A four-day, Fourth of July weekend means extra time off (we hope!) and an oversized number of weekend featured tourneys. We have 27 in all between HorseTourneys and HorsePlayers—including a very special one on Thursday.
This holiday contest is both a way for us to say “thank you” to our most loyal players, and to raise some money for good, horse racing-related causes. We’ve been running free feeders to the tourney for about 10 days, and now, direct buy-ins are available for $50 each. All proceeds from the buy-ins will be split equally between the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. The winner will receive a first prize of $2,000 in credits plus an additional $1,000 in cash to be donated in his or her name to one of the above organizations. (In fact, it will actually be a positive-expectation tourney for those buying in if we get fewer than 100 entries.) Payouts will go to the top 10 finishers as follows:
If you weren’t one of those to have qualified for free, we hope you’ll consider taking an entry in this event as part of your Thursday action.
The rest of that July 4th featured schedule is pretty strong, by the way.
Our richest cash game of the day is Thursday’s $15,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray with no limit as to how high the purse could grow. It won’t be lower than $15,000, however.
Last weekend’s first qualifier to the October 13 Keeneland NHC/BCBC Challenge was well-received, and on Thursday, you can try your hand at a “Low Ratio,” entry-only version of it. The entry fee is $352, and one in every 10 entries will earn a $3,000 ticket to Keeneland.
Thursday will be the first of three weekend qualifiers to the Spa & Surf Showdown, an online event on August 3-4, focusing solely on races from Saratoga (Spa) and Del Mar (Surf). The guaranteed purse for the Showdown is now up to $118,590—and counting! Thursday’s Pick & Pray (like Saturday’s and Sunday’s) carries an entry fee of $113 and one per each 20 entries gets a $2,000 entry into the two-day Showdown.
Another tournament that will have three weekend qualifiers to it here is the Orleans Fall Classic. Thursday’s is an entry-only qualifier with $59 getting you a 1 in 10 chance at a $500 entry for Vegas on October 17-19.
There are two July 4th features at HorsePlayers certain to set off some, ahem, fireworks of their own.
NHC qualifiers continue to offer a variety of price points. Thursday represents a brand new one–$125. It adds up to a winning ratio of 1 per 85 for this Pick & Pray, and two seats to next year’s big Bally’s event are guaranteed to be awarded.
There’s also a Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Low Ratio Pick & Pray on the Fourth. It costs $500 to play and one per each 23 signups will earn a $10,000 entry to November’s prestigious live-bankroll event to be held (we know for sure, now) at Santa Anita.
Contest races for the Fourth of July featured tourneys—including the Charity Tourney—are the 4th, 5th and 7th from Ellis Park, the 7th and 8th at Monmouth; the 6th through 9th at Belmont; and the 8th, 10th and 11th from Gulfstream…a dozen races in all.
Just one featured tourney on Friday as we catch our breath a bit from the Fourth.
It’s our Friday up-to-$12,500 cash game with a guaranteed pot of $7,500. The trusty Friday staple carries an entry fee of $190 and there is a limit of 75 entries. Contest races are the 6th, 8th and 9th from Ellis; the 6th and 7th from Belmont; the 3rd through 5th races at Woodbine; and the 7th and 9th at Gulfstream—10 races in total.
We kick things back into high gear on Saturday with eight featured contests.
The single richest tourney of the holiday weekend takes place this day with our up-to-$30,000 Pick & Pray. The entry fee is $260, and there is a guaranteed purse of at least $17,500 in this competition. No more than 133 entries will be granted entry.
Last weekend, NHC Hall of Famer Steve Wolfson Sr. won our first qualifier to the 2019 Hawthorne OTBs NHC Challenge. You may not be an NHC Hall of Famer, but you, too, can win $800 in entry fees to these two single-day tournaments on July 20 and 21 if you put up the $63 starting stake and succeed in Saturday’s qualifier.
We’re back at you, as promised, with our second of three weekend qualifiers to the $118,590 Spa & Surf Showdown and the Orleans Fall Classic. Once again, both of these qualifiers are Pick & Prays, but note that this day’s Fall Classic game is a package qualifier, meaning that winners get $500 for travel in addition to a $500 entry to The Orleans.
