Bob Schreiter Wins Free NHC Seat Plus $12,206; Howard Welsh Sweeps the Saturday Cash Features; Brett Wiener Captures Keeneland Entries on Back-to-Back Days (Weekly Recap, October 4-8)

It was quite a Sunday for Bob Schreiter.

He picked six Sunday winners, led (in price) by Bourbon Stakes winner Can Group ($56.34, $21.32)

Schreiter probably won’t be returning empty cans to the grocery store (always a pleasant and sanitary experience!) anytime soon. He won $12,206 for taking Sunday’s HT Tour event, our $20,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray, which wound up with a final pot of $27,125.

Did we say that Schreiter picked six Sunday winners? Actually, he selected seven. That’s because he found one more among the three additional heats that extended Sunday’s free NHC qualifier to a 15-race affair. As a result, Schreiter managed to finish second out of 1,657 entries in the NHC free-for-all.

Joining Schreiter on the victory podium at the end of this one were Travis Foelsch (7 wins, 3 places) and T.J. Sonde (5W, 2P). Here’s a look at the scorecards of the skillful three who were able to crack the $130.00 mark:

Qualifying for this Saturday’s Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge really heated up last week, with a dozen $3,500 entries flying out the door. The first two of those 12 flew on Wednesday, and they landed in the pockets of Jim “Never” Settle and William “Full” Price.

Not wanting to settle for a short price, Settle and Price both did well with 7-1 Hard to Justify in the 5th at BAQ, which was the first contest race of the day. Hard to Justify provided the biggest return across the day’s 10 contest heats.

David Herberholz had Hard to Justify. In fact, he had each of the first three winners and five of the first six.

Herberholz’s fast start got him $3,017 in Wednesday’s $5,000 Gtd. tourney, which had a final purse of $6,705.

Thursday’s cash feature was a $6,000 Gtd. Pick & Pray that was taken by Daniel Goldstein.

Goldstein picked four consecutive winners in mid-tourney, but it was a max $22.00 place collection with 36-1 Cattani in the 9th at BAQ (the final contest race) that provided Goldstein with his largest return of the day and allowed him to spike the ball in the end zone at the tourney’s conclusion.

Cattani also turned out to be the best pick of the day for Joseph Hardoon.

Hardoon recorded 5 firsts and 1 second en route to winning Thursday’s special Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier at HorsePlayers. (As a “Horseplayers Happy Hour” event, the proceeds of this one went to racing-related charities.)

Cheryl McIntyre, the 2016 NHC Tour champ, also enjoyed success in Thursday’s final contest race, but not in the same way that Goldstein and Hardoon did.

McIntyre (5 firsts, 1 second) picked the winner of that race 9 at BAQ—Vince the Prince ($6.60, $3.60)—to get herself over the top in Thursday’s Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge qualifier.

On Friday, Clint Littlejohn did his best running from off the pace. 

Littlejohn’s 3 wins and a place all came in the final four races of Friday’s Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Low Ratio qualifier, and that allowed him to go from “worst to first.” Anthony Robb came up with three runners up but just one Friday winner. Fortunately for Robb, the victor was Winters Lion ($73.50, $20.20) in the 10th at BAQ. Robb got the other available $10,000 BCBC seat.

Those same 1-win, 3-place selections also served Robb quite nicely in Friday’s Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge play-in.

The other $3,500 berth went to runner up Justin Waitekus (2 wins, 1 place), who also roared with Winters Lion.

Winters Lion was also common to the scorecards of 2012 NHC Champ Michael Beychok and the 2020 Flo-Cal Faceoff winner Thomas Blosser.

In March, Blosser will attempt to win the NHC for the first time and Beychok for a second time, thanks to their respective performances in Friday’s $75 qualifier at HorsePlayers.

Steven Meier was the only person in Friday’s two-seat qualifier to The BIG One who came up with Winters Lion.

