Last week we bemoaned the lack of Kentucky Derby preps. This Saturday we have a good one—the Fountain of Youth from Gulfstream featuring the 2018 debut of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Good Magic. The Gulfstream card on Saturday is loaded with stakes. To pump up the day further, we are offering an up-to-$75,000 Pick & Pray with $50,000 Guaranteed. More on that in a bit.
As usual, the weekend gets started for us on Friday with two nice Pick & Prays.
Our Friday up-to-$10,000 Pick & Pray with $6,000 Guaranteed is always a fun way to end the work week. The entry fee is $190, and there is a limit of 60 entries.
Friday is also your next to last chance to win an entry online to The Horse Player World Series, which takes place at The Orleans on March 8-10. Friday’s entry-only qualifier costs $87 to play and we’ll award one $1,500 entry per every 20 entries we receive. (Friday also offers a “Round 2” direct feeder to Saturday’s big-money game.)
The contest races for Friday’s featured tourneys are: Races 8, 10 and 11 from Gulfstream; the 8th and 9th from Tampa Bay Downs; and the 4th through 8th from Santa Anita—10 in all.
Saturday has a very manageable number of featured contests at HorseTourneys—three—and each one of them is really strong.
The strongest of the strong is our up-to-$75,000 Pick & Pray with $50,000 Guaranteed. It’s the richest tournament we’ve even offered as a Pick & Pray. Each entry costs $695 and there is a maximum of two entries allowed per account and a cap of 121 entries overall.
Since Fountain of Youth Day provides the backdrop, the contest race menu will lean heavily on Gulfstream. The races will consist of the 9th through 14th from Gulfstream (with Race 14 being the Fountain of Youth); the 6th through 8th from Aqueduct; and the 8th, 9th and 10th from Tampa Bay Downs—12 races in all.
Using the same races, we’ll also offer our last-chance qualifier to the Horse Player World Series for $87 with one out of every 20 entries winning a $1,500 spot at The Orleans next week.
For $164 (again using the above 12 races), you can play in our first of what will be back-to-back (Saturday and Sunday) qualifier to the Keeneland Grade One Gamble. Here, one per 25 entries will win a $3,500 package to the April 15 event in Lexington.
Note that the Horse Player World Series and Keeneland Saturday qualifiers will both be run in live format.
HorsePlayers also jumps into the mix on Saturday.
The featured event here is a “regular” qualifier with one entry per 65 (at $165 each) earning a spot to the 2019 NHC. Two seats are guaranteed to be awarded regardless of participation.
Sunday is our busiest day of the weekend in terms of the number of featured tourneys (eight). All will be run in live format, and there’s certainly a lot to play for.
Included in the day’s octet are two more “Last Chance” qualifiers.
One is for The Stronach Group Ultimate Betting Challenge. It takes place a week from Sunday, March 11, and you can play from either Santa Anita or Gulfstream. One winner per each 25 entries will receive a $4,500 entry plus $500 for travel.
The other “last chancer” is for Aqueduct’s Gotham Challenge on March 10. This qualifier costs just $59 to play and one in 10 will earn a $500 entry to the Big A, where cash, a Belmont Stakes Challenge entry and two NHC seats will be up for grabs.
As noted earlier, Sunday will also feature a second consecutive opportunity to shoot for the Keeneland Grade One Gamble. So if on Saturday you don’t succeed…
Any day is a good day to play for cash, and Sunday is no exception. Cash players can showcase their skills in an up-to-$20,000 live-format contest with $12,000 guaranteed regardless of how many sign up. This one costs $195 per entry with total entries limited to 118.
Also on the cash side of the Sunday ledger is an up-to-$5,000 Exacta tourney with an entry fee of $72 (maximum of 79 entries). This game guarantees a purse of at least $2,000. Here what you are required to do is pick a $1 three-horse exacta box for each contest race. If you haven’t tried one yet, they’re great fun—allowing you to exercise a different contest “muscle.” And there are never any payoff caps in our exacta games, so it ain’t ever over until it’s over.
We mentioned earlier the last chance contest for the Gotham Challenge. Sunday also offers a qualifying opportunity for the Wood Memorial Challenge—another $500 contest to be hosted at Aqueduct (April 7) that offers Belmont Stakes Challenge and NHC spots.
A little later in the year, about an hour and a half from Aqueduct, is the Monmouth Pick Your Prize Challenge. It takes place on June 2 and offers an array of BCBC, NHC and straight cash prizes. The higher you finish, the sooner you get to “pick” which prize you win. You can qualify for this popular tournament as well on Sunday. One per 25 entries will receive a $2,000 entry plus $500 for travel to the Oceanport, N.J., oval.
HorsePlayers is back in action on Sunday too.
After a one-week hiatus, the NHC Super Qualifier is back. These “Super Qs” with a $500 entry fee offer the lowest winning ratio—one in 21—you’ll find anywhere among NHC qualifiers. So if you want to “spend up” so as to increase your odds of qualifying for the big dance in Vegas, this is your tourney.
Actually, we hope that you thought of several of the above contests as “your tourney.” But even if you didn’t, please know that there are fun cash games and feeders always available for as little as $5. Even Saturday’s big, Fountain of Youth Day up-to-$75,000 tourney offers opportunities to win your way in through feeders costing as little as $37.
Have fun at whatever level you choose this weekend, and be sure to let us know if there is something you think we can improve upon. Have a great weekend and good luck!