There’s no Surf but plenty of Spa involved in our Saturday qualifier to the August 9-10 Saratoga Challenge (like the Hawthorne contest, run as two separate single-day tourneys).
The second of two weekend qualifiers to the Keeneland NHC/BCBC Challenge (October 13) is also on the Saturday slate. Winners will go on to Keeneland to play for NHC and BCBC spots as well as a large chunk of change. Saturday’s Pick & Pray costs $162 and the grand prize is a $3,000 entry plus $500 for travel.
HorsePlayers has a pair of “regular,” live-format qualifiers on Saturday—one to the NHC and one to the BCBC.
The NHC qualifier has two spots guaranteed and carries an entry fee of $165. The BCBC competition costs $179 to play and one $10,000 entry/prize is certain to be awarded regardless of participation.
No rest for the weary when Sunday rolls around. It’s our busiest day of the weekend with 11 featured events.
A qualifier to the July 27-28 Del Mar Summer Challenge is back on the board. Win this tourney, and you’ll be on your way to Del Mar with your $8,000 entry paid for (plus another $500 added into your HorseTourneys account to help with travel).
There was a regular NHC qualifier at HorsePlayers on Saturday and there’s a regular one here at HorseTourneys on Sunday. Same entry fee ($165) and winning ratio (1 per 65), but note that this one is a Pick & Pray.
We have a pair of $10,000 Guaranteed cash games on Sunday. One is our regular, $195 buy-in affair and the other is our bi-weekly Big Bucks tourney, which carries an entry fee of $1,150 and has a limit of 20 entries. Payoffs in Big Bucks tourneys go only to the top three finishers on a 70/20/10 basis. Both games are Pick & Prays and both could have purses as high as $20,000 depending on participation.
Always a centerpiece to Sunday action is our qualifier to The BIG One, the high-expectation tournament in which $75,000 in cash, 10 NHC seats, five BCBC entries and five Pegasus World Cup entries will be won by a field numbering no more than 57. Sunday’s qualifier costs $350 and two all-inclusive packages (entry, hotel, travel stipend, welcome dinner and more) are guaranteed.
We have a last-chance qualifier as well on Sunday. It’s to the July 14 Stars of Texas Betting Challenge. Winners (one per 15 entries at $79 each) receive a $1,000 entry to the Lone Star Park tournament on July 14.
Last week was a very rare Sunday in which we didn’t have an up-to-$5,000 Exacta tourney (with $1,000 guaranteed). We’re rectifying that this Sunday. As usual, the entry fee is $125, and the format is live. Players must choose a three-horse exacta box in every race.
The Pick 6 Jackpot is up over $2,000 ($2,025 to be exact) and it can be yours for $8 if you get all six race winners correct. If not, you can still shoot for 70% of the pool, which goes to those with the best overall win/place score over the six races.
And you have your third and final weekend opportunity on Sunday to win an entry to either the Spa & Surf Showdown or the Orleans Fall Classic (or both!). Each qualifier is an entry-only competition as far as the prizes go. Both are Pick & Prays with the Spa & Surf tourney charging $113 a head and the Fall Classic, $59.
The Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge has the HorsePlayers spotlight on Sunday.
It’s a Low Ratio BCBC qualifier (live format) with an entry fee of $500 and a 1 per 23 winning ratio. One $10,000 entry is guaranteed to be at stake.
Appropriately enough, the Stars & Stripes Challenge is at Belmont this weekend (though, perhaps inappropriately it’s on Saturday rather than Thursday). Anyway, we wish the very best of luck to Pete Acocella, Michael Kavana, Richard Smith, Karl Barth, Marc Racenstein, Damian Terenzio (2 entries), Alexander Calzi, Thomas Holland and Blaise Guadagno who will be doing battle at Big Sandy as HorseTourneys qualifiers.
Most of all, we wish you and your loved ones a happy and safe Fourth of July weekend.