It’s been quite a run lately for Bobby Shoemaker.
On Friday, September 30, he hit for $8,079 by taking the featured Friday cash tourney. His net worth increased by $3,359 the following Thursday after finishing first in our $6,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray. This past week, Shoemaker set his sights on bigger game.
Hitting two nice ones toward the end—including price-of-the-day Jumpin Junie ($29.70, $10.40) in the 8th at Woodbine—meant that Shoemaker enjoyed an even bigger windfall ($10,926) in Sunday’s HT Tour event, our $20,000 Guaranteed tourney, which closed with a final purse of $24,281. The third triumph in as many weeks upped his three-week winnings to $22,364. Not a bad month…and it’s not even over yet.
While Shoemaker seems to space his victories out judiciously on a nice, one-per-week schedule, Evan Trommer apparently prefers to bunch his successes together.
Using the same picks across two Live-format games and one Pick & Pray on Saturday, Trommer reeled in a $1,500 Flo-Cal Faceoff seat (as did runner up Tom O’Connor) and a total of $21,418 in cash for taking both the day’s $30,000 Guaranteed cash tourney ($13,582) winner’s share) and the $10,000 Guaranteed Big Bucks game ($7,836).
The featured-tourney week began as usual on Wednesday when George Chute got the fat part of the purse in the day’s $5,000 Guaranteed tourney.
Chute laddered his way to the top with 5 wins and a place that included three consecutive winners at the end. He took home $2,861 from a final pot that came to $6,359.
Brett Wiener got off to a nice beginning in Wednesday’s Flo-Cal Faceoff play-in.
Script ($14.84, $8.22) followed the desired script for Wiener in the 5th at Keeneland. It was his first, and best, collection among 3 firsts and 2 seconds during the day.
The key horse to have on Thursday was Game Theory ($74.00, $20.40) in the 6th at BAQ.
Game Theory put Neal Thomas on his “baq” in Thursday’s $6,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray. The 36-1 shot plus one other winner and two place returns earned Thomas $3,888 from a pot that closed at $8,640.
There was also a special Happy Hour Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier at HorsePlayers, in which part of the proceeds went to charity.
The proceeds that didn’t go to charity was the $10,000 BCBC seat bagged by Kevin Cox who also utilized strong “Game Theory” in the course of recording his 3 firsts and 2 seconds.
There were six grand prize winners on Friday. All six had Around the Sun ($33.72, $13.48) at Keeneland.
Those down-to-the-penny mutuel returns may look a little funny to some but Pete Acocella had to like the look of them. He and his 3 wins and 4 places grabbed the up-top money of $8,678 in Friday’s HT Tour competition, our $15,000 Pick & Pray, which closed up shop with a prize pool of $19,285.
Michael Caposio (3 wins, 1 place) and Dan Horvan (5W, 1P) both had Around the Sun.
And now they’ll both be paid-up, members-in-good-standing of the field for the $250,000 Guaranteed Flo-Cal Faceoff—the first jewel of the 2023 Tourney Triple.
Friday’s high score could be found at HorsePlayers, courtesy of NHC Hall of Famer Paul Shurman.
The 2017 inductee nailed 5 winners to land a return trip to his favorite venue—the NHC, of course.
The second- and third-place finishers, Buck Waller and Michael “Copa” Kavana, were both already double-qualified. So that left the other available 2023 seat to Wendy Long (2 firsts, 4 seconds) who rounded out the superfecta.
The other Friday feature at HorsePlayers, Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Low Ratio Pick & Pray, was taken by Edward Diamond on the strength of 4 wins and 2 places.
Peter “Sharp Dressed Man” Dresens finished second to earn a $5,000 partial BCBC entry.
In Saturday featured tourneys that *weren’t* won by Evan Trommer…
Dylan Rossi had 4 wins and 2 places to win the day’s NHC Low Ratio ($500 entry fee) qualifier. His top return came via Ami’s Link ($42.70, $20.10) in the final contest race, the 10th at Woodbine.
The gaudiest scorecard of the day was turned in at HorsePlayers by Ronald Guffee.
Guffee smoked out 7 winners (including Ami’s Link at the end) plus one runner up to lead the way in Saturday’s $179 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier. Michael Marlaire reported home second to snatch a $5,000 partial entry.
There was a second BCBC play-in on Saturday at HorsePlayers…a $1,000 Super Low Ratio game.
Seventeen turned out for this one, and Dan “He shoots, He scores!” Kelley got the big prize for his 4 wins and 2 places. The 2011 NHC champ, John Doyle, got half a big prize for coming in second.
We offered our first qualifier to the Hawthorne Thanksgiving weekend contests on Saturday. The winner, George Smith, had just one winner.
Yep, it was Ami’s Link in the finale. That bomb was preceded by three place collections, earning Smith $1,000 in starting-bankroll funds—enough to cover him for each of the two separate, single-day contests in Chicagoland.
Turning our attention to Sunday, Bobby Shoemaker took home the top cash prize of the day as noted earlier. However, the finest performance—both numerically and stylistically–had to be that put forward by Ken Shaw at HorsePlayers.
Shaw posted 8 wins (plus a place) out of 12 contest races to finish with $128.44 and capture Sunday’s NHC qualifier (restricted to those who had yet to win a 2023 seat) by more than 30 bucks. With handicapping like that, Shaw can certainly feel confident about moving into unrestricted company!
There were two winners of $10,000 entries in the other Sunday feature at HorsePlayers, a $500 Breeders Cup Betting Challenge Low Ratio play-in.
Gary Blair led the way with 5 wins and 2 places. Among his victors were Jumpin Junie ($29.70, $10.40) in the 8th at Woodbine and U.S. Army Corps ($22.20, $9.60) one race earlier at the Rexdale, Ontario, track. Douglas Schenk (5W, 3P) got second—and the other available BCBC berth. His hit parade was topped by U.S. Army Corps.
Congratulations to Travis Foelsch (5 wins, 0 places) and Mike Sylvester (3W, 3P).
They were the two winners of $3,000 entries in our first qualifier to the November 26th Del Mar Fall Challenge. They both had Jumpin Junie at Woodbine.
There were also dual winners in Sunday’s Flo-Cal Faceoff qualifier.
Sam “Split” Sample prevailed here thanks to 3 wins and 2 places that were highlighted by U.S. Army Corps. The other to pick up a $1,500 entry to the $250,000 Guaranteed all-cash event here on January 14-15 was Michael Somich who had Jumpin Junie among his 3 collections (2W, 1P).
Last but not least, Joseph Zuer accounted for the top spot in Sunday’s $7,000 Guaranteed Big Bucks tourney.
Zuer was fueled by 3 wins and 2 places en route to securing the winner’s share of $5,699. The total purse wound up at $8,142.
There’s more ahead this coming week, including our first feeders to the rich assortment of Breeders’ Cup weekend cash games that we’ll be offering this year. (One of them has a guaranteed purse of $85,000.) Whether you like to play for cash or for contest seats to events like the NHC and the BCBC, there’s always plenty to choose from…which, in turn, gives me plenty to write about. Thanks for taking the time to read it this week.