Ferrozzo, Gilbert Win NHC Games (Again); Hurd Big on The BIG One; Osella Doubles Up (Weekend Recap July 28-30)

Though handicapping contests take place all year long these days, some players seem to do better during certain times of year. This can be because of the tracks running at the time; because of having more “quality time” available during a certain season; or just plain luck. We’re not sure of the reason, but Anthony Trezza has certainly hit his stride since the official beginning of summer.

On June 30, Trezza won our $7,500 Guaranteed tourney. He finished 2nd and 5th in the same event on July 14. And he added to his summer Friday record this past weekend.

Trezza’s last-race pick of $9.80 place horse Run to the Bank gave him the win—and a $10,000 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge entry—in the $50 qualifier held at HorsePlayers. Howard Yancovitch had last-winner Big Bazinga ($5.80, $3.70) to also secure himself a coveted BCBC seat.

In the Friday $7,500 game, it was Tim Downs who took top money of $3,750 with a strong 10-race score of $88.90.

The Saturday feature at HorsePlayers was a 2-seat NHC qualifier, and this one had much the same result as HorsePlayers’ July 21 NHC qualifier…

…in that Mike Ferrozzo finished first in both. And the runner-up to Ferrozzo this past Saturday was Robert Gilbert, who finished first in a HorsePlayers NHC qualifier on July 23. Gilbert also finished first in Saturday’s qualifier for the Monmouth NHC Super Qualifier on August 26.

By doing all that winning between July 21-30, Ferrozzo and Gilbert officially established themselves as two of the three most successful HorseTourneys players during the Anthony Scaramucci era.

Peter Osella was the other who fought tooth and nail to achieve that lofty designation.

Osella followed up his Saratoga Challenge qualifier win on July 23 with a double victory on Saturday. He captured the $7,000 top prize in Saturday’s $15,000 Guaranteed tourney, besting runner-up Raymond Riley by just 70 cents.

And Osella saved his best work for Wynn qualifier.

Here, Osella put up a monstrous $192.30 score to dominate his opposition. Though this time, second-place was probably a bit sweeter for Raymond Riley, who also won a $2,000 Wynn entry along with Sean O’Malley (who completed the tri in both contests!), Norris Bristow and Dan Shugar.

Chris Larmey won no prestigious awards a la Ferrozzo, Gilbert and Osella. But on Saturday he did win a $2,750 package to the August 9-10 Saratoga Challenge.

And based on his record as respected NHC Players Committee Chairman, Larmey remains in the running, of course, for current and future White House Communications Director openings.

Last but not least on Saturday, Michael Foster and Julie Kochensparger won two entries apiece for the Indiana Grand NHC qualifier on August 19.

Look for Kochensparger to be listed on the Indiana Grand leaderboards as Julie K.!

Eleven featured tourneys were offered on Sunday. One of them—the BCBC qualifier at HorsePlayers—intentionally started later in the day with the Haskell as the opening race so as to capitalize on NBC promotion. Indeed the site experienced a noticeable spike in traffic during that 5:00-6:00 p,m. ET window and when the dust settled…

…Michael Sussman emerged with the $10,000 seat, thanks in large part to his picking six of the first eight winners in the 10-race affair. Look for next Saturday’s BCBC qualifier at HorsePlayers to again have a fashionably late start…with the Whitney Stakes from Saratoga.

The other big event at HorsePlayers on Sunday was the free NHC qualifier—the fourth of five in 2017.

Carl Geonie, Dellie Ford, James Perri, George Sutch and Melissa Gielata were the five big winners. Your next chance to qualify to the NHC for free at HorsePlayers comes September 2 with another five-seat contest.

There were also five winners in Sunday’s Saratoga Blowout.

As a result, Michael Goodrich, Anthony Kite, Joe Scanio, Bob Montgomery and Roger Cettina will be filling a table or two at the Spa on August 9-10.

Our NHC qualifier on Sunday offered two seats.

But since first-place finisher David McCarty was already double-qualified, he was playing for NHC Tour points only. That left the two seats for George Novick and Ira Hirsch.

The BIG One takes place September 23-24 in Maryland (Laurel to be precise). But it will have a distinct Louisiana flavor thanks to Jon Hurd.

Hurd also won our July 9 qualifier to The BIG One. However, The BIG One rules only allow for one entry per player, although any subsequent entries won (as in Hurd’s case) may be transferred to a player of the winner’s choice. Hurd has already informed HorseTourneys officials that his latest entry to The BIG One will be transferred to fellow Louisiana native Michael “The Champ” Beychok. Hurd will undoubtedly be expecting Beychok to contribute vocal support, DC-area restaurant recommendations and cogent handicapping insights—though not necessarily in that order of importance.

A portion of Tom O’Connor’s September will have a distinct Canadian flavor after he won a package on Sunday to the September 16 Woodbine Mile Handicapping Tournament.

O’Connor’s entire score of $97.30 was amassed in the first seven races of the 12-race qualifier.

Joe Johnson won our top Sunday cash game, our $10,000 Guaranteed tourney by selecting 3-1 shot Encumbered in the last contest race at Del Mar.

The 3-1 shot meant a nice $5,000 payday for Johnson.

Our $3,000 Guaranteed Exacta game was essentially over not long after it started.

Winner Mark McClyment hit a $1 exacta for $17.30 in the first contest race. He then hit for the remainder of his $310.80 total–$293.50—in the second contest race from Saratoga. He whiffed on his next 10 plays, but it mattered not. Early speed is always dangerous!

David Wilganowski, James Henry and Kenneth Dubiecki were the three winners in our Wynn Handicapping Challenge Last Chance qualifier.

Wilganowski, Henry and Dubiecki round out a gaudy roster of 66 HorseTourneys
Qualifiers who will compete at The Wynn. And we’ll be there as well providing live, onsite coverage!

In other Sunday action, Robert Ruocco and Lyle Nordby were the two winners in our Ellis Park Bluegrass Tournament qualifier.

And David Abrams absolutely killed it in our qualifier for the Hawthorne Summer NHC Qualifier.

He won by $53.60—and that was despite failing to enter a selection for one of the races!

Whether you won or lost by a little or a lot, we hope you had fun playing. Thanks for reading and have a great week.