Another Big Cash Win for Darryl Lacy; Michael Bailey Scores a Three Bagger; Tony Calabrese Takes Two; Ed Peters to Defend his Title at The BIG One (Weekend Recap August 31-September 3)

“The rich get richer”—used in casual conversation—is typically a dismissive saying used to decry the good fortune of others while the rest of us do our best to scrape by. At HorseTourneys, we prefer to use that term in a more celebratory way, especially when it describes a player on one of those hot streaks we all long for. Darryl Lacy is just such a player.

Just six days after winning $20,517 in our Travers Day $50,000 Guaranteed tourney, Darryl Lacy struck again, taking last Friday’s robustly attended $5,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray. Since the pot closed at $11,262, that meant another $5,633 for the Lacy coffers. We know at least one person sorry to see August come to an end.

Perhaps another is Vincent Granese, who closed the month out with a bang, capturing Friday’s BCBC Low Ratio tourney at HorsePlayers.

Granese had four winners, including 22-1 shot Listing, to crack triple figures (the only player to do so on Friday) and wrest the $10,000 BCBC entry away from Adam Thoutt. Being a “second Thoutt” in this tourney wasn’t the worst thing in the world, though, since Adam walked away with a $5,000 partial BCBC entry.

If August belonged to Darryl Lacy, then maybe September belongs to Michael Bailey. At least we can safely say that about the first day of September.

Bailey registered four winners and one runner up to amass a score of $101.90 in capturing Saturday’s NHC Lower Ratio tourney. Joining Bailey in Vegas will be Wayne Collier, who used a $4.60 place payoff in the next-to-last tourney race to edge into the second spot by just 40 cents.

Bailey used those exact same picks in Saturday’s Horse Player World Series entry-only tourney.

Here, Bailey defeated fellow $1,500 entry winner Bruce Dagostini by $22.40. It looks like Bailey will be spending a lot of time in Vegas over the next few months…

…because, despite somehow losing 80 cents from his other two totals, Michael also won a $1,000 package to the Orleans Fall Classic in October.

Behind him—and also winning Fall Classic packages—were Robert M. Moore and Wayne Collier, runner up in the NHC Lower Ratio event.

Happily for the contestants in Saturday’s $17,500 Guaranteed Pick & Pray, Michael Bailey didn’t participate in the day’s big cash game…though Ret Grady likely would have beaten him anyway.

Grady whiffed on the final two contest races, but before that, he had five winners (and no places) ranging in win mutuels from $5.60 to $34.00 to earn $11,286 in an event that closed with a final purse of $25,080.

Kevin Harrell used a different approach in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier over at HorsePlayers.

Harrell started slowly, but connected on four of the final seven winners to take down the $10,000 entry in this live-format event.

Sunday offered no fewer than eight featured tourneys, and one of the headliners was certainly Ed Peters, who won his way back to this year’s The BIG One where he can now defend his 2017 championship.

Unlike those other wimpy tournaments where you get a berth just for having won the previous year (we kid…we kid), Peters, an owner of a New Hampshire bread company, won his 2018 The BIG One seat the old fashioned way…he earrrrrrrned it. Joining him at The BIG One will be runner up Tony Calabrese. You can join them there too–but be aware that only four online seats remain in the field.

It was a pretty good day for Tony Calabrese…

…because he won Sunday’s Woodbine Mile Horseplayers Tournament qualifier as well. This one was a live-format game and he improved upon his The BIG One qualifier score here by $14.50 after picking six winners from the 12 races.

It’s actually been quite a good week for Calabrese, too. On August 24, he won $5,128 in our Friday $10,257 Pick & Pray. The competition at Woodbine and Laurel will certainly be hoping that Calabrese cools off a bit between now and then.

David Wilganowski was the king of our Sunday $10,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray, and to achieve that royal status, he needed King of Speed.

When King of Speed upset the field in our final contest race, the Del Mar Juvenile Turf Stakes, and paid $32.20 to win and $9.40 to place, it elevated Wilganowski all the way up to the top spot and the $7,843 first prize that went with it in a game that ended up with a purse of $17,430. Wilganowski also had three other winners and two places to go with King of Speed.

John Matvika and Michael Guadagno also had King of Speed in the last race…

…and that meant $3,500 packages for both in Sunday’s Pick & Pray qualifier to the Keeneland NHC/BCBC Challenge in October.

Christy Moore also capitalized on King of Speed, though in a slightly different way.

Moore used King of Speed as the linchpin in a final race, $1 exacta payoff of $73.50 to pull in $1,438 in our $2,000 Guaranteed Exacta tourney, which closed with a pot of $2,876. Moore had four other exacta hits on the day as well.

Despite King of Speed’s 15-1 win at Del Mar, Sunday was a pretty chalky day. And since none of the 15 players in Sunday’s Big Bucks game used King of Speed, that meant some nice cash payoffs for some pretty modest scores.

It was Carson Bird’s four modestly priced winners and two places that prevailed in this tight, defensive struggle. Pretty is as pretty does, though, and Bird cashed for $10,686, finishing 80 cents ahead of Brett Wiener ($3.053). Justin Nicholson didn’t show a flat bet profit on the day, but still checked in third to receive $1,526 in an event where prizes are paid to the top three on a 70/20/10 basis.

Over at HorsePlayers on Sunday, it was Pittsburgh pain management physician Edward Reidy who found himself in a euphoric state.

Reidy registered four wins and three places, good for $81.20, to write the winning prescription and claim the $10,000 BCBC entry.

Vito Cipriano posted a similar score in taking Sunday’s qualifier to the NTRA/Belmont Park Super Qualifier.

Cipriano had three wins and four places, while runner up Darren Yarwood also snagged a $2,000 package thanks to his three wins and one place.

Unlike on Sunday, a lot of big prices came in during the Labor Day featured tourneys. As a result, scores were higher, led by that of David Sullivan.

Sullivan’t total of $137.80 was good for top money of $6,810 in Monday’s sold-out $8,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray—an event that ended up paying out a total of $15,133.

With seemingly every Saratoga horse paying $20 and change on Monday, hitting triple figures was pretty much a prerequisite for featured-tourney top honors. Tim Downs rang the bell for $109.80…

…and that got him a $1,500 entry to next March’s Horse Player World Series.

John Melting was second behind Downs in the HPWS qualifier, but he was the only entrant to clear the $100 plateau in our entry-only Orleans Fall Classic qualifier.

These Fall Classic qualifiers have been popular this year, and Monday’s was no exception. Here we were able to award three $500 entries and that meant that second-place finisher David Curich and third-place finisher Howard Johnson also won grand prizes.

Over at HorsePlayers, Kenny McMahan and Myles Richards each had Pepe Tono ($27.60, $11.20) in the final contest race (DMR7) and that got them berths in a well-subscribed (as the Breeders’ Cup folks like to say) NHC qualifier.

Participation was strong enough that a third NHC seat was up for grabs. That one went to Chris Goodall, who didn’t have Pepe Tono, but who narrowly held on for third over Steven Simonovic—for whom Pepe Tono paid 20 cents too little in terms of win-place returns.

The top three finishers in Monday’s BCBC Low Ratio Pick & Pray each had Pepe Tono.

Patrick Gianforte’s three wins and two runners up added up to $120.80—tops by about $25. John defeated Mark in the battle of the Holmses for the other available BCBC entry.

When we give out extra seats in NHC and BCBC qualifiers like we did on Monday, it means that the players were really coming out in force. We sincerely thank you for your support this past weekend and all year long. Del Mar and Saratoga are now behind us, but we’ll be back again this coming weekend with more featured tourneys and more fun. We hope you can join us.