James Henry, Evan Trommer and David Nelson Each Record Victories on Back-to-Back Days; Michael Beychok Captures Another Rich Cash Game (Weekly Recap, August 30-September 4)

We think all featured-tourney wins are praiseworthy, but achieving such triumphs on consecutive days is extra impressive—which takes us to James Henry on Thursday.

The 2013 Horse Player World Series champ had 44-1 shot More Mango in the 10th at Saratoga among his four Thursday winners (plus a runner up), and that helped propel Henry to a victory worth $3,732 in the day’s $6,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray, which paid out a total of $8,295.

The Torrance, Calif., resident has the potential for far greater riches after winning an NHC seat 24 hours later.

Henry (4 wins, 1 place) finished second, in between victor Dan “Spoonful of” Shugar (4W, 1P) and Sarah Wiener in Friday’s $75 qualifier at HorsePlayers. Here’s a look at Shugar’s best-of-day scoresheet.

As it turned out, Henry and Wiener also had Park City ($10.40, $5,40) in the contest finale, so one could say that this tourney had a real…O. Henry-style ending.

Like Henry, Evan Trommer was also a “two-day winner.”

There were no final-page plot twists in this one, Saturday’s $30,000 Guaranteed cash tourney. Trommer (2 firsts, 2 seconds) did most of his damage early on—especially with Drakon ($44.00, $16.40) in the 10th at Saratoga. With the win, Trommer not only collected $15,939 from a pot of $35,420, he further extended his lead in the HT Tour standings.

Trommer didn’t add to his Tour lead on Sunday…but he did collect more money.

The Floridian had Anglophile ($23.40, $6.16) in the 11th at Kentucky Downs among his 2 firsts and 5 seconds, and his final total of $69.76 was good for a $4,900 payday in Sunday’s $7,000 Guaranteed Big Bucks tourney, which went off at a 1.4% overlay to players.

Another Sunday winner was David Nelson.

Nelson picked 5 winners (including 10-1 Indian Mischief in the first contest race, the 7th at Saratoga) and 2 runners up to earn the $10,000 seat in Sunday’s Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Low Ratio qualifier at HorsePlayers. 

Like James Henry and Evan Trommer before him, Nelson was able to keep his good vibe going right on to the next day.

One of two players to reach the $70-mark, Nelson grabbed yet another Low Ratio Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge entry by topping all but Dave “Gambling Actuary” Nichols. The two David N.’s both connected with City Legend ($24.60, $10.20) in the 3rd at Del Mar.

The six-day featured tourney week began on Wednesday, when Mark Stillmock prevailed in our $5,000 Guaranteed cash game.

Stillmock picked 3 winners and 4 runners up to bag $2,892 in a game that closed with a purse of $6,428. His big horse was Golden Rapper ($17.20, $6.00) in the 6th at Horseshoe Indy.

Robert Salzano came up with the final three winners to finish with six on the day, plus a place.

The seven collections earned Salzano a $3,500 entry into the October 14 Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge.

On Friday, two players earned their way into the Keeneland tournament.

Congratulations to Craig Rowe (4 wins, 2 places) and Pete Acocella (1W, 3P). They each hit Vacation Dance ($17.20, $8.50) in the 9th at Saratoga.

Timothy Jacobs (4 firsts, 3 seconds) picked the winners of the last two races to get up late and take Friday’s HT Tour event, our $15,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray.

Jacobs raked in $9,426 from a total prize pool that closed at $20,947.

Kevin Engelhard didn’t cash big, but he cashed often.

He finished with 3 winners and 4 runners up to earn the $500 seat in Friday’s qualifier to this coming Saturday’s Delaware Park Handicapping Contest. Engelhard’s top winner on the day paid $7.40.

Over at HorsePlayers, Terrence Shepard (3 firsts, 2 seconds) parlayed a fast start into a $10,000 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge entry.

Max Schnepf finished second in this Low Ratio Pick & Pray, and he received a $5,000 partial BCBC entry.

On Saturday, Joel Wincowski won his 2nd entry to The BIG One in as many weeks.

“But wait a minute,” you ask, “can’t players only play one entry in The BIG One?”

That’s true, though entries won online are transferable…so we suspect that Joel will have a mini-family reunion with his son at Laurel (as they have done in past editions of The BIG One) for two very fun—and potentially lucrative—days of handicapping.

