Six guaranteed NHC seats, three Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge entries and at least $53,500 in cash are just some of the prizes guaranteed to be awarded this weekend across five featured tourneys on Friday, another five on Saturday and 10 on Sunday. We’ll start at the beginning…with Friday.
Our Friday features are always Pick & Prays because many are working (even if, now, we’re mainly working from home.) The marquee money competition on Friday is our $7,500 Guaranteed, No Limit game. The entry fee is $190. If you didn’t see the email sent out earlier in the week, our featured cash tourneys (with the exception of Big Bucks games) will now be No Limit games so that we don’t have to bar latecomers from playing. Of course, in these No Limit events, the more entrants there are, the bigger the prize pool. Under no circumstances, though, will this game have a purse of less than $7,500.
Friday is the first of two weekend qualifiers to the $150,000 Guaranteed Spa & Surf Showdown on August 15-16. (The other takes place on Sunday.) One of every 20 entries, at $113 each, will earn a $2,000 entry to the online tourney that focuses solely on Saratoga and Del Mar races.
Qualifiers for the Monmouth Pick Your Prize tournament are also now on a Friday/Sunday schedule. Entries worth $2,000 are also on the line here. Plus winners also get $500 for travel to Monmouth. Qualifier entries cost $148 each and the winning ratio is one per 20.
On Friday at HorsePlayers, you can win a spot to the NHC, to the BCBC, or both.
Two NHC seats are guaranteed in Friday’s $75 NHC Pick & Pray. The winning ratio is 1-per-143. If you don’t finish in the top two, you can still pick up potentially valuable NHC Tour Points if you finish in the top 10 percent of the field.
The other Friday feature at HorsePlayers is a Low Ratio Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier with one $10,000 BCBC entry certain. The winning ratio is 1 per 23, and the entry fee is $500.
Contest races for Friday are the 9th through 11th at Gulfstream; the 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th from Santa Anita; and the 6th through 8th from Golden Gate—10 races in all.
Five more features, including our richest tourney of the weekend, take place on Florida Derby Day (Saturday).
The big money game is Saturday’s $25,000 Guaranteed, No Limit tourney. It’s a live-format competition that carries an entry fee of $260. The more entries we get, the larger the prize pool will be. Though it won’t be less than $25,000 regardless of participation.
Another popular event figures to be our live-format NHC qualifier with two guaranteed spots. It’s a “regular” qualifier with a $165 buy-in. The winning ratio is 1-per-65.
The Lone Star Park Spring Betting Challenge—now rescheduled to June 27—will be the target destination in a 1-per-15 Saturday Pick & Pray. This one costs $80, and winners earn a $1,000 entry to the suburban Dallas contest.
For $59, you can play in a qualifier to the April 5 Santa Anita April Challenge. Winners (one per every 10 entries) earn a $500 entry—which can be played at Xpressbet.
The Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge has the spotlight to itself on Saturday at HorsePlayers.
The Florida Derby Day feature is a “regular” qualifier with one $10,000 entry certain to be awarded. The winning ratio is 1-per-65, and the entry fee is $179.
The 12 Saturday contest races are the 8th through 14th (all stakes) at Gulfstream, the 7th and 8th from Tampa Bay Downs, and the 1st, 5th and 7th from the Great Race Place (Santa Anita). The Florida Derby serves as the final race of the 12.
Ten featured events go to the post on Sunday.
Two $10,000 Guaranteed cash games head the list. One is our Big Bucks Pick & Pray for a $1,150 entry fee. The top three finishers get paid on a 70%/20%/10% basis, and there is a maximum of 20 entrants allowed. The purse is set at a minimum of $10,000. Note that the last two of these have been sold out. So if interested in playing, you are encouraged to not wait until the last minute to enter.
The $10,000 Guaranteed game carries a buy-in of $195. This one is a No Limit tourney, which means that there is no limit on the number of overall entries that will be accepted. Mark Tabakman won $11,338 in this event last Sunday—from a final total purse of $25,195.
As per usual on Sundays, one guaranteed, all-inclusive package to the 2020 The BIG One at Laurel will be up for grabs. Fifteen contest seats and at least $75,000 in cash will be in the prize pool there on September 19-20—paid out to a field that will be no greater than 57. The Sunday Pick & Pray has an entry fee of $395 and entires are capped at 26. Winners receive a prize package that includes hotel, travel stipend, welcome dinner, high-end amenities at Laurel and more. At The BIG One, the top 10 finishers will receive cash bonuses plus their choice of a seat to the NHC, BCBC or Pegasus World Cup. Finishers 11-15 get either $1,500 or a Horse Players World Series entry.
The second of two weekend Pick & Pray qualifiers to the $150,000 Guaranteed Spa & Surf Showdown takes place on Sunday. One of every 20 entries, at $113 per entry, will earn a $2,000 ticket to the Showdown this summer and play for a cash-only prize pool in an event that will involve only races from Saratoga and Del Mar.
Another “second-weekend-chance” qualifier on Sunday is that for the Monmouth Pick Your Prize tournament. Players here will be competing for a $2,000 entry plus $500 for travel to New Jersey for the always-well-run (by Brian Skirka) event where cash, NHC spots and BCBC entries will be part of the prize pool.
We’ll have another qualifier this Sunday to the April 4 Santa Anita Derby Challenge. As with the Santa Anita April Challenge, this Santa Anita Derby Challenge will be played at Xpressbet…even if it can’t be held onsite at Santa Anita. This Santa Anita Derby qualifier is $177 to enter, and winners (one per each 20 entries) get a $3,000 entry for April 4th.
A Sunday staple is our up-to-$5,000 Exacta tourney with $1,000 Guaranteed. These are always run as 12-race, live-format affairs. Players choose a three-horse-exacta box in each of the contest races, and receive scores based on the returns of a $1.00 base play. No payout caps are in effect. What the dollar exacta pays is what your score gets credited with. So you’re always in contention. Last week’s Exacta tourney closed with a purse of $1,750.
The unsolvable puzzle here at HorseTourneys continues to be our $8 Pick 6 Jackpot tourney. These are also always run in live-format, and 70% of the net pool goes to top finishers via the normal, $2 win/place scoring method, while the other 30% is directed to the Jackpot pool. No one has hit the Jackpot, though, and this week it’s all the way up to $7,060. Not incidentally, if more than one player gets all six races right, the Jackpot is shared. It’s not one of those things where you have to be the only winner. So there’s no inherent “penalty” for going chalky.
Two live-format play-ins serve as the co-features at HorsePlayers on Sunday.
One is a Low Ratio Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier. The entry fee is $500, and at least one entrant is certain to capture a $10,000 BCBC spot.
The other is a regular ($165) NHC qualifier with two seats guaranteed and a winning ratio of 1-per-65.
Here’s to a fun, profitable—and most importantly, safe—weekend for all. Good luck!