Previously, Sara was sad about losing Tara (C), Deanna was thrilled about the same, Eric picked the usual suspects after winning the owners' challenge - plus homewrecker Tara W, Dean won the stable hand challenge, it was Susan vs. Tara in the guts match, Tara's horse Ready to Flirt won and Susan took the long walk home.
Steve congratulates the final six, then explains the twists involved in the final episode - most of them, anyway. First, there is no OWNER CHALLENGE. Second, there is no STABLE HAND CHALLENGE. Third, the owner and stable hand divisions are done by the amount of money each had earned. Eric had the most money; therefore, he was the lead owner. He was joined by Deanna and Tara. LeVar was the lead stable hand; he was kept company by Sara and Dean.
You want some more twists? OK, you Chubby Checker fan, here we go: There would be three GUTS MATCHES the next day. The owners pick first, as usual, followed by the stable hands. The horses are previously paired, so it is possible that an owner could go up against an owner, or stable hand vs. stable hand.
The stellar list of thoroughbreds competing in these matches is a who's who of modern horse racing history... aw, who am I kidding? It's six of the same ol' horses we've been seeing for the past six weeks - Regal Cruiser, Sharp As A Fox, Archie's Dream, Free To Please, Shoot Yeah, and Lauren's Halo.
The stable people are philosophic about their fates. Sara announced that she was glad to be back in the stables. LeVar noted that his position could've been worse, but also could've been better. The mansion folk also discuss the horses, with Eric noting that he didn't want to go up against Sara. I think he's still got his "thing" out.
And now we arrive at the Chandelier Room for probably the last time. In the first race, it's Tara and LeVar. Tara picked Regal Cruiser, while LeVar chose Shoot Yeah. In race #2, Deanna squares off against Sara. The two fillies go up against each other - Sharp As A Fox for Deanna, and Lauren's Halo for Sara. And in our "feature" race, Eric and Archie's Dream counters Dean's Free To Please.
Trainer Alex handicaps the matches, picking Shoot Yeah, Sharp As A Fox, and Free To Please.
At the track, LeVar notes again that he can't stand Tara's phoniness, while she still feels he's a mystery man.
Steve explains that the rules for the GUTS MATCHES are the same as before - the winner gets $5000 to keep, and the loser has their torch snuffed. Also, there's no outside betting on these matches.
Race #1 has begun! Regal Cruiser led most of the way, but Shoot Yeah caught up steadily. It was almost even at the wire... get out the photo. The photo reveals that Shoot Yeah won by a nose. LeVar is happy to win, and happier to take out Tara.
The runners are coming out for the next race, but what's this? An ad for an actual horse race? At Pimilico? How did Pokerstars.net miss this ad space? I need Chris and Greg to tell us how they crush all online comers and have fun doing it, and how you can get crushed too. For free!
Race #2 is the big vs. tiny race - Sharp As A Fox is a big horse, and that's why Deanna picked her. Lauren's Halo is small in comparison and Sara considers it the underdog. But we've had underdogs win this race before.
They're off and running! Sharp As A Fox got off to an awkward start and gave up a couple of lengths at the start. She seemed to make up some ground halfway through, but Lauren's Halo shifted into overdrive and won by 4. David slays Goliath yet again.
In race #3, Free To Please looks a little antsy going into the gate. Dean didn't look worried about this.
And away they go! The start was even but Archie's Dream nudged himself into Free To Please's path. Archie's Dream holds on to win by a head.
So Eric has a big money lead over LeVar - $18,232 to $8500, with Sara's $7650 in third. So, we're done, right? Not so fast. Steve says we have a fourth GUTS MATCH to determine who will really, really get first pick in the final race. Unlike other GUTS MATCHES, there's no downside to this one; the final three is locked in and no one can lose any money. But the owner of the winning horse gets $15,000, which would put anyone into the lead.
And, for the fun of it, the defeated players come back to root for their favorites. There are three different, and slightly better horses for this guts match - Avenueofknowledge, Crafty Value, and Kool Smoke.
Eric got first choice, and he liked Kool Smoke's attitude, so that's who he chose. LeVar thought Avenueofknowledge was the fastest horse in the stable, and so he chose him. Sara got stuck with Crafty Value.
Go! Avenueofknowledge got off to the best start, but Kool Smoke pulled away in the end by 1/2 length over AOK and much more over Crafty Value. This cements Eric's money lead and #1 pick in next week's final race.
And the nine losers pimp for votes. I'd type their pleas for you, but they were too pathetic for words. "I need the money", "I love the horses", and "I played a great game" were heard a lot. The top five vote getters of this bunch get to pick after our top three in the big race.