Evan Trommer Wins Five Grand Prizes, Including Three on Sunday; Gary Blair and Alan Rorrer Also Enjoy Success on Multiple Days (Weekly Recap, July 26-30)

It was a busy week for Floridian Evan Trommer—even busier than usual.

On Thursday, Trommer had 4 winners and 1 double-digit place collection to capture the day’s Saratoga Challenge play-in.

That same day, Trommer, along with first-place finisher Jim “Never” Settle, earned $6,500 packages in the Last Chance play-in to the Del Mar Summer Challenge.

Del Mar didn’t go great for Trommer. (The winner there was Christian Hellmers.) However, you’d think that two days of big-money action at beautiful Del Mar would have kept him fully occupied this past weekend. Apparently not.

With 4 winners topped by Song of Fire ($15.20, $7.80) in the 5th at Del Mar and 3 runners up, Trommer found the time on Sunday to play in and win our first qualifier to the September 30-October 1 Santa Anita Opening Weekend Challenge.

He also found the time to put in an entry for Sunday’s $7,000 Guaranteed Big Bucks tourney, which had a final purse of $11,195.

Here, the same selections got Trommer $7,836—more than enough to cover his weekend nut…even if he dined every night at The Pamplemousse.

Trommer also came away with one of two $800 seats in Sunday’s First Chance qualifier to the August 26 Travers Challenge—to be held, of course, at Monmouth and Xpressbet.

The other winner was 2007 NHC champ Stanley Bavlish, who outdid Trommer thanks to 4 winners, including Channel Maker in the Bowling Green at Saratoga.

As for Trommer, his lost weekend at Del Mar wound up bringing him $12,636. And despite Trommer now having seats for August 26 (Monmouth) and September 30-October 1 (Santa Anita), the HorseTourneys accounting department is confident that it can still count on his play those days.

Another top player during the week was Alan Rorrer.

Rorrer had 6-1 Word on a Wing (who wouldn’t like a horse with a name like that?) among his 5 firsts and 1 second to earn $2,923 in Wednesday’s $5,000 Guaranteed tourney, which ended up with a pot of $6,497.

That’s how Rorrer began the week. He finished it by putting up 3 firsts and 1 second and punching his ticket to this weekend’s Spa & Surf Showdown.

There were five $2,500 seat winners in Sunday’s Spa & Surf qualifier. Also earning places in the $400,000 Guaranteed event were Jim Cuzzupe (7 wins, 0 places), Caleb Knight (3W, 2P), Ed Peters (3W, 4P), Thomas Michael Abinanti (4W, 1P). All but Abinanti had Shortman ($20.60, $9.40) in the final contest race, the 7th at Del Mar.

Getting back to Wednesday action, Angelo Partipelo III (2 wins, 2 places, despite blanking on the first five races) and Gary Machiz (4W, 3P) were the $1,000 seat winners in the day’s Saratoga Challenge qualifier.

Partipelo and Machiz both struck with Grey Streak ($17.80, $6.80) in the 6th at Hawthorne.

Matthew Walsh (4 wins, 2 places) and Gary Blair (4W, 3P) also each picked Grey Streak.

Walsh and Blair were the two seat winners in Wednesday’s Spa & Surf Showdown qualifier.

Three days later, Blair profited again.

Queens Dancer ($28.00, $6.50 in the 11th at Saratoga) was the greatest common denominator on the scorecards of first-place finisher Kirk Tesar (4 wins, 0 places) and Blair (3W, 0P). They each earned $1,000 berths here for the August 20 Woodbine King’s Plate Challenge (playable at Xpressbet, HPI or 4NJBets).

On Thursday, the featured cash game was taken by Justin Kelly.

Kelly’s criterion was to start fast. He did just that by sweeping the first three races en route to a 5-win, 1-place day worth $3,577 in Thursday’s $6,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray, which paid out a total of $7,949.

Two more players added their name on Thursday to the roster of participants in the $400,000 Guaranteed Spa & Surf Showdown.

Congratulations to Thomas Kolschowsky (2 wins, 3 places) and Gary “Left Right” Leff (3W, 2P).

There was also a special $125 NHC qualifier at HorsePlayers on Thursday.

Michael Marlaire emerged with the ticket to Vegas on the strength of 5 firsts and 2 seconds. His top return came with Warrior Road ($14.20, $6.40) in the 5th at Del Mar.

Dave “Gambling Actuary” Nichols had a big Friday.

Nichols’s tables accurately predicted that Urgent Fury ($16.00, $8.60) would be a good bet in the 11th at Saratoga. That winner plus 3 others and 2 runners up allowed Nichols to lead the way in Friday’s Spa & Surf Showdown qualifier which also saw Myles Richards (5 wins, 1 place), 2013 BCBC champ Peter Behr (3W, 2P) and John Rice 3W, 1P) land $2,500 seats.

The same selections also got Nichols the top spot in Friday’s Saratoga Challenge qualifier.

Nichols will be joined in the August 12 competition by second-place finisher John “Purple” Hayes (4 wins, 1 place). They both succeeded with New York Thunder ($13.00, $6.10) in the Amsterdam Stakes at Saratoga.

Eric “B Connected” Boyd continued his recent hot run on Friday.

