Weekend two-baggers are always impressive—and doubly so, in my mind, when they don’t occur on the same day. We had a couple of those last weekend.
Craig Hom would have had an eminently successful weekend on the strength, alone, of his victory in the weekend’s richest tourney, Saturday’s $17,500 cash game. Hom recorded five wins and two places en route to a triumph that earned him $9,008 in a contest that closed with a final purse of $20,018. As it turned out, Hom was just getting warmed up.
He followed that up on Sunday with three winners and a runner up to add another $6,730 to his bank account in our $10,000 Guaranteed cash event. Hom actually whiffed on his last four plays in this one, but it mattered not as he still cruised to victory by more than $23 over Geoffrey Schutt, who made $2,692 for his second-place finish.
Hom kept the good times rolling in Sunday’s Spa & Surf Showdown qualifier.
In this live-format tourney, he improved upon his cash game score by $10.40 and added a $2,000 Spa & Surf entry to his weekend haul…which totaled $17,738. Joining Hom in the field for the $100,000 Guaranteed Spa & Surf Showdown—which now numbers 40—will be Chris Cupples and Ken Seeman. We don’t want to speak too soon, but it is looking more and more likely that the August 3-4 competition will have a purse well north of that $100,000 guarantee.
Jumping back to Friday action, we all know that no one has ever won the NHC twice. Another “never been done” is that no one has ever won both an NHC title and a Breeders’ Cup Betting Championship…championship. John Doyle, however, is doing his level best right now to try and become the first.
The 2010 winner of $500,000 at Red Rock earned his second BCBC seat in as many weekends, by capturing his second BCBC Super Low Ratio qualifier in as many weekends. This week, he prevailed with a modest score of $69.90 that got an essential boost from Sharpin ($14.40, $7.00) in the final contest race, the 10th at Keeneland. Sharpin was a 7-2 morning line horse, so perhaps Doyle thought he was drawing dead in the last race of this Pick & Pray. But the betting public failed to see the same merits in Sharpin that Doyle (or the morning line maker) did, and so the Arizona-by-way-of-the-Bronx handicapper will have double-barreled action at the BCBC this year in his attempt to make history.
Friday’s other feature at HorsePlayers was a well-attended-as-usual $75 NHC Pick & Pray.
Eric Kurzhal and John Vogel each had three winners and a place in the 10-race contest, and they were the only two to break the century mark. Kurzhal got especially hot at the end, hitting winners that paid $29.00 and $14.40 in the final two heats to shoot to the top and earn his “Bally’s berth” along with Vogel.
The weekend began with Friday’s up-to-$12,500 Pick & Pray, which turned out to be a sell out.
To be precise, “up-to-$12,500” wound up being $12,611 thanks to the standing-room-only crowd, and $6,305 of that went to California’s Michael Caposio whose three winners lit up the board at odds of 13-1, 3-1 and 13-1. Bob’s Sniper ($29.00 to win in the 5th at Santa Anita) was the horse that put Caposio over the top.
Ernest “Say” Hey Jr. has been on a nice run of late. The weekend prior, Hey captured a $3,500 package to the Saratoga Challenge, and this past weekend, he added the BCBC to his 2019 travel itinerary.
Hey did all his scoring—achieved via four wins and a second—in a six-race span (races 3 through 8 of the 12-race tourney) to secure the $10,000 entry. Let’s see which high-end brick-and-mortar contest he shoots for next week!
David Barnier and Thomas Blosser can check off the NHC from their 2019 qualifying agendas.
Barnier had five winners and two places. Blosser checked in with four winners and a place. Both will be checking in to Bally’s next February.
Lastly on Saturday, BCBC qualifier winner Ernest Hey Jr. looked to be on his way to his second Saratoga Challenge winner in as many weeks. Then David Snyder happened.
Snyder was seemingly on the road to nowhere with just one winner from the first seven races. Then he swept the last five races to punch his ticket to the Spa. Here’s a look at Snyder’s scoresheet.
David Snyder wasn’t the only HorseTourneys handicapper to “Pick Six” this weekend. Rex Robinson did so as well on Sunday.
The performance gave Robinson a $2,500 package to the June 1 Monmouth Park Pick Your Prize tournament. Joining Robinson at Monmouth following this three-prize tourney will be runner-up Stephen McNatton and third-place finisher Bob Gilbert. Here’s a look at the six-win scoresheet that landed Robinson on top of the heap.
Ken Seeman had a pretty fair Sunday in his own right. You might recall from up above that he gained a $2,000 Spa & Surf Showdown entry during the day for finishing third behind Craig Hom. He’ll also be taking a trip down I-95 next September.
Two of Seeman’s highlights during his 3-win, 1-place day was a 5-1 winner in the next-to-last contest race and a $14.40 place collection in the final race to earn the all-inclusive package to The BIG One where 10 NHC spots, five BCBC entries, five Pegasus entries and another five Horse Player World Series entries…plus at least $75,000 in cash will all be up for grabs amongst no more than 57 people (all playing just one entry).
For the second straight Sunday, slow and steady won the race in our $1,000 Guaranteed Exacta tourney.
This time it was Dennis Delaney who cobbled together five exacta winners—none paying more than $37.80 for a buck—and that earned him up-top money of $1,316 in a tourney that closed with a purse of $1,880.
Over at HorsePlayers on Sunday, Las Vegas horse racing (and Italian food) aficionado Ron Ferrise will be headed back to the BCBC, where he finished second in 2017.
Ferrise had just two winners (and a place), but one of them was Far From Awesome ($36.60, $13.80) in the 8th at Laurel, and that was plenty awesome for Ferrise. Rocky Hardy also had Far From Awesome, and that was fairly awesome for him, as he won a partial, $5,000 BCBC entry for coming in second in this Low Ratio qualifier.
Lastly, the NHC roster of 2020 qualifiers grew by two at HorsePlayers when Brian Callaghan and Mark Wilgard eached punched their tickets.
Callaghan built his winning total brick by brick, chipping up with five smaller-priced winners (including scores in the last two races at odds of 5-1 and 2-1) plus two places to win his seat. Wilgard had three wins and no places. Most of his damage was done by Far From Awesome.
Congratulations to last weekend’s winners and thanks to all for participating. Note that tomorrow (Tuesday), we’ll be offering 10% rebates on our Parx tourneys. Just a little something to spice up your Derby week. Good luck.