Big July Continues for Michael Caposio; David Bloom Pulls Off Win/Place and Exacta Victories; Final Race Bomb Shakes Things Up on Sunday (Weekly Recap July 22-26)

Make it eight featured-tourney triumphs during the month of July for Michael Caposio.

Michael Caposio

After winning $2,550 and seats to the NHC, The BIG One and the Spa & Surf Showdown the first week of the month…and grabbing a Monmouth Pick Your Prize seat during the week of July 15th…the Temecula, Calif., car dealer came back this past Wednesday to capture another Monmouth seat and some more cash.

Caposio collected $2,488 in Wednesday’s $2,000 Guaranteed cash game (final purse: $4,977), and his score was the best of the day.

Two days later, Caposio struck again.

He didn’t bother with any place runners on Friday, but he did have three winners—at odds of 19-1, 9-5 and 5-1—to add a Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge seat to his burgeoning portfolio.

Jumping back to the Wednesday slate, Steven Meier and Jason Alonso became the latest to add their names to the list of qualifiers to the August 15-16 Spa & Surf Showdown.

Meier followed up two early place cashes with three winners, including the 10-1 Spa victress Crescent Lady. Alonso had 3 victories (and no placings), topped by Colonel Liam ($19.60, $7.30) in the 8th at Saratoga.

Not incidentally, the guaranteed purse for the Spa & Surf Showdown is now all the way up to $223,020—and there’s still about 2 1/2 weeks of qualifying (and purse increases) still to come.

Last week, the $75, one-seat, no-Tour-points NHC qualifier was shifted from Wednesday to Thursday. The move sat very well with Tom Arndt.

Arndt cashed in the last four contest races to finish with 2 firsts and 5 seconds and punch his ticket to Vegas. His biggest collection of the day came with Admiral Lynch ($16.80, $6.10) in the six-horse Race 9 at Saratoga.

Two more seats to the NHC were handed out in Friday’s $75 qualifier (WITH Tour Points since it was a two-seater) at HorsePlayers.

Tim Averill (4 wins, 2 places) led the way. Nabbing second by 30 cents was Sean O’Malley (3W, 2P). Both Averill and O’Malley had Proud Pedro ($21.00, $5.60) in the next-to-last contest race, the 3rd at Del Mar.

Anthony “Doczilla” Trezza was Friday’s big winner here at HorseTourneys.

The New Jersey eye doctor could see the merits of Lovely Lucky ($41.20, $15.60) in the 6th at Saratoga, and that led him to a $38.50 triumph in Friday’s $10,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray, which closed with a pot of $17,622. Trezza finished with 4 wins, 2 places and an additional $7,930 in his HorseTourneys account.

Three more players picked up $2,000 Spa & Surf Showdown entries on Friday.

Congratulations to Joseph Parella (5 wins, 2 places), G.T. Nixon (3W, 2P) and Peter Osella. All three had Operative ($17.40, $7.50) in the 10th at the Spa.

Saturday was similar to Friday insofar as there were a number of winning “price” horses, and they came at various points throughout the day. Winning scores typically were in the neighborhood of $100, but even then there was variation to the north and south.

Tim Moline was way to the north.

Moline won a $2,000 entry to the Spa & Surf Showdown on Saturday—as did runner up Mike Yurczyk and third-place finisher Stephen Lerma—and his score of $133.00 was the day’s best.

Ted Apple (2 wins, 5 places) was at the other end of the winning spectrum.

However, no one participating in The BIG One on September 19-20 will know or care about Apple’s winning qualifying score. And when The BIG One begins, Apple will be tied for first!

Chris Savage had just one winner on Saturday.

That winner, however, was Turbo Drive ($36.60, $16.40) in the 9th at Saratoga. To Turbo Drive, Savage added three place collections, and that got him top money of $15,673 in Saturday’s sold-out, $10,000 Guaranteed Big Bucks Pick & Pray, which finished up with a total purse of $22,390.

Turbo Drive was also key for the two seat winners in Saturday’s NHC qualifier here.

Joseph Rosen had 4 wins and a place. The 2017 NHC Champ (and 2020 “Final Table-ist”) Ray Arsenault had the mirror image of that—1 win and 4 places. But both had win plays on Turbo Drive, which help carry the day for each of them.

Robert Reidy didn’t have Turbo Drive, but he certainly didn’t let that stop him.

