Ken Jordan Captures Thursday Cash Feature and Wins Another Pair of Tourneys on Saturday; Sunday Takes Two to Tang (Weekly Recap, October 25-29)

Several players showed last week that their handicapping was on point as Breeders’ Cup weekend approached. Perhaps no one fit this description better than Ken Jordan. 

On October 22, the Farmingdale, N.J., resident collected $5,800 finish for finishing 8th of 54 at The BIG One. Little did we (or he) know, he was just getting warmed up.

Clearly still fortified by the crab cakes and bagels, Jordan came back last Thursday to rake in another $3,390 after finishing first in our $6,000 Gtd. Pick & Pray. He recorded 3 winners, topped by Quokka ($44.80, $14.60) in the 6th at BAQ, and he added a runner up for good measure in the game that closed with a total prize pool of $7,534.

On Saturday, Jordan bagged even bigger game.

Buoyed by Runaway Storm ($42.50, $9.74) in the 8th at Keeneland, Jordan (3 firsts, 5 seconds) earned the $3,000 seat in Saturday’s Del Mar Fall Handicapping Challenge. 

He also used most of those selections in Saturday’s $7,000 Gtd. Big Bucks tourney.

The final pot here came to $10,177—$7,124 of which went to Jordan. Over a seven-day period from Sunday to Saturday, Jordan’s total winnings amounted to $15,924. Not a bad week playing the ponies!

Can Jordan’s impressive run of consistency continue through Breeders’ Cup weekend? We shall soon find out.

On Wednesday, Michael Lynch Jr. began the featured-tourney week as The Happy Man.

He achieved that status mainly by virtue of picking The Angry Man ($17.00, $6.40) in the final contest race, the 10th at Parx. Lynch finished with 3 firsts and 2 seconds, and he took home the up-top money of $2,695 in Wednesday’s $5,000 Guaranteed game, which closed with a pot of $5,391.

On Thursday, it was Ken Jordan who scooped up the cash, but it was Gregg “Sky” Kingma who posted the day’s highest score.

Kingma also came up with Quokka in the 6th at BAQ, and he went on to earn the $10,000 seat in Thursday’s $179 “HorsePlayers Happy Hour” BCBC qualifier. (Net proceeds of this event went to horse racing-related charities.) Ed Reidy finished second to garner a $5,000 partial entry.

There was also a $500 Low Ratio Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier on Thursday at HorsePlayers.

Quokka also figured prominently in this one as Craig Rowe had the BAQ race 6 winner among his 2 firsts and 3 seconds. It was a different Ed—HT Tour leader Ed Peters—who got the $5,000 partial entry here for coming in second. 

On Friday, Robert Turner hit the “late Pick 4” to get up and win the day’s HT Tour event by just $2.78.

BAQ didn’t treat Turner well, but Keeneland and Santa Anita sure did. In all, he had 6 winners out of the 10 races, and he collected the top prize of $8,528 in our $15,000 Gtd. Pick & Pray, which paid out a total of $18,952.

The rest of the Friday featured action was at HorsePlayers, where there were two Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifiers and an NHC play-in.

The two seat winners in the $75 NHC game were Bob McIntyre (4 wins, 0 places) and Tony Wong (also 4W, 0P). They each smoked out the day’s two biggest prices—Living Magic ($35.80, $13.20) in the 6th at BAQ and Callie’s Grit ($28.02, $12.16) in the 6th at Keeneland. 

As it turned out, the four $10,000 seat winners in our Friday Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifiers also came up with both Living Magic and Callie’s Grit on their way to the end zone.

In the $179 play-in, it was Louis Masry (4 firsts, 2 seconds) who went away happy.

The winner’s enclosure following Friday’s Low Ratio Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier was a veritable The BIG One reunion.

Anthony “ATM” Mattera (3 wins, 1 place) wasn’t in Maryland this year, though he has been a regular in the past. Lucas Van Zandt (2W, 1P) was certainly at The BIG One in a major way this year. He finished 2nd, earning $38,500. The always-dangerous Pete Acocella (2W, 0P) was also present at the “high-expectation tournament” this year, and while he didn’t finish in the money, perhaps this $10,000 BCBC seat will serve as some nice solace. 

Saturday was a pretty rare day from a competition standpoint. There were three $40+ winners from the 12 featured-tourney contest races. In fact, those three longshots all came during the first six contest races. As far as we can tell, no player in our featured events found all three bombs, but plenty had two of the three.

Shawn Turner (4 double-digit winners, 0 places) and Alan Mullins (2W, 1P) were actually two of the very few who landed on Kigali ($58.86, $22.18) in the first contest race, the 5th at Keeneland. Turner and Mullins were the two seat winners in Saturday’s $500 Low Ratio BCBC qualifier at HorsePlayers.