Duncan Courtney failed to enter a selection in one of Saturday’s 12 contest races, but that didn’t keep him out of the winner’s circle in our Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge qualifier.

Courtney had Saratoga race 10 victor Drakon ($44.00, $16.40) among his 3 firsts and 1 second.

Steven Meier had Drakon plus one other winner and a $20.60 place horse.

Meier was the skillful winner of a $4,000 entry in Saturday’s Santa Anita Opening Weekend Challenge qualifier.

The Saturday Big Bucks Pick & Pray winner was our 2023 Flo-Cal Faceoff champ.

David Wolff selected 2 winners and 3 runners up to earn $7,124 in this $10,000 Guaranteed affair. His best play was Ancient Rome ($15.32, $8.56) in the 10th at Kentucky Downs.

Saturday’s high scorer was James Morgan.

Morgan had 4 winners (including Drakon) and a double-digit place horse to walk off with the $10,000 seat in Saturday’s $179 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge at HorsePlayers.

The two players to eclipse $90.00 were the two to earn NHC berths on Saturday.

Congratulations to Michael Manzier (3 wins, 1 place) and Nick “48 Hrs.” Noce (3W, 1P as well). Drakon was common to their scorecards.

Ed Peters made the bread in Sunday’s HT Tour game, our $20,000 Guaranteed cash feature.

Peters had the high score of Sunday thanks to 4 winners, and he earned the top prize of $11,812 in a game worth a total of $26,250. His senses were most filled up by Annie’s Song ($41.60, $15.00) in the 6th at Del Mar.

Anglophile ($23.40, $6.16) in the 11th at Kentucky Down was the heaviest lifter for Steve Terelak on Sunday.

In all, Terelak compiled 3 firsts and 2 seconds, and that got him the paid-up spot (one of no more than 57) for The BIG One. Terelak also receives a $500 winner’s bonus—usable on travel to Maryland…or any other expenditure of his choosing.

For Ciaran Thornton, the horse of the day on Sunday was Saratoga Flash ($18.92, $7.00) not at Saratoga, but in the 12th at Kentucky Downs (as you may have detected from the win price).

Thornton can seek out more penny breakage when he competes in the October 14 Keeneland BCBC/NHC Fall Challenge.

The big event on Labor Day was a special $125 NHC qualifier at HorsePlayers that guaranteed 5 seats.

Brian Salomone’s total of $140.50 (built on 6 wins and 1 place) was the high-water mark of the day. He led the way in a competition that also saw “The Commissioner” Tim Smith (3W, 0P), Mike Steindler (3W, 1P, despite whiffing on the first 7 races), David Browning (3W, 2P) and Mark “Doctor” Detro (3W, 3P) punch their tickets to Vegas. All five nailed Ipanema Princess ($32.00, $12.80) in the final contest race, the 7th at Del Mar.

Back here at HorseTourneys, lightning struck for the second time in eight days for The Million Dollar Man, Michael Beychok.

On Sunday, August 27, Beychok hit for $11,714 by taking our $20,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray. On Labor Day, he won another $20,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray (and HT Tour competition). This one was worth $13,584 to Beychok, who connected with 54-1 Nutella Fella in the Hopeful at the Spa and with Ipanema Princess at Del Mar at the end.

Steven Franckowiak put up three double-digit victors, including Ipanema Princess.

He’ll now be heading to Laurel Park to play in The BIG One on October 21-22.

Raj Satyan (4 wins, 1 place) and Brian “Totally” Gross (3W, 2P) were the two players to crack triple digits in Monday’s Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge play-in.

Satyan and Gross both profited late from Ipanema Princess, and both left with $3,500 entries.

The top returner on Monday for Jim Cuzzupe (4 firsts, 1 second) was Heartbreak Kid ($19.40, $7.80) in the 4th at Del Mar.

Cuzzupe now has action this coming Saturday…in the form of a paid-up $500 entry in the Delaware Park Handicapping Contest.

Jayson “Radio City” Rockett’s day was also highlighted by Heartbreak Kid.

In all, Rockett came up with 3 winners and 1 runner up en route to a victory worth $6,411 in Monday’s $7,000 Gtd. Big Bucks Pick & Pray, which wound up with a total purse of $9,159.

I will be away next weekend, so the next “Weekly Recap” will appear here on Monday, September 18. Until then…thanks to all of you for playing, and good luck in the couple of weeks ahead.