Boyd did all of his scoring over the first 5 contest races, capped off by first-time-starter Granitiansevensix ($23.00, $13.00) in the 1st at Del Mar to win the top prize of  $10,024 in Friday’s HT Tour game, our $15,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray, which finished up with a prize pool of $22,277.

Over at HorsePlayers, Jim Sebes (5 wins, 3 places), Tom Cassidy (5W, 1P) and 2021 NHC Tour champion Joseph “Kevin” Costello (4W, 0P) were the three seat winners in Friday’s $75 NHC Pick & Pray.

Sebes connected on the first four race winners. Cassidy nailed Granitiansevensix…as did Costello, whose four winners came consecutively.

Another Granitiansevensix fan was Brian “BC” Chenvert.

Always willing to put the “BC” in Breeders’ Cup, Chenvert posted 3 firsts followed by 2 seconds to capture Friday’s BCBC Low Ratio qualifier at HorsePlayers.

Saturday’s BCBC qualifier at HorsePlayers was a $179 Pick & Pray.

Mark Mitchell put up 4 winners and 2 runners up to walk off with the $10,000 seat. Joseph Parella completed the exacta and earned a $5,000 partial entry.

The other Saturday feature at HorsePlayers was a $210 NHC Pick & Pray.

The two winners were Matthew Ache (4 wins, 1 place) and Ben Gibson (4W, 0P). They each had both Queens Dancer ($28.00, $6.80) in the 11th at Saratoga and Señor Buscador ($29.00, $10.60) in the San Diego Handicap at Del Mar.

Chris Grutsch also had the bi-coastal 13-1 winners.

Grutsch picked 4 winners in all, and he made off with the top prize of $15,107 in the week’s richest event (and Saturday’s HT Tour battle), our $30,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray, which closed its doors with $33,572 in the till.

Joe “Tex” Scanio (4W, 2P) and Angelo Partipelo (1W, 4P) both came up with Señor Buscador.

They were the two to snag $1,000 entries in Saturday’s Saratoga Challenge play-in.

Howard Welsh did all of his Saturday scoring in the first six races of the 12-race featured-tourney slate.

One of Welsh’s 3 winners was Queens Dancer, and that one helped propel Welsh to a triumph worth $8,549 in Saturday’s $10,000 Guaranteed Big Bucks Pick & Pray, which had a final pot of $12,213.

The list of Spa & Surf Showdown participants grew by five after Saturday’s qualifier to it.

The skillful five were Shawn Turner (4 winners, including Queens Dancer and Señor Buscador, 0 places), Dan “Spoonful of” Shugar (6W, 1P), James Cosenza (4W, 2P), Trey Stiles (3W, 1P) and Cara Yarusso (2W, 1P).

On Sunday, the lone feature at HorsePlayers was a Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Low Ratio qualifier, and it was tight at the top.

Alex Hattenhauer had Channel Maker ($32.40, $15.00) in the Bowling Green at the Spa as one of his 5 winners on the day. He needed every bit of those 5, as he bested runner up Thomas Michael Abinanti by just 20 cents.

You would think Abinanti might be ticked off by such a narrow defeat—and maybe he was. However, he did win a Spa & Surf Showdown seat this day (as noted earlier), and in this Low Ratio BCBC qualifier, he got a $5,000 partial entry for coming in second…by a dime. Also…this was the 2nd partial entry he’s won to the BCBC, so he now has two full entries to play this November. Not a bad day after all!

Sunday was our first qualifier to the August 19 Laurel Champions tournament. 

The two winners of $500 seats here were Jerry McClenin (4 wins, 1 place) and Matt “The Fly” Tietze (4W, 3P). McClenin’s big horse was Shortman ($20.60, $9.40) in the 7th at Del Mar. Tietze’s top return came courtesy of Song of Fire ($15.20, $7.80) in race 5 at Del Mar.

Michael Simon (4 wins, 0 places) and Paul Kimos (4W, 1P) each got their biggest boost of the day from wire-to-wire Bowling Green Stakes winner Channel Maker ($32.40, $15.00).

Simon and Kimos will hope for more Saratoga success when they compete with paid-up entries in the August 12 Saratoga Challenge.

The 2013 Horseplayer World Series champ James Henry (4 wins, 1 place) nailed both Channel Maker and final-contest-race victor Shortman.

Those two price horses greatly helped Henry to victory in Sunday’s HT Tour game, our $20,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray, which paid out a total of $24,281. Henry’s share of that came out to $10,926.

Ivar Cuellar is going to The BIG One.

Like James Henry, Cuellar (3 firsts, 2 seconds) hit both Channel Maker and Shortman, and now Ivar will bid to become the second Cuellar to achieve great things in the greater Baltimore area.

The Sunday NHC qualifier took place here at HorseTourneys, and Mark Richards (6 wins, 0 places) and Jason Alonzo (5W, 4P) came out on top.

Channel Maker was the star for Richards. Alonzo’s top winner, Song of Fire in the 5th at Del Mar, paid $15.20 to win.

Shortman helped Michael Somich be the high man on the totem pole in Sunday’s Woodbine King’s Plate Challenge qualifier.

Somich had accumulated 3 firsts and 2 seconds prior to the final-race fireworks.

Sincere thanks to all of you for competing last week. Next weekend…it’s time for the Spa & Surf Showdown!