Sam “Split” Sample and Brian “BC” Chenvert did not see the merit in Kigali, but they didn’t miss on Illhaveanotherkiss ($41.00, $13.20) in the opener at Santa Anita or on Runaway Storm ($42.50, $9.74) in the 8th at Keeneland.

Sample (3 wins, 2 places) and Chenvert (4W, 2P) were the ones to earn seats in Saturday’s $179 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge play-in. 

In the $1,000 Super Low Ratio BCBC qualifier on Saturday, the lower ratios allowed you to “get away with” having just one of the three $40 horses.

That was the case with all three of the $10,000 entry getters—this year’s Flo-Cal Faceoff champ David Wolff (3 wins, 1 place), Andy Asaro (4W, 1P) and recent Spa & Surf Showdown victor Anthony Spinazzola (3W, 1P). Wolff and Asaro connected with Illhaveanotherkiss. Spinazzola knocked one out of the park with Runaway Storm.

Saturday’s highest score came not in one of the BCBC qualifiers, but in the day’s HT Tour event, our $25,000 Guaranteed game, which closed its doors with $28,952 in the kitty.

Michael Solakis did the honors. He hit Illhaveanotherkiss and Runaway Storm…and added another four winners on top of those. For his efforts, Solakis was rewarded with $13,028.

Saturday’s NHC qualifier took place here at HorseTourneys, and first-place finisher David Browning was already double-qualified (and, thus, playing for NHC Tour points). That left the March 2024 seats to 2nd- and 3rd-place finishers Francis Boustany and Jim Colbert.

Browning only had one of the bombs, but he more than made up for that by nailing three other double-digit winners, including the day’s fourth-biggest price, a 13-1 shot. Boustany and Colbert, meanwhile, were thinking alike when it came to Illhaveanotherkiss and Runaway Storm.

The prices weren’t as high on Sunday, though they were again nicely spread out.

The biggest return of the day came in the final contest race, the 7th at Santa Anita, with Daniel’s Magic ($24.80, $10.20) who came up the rail to win a turf sprint by a nose in the last jump. Dr. Ronald Tang had Daniel’s Magic.

As a matter of fact, Tang had the day’s four highest-priced winners to grab the winner’s share of $9,745 in Sunday’s HT Tour game, our $20,000 guaranteed tourney, which closed with a purse of $21,656.

In Sunday’s $7,000 Gtd. Big Bucks game, Daniel’s Magic slipped off Tang’s ticket, but the other three winners—who all paid within a tight range between $17.00 and $18.40—remained.

Tang raked in another $4,986 here. His total return for the cash-game sweep was, thus, $14,731.

Tang almost made it a clean sweep of the three Sunday HorseTourneys features, but Jimmie O’Nail (4 wins, 5 places) outdid him in the Del Mar Fall Handicapping Challenge qualifier.

Daniel’s Magic was back on Tang’s scorecard in this one, but the 11-1 grass sprinter was also on O’Nail’s. The key separator for O’Nail (relative to Tang) turned out to be four straight place collections at the outset of the tourney.

Over on the HorsePlayers side of the street, there were three more BCBC qualifiers on the final Sunday before the big live-bankroll contest.

The 1-per-65, $179 version went to Sunday high scorer Stephen Thompson, who pulled a “Robert Turner” and swept the final four races en route to a 6-win day (which, in Thompson’s case, also included 3 runners up). There were enough entries to award a second seat, and that one went to John Heims (4 wins, 1 place). Like Thompson, Heims used Daniel’s Magic at the end.

The $500 (1-per-23) and $1,000 (1-per-11) BCBC qualifiers on Sunday were a little kooky. Here’s why:

Brett Wiener (3 wins, 3 places) and Stephen McNatton (3 wins, 2 places) were the seat winners in the $500 game with respective scores of $87.80 and $85.40. There were 48 entrants in total here.

The $1,000 play-in attracted 35 entries, which meant that three $10,000 seats would be awarded.

The most skillful three in this one were Jim Sebes (4 wins, 3 places), Shad Walton (5W, 1P) and Jay Johns (3W, 1P). 

A closer look reveals that Johns’s third-place score was $88.40—higher than anyone in the 48-entry, $500 tourney. It had to be a bitter pill for 4th- and 5th-place finishers Joe Kramer and Andrew Yeretsky, either of whom (but not both) could have earned a seat with the same score in the cheaper, $500 game. 

Sometimes the low ratios work for you…and sometimes they don’t.

We’ve all been there. Fast horses are good. Good luck is even better.

We hope that good luck is in large supply for you in the week ahead. Not only is Breeders’ Cup weekend coming up, so is opening day at the always-competitive Aqueduct at Aqueduct meet!

To that bit of tongue-in-cheek redundancy, we will, for now, add one more:

Bye bye!