We went a little easy on the contest schedule this weekend because we know that a whole bunch of you are out in Las Vegas playing for $800,000. But I’ll say this—what we did schedule this weekend is really good. And even if you ARE fortunate enough to be out at Treasure Island right now, you’ll want to get in on these tourneys. To make things a little easier for you, we’ve structured our top Friday/Saturday events so that they utilize the NHC mandatory races (eight each day). So, heck, a lot of you will have already “done the work” anyway!
On Friday, Day 1 of the NHC, we have just a light appetizer on the featured bill of fare. It’s a $5,000 Guaranteed game with $2,500 to the winner and prizes down to fourth place. It’s a Pick & Pray, so whether you’re at work or in the Treasure Island second-floor ballroom you can get your picks entered and not have to check back in if you don’t want to. There are eight contest races—the Day 1 mandatories from the NHC: Aqueduct’s 4th, Tampa’s 6th. Fair Grounds’s 4th, Oaklawn’s 5th and 8th, Gulfstream’s 9th and Santa Anita’s 7th and 8th.
Saturday, we are proud to host an absolute blockbuster of a tourney that you won’t want to miss. It’s the NHC Kickoff Challenge Presented by Racetrack Television Network—it’s the first online qualifier of the year for the 2018 NHC.
That, alone, would be cause for celebration…but get this…entry costs just $50 (maximum two per player) and FIVE 2018 NHC are guaranteed to be awarded. Contest races will be the eight Saturday mandatory races at the NHC. Those races are expected to be announced at 10:00 am ET on Friday. Note that you must be a registered member of the 2018 NHC Tour in order to qualify for an NHC package. The top 10 “non-winners” will receive an RTN digital package.
Two other nice tourneys will also be based on the Saturday NHC mandatory races—a $12,500 Guaranteed event with $6,250 to the winner; and a Horse Player World Series full-package direct qualifier with one in 25 winning an all-inclusive prize. Entry fees are $195 for the $12,500 game and $116 for the HPWS contest.
On Sunday, our marquee tourney is a Kentucky Derby Betting Championship direct qualifier (live format) for $495 with one prize awarded per 40 entries. There will be up to five $495 consolation prizes as well. Win this qualifier and you’ll be managing a fat $12,000 live bankroll under the Twin Spires on Kentucky Derby weekend!
We also are hosting entry-only qualifiers on Sunday to both the Wynn Handicapping Challenge (worth $2,000) and the Horse Player World Series ($1,500 value). And no Sunday (not even an NHC Sunday) is complete without a $7,500 Guaranteed tourney and our increasingly popular $1,500 Guaranteed Exacta Box game. Contest races for our Sunday featured events are still TBD.
Early thoughts from Treasure Island:
Anticipation seems more keen than ever for the NHC as we get within 24 hours of the big dance. A lot of people got here early this year—some for the First Chance/Last Chance tourney, some to acclimate, and some just to enjoy the atmosphere. Later today (Thursday) we’ll be selecting the mandatories for Saturday. I expect that we’ll see more Gulfstream used than was the case for Friday. And perhaps more grass races as well. There weren’t too many of those to pick from among Friday’s races—especially with Santa Anita going all-dirt.
I’ve already seen and or spent time out here with so many of our great HorseTourneys players and qualifiers. Please say hello if you’re here at Treasure Island. As we all know by now, the camaraderie of tournament play is one of the nicest aspects of the whole deal.
Good luck to all…wherever you’re playing from, and whatever you’re playing for.