While the NCAA Selection Committee busily crunches numbers to create its brackets this weekend, HorseTourneys players will be busy with selections of their own—ones that can lead to significant cash prizes and seats to important, big-money tournaments all throughout the country. (We think our Selection Sunday is better than theirs.)
We are getting back to our spiritual side this weekend with the vast majority of our featured tourneys (pretty much all but our Exacta Box event) operating as Pick & Prays. And on Sunday (always a fine day for prayer), we will not only have qualifiers for such events as the NHC, The BIG One, the Kentucky Derby Betting Championship, the Keeneland Grade I Gamble and others, we have upped the purse of our Sunday cash game from $8,500 to a nice round $10,000. Let’s examine the full lineup starting on Friday:
The Friday headliner is our $6,500 Guaranteed Pick & Pray offering $3,000 to the winner and prizes down to fourth place. There will be 10 contest races—Laurel’s 7th through 9th, Oaklawn’s 4th through 7th, and Tampa’s 8th through 10th. Entry is $185.
On to Saturday:
There’s another nice cash Pick & Pray on Saturday. This one has a pot of $15,000 with $7,000 up top and payouts down to 7th place. The entry fee is $195 with a limit of 86 entries. Contest races for this—and for all of our Saturday featured tourneys—are the 2nd and 6th at Santa Anita, the 9th, 11th, 12th and 13th at Gulfstream, the 5th, 7th and 8th at Oaklawn, and the 9th, 10th and 11th (all stakes races, including the Tampa Bay Derby) at Tampa Bay Downs—12 races in all.
We’ll also host another quick $2,000 Guaranteed Saturday Night Live tourney, using nine races from Delta Downs, Sam Houston and Turfway…but we also have some important qualifiers earlier in the day on Saturday.
The Saturday direct-qualifier menu includes a Horse Player World Series full-package tourney (with one in 25 winning an entry, plus hotel and travel) and a qualifier to the June 3 Monmouth Park Pick Your Prize tournament where up to 13 NHC spots and four $10,000 BCBC entries will be up for grabs, as well as some strong cash prizes. Entry fees are $116 for each contest with one winner per 25 entries.
Rounding out the field on Saturday is a $69 qualifier to Keeneland’s April 22 $400 Spring Challenge where two NHC seats, one BCBC seat and cash make up the prize pool.
Selection Sunday is our #1 day of the week with two cash games and seven top qualifiers scheduled.
Now college basketball players can’t play for money, mind you, (cough, cough) but we can! This week, we’ve ratcheted up what had been an $8,500 Sunday game to a $10,000 contest, while maintaining the entry fee at the $195 level. The winner receives $5,000 and prizes go down to 5th place. Your great support is what made this purse bump possible. Thank you!
And we’ll be hosting another $1,500 Guaranteed Exacta Box tournament on Sunday for $54 ($600 to the victor). You make a three-horse exacta box play in each of the 12 races and whoever racks up the highest score, based on $1 payoffs, takes home the cash.
Our seven qualifying events on Sunday are led by our 3-seat-guaranteed NHC qualifier, which could award up to five seats if we reach 325 entries. It costs $165 per entry with a maximum of two entries permitted per person. Note that you must be a 2017 NHC Tour member to be eligible for NHC packages.
Last week Phil Lam became our ninth qualifier to the 2017 The BIG One and on Sunday, we will learn the identity of qualifier #10–guaranteed. One all-inclusive package (entry, travel, hotel & more) must be awarded, and entries (at $390 each) are capped at 35, with up to five $300 consolation prizes also available. The BIG One, takes place on the last weekend of September at Laurel with the field capped at 57—even more exclusive than the NCAA Tournament!
Making its return to the HorseTourneys lineup after a one-week hiatus is a qualifier for the Kentucky Derby Betting Championship. This one costs $495 with one in 40 winning a $12,000 entry plus hotel, ticket and amenities for Oaks and Derby days at Churchill Downs, along with $500 in travel. Horse racing Bracketologists may not know yet who the top seeds are for the Derby, but if you’re at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May with thousands of dollars to bet, it will undoubtedly be “One Shining Moment” for you.
The Sunday listings also include a qualifier to the $200,000 Wynn Handicapping Challenge, with one in 20 winning a $2,000 entry to the popular Las Vegas regional. This one costs $116 to play.
And Big Blue Nation steps up again Sunday with a qualifier to the April 23 Keeneland Grade One Gamble. Five NHC spots and five BCBC spots (plus lots of money) will be at stake on April 23 (the day after the Keeneland $400 Spring Challenge). Entries are $162 each with one in 25 winning a $3,000 entry fee (dining included) plus $500 for travel to Lexington. A visit to Rupp Arena is optional.
From the Midwest region, we have the Hawthorne Spring NHC tourneys on March 24-25, which go as two separate one-day tourneys with a $400 live bankroll (no entry fee) required each day. Winners of our Sunday qualifier (one per just 15 entries at $62 per entry) will receive $800 in bankroll cash—enough for both days. Four NHC seats and two BCBC entries will be up for grabs during the weekend.
Last but not least, an entry-only Horse Player World Series game ($1,500 value) is part of the Sunday qualifier lineup. Entry costs $87 with one in 20 winning a seat to next month’s “major” at The Orleans in Las Vegas, (site of the recent West Coast Conference tournament won by Gonzaga).
Speaking of the Horse Player World Series, remember that our HPWS Blowout takes place a week from Saturday, March 18, with one in 10 winning an entry. And the following day, March 19, we will host our first qualifier for the April 7-9 tourneys at Surfside. Keep your eye out for low-cost Surfside feeders to the March 19 qualifier.
Before the final buzzer sounds, we want to wish the very best of luck to Anthony Acierno, Pete Acocella, Roger Ball, George Chute, Nathaniel Gines, Eric Moomey (two entries), John Nichols, Hesham Ragab, William Roth and Bill Shurman. They are the 10 HorseTourneys qualifiers to Saturday’s The Stronach Group Ultimate Betting Challenge. In our book, they’re all #1 seeds.
Have a great weekend, all!