One of the newer “big days” on the racing calendar takes center stage at HorseTourneys this weekend as Belmont’s Stars and Stripes Day serves as the anchor of a 17-featured-tourney weekend highlighted by a special 14-race, $50,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray with no limit as to maximum pool size.
Of course, you can limber up for Saturday by playing Friday in our up-to-$12,500 Pick & Pray with $6,000 guaranteed.
It carries an entry fee of $190, with entries limited to 75. Contest races are the 2nd and 5th from Belmont; the 6th through 8th at Woodbine; the 8th and 9th from Laurel; and the 7th, 8th and 9th from Gulfstream—10 races in all.
Also on tap on Friday is our “Round 2” qualifier for Saturday’s $50K. (Think of a 50K as ten times more fun than a 5K, in part because it doesn’t involve any running.) Our Round 2 qualifier costs $104 to play and one of every five entries will move on to Saturday’s big-money tourney.
On Saturday, the cash starts flying in earnest.
Our $50,000 Guaranteed tourney is the richest Pick & Pray we’ve ever offered. And that doesn’t mean we’ll just be offering $50,000. It’s a “No Limit” tourney, so once we clear the minimum $50,000 mark (about 135 entries), the more that play, the more we pay. The buy-in—if you haven’t won your way in via feeder—is $450.
There are also three attractive brick-and-mortar qualifiers on the Saturday docket. For $164, you can take a swing at a $3,500 package to the August 10-11 Saratoga Challenge. For $79 you can win a $1,000 package to the Orleans Fall Classic in October. Or for just $63, you can earn your entry fees for the Hawthorne OTBs Summer NHC Qualifiers later this month.
The $50,000 Guaranteed tourney and the three featured qualifiers will all be 14-race contests, taking advantage of the strong cards throughout the country…especially at Belmont. Contest races are the 5th through 10th at Belmont; the 7th through 10th from Laurel; the 8th and 9th from Woodbine and the 10th and 12th from Gulfstream.
HorsePlayers gets into the weekend act on Saturday with a pair of featured tourneys.
For a $500 entry fee, you can play in the NHC Super Qualifier where one in just 21 entries will earn packages to the big dance in Vegas next year. One berth is guaranteed to be awarded.
There’s also a ‘regular” BCBC qualifier at HorsePlayers on Saturday. One $10,000 entry prize guaranteed and the winning ratio is 1 in 65 in this $179 buy-in event. Note that, unlike most tourneys this weekend, Saturday’s BCBC qualifier and NHC Super qualifier are live-format contests.
As usual, Sunday is our busiest day of the weekend in terms of number of featured tourneys. There are nine all together, including the first direct qualifier to the January 25-26 Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship.
The Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship is a live-money contest in which each player’s entire entry fee ($12,000) goes into his or her live betting bankroll. The prize pool—offering cash, five seats to the NHC and one entry to the BCBC is fully funded by The Stronach Group and Gulfstream Park, and that prize pool is guaranteed to be at least $435,500. It’s definitely a player-friendly high-rollers tourney.
Another player-friendly—and high-expectation—event is The BIG One at Laurel on September 22-23. Here, 10 NHC seats, 10 BCBC entries and 10 Horse Player World Series entries will be up for grabs amongst a field that, by rule, cannot number more than 57. You can win your way into this exclusive (and all-inclusive) tournament on Sunday in our $515 Pick & Pray. Two packages are guaranteed to be awarded.
It’s hard to believe, but the Del Mar Handicapping Challenge is now just three weeks away. On Sunday, we offer a $400 live-format qualifier to it where one in 25 entries will earn an $8,500 package to one of the nicest racetracks anywhere.
One of the other nicest-racetracks-anywhere is Keeneland, and on October 14, the Lexington, Ky., oval will host its NHC/BCBC Challenge. Our Sunday qualifier offers one in 25 entries a $3,500 package to Bluegrass country in this Pick & Pray contest.
There’s also a “Last Chance” qualifier on Sunday—it’s for next Sunday’s Stars of Texas Betting Challenge at Lone Star Park. This one costs just $41 to play, and one in just 10 will earn $350 in entry fees to the suburban Dallas event.
We haven’t forgotten about our cash-game specialists. Our up-to-$20,000 Sunday staple is a Pick & Pray this week with a $10,000 guaranteed purse no matter how many sign up. The entry fee is $195 with a maximum of 118 entries accepted.
And if it’s Sunday, that means that there is an up-to-$5,000 (with $2,000 Guaranteed0 Exacta tourney. These exacta games are always live-format contests. The entry fee is $125, and players are required to select a three-horse exacta box in each tourney race. The winner is based on total overall return on a $1 play. And in our Exacta tourneys, there are no price caps. Pick a giant exacta, and your score will be credited with the full payoff.
There’s another pair of featured tourneys at HorsePlayers on Sunday.
The Saturday HorsePlayers offerings sort of flip-flop on Sunday in that the NHC qualifier goes as a “regular” contest with a 1 in 65 winning ratio and a $165 entry fee.
The Sunday BCBC qualifier meanwhile gets the “Low Ratio” designation and the $500 entry fee and low winning ratio (1 in 23) that goes with it.
Again, both the NHC and BCBC qualifiers at HorsePlayers on Sunday will be live-format tourneys.
Before we sign off, we would like to offer special good wishes to Michael Kavana, Rene Morety, Mark Lansburg, Lynn Ray, Thomas Owen, Edward Wright, Christopher Dewey, Darren Yarwood, Louis Melone and Richard Smith. They are the 10 HorseTourneys winners who will be playing a total of 13 entries in Saturday’s Stars and Stripes Betting Challenge at Belmont. (Kavana, Ray and Dewey each won two entries at HorseTourneys.) I’ll be there up in the North Shore Terrace contest area as well, so if you have time between plays, stop by and say hello!
We hope you had an enjoyable Fourth of July, and we hope you enjoy your Sixth, Seventh and Eighth of July even more. Good luck.