Reidy picked 7 winners (none paying more than $15.20), including a sweep of the final three, to take down the grand prize of $11,907 in Saturday’s $25,000 Guaranteed cash tourney, which closed with a final prize pool of $26,461. Reidy also added a pair of placings to go with his victors.

William Hoy didn’t go 6-for-6, but he put forth a great effort in finishing first in Saturday’s $8 Pick 6 Jackpot tourney.

Hoy had the first three winners, including a 17-1 shot. He added another winner later. The two he didn’t have went off at 4-5 and 2-1. So this one might have been ripe for taking…but instead the Jackpot grows.

There were three featured tourneys at HorsePlayers on Saturday.

The lone NHC qualifier in the trio was a “Maiden Special” taken by Brendan Fay thanks in large part to Turbo Drive, who was one of Fay’s five winners on the day.

The day’s “regular” Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier was won by Matthew Pericolo.

Pericolo had two nice Saratoga prices—Turbo Drive and Skyler’s Scramjet ($20.60, $9.50 in the 6th at the Spa)—among his 4 wins and a place. It all added up to a $10,000 BCBC entry.

There was also a $1,000 Super Low Ratio BCBC qualifier on Saturday.

This one saw Frederick Reynolds take home the grand prize by $2.60 with 3 wins and 5 places. It was Pretty Point ($6.80, $4.20) in the final contest race (the 5th at Del Mar) that sent Reynolds to the lead when it counted.

The final race at Del Mar played a key role in Sunday’s featured tourneys as well. Though this winner was no 2-1 shot.

Most—but not all—of Sunday’s tourney winners used Sweet River Baines. Craig Kaufman was among those who did.

The final-race capper got Kaufman up by 20 cents in Sunday’s $15,000 Guaranteed tourney. Kaufman received $11,493 from a final purse of $25,541.

Robert Rosenzweig was one of four in the field of 20 to pick Sweet River Baines in the $7,500 Guaranteed Big Bucks tourney.

Fortunately for Rosenzweig, he (3 wins, 1 place) had done better than the other three prior to that last race. That sent the top prize of $14,248 his way in a sold-out game that was ultimately worth $20,355.

Sweet River Baines was David Bloom’s only Sunday winner.

But “Baines” plus two places made Bloom a Sunday winner of our qualifier to The BIG One.

David Bloom also showed off his versatility on Sunday in our $1,000 Guaranteed Exacta tourney.

Three of Bloom’s 12 three-horse boxes came through—including two that paid $90+ for a buck. That got him first place and the $765 that went with it.

Similar to David Bloom in the qualifier to The BIG One, Jay Johns had just 1 winner and 2 places. Unlike Bloom, Johns’s winner was NOT Sweet River Baines.

Johns still won, though. His one winner was Competitive Saint ($31.80, $11.40) in the 7th at Saratoga—and one of his place collections was a maximum, $22.00 return. That got Johns where he needed to be in Sunday’s NHC Low Ratio Pick & Pray.

Add another four winners to the Spa & Surf Showdown roster.

Congratulations to Chris Bertolucci (who also won a $2,000 Spa & Surf Showdown entry on July 11), Shawn Heron, David Bajorek and David Snyder.

Sunday’s live-format Travers Online Challenge had an interesting result.

Winner Daniel Fischer (3 wins, 0 places) had Sweet River Baines but the other $3,000 seat earner, “Get” Christy Moore (3W, 2P), did not.

The Sweet River Baines race was not part of our Sunday $8 Pick 6 Jackpot tourney, but the Competitive Saint race at Saratoga was.

The 14-1 shot was Brett Wiener’s only winning selection, but that plus some places got him the top spot. Since no one sweat the six races, next Saturday’s $8 Jackpot will begin at $17,045.

The two highest scores of the day (both involving Sweet River Baines, of course) were put up over at HorsePlayers.

The second best Sunday score was recorded by Robert Carlson who, along with Matthew Ache (3 wins, 2 places), won an NHC seat.

Mickey Hopkins did Carlson one better…or three places better, to be precise.

Hopkins picked up a $10,000 BCBC entry, while Rick “I-65” Broth had to settle for a $5,000 partial entry. (We imagine Broth was less than thrilled to see Sweet River Baines come charging home there at the end.)

There were lots of different textures to the winning days last week (right on the heels of a week in which we saw a lot of chalk). Whatever we see this coming week, chances are it will be something different that we didn’t anticipate. We hope you can join us and be a part of it.