Beychok Heats Up Ahead of BCBC; Van Zandt Rocks the Sunday Tourneys (Weekend Recap October 27-29)

Political consultant Michael Beychok, winner of $1 million in the 2012 NHC, has often said that his annual handicapping focus really picks up after November–once the election cycles are complete.

Perhaps none of Beychok’s clients are involved in close races this year, because the Baton Rouge, Louisiana native was spot on last Friday.

With a score of $88.80, Beychok showed the way in the day’s Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Low Ratio qualifier at HorsePlayers. And then “The Champ” stepped up his game (and score) further…

…to win a 2018 NHC seat along with first-place finisher Ed Lawless in Friday’s $75 qualifier. Later on Friday, Beychok commented on Twitter that winning the NHC seat was even more important to him than garnering the BCBC entry—and it’s hard to quibble with that sentiment given the warm and fuzzies that the NHC and Treasure Island must hold for Michael and the entire Beychok family. And, of course, there’s another chance for him to make history as the first-ever two-time NHC Champ.

Lawless, meanwhile rode a wicked mid-tourney hot streak to vanquish Beychok and all the rest in that $75 NHC qualifier.

Scores were lower in Friday’s $6,000 Guaranteed Pool-Style tourney and for winner Stephen Curtin, the key race was the third from the last race, the 4th from Santa Anita.

That 4th from Santa Anita was important not because Curtin crushed it. He only managed an unobtrusive $4.60 place payoff from it. But that $4.60 moved him into first place ahead of runner up Anthony Trezza. And, as fate would have it, in the Pick & Pray, Curtin and Trezza were on the same horses in the last two races, so Trezza was effectively blocked by Curtin—and, as it turned out, no one else could get by them either.

Saturday’s biggest tourney was our $25,000 Guaranteed event.

John Meyer picked three consecutive winners late in the game—at odds of 4-1, 8-1 and 9-1, to secure the $12,500 top prize. The red-hot Howard Welsh finally cooled off this weekend. He finished 77th in the $25,000 game.

Howard Welsh didn’t score this weekend, but Charles Welch did.

He, along with winner Frank D’Angelo and third-place finisher Michael Guadagno were the three winners of $500 entries in Saturday’s Aqueduct Handicapping Challenge qualifier.

In Saturday’s NHC qualifier, Bradley Anderson’s three wins (at 12-1, 8-1 and 9-1) and one runnerup carried the day.

Anderson and second-place finisher Keith Fenton each punched their tickets to Vegas in the two-seat-guaranteed qualifier.

With just a week to go before the BCBC, the two such qualifiers at HorsePlayers figured to be popular—and they were.

There were three winners in the day’s $1,000 Super Qualifier. Congratulations to Mark Livingstone, Robert Traynor and Vaughn Bair who will now all be doing battle this weekend in the rich BCBC.

And so will Dan Wilde and David Chasan.

Wilde had the day’s high score in a featured tourney thanks to winners that came in at 12-1, 8-1 and 9-1, plus some minor collections that were sprinkled in.

On Sunday, our 12-race featured schedule turned into a nine-race featured schedule once Belmont announced its cancellation. You’d think that would mean low scores—and it generally did. Except for Lucas Van Zandt.

The Nutmeg State resident blasted out a gaudy score of $147.20 that left his foes in the $15,000 Guaranteed tourney gasping for air. He didn’t do well in the “early double” or “late double,” whiffing completely on the first two and final two contest races. But he couldn’t miss on those middle races. He nailed five straight—at off odds of 10-1, 18-1 15-1, 5-2, and 3-1.

Van Zandt played those same picks in our Horse Player World Series qualifier and, unsurprisingly, he won easily.

There were enough entries to award two HPWS entries, however, so Robert M. Moore (who put up a very-impressive-in-its-own-right score of $106.30) also won a $1,500 prize.

The other triple-digit score of the day came in our qualifier for the Hawthorne Fall NHC Super Qualifier. (It’s always thrilling to use “qualifier” twice in the same sentence.)

Congratulations to Paul Georgian, who eclipsed triple figures, and also to Edward Wright who also won $800 in entry fees to Hawthorne over Thanksgiving weekend.

Robert Carlock won, and almost got to $100…

…though, to be fair, this was an Exacta Box tourney so maybe it’s not exactly an apples to apples to comparison. Still, he outdid his competition, and that’s what we pay off on here at HorseTourneys! One thousand dollars in this case, to be precise.

Congratulations to Bruce D’Agostini.

He became our latest qualifier to the December 9 Gulfstream Park Caribbean Classic Betting Championship.

Scores were more what you would expect from a nine-race tourney in our NHC Super Qualifier on Sunday.

Nick Kochanski hit four winners from the nine races to claw his way to the top and earn the coveted seat to the NHC.

Over at HorsePlayers, the BCBC was again the focus and, again, players came out in droves.

Sunday’s Low Ratio qualifier had enough players to send the top three on to this weekend’s big live-bankroll event. Hearty congratulations to Al Roehl, Kevin Booth, and Jeff Bussan.

Speaking of the BCBC, you might have figured that last weekend’s qualifiers at HorsePlayers would represent the final opportunities to qualify online for the BCBC. If so, you’re wrong. There are still five more chances to do so!

This is a great opportunity for those already planning to play to try to scoop up an additional entry. And if you haven’t yet won in to the BCBC and don’t feel like making last-minute travel arrangements, remember that you can play the BCBC remotely…from the comfort of your own computer!

Have a great week ahead as you dig into those PPs and, yes, enter your plays and contest selections big and small. We’ll be onsite at Del Mar, monitoring the BCBC and trying our best to bring you some of the color and excitement of the competition via Twitter and our HorseTourneys blog.