James Morgan Posts High Score in Low Ratio Game; Phillip Tremper Wins $11,919 in Week’s Top Cash Tourney (Weekly Recap, October 11-15)

Last week’s featured tourneys tended to be very competitive, hard-fought battles. We didn’t see much in the way of multi-table success or game-crushing cap horses.

One of the few horses that did fall into that category came early in the week on Wednesday, and Jim Lisowsky had it.

Powwa of Love ($62.20, $26.60) was an upset winner in the final contest race of the day, the 10th at Parx. A cursory glance at the final results of Wednesday’s Live-format, $5,000 Guaranteed cash game might lead one to believe that Lisowsky was just “stabbing” at the end. That was not the case, though. Lisowsky had 4 winners prior to Powwa of Love and was actually leading narrowly heading into that 10th and final at Parx. 

It wasn’t a conventional move by Lisowsky, but it turned out to be a winning one, and he pocketed $2,581 in a game that wound up paying out a total of $5,737.

The next day, the featured cash-game victor was another player who, like Lisowsky, eschewed place collections.

Thursday’s “go-big-or-go-home” guy was Sean O’Malley, who hit three winners, topped by Captainsdaughter ($37.80, $8.50) in the 8th at “Belmont at the Big A”. O’Malley cashed out for $4,012 in Thursday’s $6,000 Gtd. Pick & Pray, which closed its doors after the pot had swelled to a robust $8,917.

There was also a special Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier on Thursday, in which the net proceeds went to various racing-related charities.

The winner of the $10,000 seat in this “HorsePlayers Happy Hour” game (which, in fairness, took several hours) was Thomas Grout, whose 2 winners and 2 runners up all took place during the first five races of the tourney. His big horse en route to victory was Tap it Up ($25.20, $11.60) in race 7 at BAQ.

Friday’s BCBC qualifier at HorsePlayers was a Low-Ratio deal that saw two players earn their way into next months’s live-bankroll extravaganza.

Congratulations to Mike Thomas (3 wins, 2 places) and Gary Blair (1W, 4P). The best winner for both—and, in fact, the only winner for Blair—was Raise High ($24.14., $9.90) in the first contest race, the 5th at Keeneland. Kudos also go out to 3rd-place finisher Corey Lonberger, who picked up a $5,000 partial entry for completing the trifecta.

Qualifying to the October 21-22 The BIG One concludes on Wednesday. Last Friday, Rob Henie (3 wins, 2 places) and Ken Jordan (2W, 3P) added their names to the list of those who will be competing at the $200,000 Gtd., all-cash contest at Laurel.

Henie and Jordan both came up with Moncrief ($22.40, $9.20) in the 10th at Laurel. They will be two of no more than 57 in the field. Incidentally, if you wish to buy your way into the field, seven buy-in seats remain available at $4,000 each. Contact if interested and note that there is a limit of one seat per person for this event.

The richest tourney of the week was Saturday’s $25,000 Guaranteed, No Limit game, which also served as the day’s HT Tour event.

Phillip Tremper was proactive—and productive—in this one by taking Take Action ($29.60, $13.80) in race 6 at Santa Anita. Tremper took home the winner’s share of $11,919 in a tourney that was ultimately worth a total of $26,488.

In Saturday’s other featured cash game, Jayson “Radio City” Rockett didn’t put up a big score, but he had a big finish before the curtain fell on our $7,000 Gtd. Big Bucks Pick & Pray.

Rockett connected on 4-1 and 3-1 winners at the end to finish with 3 wins and 1 place, and a score of $42.20. That wasn’t enough to achieve a “flat-bet profit,” but you don’t always need those to capture our Big Bucks tourneys, and that’s what Rockett did. He kicked away from the field by $4.80 at the end and earned the top prize of $9,973, which was 70% of the total final purse of $14,248.

Michael Mulvihill (4 wins, 0 places) and Frank Gryboski Jr. (2W, 3P) took completely different routes to the winner’s circle in Saturday’s Pick & Pray qualifier to The BIG One.

