We can’t guarantee that you’ll be a winner this weekend. However, we can pretty much guarantee that things will be exciting. And we can also guarantee that there will be plenty of guarantees. The first guarantee is guaranteed to come on Friday.
Our up-to-$12,500 Pick & Pray comes with a $5,000 purse guaranteed even if just you and your dog sign up. It has an entry fee of $190 and entries are limited to 75.
HorsePlayers does HorseTourneys one better on Friday. It has two guaranteed events.
One is an always-popular $75 NHC qualifier with two spots guaranteed. You and your dog will have plenty of company in this Pick & Pray.
You’ll have far less company in Friday’s Super Low Ratio Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier. That is due to the entry fee…$1,000…not cheap. The buy-in, though, purchases you a 1-in-11 chance to pick up a $10,000 seat to the BCBC. This high-end tourney is also a Pick & Pray, and one grand prize is guaranteed here even if fewer than 11 participate.
Contest races for this event are the 5th, 7th and 8th at Belmont Park, where it is opening day; the 1st and 5th from Santa Anita; the 7th through 9th at Gulfstream; and the 7th, 9th and 10th from Keeneland where, unfortunately, it is closing day. That’s 10 races in all.
Saturday brings three more guarantees, including the biggest of the weekend.
A big $17,500 in cash is guaranteed in Saturday’s up-to-$30,000 tourney, which will be run in live format this week. The entry fee is $260, and there is a limit of 140 entries that will be accepted.
Two NHC seats are also certain to be awarded in a “regular” Saturday Pick & Pray right here at HorseTourneys. You can get in for $165, and the winning ratio is 1 in 65, assuming a full complement of entries. (If fewer than 130 enter, the winning ratio will be lower since this is a guaranteed qualifier.)
The Saratoga Challenge qualifier moved to Saturday last week, and that’s where it is again this week. There are no guarantees in play with this tourney, but don’t worry too much—these Spa qualifiers are almost always well subscribed. The winner(s) in this live-format game receive a $3,500 package to the August 9-10 Saratoga Challenge (run as two separate ,single-day tournaments again this year). One in 25 will win.
The Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge takes center stage at HorsePlayers on Saturday.
On tap is a “regular” BCBC qualifier with an entry fee of $179 and one grand prize guaranteed. The winning ratio here is one per 65, and the format is Pick & Pray.
Saturday contest races are the 8th and 9th at Laurel; the 7th, 9th and 10th at Belmont Park; the 9th through 12th from Gulfstream; and the 5th, 7th and 8th from Santa Anita—a dozen races all together.
Eight more featured tourneys come your way on Sunday.
Cash gamers will be drawn to Sunday’s $10,000 Guaranteed tourney (live format this week) with an entry fee of $195. Here, up to 118 playing slots are available, and the purse could grow as high as $20,000, depending on participation…but it won’t be lower than $10,000.
There’s also our up-to-$5,000 Exacta box tourney (always run in live-format) which offers a guaranteed purse of $1,000 and requires participants to make a three-horse exacta box play in each contest race. The winner is based on total return from a $1.00 base play. This tourney carries an entry fee of $125 and entries are capped at 45. Sometimes people win this by hitting one big exacta. Other times (like last week) slow and steady wins the race.
We’ll try again this Sunday to award a seat or two to the May 18 Santa Anita Preakness Challenge. (Last week’s first such qualifier didn’t fill.) One per every 20 entries—at $207 each—in this live-format play-in will earn a $3,000 entry to attack the Preakness and Santa Anita cards at Santa Anita (first Pimlico post about 7:45 am local time?). You’ll also receive $500 for travel.
Three very popular qualifiers are also on the Sunday slate.
One is to the August 3-4 $100,000 Guaranteed Spa & Surf Showdown. The Showdown is a two-day, online tournament that will only focus on races from Saratoga and Del Mar. Sunday’s live-format game costs $113 to play and one of every 20 will win a $2,000 entry. (Thirty-seven have already won seats so far in 2019, but there’s plenty more room at the inn here in cyberspace.)
Another is to The BIG One at Laurel Park. One first prize is guaranteed in this live-format, $350-buy-in qualifier. Winner(s) receive an all-inclusive package to the high-expectation contest on September 21-22 that will offer 10 NHC seats, five BCBC spots, five Pegasus entries, five HPWS entries, plus a guaranteed cash prize pool of at least $75,000. The package also includes a three-night hotel stay in a nice place near Laurel and full buffet/open bar at the track, plus a welcome dinner. There will be no more than 57 entries allowed at The BIG One, so all those prizes will be shared within a very small group. You don’t have to have the weekend of your life to leave Laurel with something really good. And remember—we’re back to a $2 win/place format at The BIG One this year.
On this upcoming last Sunday in April, you can also win a $2,500 package to the Monmouth Pick Your Prize tournament. One in 25 will be victorious in this live-format contest will move on and play at the Jersey Shore on June 1. Up for grabs there will be BCBC entries, NHC seats, cash and more. What you win depends on where you finish…and what you pick.
A Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier and an NHC qualifier are the co-features at HorsePlayers on Sunday.
The Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge game is a Low Ratio Pick & Pray with one grand prize (a $10,000 entry) guaranteed and a buy-in of $500. The winning ratio of 1 in 23.
The NHC qualifier is also a Pick & Pray, and this one is offered at the standard NHC entry fee of $165 (1 per 65 winning ratio). Two seats are guaranteed to the two who do best (one each, of course).
There you have it.
Before we flick off the lights, we want to wish the best of luck to the many HorseTourneys qualifiers who will be playing in Sunday’s Steve Sexton Mile Day Challenge at Lone Star Park…and to Bryan Millang, Brett Wiener and Daniel Fischer who, 24 hours earlier, will be representing HorseTourneys at the NHC Super Qualifier at Santa Anita.
Good luck to them, and good luck to you. And may your Derby horse work well and stay healthy.