The weekend that so many look forward to all year—opening weekend at Saratoga and Del Mar—is here and HorseTourneys is marking the occasion with 19 featured tourneys, including a special 13-race, $75,000 Guaranteed tourney on Saturday that pays $30,000 to its skillful winner.
We get started in earnest on Friday—opening day at the Spa—with our Friday feature $7,500 Guaranteed Pick & Pray that offers $3,750 to the winner and payouts down to fifth place.
Entry is $190 with a limit of 44 entrants. Contest races are the 6th and 8th from Ellis Park; the 7th through 10th from Saratoga; and the 3rd through 6th from Woodbine—10 races in all.
We also have a slew of full-card, Saratoga-only tourneys including Guaranteed $5,000 and $1,500 contests. Be on the lookout for these Spa- (and Del Mar-) only cash games all weekend and all meeting long!
Meanwhile a wonderfully economical competition takes place on Friday over at HorsePlayers where, using the same races, there will be a 2-seat-guaranteed NHC qualifier for just $50.
On Saturday, our main event, without question, is the aforementioned $75,000 Guaranteed contest. The live-format contest menu tilts towards Saratoga and Del Mar and includes such races as the Sanford Stakes, the Diana and the Eddie Read. With so much money on the line we scheduled 13 contest races in all: The 7th through 11th (last five) at Saratoga; the 7th and 8th from Ellis; the 8th and 10th at Woodbine; and the 1st, 4th, 5th and 6th at Del Mar.
Entries, at $595 each, are limited to three per person and 140 overall. And you can still get into low-cost feeders for as little as $29.
For those laser-focused on the NHC, there’s another qualifier on Saturday (same contest races as in our $75,000 game) for $165, and you won’t have as many to beat as on Friday. Up to four seats offered with two guaranteed.
There are four other featured qualifying events on Saturday at HorseTourneys that could earn you a spot at the highly popular Saratoga Challenge; the Monmouth NHC Super Qualifier on Travers Day; the Indiana Grand NHC qualifier; or the Hawthorne Summer NHC qualifier. As per this weekend’s norm, all are live-format games with entry fees ranging from $27-$128.
Here’s an at-a-glance look at the Saturday featured schedule at HorseTourneys:
HorsePlayers has an important qualifier of its own on Saturday.
This one is a Pick & Pray with a guaranteed $10,000 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge entry on the line.
And this week’s $1,500 Guaranteed Saturday Night Live tourney has the added appeal this week of having three Del Mar races in the mix along with action from Lone Star and Evangeline Downs. First race: 8:25 p.m. ET.
Some would say our Sunday schedule is even more robust than Saturday’s. And in terms of volume and qualifying opportunities, it is!
Sunday marks our first qualifier for the January 26-27 Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship. It’s a new $12,000 live-bankroll event geared around the world’s richest race. One player per 30 entries will earn a $12,500 package to what seems destined to become one of the most important stops on the contest player’s calendar.
While the Pegasus World Cup is some six months away, the Wynn Handicapping Challenge and the Gold Coast Summer Classic are right around the corner and so Sunday will include both our Wynn Blowout ($230 to enter) and our Gold Coast Blowout (just $58 to play). Both are Pick & Prays and both will earn one in 10 players a full-paid entry.
Sunday is also your last chance to win a $7,500 package for the Del Mar Handicapping Challenge. Do so, and you become instantly eligible for a $10,000 HorseTourneys site credit bonus if you come in first at Del Mar. And remember that all Del Mar feeder games have a 4% rebate provision built right in. So this weekend is not only your last chance for Del Mar—it’s your best chance for Del Mar!
HorseTourneys is always your best (and only) place to qualify for the September 23-24 The BIG One at Laurel where you can play against no more than 56 to grab cash, along with eight full BCBC entries, 10 NHC seats and 10 Horseplayer World Series entries. The entry fee on Sunday for this is $550, and it will be a live-format event.
Another brand-new qualifier worthy of special mention is Sunday’s first play-in opportunity for the August 20 Bluegrass Tournament at Ellis Park. For just $38, you could win a $500 entry in a new live-bankroll tournament that offers 100% payback and an NHC seat tossed in for good measure. It should make for a nice second half of an Indiana Grand-Ellis Park weekend twinbill on August 19-20.
Sunday also includes a second consecutive day for you to try to qualify to the Saratoga Challenge. It’s a live-format game, just like Saturday’s version, and it’s a “go” as long as we get at least 23 players.
We haven’t forgotten cash-game players on Sunday. There’s our $10,000 Guaranteed game (live format this week) with $5,000 to the winner and payoffs down to fifth place…and the Guaranteed Exacta game (live format as always) with its recently increased purse of $3,000 Guaranteed ($1,200 to the winner).
And what’s a weekend day without an NHC qualifier? That’s where HorsePlayers comes in.
Sunday’s NHC game at HorsePlayers is a Pick & Pray NHC qualifier for $165. Two packages are guaranteed to be awarded.
Whether you’re one of the lucky ones onsite at Saratoga or Del Mar…or just playing from home…or even on your phone, it’s a great time to be a racing fan—and a contest player. Have fun, and may your Saratoga and Del Mar meetings get off to excellent starts. Good luck!