Victory has been no stranger to Robert Schintzius Sr. The Western New York resident earned a $3,000 Canterbury entry two weeks ago, picked up a $2,500 Spa & Surf Showdown seat last week, and this past week he decided to focus himself on events offering more immediate gratification.
When the weekend was over, Schintzius had to feel…gratified.
Schintzius hit the last two Saturday winners to finish with 4 winners and 3 places and pocket the top prize of $8,549 in Saturday’s $10,000 Guaranteed Big Bucks tourney, which closed up shop with an overall purse of $12,213. Mid-range prices seemed right in Schintzius’s wheelhouse on Saturday. His four visitors to the winner’s circle paid $9.80, $11.80, $12.40 and $11.80.
Schintzius only had two such visitors on Sunday. But that didn’t prevent HIM from entering the winner’s circle.
The two winners here for Schintzius—$23.40 in the 6th at Belmont and $15.80 in the 9th at Gulfstream—were just enough for him to hold off Michael “The Coach” Goodrich by 20 cents and bag another $5,250 in Big Bucks earnings. (The game went off at a player-friendly takeout rate of just 6.8%.) That made a total of $13,799 for Schintzius over the two days/games. You could call that Big, Big Bucks.
George Chute won some bucks of his own on Wednesday.
The Bay Stater hit Thomas Knight (that’s a horse, not a fellow competitor) in the 11th at Part to finish with 5 firsts and 1 second. That last tally, returning $14.60 to win and $6.40 to place, moved Chute from 6th to 1st place at the end, earning him the winner’s share of $2,737 in Wednesday’s $6,000 Guaranteed cash tourney. Here was his best-of-day scorecard:
Like Chute, Michael Kiatipis also had Parx price poppers Catch My Vibe ($48.40) and Thomas Knight.
Those two winners plus a pair of runners up got Kiatipis a $2,500 place in the $300,000 Guaranteed Spa & Surf Showdown here on August 14-15.
David May focused his sights on the Bally’s NHC First Chance/Last Chance tournament…and wound up with a case of double vision.
May did all his scoring (5 firsts and 1 second) over the final six races to lead the way and take home a $500 entry along with runner up Marc Wlodkowski, whose scoring (3 wins and a place) also came consecutively—in tourney races 3 through 6.
On short rest, May then came right back and Thursday and got himself another $500 First Chance/Last Chance spot.
May (2 wins, 4 places) and fellow $500 seat earner Bruce Rossi (1W, 3P) both had Stand in Your Love ($34.40, $11.60) in the 4th at Golden Gate as their key producer.
Dale Hatfield’s big Thursday horse was Dancingwithdaffodils ($34.80, $15.60) in the 4th at Belmont.
That juicy winner propelled Hatfield (4 wins, 2 places) to a triumph worth $2,830 in Thursday’s $4,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray, which closed with a purse of $6,290.
John Kaiser lived up to his name on Friday—because he was on a roll.
Kaiser was plodding along with a win and a place before nailing Stone’s River ($62.40, $17.80) in the 4th and Santa Anita. Then, in the final race, he came up with Big Al’s Princess at 10-1 in the 6th at the Great Race Place to capture the top prize of $6,750 in Friday’s $15,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray, which had a takeout of just 8.2%.
Fortunately for Kaiser, he played those picks back in Friday’s Spa & Surf Showdown qualifier.
Kaiser will now be among those playing for a prize pool of at least $300,000 in the third and final leg of the 2021 Tourney Triple.
Like Kaiser, 2018 NHC Champ Chris Littlemore (4 wins, 1 place) and Shawn Turner (also 4W, 1P) had both Stone’s River and Big Al’s Princess.
Their similar days assured each of a place in the 2022 NHC after they made up the exacta in Friday’s $75 qualifier at HorsePlayers.
Count Lawrence Kahlden (3 firsts, 1 second) in that same Stone’s River/Big Al’s Princess fraternity.
The Santa Anita prices were the key to Kahlden’s conquest of Friday’s Xpressbet Santa Anita Closing Day Challenge (June 20) qualifier.
Steve “The Admiral” Nemetz didn’t have Big Al’s Princess…but Stone’s River didn’t escape him.
Nemetz finished with 2 wins and a place to successfully navigate the seas of Friday’s Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Low Ratio qualifier at HorsePlayers.
A total of 13 seats to the Bally’s NHC First Chance/Last Chance tournament at Bally’s on August 26th were won last week—three of them on Friday.
Brett Wiener, Eric Gielata and Mark Stovall were Friday’s skillful three. And for Wiener, the good feeling carried right over into Saturday.
Make that two $500 First Chance/Last Chance seats for Wiener (2 wins, 1 place), who topped fellow seat winner James Lisowsky despite whiffing on the final eight races.
Brett Wiener was done at that point…but the Wieners weren’t.
Brett’s better half Sarah (4 wins, 2 places) brought home a $100 NHC seat at HorsePlayers, scoring $40.30 better than her hubby and collecting twice as often in the process. Also picking up a cut-rate Bally’s Berth for 2022 was Mike “The Coach” Goodrich (4W, 0P). Both he and Sarah had Miss Delicious ($53.00, $17.20) in the 6th at Belmont.
Less than $2.00 separated Wiener, Goodrich and hard-luck 3rd-place finisher Thomas Blosser in this one. Blosser made a late charge, nailing the last two races, but he fell just 20 cents short of Goodrich for the NHC seat.
