HPWS Blowout, The BIG One Qualifier Plus First $75 Qualifier to 2019 NHC Headline Upcoming Weekend

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If you’re really into the Kentucky Derby prep races, this isn’t your weekend. It seems as though they were all held last weekend…or next weekend. On one level, it’s disappointing. From the standpoint of contest play, however, it’s pretty meaningless. By now, we hope you’re done watching replays to determine how many karats the Oaklawn gold rail was on Monday…or to answer the time-honored question, “Are Bravazo and Snapper Sinclair stars or are Noble Indy and Instilled Regard bums?” Instead, you can just throw yourself into this weekend’s tourneys, having the comforting knowledge that the Fountain of Youth (and our up-to-$75,000 contest) will be back the following weekend.

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Ray Arsenault Wins $24,000 Tourney; John Meola Leads Parade of Late World Series Qualifiers; Christopher Podratz Grabs First Online NHC Seat (Weekend Recap, February 16-19)

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Contest players really do a great job of jumping right back into the saddle after a big event like the NHC. We hosted 20 featured tourneys over the now-immediately-after-the-NHC President’s Day weekend and virtually all of them drew large—and pretty salty—fields. Many of those “week-after” tourneys even took on something of an NHC “feel.”

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Chris Littlemore Holds on, Prevails at 2018 NHC

Despite some earnest efforts, especially those by Keith Fenton (2nd place, 315.10 points) and Garett Skiba (3rd, 314.00 points) no one from the chasing back managed to reel in second leader and now NHC 2018 champion Chris Littlemore.

Littlemore, a retired General Motors auto worker currently based in Whitby, Ontario, Canada, blazed a trail at NHC 2018 and wound up with 348.30 points for his 53 mythical $2 win, $2 place plays. He collected $800,000 US for the victory and will also receive an Eclipse Award.

Littlemore credited his selection of Holiday’s Angel ($39.00 to win, $12.00 to place) in Saturday’s Oaklawn Park sixth race as the winner that made his tournament.

Fenton, a qualifier via online play at HorseTourneys.com and resident of Fort Worth, Texas, made a steady Sunday bid and fended off the late bid by Skiba, who selected the winner of NHC 2018’s last race, the ninth from Santa Anita. The nervous moment for Fenton ended when War Heroine paid $11.20 and $5.20 which left Skiba 1.10 points short of second and its $250,000 prize. Skiba won $125,000.

Notably, St. Petersburg, Florida’s Gloria Kahlden, who qualified via HorseTourneys.com, made NHC 2018’s Final Table, ended up seventh and walked off with the handsome sum of $58,500.

Significantly, HorseTourneys.com qualifiers enjoyed tremendous success at NHC 2018 as 21 of them made the group of 71 Sunday semifinalists.

Other noteworthy performances by HorseTourneys.com include: Ernest Powers (11th place, 255.90 points, $25,000), Mike Yurczyk (18th, 242.70 points, $19,500), Stephanie Davis (21st, 240.70, $18,000), Chris Podratz (29th, 231.40 points, $13,500) and George Chute (30th, 230.00 points, $13,000).

Sincere thanks,
Bob Nastanovich
@BNastanovich, on behalf of HorseTourneys.com

Michael Ryan Sits Atop NHC Standings After Day One

On Opening Day of NHC 2018, Michael Ryan, a participant in the 2015 and 2016 tournaments, emerged with 150.80 points and a narrow win over Paul Langley (148.70 points).

However, on a day in which players made 18 plays, including 8 mandatory ones, the leaderboard is tight and littered with qualifiers who gained entry via online tournaments  at HorseTourneys.com.

The over 500 participants, many with the maximum of two entries, were able to “freelance” and choose ten plays on any race from Aqueduct, Tampa Bay Downs, Gulfstream Park, Fair Grounds, Oaklawn Park, Golden Gate Fields and Santa Anita.

Value was limited in the mandatory octet as winners ranged from $5.20 to $12.00 with Desert Folly, winner of Tampa Bay’s 7th race, offering the biggest reward amongst horses that visited a winner’s circle. Dublin Tinker, a 76-1 shot in Gulfstream’s 11th race, provided the few NHC players who chose him with the tourney maximum 22.00 points despite his place payoff of $48.20.

Amongst those who qualified via HorseTourneys.com, John Farrar led the charge with 146.80 points, good for third place tie with 25 year old Jonathan Zvara. Keith Fenton (138.80) and Jeff Bussan (137.00) were always at the forefront after solid starts. Another group of HorseTourneys.com players were clustered on the second page of the board between 12th and 16th: Jeff Einardt (124.40), Brad Anderson (124.20), Frank Perri (120.60) and Mike Yurczyk (120.20). Notably, Perri finished strongly after declaring, “Why are you taking my picture? I haven’t gotten a thing” earlier in the day.

With the same format in place on Saturday, most players I spoke to remained hopeful they could turn around their Friday mediocrity and reach Sunday’s top 70 semifinalists group. Eighteen more swings at the handicapping plate on Saturday should encourage most or all who avoided the dreaded “Goose egg” or 0.00 points today.

Bob Nastanovich
@Bnastanovich, for HorseTourneys.com

Last NHC Chance, Up-to-$30,000 Game, First Feeders for Keeneland Grade One Gamble and Monmouth Pick Your Prize Tourneys Top “Super” Weekend

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We can’t blame our many friends in the New England and greater Philadelphia areas if they are a bit distracted this weekend. All the more reason, however, to go over this weekend’s HorseTourneys highlights—including our very first feeders to two of the year’s most popular onsite tournaments.

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Mack McClyment Wins $38,000 in Pegasus Day Feature; Jon Van Niel Grabs Two HPWS Entries in One Game; Steven Meier Wins Again (Weekend Recap January 26-28)

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Two winners out of 15 races isn’t what most would call a great day. Sure, we’ve all had days when we’ve cashed zero tickets playing well more than 15 races. But a 2-for-15 day isn’t typically one that leaves any lasting memories.

Unless you’re Mack McClyment.

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