We alternate every weekend between putting the accent on either live-format or Pick & Pray tourneys. This week, it’s Pick & Pray’s turn to rule the roost. Sixteen of our 18 featured events will be run in “set-it-and-forget-it” style. Prayer services begin on Friday.
The top game on Friday is our up-to-$12,500 Pick & Pray with $5,000 Guaranteed. It has an entry fee of $190 and entries are limited to 75.
Another Friday feature is the entry-only Horse Player World Series qualifier. It, too, is a Pick & Pray like all our key Friday games, and the buy-in is $90. Winners receive a $1,500 entry to the signature event at The Orleans—suddenly just three weeks away.
Also on Friday, you can join the roster of 23 who have already earned $2,000 entries to the $100,000 Guaranteed Spa & Surf Showdown on August 3-4. The entry fee for this qualifier is $113, and one in 20 will move on to the finals on the first weekend in August when the focus will be the races from Saratoga and Del Mar.
So you can play one or—like Eric Kurzhal last Friday—play (and win) more than one. Contest races for the three featured contests on Friday are: the 6th and 8th at Aqueduct; the 7th and 9th from Tampa Bay Downs; the 8th, 10th and 11th at Gulfstream;; and the 4th and 5th from Golden Gate—10 races in all.
Saturday offers a six-pack of Pick & Prays—four at HorseTourneys and two at HorsePlayers.
The richest tournament of the weekend is Saturday’s up-to-$30,000 Pick & Pray with $17,500 guaranteed. It carries an entry fee of $260 and, by order of the fire marshal, entries are capped at 133.
If it’s Saturday, it also means there is a Keeneland Grade One Gamble qualifier. Winners earn a $3,000 entry into the April 14th tournament run by Jim Goodman plus $500 for travel to Central Kentucky. The winning ratio for this Pick & Pray is one in 25, and the entry fee is $164.
Saturday is also full-package day for the Horse Player World Series. For a $117 buy-in, you will play for a $1,500 entry to the three-day World Series on March 28-30, plus a four-night hotel stay at The Orleans (home of Big Al’s Oyster Bar), plus another $500 for travel.
For the second—and final—time, we will offer a qualifier to the 2019 Laurel Champions Tournament, coming up next Saturday on March 16. This last-chance qualifier costs just $35 to enter and one in 10 will earn a $300 entry. At Laurel, you will vie for cash, one BCBC seat, two NHC spots plus an entry to The BIG One (held on September 21-22…also at Laurel).
There are two featured tourneys Pick & Prays at HorsePlayers on Saturday.
Both are “regular” in that they are straight, 1-in-65 qualifiers. One is an NHC with two seats guaranteed and an entry fee of $165. The other is a Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier with one $10,000 entry/prize guaranteed and an entry fee of $179.
So that’s nine of our weekend’s featured events. The other nine take place on Sunday.
The rich one on this day is our up-to-$20,000 Pick & Pray that has an entry fee of $195, and a minimum purse guarantee of $7,000.
As was the case on Friday, you can also win your way into the Horse Player World Series out in Vegas (Entries are $90 each; one in 20 win a $1,500 entry); and/or the online Spa & Surf Showdown ($113 to play; one per 20 receive a $2,000 entry).
As is only the case on Sundays, you can win an all-inclusive (entry/hotel/travel/amenities) package to The BIG One. It’s just $350 to take a shot at being a part of this for the high-expectation contest with 10 NHC seats, five BCBC spots, five Pegasus entries, five HPWS entries, plus a guaranteed cash prize pool of at least $75,000. And did we mention that there will be no more than 57 entries allowed at The BIG One? (That’s why one’s expectations are always high at The BIG One…57 players, 25 really nice prizes). Also note that this is a guaranteed qualifier. At least one berth will be awarded no matter how many or few sign up.
You may also attempt to win $700 in entry fees for the Hawthorne March contests on March 29-30. They run it as two single-day contests, and you can play pretty much anything you like. Want to put your entire contest bankroll into a Pick 4? At Hawthorne, you can. Sunday’s Pick & Pray qualifier costs $55, and one in 15 will win.
Also on the docket is a qualifier for the June 1 Monmouth Pick Your Prize tournament. You can play in this Pick & Pray for $117, and one in 25 will earn a $2,000 entry plus $500 for travel to the Jersey Shore. If you get there early, they have a fun miniature golf course on the premises.
There are two live-format games to report.
One is the up-to-$5,000 Exacta box tourney. This contest (always run in live-format) offers a guaranteed pot of $1,000. Here, you make a three-horse exacta box play in each contest race, and the winner is based on total return from a $1.00 play. You can pick the 4 horse in every race if you like, but you’ll have to add a couple of other numbers in as well! This tourney carries an entry fee of $125 and no more than 45 are granted entry.
The other live-format contest is the second offering of our new Pick 6 Jackpot tourney. It’s a six-race, $55 buy-in tourney that’s a little bit like the Rainbow 6 bet except you don’t have to be the only one to have all six winners to get a piece of the jackpot.
Each Sunday, 70% of the net pool will go to those who score best (similar to our pool-style games), and 30% goes to those who get all six races right. If no one does so, that 30% carries over to the next Pick 6 Jackpot tourney. We started off by seeding the jackpot with $1,000, and now it’s up to $1,102.
Speaking of carryovers, our Survivor Jackpot game (offered most days) is getting some nice jackpot momentum. As of press time, it’s up to $1,596, pending Thursday’s results.
To win the pot, you have to pick an in-the-money finisher in each of the contest races. The person or persons who do best get 75% of the net pool. And if you sweep the card, you get the carryover pot too. Best of all…it’s just $7 to play.
A prestigious low-ratio qualifier takes place at HorsePlayers on Sunday.
It’s a guaranteed, low-ratio Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Pick & Pray with one in 23 earning a $10,000 entry. You certainly will never play in a tournament with better racing than the BCBC. Even if fewer than 23 sign up for Sunday’s qualifier, one prize will be awarded no matter what.
Before we sign off, we want to wish good luck to Stefan Stojkovic, Douglas Schenk, Richard Smith, Karl Jacob, Marc Racenstein, Pete Acocella, Patrick Runyan, Robert Pennell and David Harrison…all of whom will be competing as HorseTourneys qualifiers in this Saturday’s Aqueduct Gotham Challenge.
Good luck to all, of course, and we hope you enjoy the weekend of racing—including Saturday’s Derby preps at Aqueduct, Tampa and Turfway…and don’t forget to turn your clocks forward Saturday night.