those who enjoy scoresheet porn (and who among us does not?!), here’s a look at Osterhout’s day:
HorsePlayers had a pair of featured events on Sunday. Final-race cap horse Soi Phet was instrumental at the end of their 2-seat-guaranteed NHC qualifier.
Both Kevin Cox and Dylan McIntosh had Soi Phet, and they’ll be heading to Treasure Island as a result.
Rocky Hardy didn’t have Soi Phet, but he had 24-1 winner Beas Wild Cat plus two other winners and a place horse…
…to win a $10,000 BCBC entry in Sunday’s Low Ratio qualifier. Hardy edged Saturday hero Allan Sadler for the victory.
Thanks for being part of our big (if a bit wet) Preakness weekend. Come Belmont Stakes weekend, we’ll be offering a special $75,000 Guaranteed event with no limit as to how high the purse could grow. But we’ll have plenty of fun between now and then. Have a great week ahead.