With a couple of exceptions, this weekend will focus on Pick & Pray tourneys, and while you’ll recognize most of your old favorites on the Friday-Saturday-Sunday menu, there are also a couple of new offerings to tempt your handicapping palate.
It starts on Friday with our up-to-$10,000 Pick & Pray—an event that has sold out each of the last three weeks.
Again, we urge you not to wait until the last minute (i.e. 3:51 p.m. ET) to enter. Contest races are the 6th through 9th from Aqueduct; the 7th through 10th from Keeneland; and the 5th and 8th from Santa Anita—10 races in all.
The really big money gets handed out on Saturday.
This week’s up-to-$30,000 cash game (guaranteed at $20,000) features a nice 12-race schedule consisting of races 6 through 9 at Keeneland; the 7th through 10th (all stakes) at Laurel; and the 6th through 9th at Aqueduct. The entry fee is $260 and entries are limited to 133.
There’s also a regular NHC qualifier (note that this is a live-format tourney) using the same races. Two berths to Treasure Island are guaranteed to be awarded.
We won’t call it a “big money event” but Saturday’s new Jackpot Survivor game is certainly a fun event.
It costs just $7 to play and the pot is guaranteed at $250. To win, you have to keep picking in-the-money finishers until you’re the last player standing. But, as they say on infomercials, that’s not all!
If you can manage to pick an in-the-money finisher (1st, 2nd or 3rd) in all of the contest races—which will be entirely from Keeneland—then you win not just the regular pool, you win or share the jackpot, which starts out this week at $1,000. It’s a chance to risk a little and win a lot.
Over at HorsePlayers, there is a pair of marquee events on Saturday, and one is absolutely free.
The free tourney is an NHC Pick & Pray with packages going to the top three finishers. The next 20 finishers win their way into a special, private NHC qualifier on Thursday, April 26. Note that you must be a member of the 2018 NHC Tour in order to participate in this event. To register for the Tour, visit NTRA.com.
There is also a $179 “regular” qualifier to the BCBC on Saturday at HorsePlayers. One $10,000 entry is guaranteed regardless of participation.
On Sunday, the featured schedule is led by a pair of high-end qualifiers.
One is for The BIG One in September at Laurel, where 10 BCBC entries, 10 NHC spots and 10 Horseplayer World Series entries—plus cash—will be awarded to a field that will number no more than 57. Two all-inclusive entries are guaranteed in Sunday’s qualifier. Packages include hotel, travel allowance, welcome dinner and full buffet and open bar amenities during both days of the competition. Recently, these bi-weekly qualifiers have only been attracting about 30 entries, so if The BIG One is on your list for 2018, now is a great time to strike. This qualifier will be run in live-format.
Running as a Pick & Pray will be Sunday’s qualifier to the Belmont Stakes Betting Challenge. One entry per 25, at $495 each, will earn a $10,000 entry to the June 8-9 extravaganza plus $500 for travel. Once there, you’ll be attacking Belmont weekend with a $7,500 live bankroll.
You can create your own live betting bankroll by winning Sunday’s up-to-$20,000 Pick & Pray. This tourney carries an entry fee of $195 with $12,000 Guaranteed. Entries are limited to three per account and 118 overall.
Exotics players may prefer our Sunday Exacta tourney for $72. It’s an up-to-$5,000, live-format game with $2,000 guaranteed. Here, you choose a three-horse exacta box for each race, and if you hit, your score is credited with the payoff of a $1 exacta. No price caps either.
Returning to the qualifying side of the ledger, we offer a new, budget-friendly contest this week that’s ideal for our fans in Texas. It’s a 1 in 10 qualifier to the Lone Star Park Steve Sexton Mile Day Challenge on Sunday, May 6. This one costs just $41 to play and winners receive a $350 entry on May 6.
Last but far from least, our Sunday schedule includes a qualifier to the June 2 Monmouth Park Pick Your Prize Challenge. One entry per 25, at $117 each, will win a $2,500 entry to this popular competition. (Maybe the weather will be warm in the East by then!)
Among those you will see at Monmouth on June 2 is John Kimove, winner of last Sunday’s Keeneland Grade I Gamble. See our previous blog entry for more on John’s big victory. John reports that his next road trip from Canada will be to Monmouth for the PYP.
HorsePlayers also has some prominent games taking place on Sunday.
There’s a regular NHC qualifier for $165 (2 seats guaranteed, and note that it’s a live-format contest) and a special BCBC Low Ratio Pick & Pray for $500. One in just 23 here will move on to the year’s most prestigious live-money gambit.
Whether you’re eyeing our $515 qualifier for The BIG One or our $7 Jackpot Survivor tourney, we hope you find a game or two that suits your tastes…and that treats you well. Good luck!