It seemed to be a weekend of unusually—almost shockingly—good contest performances. You almost never see a large, 150+-person tourney where most of the top finishers are bunched together but the leader is way out in front. That’s what happened in our Belmont Stakes Day $75,000 game, though.
Michael Goodrich never went more than two consecutive races in the 15-race event without a collection…and they were solid collections at that. His five winners—at odds of 18-1, 11-1, 12-1, 2-1 and 13-1—and two places meant a victory by more than $59 over runner up Anthony Trezza. Goodrich’s grand prize was $30,000 and Trezza’s share was $12,000 in a tournament that “went” at a player-friendly takeout of just 4.1%.
Here’s a look at Goodrich’s scoresheet:
The above can also serve as a look at Goodrich’s scoresheet in Saturday’s NHC qualifier.
Yes, Goodrich and his day-best total of $187.90 took this one as well. Also a very deserving recipient of an NHC berth was second-place finisher Cody Clark, who recorded a whopping 7 winners and 4 places to punch his ticket to Vegas.
Two others got themselves “NHC qualified” on the first day of Belmont Stakes weekend in Friday’s $75 qualifier at HorsePlayers.
Robert Tacher and Dave Gray each put up four firsts and two seconds to achieve their winning scores. Gray clinched his seat not until the final contest race when Belmont’s 11th race winner Ailish ($9.80, $5.50) got him up and into “the money.”
Craig Popowcer truly was in the money on Friday.
Popowcer’s four wins plus a place earned him top cash of $5,801 in Friday’s $5,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray, which closed with a final purse of a robust $11,602.
Getting back to Belmont Stakes Day action, Michael Goodrich did not steal all of the thunder on the big day. Rich Nilsen and Curtis Meyer made some noise of their own.
Nilsen (3 wins, 1 place) and Meyer (3 wins, 3 places) were the only two players to eclipse the century mark and, as a result, both will be heading to historic Saratoga Race Course on August 9-10 for the two single-day tournaments that make up the Saratoga Challenge(s). Nilsen whiffed on the first four races of the 15-race qualifier, but more than made up for that later with winners that went off at 12-1, 19-1 and 13-1.
Joseph Rumfolo, meanwhile, had a Saturday score that was outdone by no one not named Michael Goodrich.
Fortunately for Rumfolo, Goodrich was not in the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Pick & Pray at HorsePlayers…which left the $10,000 entry all to Rumfolo, who recorded five wins plus a place. Among Rumfolo’s winners was Sir Winston, who tasted good…like a 10-1 winner should.
There were nine featured tournaments across the HorseTourneys and HorsePlayers platforms on Sunday, and we will lead off with Bill Chenvert’s victory in the Del Mar Handicapping Challenge qualifier.
Sunday was a chalky day, and Chenvert was the only featured tourney player to crack triple digits. (Not even our Exacta tourney had a $100+ score.) And even though the leaderboard shows that Chenvert won by more than $45, it really doesn’t do Chenvert justice. Let’s take a look at Bill’s scoresheet.
Twelve races…nine winners…three runners up. No swings and misses! I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before…certainly not in a featured tourney with 12 races. Included in the mix is a 9-1 winner and a $7.20 place payoff…so it’s not like he was simply playing the post time favorite in every race.
Perhaps fellow contest player Mike McEntire said it best.
Ryan Ehrhardt had a pretty incredible Sunday as well and—as was the case with Chenvert—the leaderboards themselves don’t really tell the entire story.
Ehrhardt put forth a 4-win, 3-place effort to win the grand prize of $5,867 in Sunday’s $10,000 Guaranteed game (the one with the $195 entry fee and a final pot of $11,735).
Ehrhardt also took a swing at our $10,000 Guaranteed Big Bucks Pick & Pray. This one cost $1,150 to play and closed with a purse of $16,284, which was paid out to just the first three finishers.
One of Ehrhardt’s place finishers from the $195 game fell by the wayside here, but it turned out he didn’t need it. He still finished first, earning another $11,398, for his triumph over Anthony “Doczilla” Trezza ($3,256) who was also the runner up in Saturday’s $75,000 tourney.
An amazing thing about all of this? After yesterday, Ehrhardt’s HorseTourneys account is healthy to the tune of at least $17,200. This total has been amassed from an initial deposit of just $60 (and nothing further). Not a bad return on investment!
On Sunday, we offered our first qualifier to the July 14 Stars of Texas Betting Challenge at Lone Star Park.
Mike McIntyre (with a Y, not an I) and Mark Stovall emerged with the $1,000 entries for Bastille Day. McIntyre had three wins and two places. Stovall had no place collections but he had six winners out of the 12 contest races.
The battle for an all-inclusive package to The BIG One was very tight on Sunday.
David Bloom prevailed by just a dollar over Curtis Meyer, whom he blocked by taking the same final-race runner. At least Meyer did win that Saratoga package on Saturday…
The Spa & Surf Showdown on August 3-4 is now up to 57 entrants.
The lastest two to qualify were David Snyder and Jon Van Niel. Your next chance to qualify for the $2,000 buy-in, Saratoga/Del Mar-only, online contest comes next Sunday.
Remember we said that Sunday scores were low? Our Exacta tourney might have set some sort of unofficial record.
Tim Catlett won the top prize with a score of $64.60. Would you believe that his score was built on not one, not two, not three but FOUR winning exactas? It was. One of them paid $40.00 for a buck. Another paid just $2.70. Every little bit helps.
Remember we said (twice) that Sunday scores were low? Even in our 25-race All-Optional Live NHC qualifier at HorsePlayes, the winning total was just $73.40.
Yes, Michael Pirrung, David Wilganowski and the others had just 10 (not 12) plays at their disposal. But they had 25 available races to pick from so that figured to boost scores…but it didn’t really do so. In fact, for a while there, it didn’t look like Pirrung was going to amass a score at all. Here’s a look at the sum total of Pirrung’s scoring during the 25-race event:
Yes, it added up to $73.40. Seven non-collections followed by winners at odds of 7-1, 10-1 and 7-2. It’s so hard to keep one’s spirits up when the horses aren’t following the scripts we lay out for them—but it’s important to do so nevertheless…because you just never know.
One person who always seems to be in good spirits is Lisa Blevins.
On Sunday, Lisa had an extra reason to smile, having captured a $10,000 BCBC entry in the Low Ratio qualifier at HorsePlayers. At the BCBC, Lisa will take on a tough field of handicappers that will include…her husband Jobby.
Congratulations again to all of last weekend’s winners—and thanks to all of you for playing.