We know you will be understandably focused on the Derby this Saturday, and since we are not able to offer Churchill races, we have diverted all of our weekend featured events to either Friday or Sunday. It’s not exactly an even split, though. One of the “featured eleven” will go Friday and the rest on Sunday. Let’s start at the beginning.
Our Friday up-to-$12,500 Pick & Pray comes with a $5,000 purse guarantee regardless of how many or how few sign up. It has an entry fee of $190 and entries are limited to 75.
Contest races for this event are the 6th through 9th at Belmont Park; the 9th and 11th at Gulfstream; and the 4th, 6th, 7th and 8th from Santa Anita—10 races in all. First post for the 10 comes at 4:12 pm ET.
We don’t have any featured tourneys on the Derby Day menu, but make no mistake—we’ll be open for business with plenty of single-track tourneys from such tracks as Belmont, Gulfstream, Santa Anita and others. You need something to do with all that time between races at Churchill, right?
What we lack in featured-tourney action on Saturday, we make up for on Sunday with 10 featured events across the HorseTourneys and HorsePlayers platforms. In fact, this might be a particularly good day to play because some of your fiercest competition out there might be…spent…literally or figuratively after Derby Day.
The big cash game of the weekend is Sunday’s $10,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray with an entry fee of $195. Up to 118 playing slots are available, and the purse could grow as high as $20,000, depending on participation.
The other straight-cash tourney is our up-to-$5,000 Exacta box contest (always run in live-format). It offers a guaranteed purse of $1,000 and requires players to choose a three-horse exacta box in each contest race. The winner is based on total return from a $1.00 base play. This tourney hasan entry fee of $125 and entries are capped at 45. Sometimes people win this by hitting one big exacta. Other times (like in each of the last two weeks), a conservative, more gradual approach wins the day. As always, it just depends how the races play out…and how right you are.
We’ll try again this Sunday to award a seat or two to the May 18 Santa Anita Preakness Challenge. (We’re more confident that this week’s event will fill.) One per every 20 entries—at $207 each—in this Pick & Pray will earn a $3,000 entry to play the Preakness and Santa Anita cards from Santa Anita where it will be a little less congested than at Old Hilltop. You’ll also receive $500 for your travel to Arcadia.
Also back on the board this week are qualifiers to the Belmont Stakes Challenge and the Del Mar Handicapping Challenge.
Belmont Day is June 8 (five weeks after Derby Day), and if you win Sunday’s qualifier, you’ll have a $10,000 entry in your pocket for the big June 7-8 tournament in Elmont, N.Y. (someday to be the home of the New York Islanders). The winning ratio in this Pick & Pray is 1-per-25, and entries cost $495 apiece.
The Del Mar Handicapping Challenge is on July 27-28, and this event takes a backseat to none since…it’s at Del Mar. Entries in our Sunday Del Mar Pick & Pray cost $400 and one winner per each 25 receive an $8,000 entry plus $500 for travel.
Three other popular qualifiers are also on the crowded Sunday schedule.
One is the Pick & Pray qualifier for 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 game costs $113 to play and one of every 20 will win a $2,000 entry. We’re up to 40 qualifiers already to “The Showdown”, so things are looking good for the purse of this cash-only competition to ultimately be well north of that $100,000 mark.
There’s also a Sunday Pick & Pray play-in to the Saratoga Challenge. Winners will earn a $3,500 package to the August 9-10 handicapping competition (run as two separate single-day tournaments). One in 25 will win.
This Sunday, you can also win a $2,500 package to the Monmouth Pick Your Prize tournament. One in 25 will be victorious in this Pick & Pray qualifier. If you are one of them, you will compete at the Jersey Shore on June 1 with BCBC entries, NHC seats and cash all at stake.
HorsePlayers makes a belated entry into the weekend foray with three live-format tourneys on Sunday—two for the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge and one for the NHC.
The NHC qualifier is of the “regular” variety, offered at the standard NHC entry fee of $165 (1 per 65 winning ratio). Two seats are guaranteed to be awarded.
One of the BCBC qualifiers is also a standard, one-seat-guaranteed, $179-entry-fee proposition. It also has a winning ratio of 1 per 65.
The other is a Low Ratio live-format tourney with one grand prize (a $10,000 BCBC entry) guaranteed and a buy-in of $500. The winning ratio here is 1 in just 23.
Enjoy your Derby weekend, and we hope you can spend it least part of it here with us.
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