Tanya Taylor Wins $35,000 in Saturday’s $70,000 Guaranteed Tourney; John Gaspar Grabs NHC, Surfside Seats; Grose and Goodrich Strike Again (Weekend Recap December 1-3)

Capped off by Krysto Skye’s 13-1 victory in the next-to-last contest race, the 7th at Los Alamitos, Tanya Taylor of Little Rock, Arkansas, amassed a total of $119.80 and topped a field of 128 to capture the $35,428 top prize in Saturday’s $70,000-$100,000 tourney.

The 15-race, pool-style contest closed with a total purse of $78,729, Taylor’s earnings are the most ever won in a single event by a woman at HorseTourneys.

Dan Wesienburger ($108.00) finished second and earned $14,171. Gary Blair (105.70) grabbed the show spot—good for $7,872, and another distaffer, the redoubtable Sally Goodall, checked in fourth after leading for a good part of the day. Goodall earned $5,511 for her 15-race total of $102.80. Two dollars farther back was Justin Dew, who rounded out the top five and received $3,936.

We’ll have more on Taylor and her big win later in the week in this space.

On Friday, the first two of seven weekend NHC seats were awarded when Mike Yarusso and Scott Carson ran 1-2 in the $75 qualifier at HorsePlayers.

If you enjoy the opportunity to qualify for the NHC for just $75, come back to HorsePlayers every Friday in December.

Back at HorseTourneys, our Friday entry-only Horse Player World Series qualifier came up a bit light, numbers-wise. It only attracted 16 entries which, at $87 each, meant just $1,392 in total entry fees. “Close enough,” we decided…over the objections of our Finance Dept. We ran the tourney anyway.

And Kevin Willett is glad we did. His modest score of $59.60 wasn’t stupendous, but it was better than any of the other 15 could do, and he received the overlaid $1,500 prize. Looks like a line drive in the box score, though. And I’m guessing it feels like one too.

Richard Grose has hit a lot of line drives lately.

One of his latest came in Friday’s $6,000 Guaranteed tourney that finished with a total purse of $8,407. He won $4,203—less than two weeks after he won $7,377 in a $12,000 Guaranteed tourney.

Grose wasn’t done for the weekend, though. He had a set of Saturday past performances too.

Longshots were out there on Saturday…but with such large field sizes, they were hard to zero in on and, as a result, scores were on the modest side. But John Caraher and Grose negotiated their way to the top of the 62-player field in the weekly Horse Player World Series full-package qualifier, and each won $1,500 entries, plus four nights at The Orleans, plus $500 for travel.

Over at HorsePlayers on Saturday, the regular NHC qualifier had a 12-race contest slate that didn’t include Krsto Skye’s 13-1 win in the 7th at Los Alamitos.

As a result, the “clinching” race in this contest turned out to be another Los Alamitos heat, the 5th, which was one by Haulin’ Freight at 15-1. Blake Courtney and Timothy Yohler both had him, and that pricey victory propelled both to the 2018 NHC.

Three more seats at the NHC were on offer Sunday, with two of them coming in another $165 regular qualifier at HorseTourneys.

Reinvesting some of his winnings from the previous weekend’s $20,000 Guaranteed tourney–where his first-place finish was worth $9,836–Michael Goodrich parlayed $165 into an NHC seat with an authoritative victory thanks to the day’s highest score ($159.60). Much closer was the battle for the second NHC seat. Champagne Room’s $3.80 place payoff in the last contest race served as the climax to Edward Reidy’s day, sneaking him into second place.

Our biggest game of the day was our $12,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray that ultimately offered a final prize pool of $17,430.

Geoffrey Billet’s three winners and three places was the ticket to victory in this event which, for Billet, was worth $7,843.

In our Exacta tourneys, where there are no caps, one monster hit can make up for a multitude of mistakes.

Philip Edell reeled in a big one in the 5th at Los Alamitos, hitting a $1 exacta for $357.80. But he also hit a couple of other exactas from the 12-race, three-horse-box tourney, and that was the difference in him claiming the $1,624 first-place prize in this $2,500 guaranteed game that finished with a pot of $3,249.

Everett Ryan and Robert Losier will be enjoying warm weather next Saturday.

They were our two last-chance qualifiers to next Saturday’s Gulfstream Park Caribbean Classic Betting Challenge.

Matthew Ransdell will be enjoying cold weather at the end of the year.

His four winners earned him $800 in entry fees for the December 29-30 Hawthorne Holiday Extravaganza.

Weather probably won’t be a factor next March for Gary Sutton, Adam Lewis and Christopher Dewey.

They’ll be ensconced indoors in a second-floor ballroom for three days at the Horse Player World Series thanks to their performance in Sunday’s 58-entry qualifier.

Last but far from least, some of you fervent blog readers may recall John Gaspar’s 8,000-word account a couple of months ago on his experiences and decision-making processes at The BIG One. In case you missed it, here’s a link:

John wrote it thinking that those who hadn’t been to a high-stakes tourney might enjoy or profit from it. One person who apparently has profited from John’s thoughts is…John.

He selected three winners and two runners up to capture Sunday’s Surfside qualifier. And happily for John…

…he utilized those same picks to win Sunday’s NHC Super Qualifier at HorsePlayers.

If The BIG One provided 8,000 words of inspiration for John, we can’t wait to see what the NHC brings!

If not winnings, we hope the past weekend at least brought you fun. Thanks for spending part of it with us. Have a great week.