Consequently, Meier (2 wins, 1 place) finished with a total ($80.98) more than twice that of his closest pursuer. That pursuer, $47.50 in arrears, was Bill Redman, whose top winner paid $6.20. However, Redman and Meier will be tied for first when play begins on October 21 in the two-day, $200,000 Gtd. The BIG One at Laurel Park.

Friday’s HT Tour event was our $15,000 Gtd. Pick & Pray, which closed with a purse of $19,451.

Gary Blair whiffed on the first five races, but cashed in four of the final five (including with Winters Lion) to pocket the up-top money of $8,753.

Speaking of pocketing “up-top” money, Howard Welsh did so twice on Saturday.

The only player in Saturday’s $25,000 Gtd. Pick & Pray (an HT Tour event that paid out a total of $32,956) to crack triple figures, Welsh selected 5 winners. Most notably, he attacked the Keeneland races with the ferocity of Commander, biting off three Lexington, Ky., winners that each paid at least $21.00. That feat got Welsh a windfall of $14,830.

If you read these recaps with any regularity at all, you’re probably guessing that Welsh also won Saturday’s $7,000 Gtd. Big Bucks Pick & Pray.

Right you are! And right was Welsh on this day. Here, he picked up another $7,124 from the $10,177 closing prize pool. Welsh’s two-tourney total was $21,954.

Robin Buser spent Saturday at a rainy Monmouth Park, playing in the NHC qualifier there. He didn’t have a whole lot of luck in it, but it was a different story for him at HorseTourneys.

Let this be a lesson to us all: Always bring your phone to an onsite tournament! Buser (4 wins, 2 places) and Franklin Waldemar (3W, 1P) each punched their tickets to Vegas in this $165 Pick & Pray. They both connected with Normandy Hero ($21.36 to win) in the 5th at Keeneland, Gina Romantica ($25.02) in the 8th at Keeneland and Three Witches ($22.40) in the 9th at Gulfstream.

Brian O’Kane (5 wins, 1 place) and Peter Rogers (4W, 3P) each earned their way into The BIG One on Saturday.

Normandy Hero and Gina Romantica was found on both of their scorecards.

Normandy Hero and Gina Romantica could also be spotted on the entries of Chip Armbruster (5 wins, 2 places) and Steve Terelak (7 wins, 2 places)

They were the two to snag $10,000 entries in Saturday’s $179 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Pick & Pray.

There were four winners of $3,500 entries in Saturday’s play-in to the Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge.

Hearty congratulations go out to Brett Wiener (3 wins, 1 place), Daniel Fischer (3W, 0P), Brian Agee (3W, 0P) and Dylan Donnelly (3W, 2P). The heartiest of these congratulations should probably go to Wiener, though.

That’s because the Floridian came right back the next day to get another Keeneland entry. Sharing the spotlight with Wiener (2 wins, 0 places) this time around were Derek Isenberg (3W, 1P) and Kirk Rockwell (5W, 1P).

Don Chung (5 wins, 2 places) and Joel Wincowski (4W, 3P) will be spending October 21-22 at Laurel Park (and each of those mornings at Bagels N’ Grinds, undoubtedly).

That’s because they ran one-two in Sunday’s guaranteed qualifier to The BIG One. The top winner for both paid $9.00. Chung was the only player of 14 in this competition to show a flat-bet profit.

Mark Stillmock also failed to turn a flat-bet profit on Sunday.

That, however, didn’t stop Stillmock from winning $4,986 in the day’s seven-entry, $7,000 Gtd. Big Bucks tourney. Stillmock’s top return came via Ghost of Midnight ($15.80, $7.20) in the 7th at Santa Anita.

Last but not least, the three players to reach the $70.00 mark were the three to secure $10,000 berths in Sunday’s Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Low Ratio Pick & Pray.

Bobby Marks led the way with 6 wins and 2 places. He was followed closely by Braden Selvig (3W, 0P) and Louis Constan (3W, 3P).

Thanks to all for playing—and/or reading! See you next week.