Goodrich played the same picks back in Saturday’s Spa & Surf Showdown qualifier—and didn’t have to sweat quite as much in this one.
Here his 4 wins and a place prevailed by $13.50 over an uncoupled Steve Nemetz entry.
Saturday’s high score belonged to Vineet “Please Don’t Squeeze the” Sharma.
Sharma collected in nine of the 12 contest races to bank $12,528 in the week’s richest event, Saturday’s $25,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray, which finished things up with a pot of $27,842.
Gregg Kingma picked 5 winners (and no runners up) to capture Saturday’s $179 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier at HorsePlayers.
Kingma did most of his heavy lifting in the first four races, hitting winners in that span that paid $9.80, $53.00 and $11.80.
Tony Calabrese’s only collection came with 79-1 Salvator Mile upsetter Informative in the 10th at Monmouth.
But that was still sufficient to land Calabrese in first place of Saturday’s $15 Pick 4 Jackpot tourney.
On Sunday, Robert Buck hit the last 3 winners of the $15 Pick 4 Jackpot game to get the top spot.
It was a tough finish for runner up Albert Tiernan. He had the first three winners and would have taken down the $6,311 Jackpot had 4-1 Creative Choice gotten the job done in the 10th at Gulfstream. That one had trouble early and trouble late, however, and could only manage third…which set the stage for Buck (and 14-1 Hey Padre) to win—and for a $6,311 carryover into next Saturday’s Pick 4 Jackpot tourney.
Similar to David May on Wednesday-Thursday and Brett Wiener on Friday-Saturday, there was a Saturday-Sunday winner—James Lisowsky.
Fresh off his runner up finish that earned him a Bally’s First Chance/Last Chance seat, Lisowsky stepped up his game on Sunday, clicking on 5 winners (including the last two) to capture our first qualifier to the Del Mar Summer Challenge. Also grabbing a $4,000 entry to the onsite event was Kevin Willett (3 wins, 2 places). They both had Hey Padre ($30,40, $13.60) in the 10th at Gulfstream which, by the clock, turned out to be the final race of the Friday featured tourneys.
That wasn’t all for Lisowsky.
He played the same picks in Sunday’s Spa & Surf Showdown qualifier and got second behind Wendy Long who managed 5 firsts and 2 seconds despite no collections in the final three heats. Four of Long’s winners returned between $14.00 and $18.00 in the win hole.
Bernard Reilly picked 7 Sunday winners.
For that feat, he was rewarded with a 2022 NHC seat—as was runner up Dave Wang, whose feat was 4 wins, including the final three.
Anthony Spinazzola had three winners (paying $14.00, $18.00 and $17.20) across the first five races en route to a 4-win, 2-place day.
The payoff for Spinazzola was a paid-up berth in the Sept. 18-19 The BIG One, where Spinazzola will be one of no more than 57 in a field competing for cash and 10 seats to the BCBC, NHC or Pegasus World Cup (player gets to choose).
In Sunday’s $20,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray (final purse; $24,505), Joe Pettit picked 3 winners and 3 runners up. Almost as important, he blocked Nick Noce in the final two races.
That served to secure Pettit’s lead and earn the South Carolinian the top prize of $11,027. Creative Choice backer Paul Shurman could be found muttering to himself back in third place, as he got passed by both Pettit and Noce following Hey Padre’s 14-1 tally in the final contest race, the 10th at Gulfstream.
Gregory Lewis (4 wins, 1 place) and Michael Caposio (2W, 2P) weren’t muttering. They both had Hey Padre.
That put both of them in the field this coming Sunday for the Xpressbet Santa Anita Closing Day Challenge.
The four players to exceed $80 in scoring were the four to leave Sunday’s Bally’s First Chance/Last Chance qualifier with a $500 seat.
Make that the THREE players to exceed $80…because Christopher Dewey (3 winners) did it twice and pulled in a pair of paid up Bally’s ducats. Joining Dewey at Bally’s—albeit with one entry as of now—will be Chris Cupples, who had 5 winners, topped by an 8-1 shot, and Cheryl McIntyre (2 wins, 2 places).
We finally filled a Colonial Downs Handicapping Challenge qualifier on Sunday. The top scorer was Kevin Willett.
Willett will have a busy final week of July. Here he won a $500 entry for Monday, July 26th, thanks to one runner up followed by 3 winners (including Hey Padre). You may recall that he also picked up a $4,000 entry on Sunday to the onsite Del Mar Summer Challenge on July 31-August 1.
At HorsePlayers, a familiar set of initials won Sunday’s Low Ratio play-in to the BCBC.
Congratulations to Brian “BC” Chenvert (3 wins, 2 places). His most impactful selections was Noble Emotion ($23.40, $11.60) in the 6th at Belmont.
Before we go, we wish to recognize — and salute — HorseTourneys qualifier Alan Levitt, who captured Saturday’s Monmouth Pick Your Prize Challenge.
Our 2021 Flo-Cal Faceoff champ is hoping that his good run can extend to August 14-15 when the Spa & Surf Showdown will take place here. A win in that event could mean a $1 million bonus to Levitt.
Every week at HorseTourneys, even unobtrusive qualifier victories could mean the start of something very big. Thanks for taking part in last week’s action. More featured tourneys to come, starting on Wednesday.