Mulvihill whiffed on the first eight races before cold-decking the “late pick 4.” Gryboski, meanwhile, did all of his scoring in the first six contest races. 

Even if they had put their heads together and combined all their winners and runners up onto one ticket, Mulvihill and Gryboski wouldn’t have been able to best Bill “BC” Chenvert in Saturday’s $179 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier at HorsePlayers.

Chenvert amassed what was, by far, the day’s highest score even though he connected on “just” three winners (and no runners up). That’s because two of Chenvert’s victors were Ain’t Da Beer Cold (winner via DQ at 35-1 in the Maryland Million Classic) and the aforementioned 13-1 Santa Anita race 6 winner Take Action. Troy Robertson (3 wins, 1 place) was also pleased with the Laurel stewards’ decision re Ain’t Da Beer Cold, and he also got a $10,000 BCBC seat for coming in second. Current HT Tour leader Ed Peters reported home third to grab a $5,000 partial BCBC entry.

Mark Stillmock (2 wins, 1 place) and Frank Taddeo (2W, 2P) also raised a glass on Saturday to Ain’t Da Beer Cold.

Stillmock and Taddeo were the two to win NHC spots in Saturday’s $210 play-in at HorsePlayers.

On Saturday, we hosted our first qualifier for the November 25th Del Mar Fall Handicapping Challenge. 

None of the 21 entrants in this one had Ain’t Da Beer Cold. As a result, scores were low, and the winner of the $3,000 berth was Michael Karalis, whose biggest return among 4 firsts and 3 seconds came in the next-to-last contest race with Caisson ($10.80, $5.00) in race 9 at Santa Anita.

We offered another Del Mar play-in on Sunday. 

Jorge Palza got the $3,000 seat on this day. He selected 5 winners that ranged in price from $6.20 on the low end to $17.62 on the high end.

Sunday’s highest score came in a somewhat unusual spot—a Low Ratio Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier.

Then again, interest in BCBC qualifiers has really intensified lately with the big live-bankroll contest just a few weeks away. There were 68 entrants in this HorsePlayers competition, and the winner was James Morgan, who put together 6 wins and 2 places. Sixty-eight entries meant that three $10,000 seats could be distributed and the other two went to Christopher “Mary Queen of” Skotz (5W, 1P) and Wendy Long (4W, 2P).

The Sunday NHC qualifying opportunity took place over here on the HorseTourneys side of the street.

The winners were the two who scored in the 80s—Jeff Bussan (3 double-digit winners, 1 place) and Nick “48 Hrs.” Noce (3W, 0P). They both were rewarded by the performances of Rock the Stars ($24.60, $9.80) in the 6th at Gulfstream and Tony Ann ($17.62, $5.84) in race 7 at Keeneland.

Three players earned relatively late berths into The BIG One on Sunday.

Rock the Starts did much of the heavy lifting for Paul Kimos (3 wins, 1 place) on his way to first place. Ilan Cuellar (2W, 1P) whiffed on the first six contest races, but he landed on a couple of winners in the second half that each paid 17 dollars and change. Francis Drew (2W, 3P) got the final berth. His top winner paid $10.68 to win.

Michael Somich got the “W” in Sunday’s HT Tour event, our $20,000 Gtd. No Limit tourney.

Four winners and one runner up accomplished the objective for Somich, who took $10,335 from a pot that finished up at $22,968. All four of Somich’s winners returned double digits.

Meanwhile, John Fasola captured Sunday’s $7,000 Gtd. Big Bucks game.

Fasola received a winner’s share of $5,699 out of a total prize pool of $8,142. His two winners paid $24.60 (Rock the Stars) and $13.20 (Sakura Blossom in the 2nd at Santa Anita).

This coming week I’ll be at Laurel, along with much of the HorseTourneys staff, for The BIG One. So the next “Weekly Recap” will come your way in two weeks. In the meantime, good luck to all, and safe travels to those heading to Laurel next weekend. I look forward to seeing you there.