With Del Mar now joining Saratoga on the daily race menus, it now officially feels like racing’s “Summer Season.” We start things off with a Pick & Pray weekend in which 14 of our 20 featured events will allow you to enter your picks and then do other things during the day if you wish. The freedom—and action—begins on Friday.
Our Friday, $7,500 Guaranteed Pick & Pray has an extra enhancement this week. It is now an up-to-$15,000 tourney (up from $12,500). So if enough people enter, the payoffs in this one could be greater than you might expect. The entry fee stays the same, though, at $190. No more than 90 may enter.
Contest races are the 6th, 7th, 8th and 10th from Saratoga; the 8th through 10th from Gulfstream; and the 7th through 9th at Ellis—10 races in total. (Del Mar has a late post time on Fridays.)
We get a little more serious on Saturday with eight featured tourneys.
The richest event of the weekend takes place Saturday with our up-to-$30,000 Pick & Pray. The entry fee is $260, and there is a guaranteed pot of at least $17,500 in this competition. No more than 133 entries will be accepted.
The Guaranteed purse for the August 3-4 Spa & Surf Showdown is all the way up to $145,100, and that amount will increase after Saturday’s first of two weekend qualifiers to the “Showdown.” Entries in this Pick & Pray cost $113 each and one in 20 earns a $2,000 entry to the online Saratoga-and-Del Mar-only tournament.
On Saturday, you can also win a package, worth $1,000, to the Orleans Fall Classic. Winners (one per each 15 entries at $79 per entry) get $500 for travel in addition to a $500 entry to The Orleans.
We’re getting closer and closer to the August 9-10 Saratoga Challenge (run as two separate single-day tourneys). Saturday’s Pick & Pray qualifier costs $166 to play, and if you succeed, you’ll win $3,000 in entry fees to cover you for both Saratoga days…plus an additional $500 for travel.
Also on tap is a Pick & Pray qualifier to the Keeneland NHC/BCBC Challenge (October 13). Winners will head to Lexington to play for NHC and BCBC spots as well as a good amount of cash. Saturday’s Pick & Pray costs $162 and the grand prize is a $3,000 entry plus $500 for travel.
HorsePlayers has a trio of featured Saturday qualifiers—one to the NHC and two to the BCBC.
The NHC qualifier is a “regular” Pick & Pray with two spots guaranteed and an entry fee of $165. One per every 65 will win.
One of the BCBC qualifiers on Saturday is also a “regular” tourneys with an entry fee of $179 to play and a winning ratio of 1 in 65. One $10,000 entry/prize is guaranteed to be awarded regardless of participation. Note that this contest will be run in live format.
The other BCBC play-in on Saturday is a Super Low Ratio Pick & Pray with an entry fee of $1,000 and a winning ratio of just one in 11. One $10,000 entry is guaranteed to be awarded here as well.
Contest races for Saturday are the 8th, 10th and 12th from Gulfstream; the 10th through 12th (all stakes) from Monmouth where it is Haskell Day; the 9th through 11th at Saratoga; and the 3rd, 5th and 6th from Del Mar—12 races in all. (Hot temperatures are predicted in the East on Saturday so we went with no more than three races from Saratoga and Monmouth…just so that if one track were to cancel, it wouldn’t kill the day. HorseTourneys rules permit a given tourney to continue as long as 70 percent of scheduled races are run.)
On Sunday, 11 more featured events come your way, including an NHC qualifier right here at HorseTourneys.
It’s a regular, live-format qualifier with two “Bally’s Berths” guaranteed. The entry fee is the usual $165.
Sunday is also your very last chance to qualify for the July 27-28 Del Mar Summer Handicapping Challenge. Win this live-format tourney, and you’ll be headed to Del Mar for their high-end, live-bankroll affair with your $8,000 entry paid for (plus another $500 added into your HorseTourneys account to help with travel).
We have a pair of $10,000 Guaranteed cash games on Sunday. One is our regular, $195 buy-in contest 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 how many take part.
Another Sunday staple 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 shared amongst a field totaling no more than 57. Sunday’s qualifier costs $350 and two all-inclusive packages (entry, hotel, travel stipend, welcome dinner, buffets/open bars and more) are guaranteed.
For gimmicks players, there is our Sunday up-to-$5,000 Exacta tourney (with $1,000 guaranteed). As usual, the entry fee is $125, and the format is live. Players must select a three-horse exacta box in every race.
The Pick 6 Jackpot is up over $2,100, and you can land it all for $8 if you get each of the tourney’s six race winners correct. (If multiple players do so, then they share the jackpot.) 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.
Sunday also brings a second weekend opportunity to win an entry to the Spa & Surf Showdown and the Orleans Fall Classic. Each qualifier is an entry-only competition. Both are Pick & Prays with the Spa & Surf tourney charging $113 to enter and the Fall Classic, $59.
Over at HorsePlayers on Sunday, the NHC and the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge share the spotlight.
The NHC game is a Low Ratio, live-format qualifier with a $500 entry fee and a winning ratio of 1 per 21. One NHC seat is guaranteed.
The BCBC also goes the low-ratio, live-format route on Sunday. The entry fee here is $500 as well with a 1 per 23 winning ratio and one $10,000 entry guaranteed.
Whether you’ll be sweating it out at Saratoga or Monmouth, mingling with the beautiful people at Del Mar or just enjoying your time at home, we hope you can join us for some of the featured tourney action. Have a great weekend…and good luck!