California, here we come…right back where we started from? Well…we hope that’s the case. Golden Gate seems poised and ready to resume on Friday. That could be the case for Santa Anita as well. If so, they will join our “old reliables”—Gulfstream and Tampa Bay Downs—in the HorseTourneys featured-tourney track lineup as we roll on with 18 featured events this weekend. The first four of those take place on Friday.
Since Friday is still technically part of the “workweek,” the day’s featured tourneys are all Pick & Prays—including the day’s $10,000 Guaranteed No Limit cash game. The entry fee is $190.
You can also compete for a spot in the August 15-16 Spa & Surf Showdown. Friday’s qualifier will award a $2,000 entry to one of every 20 entries. An entry fee of $113 will get you in the door. The purse for August’s Showdown, in which contestants will play two full days of racing from Saratoga and Del Mar, is guaranteed to be at least $150,000.
HorsePlayers matches the two HorseTourneys features with two of its own on Friday.
The most popular competition of the day on Friday is likely to be the $75 NHC qualifier. Two seats are guaranteed and NHC Tour points will be up for grabs as well. This is the first of four NHC qualifiers this weekend. (There’s another on Saturday and two on Sunday.)
If live-bankroll tournaments are more your speed, you can take a shot at qualifying to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge. The entry fee is $500 in this Low Ratio qualifier, and one in 21 will win a $10,000 entry to the BCBC. This is a guaranteed qualifier, though, so a BCBC entry will be on the line even if fewer than 21 sign up,
The Friday contest races for all four of the above featured events are the 7th through 9th at Tampa; the 6th, 8th, 9th and 10th from Gulfstream; and the 5th through 7th at Santa Anita (welcome back!) —10 races in all. The start time will be approximately 3:30 pm ET.
We bump up the schedule by one to five featured tourneys on Saturday.
The biggest of the big-money features this weekend is Saturday’s $25,000 Guaranteed game, which will be run in live-format (as will the other two Saturday featured events here at HorseTounreys). It carries an entry fee of $260.
There’s a Spa & Surf Showdown qualifier each day of the weekend. Like Friday’s, Saturday’s is a $113 buy-in competition with a winning ratio of 1-per-20. Unlike Friday’s, this one will be run in live-format. Winners again receive a $2,000 entry to the big online game in August.
We also offer a Saturday, live-format qualifier for the Lone Star Park Spring Betting Challenge. This one is a 1-per-15 Pick & Pray with an entry fee of $80. Winners get a $1,000 entry into Lone Star’s onsite hoedown on June 27.
Two more live-format marquee games come your way at HorsePlayers on Saturday—one tied to the NHC and the other to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.
The NHC play-in guarantees two spots and entries cost $165 each. The winning ratio is 1-per-65.
The BCBC qualifier is also a 1-per-65 proposition. It carries an entry fee of $179, and guarantees at least one $10,000 BCBC entry.
The 12 Saturday contest races at HorseTourneys and HorsePlayers are the 1st, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th at Santa Anita, the 7th through 11th from Gulfstream; and the the 5th and 7th from Golden Gate (welcome back, part 2!). Closing time will occur, once again, at about 3:30 pm ET.
As many featured tourneys as we offer on Friday and Saturday (nine), that’s how many we have scheduled for Sunday.
Most of the tourneys this day will be run in live format. The $10,000 Guaranteed Big Bucks game, however is always a Pick & Pray. It’s $1,150 to play, and entries are limited to 20 (or slightly more if last-minute feeders push us over the 20-entry level). The purse is at least $10,000 regardless of participation, and the top three finishers share the pot on a 70/20/10-percent basis.
The big live-format cash game of the day is our $12,500 Guaranteed No Limit tourney. The buy-in is $195.
Another live, Sunday tourney is our qualifier to The BIG One, where 15 contest seats and at least $75,000 in cash will be the booty on September 19-20 at Laurel. Those prizes will be fought over by a field of just 57 or fewer. The entry fee for Sunday’s guaranteed qualifier to The BIG One is $395 and entires are capped at 26. Winners receive three nights’ hotel, travel stipend, welcome dinner, high-end amenities at Laurel and more. At The BIG One, the top 10 finishers receive their choice of a seat to the NHC, BCBC or Pegasus World Cup plus cash bonuses. Finishers 11-15 get a choice of either $1,500 or a Horse Players World Series entry.
We’re back to a Pick & Pray format for Sunday’s Low Ratio NHC qualifier. It’s not a guaranteed event—there must be 10 entries (at $500 each) for this game to “go”— but so far, so good as far as this tourney filling each week! The winning ratio is 1-per-21.
The weekend’s third and final qualifier to the Spa & Surf Showdown takes place on Sunday. One of every 20 entries in this live-format game, at $113 a shot, will compete for an all-cash prize pool ($150,000 Guaranteed) on August 15-16. Players will try to solve the full cards from Saratoga and Del Mar on both days of the Showdown.
A Sunday staple is our up-to-$5,000 Exacta tourney with $1,000 Guaranteed. 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. The format is always Live, and there are no payoff caps here.
Just $8 gets you in to Sunday’s $8 Pick 6 Jackpot tourney. These are also always run in live-format, and 70% of the net pool gets paid to top finishers via the normal, $2 win/place scoring method, while the other 30% is directed to the Jackpot pool. You win (or share) the Jackpot by picking the winners of all six races. This week, the Jackpot is all the way up to $10,854.
There are two marquee games at HorsePlayers on Sunday—one Pick & Pray and one live-format tourney.
The Pick & Pray is a 2-seats-guaranteed NHC qualifier, This one has a winning ratio of 1-per-65, and an entry fee of $165.
The live-format tourney is a Low Ratio (1-per-23) Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier. The entry fee here is $500, and one $10,000 BCBC entry is certain to be awarded regardless of participation.
Here’s hoping the resumption of racing in the Golden State goes off safely and without a hitch—and that the hitches in your handicapping are few and far between. Good luck!