Even though this is “the week after the Belmont Stakes”, we’re almost as busy this week as last—22 featured events are on the schedule. And Sunday will be our busiest in quite some time with 11 marquee tourneys. Part of the mix are qualifiers to two brand new contests and a special, high-end Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier. That BCBC play-in isn’t until Saturday, though. Friday comes first.
Friday’s big-money tourney is our $10,000 Guaranteed No Limit Pick & Pray. Entries are $190 each.
Again this weekend there are qualifiers every day to the August 15-16 Spa & Surf Showdown. Winners earn a $2,000 entry to the $150,000 Guaranteed all-cash competition. The buy-in each day for these qualifiers is $113. Winners (1-per-20) will gather here in cyberspace on August 15-16 for two full days of racing from Saratoga and Del Mar. Friday’s play-in will be a Pick & Pray.
There is one qualifier each on Friday for the NHC and the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge—both over at HorsePlayers.
Friday’s $75 NHC Pick & Pray at HorsePlayers has two guaranteed seats to the Las Vegas finals next February at stake, and NHC Tour points will also be on offer to the top-10% of the field. It’s a Pick & Pray with a winning ratio of 1 in 143.
Friday’s Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Low Ratio qualifier is also a Pick & Pray. One $10,000 entry is guaranteed to be in the prize pool regardless of headcount in this $500 tourney. The winning ratio is 1-per-23.
Contest races this Friday at both HorseTourneys and HorsePlayers are the 7th and 9th from Gulfstream; the 6th through 9th at Belmont; and the 7th through 10th from Laurel—10 races in all.
We’ll start our rundown of the Saturday menu with HorsePlayers—since that’s where one of the new tourneys takes place.
It’s a $1,000 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier with an extra low winning ratio of 1 in just 11. It’s a live-format play-in, and also note that one $10,000 is guaranteed. That last bit of info could be key if entries wind up being light for this one.
If you want to take a swing at the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge but don’t have a grand hiding under your sofa cushions, you may prefer Saturday’s “regular”qualifier. It has an entry fee of $179, the winning ratio is 1-in-65 and the format is live. Again, at least one $10,000 BCBC entry is certain to be awarded regardless of participation.
There’s also an NHC tourney on Saturday—a “regular”, $165 qualifier with a 1-in-65 winning ratio and two spots guaranteed. This one is also a live-format game.
Four more marquee games are on tap Saturday at HorseTourneys.
The richest event of the weekend is Saturday’s $25,000 Guaranteed No Limit cash tourney. This live-format game requires an entry fee of $260 to enter.
Saturday’s $10,000 Guaranteed Big Bucks Pick & Pray has an $1,150 buy-in and signups are generally limited to 20, though occasionally the field can be a touch higher due to last-minute qualifiers. The purse could grow as high as $20,000 (or even a little bit more). Payouts go to the top three finishers on a 70%/20%/10% split.
As noted last week, we are now offering guaranteed qualifiers to The BIG One on both Saturday and Sunday. The first prize includes an upfront cash payment of $500 to go along with a fully paid-up entry to the finals on September 19-20. The buy-in here is $395, the format is Pick & Pray (Sunday’s will be a live-format game) and no more than 27 entries will be allowed. In The BIG One, the top 10 finishers get their choice of a seat to the NHC, BCBC or Pegasus World Cup plus they share in a cash pool that is already up to $87,000 (and counting). Finishers 11-15 get a choice of either $1,500 or a Horse Players World Series entry. The final field in September will be made up of no more than 57 entries. So if you get to The BIG One, you have a pretty decent chance of winning a nice prize.
There’s also a Spa & Surf Showdown qualifier on Saturday. This one will be played in live format, and the entry fee once again is $113. Winners in this 1-per-20 play-in earn a $2,000 entry to the $150,000 Guaranteed online cash event (August 15-16) here at HorseTourneys.
There will be 12 races in our Saturday, multi-track featured tourneys: Races 7 and 8 at Thistledown where it’s Ohio Derby Day; the 7th through 11th from Belmont; the 10th and 11th at Gulfstream; and the 6th through 8th from Los Alamitos where it’s opening weekend.
It’s our busiest Sunday in some time around here…with 11 featured tourneys, including two new ones.
On July 11th Keeneland will host the Keeneland Summer Online Challenge. You can win a $3,000 entry to it here on Sunday for an entry fee of $175 in a 1-per-20 live-format qualifier. Note that you must have, or establish before July 11, an Xpressbet account in order to win our qualifier and then play in the Online Challenge. In the Challenge the top six finishers will earn both an NHC and a BCBC seat. Finishers 7-10 pick up NHC spots (based on 200 entries). There will also be cash up for grabs in the Keeneland cyberspace contest (which this year serves to replace the Keeneland Grade One Gamble).
The other Sunday newcomer is a $116 Pick & Pray to the Xpressbet NHC Super Qualifier, which will take place…at Xpressbet…on July 18.
Sunday also brings you the second half of back-to-back qualifiers to The BIG One. This one will be run in Live format. The entry fee remains $395, and one grand prize is certain to be awarded no matter how many (or few!) sign up.
Another Big Bucks tourney is set for Sunday. This time, unlike on Saturday, the format will be Live. The buy-in is again $1,150, and the guaranteed purse is $7,500. Once again, as with all Big Bucks events, sign ups are limited to 20, and prizes are distributed only to the top three.
Another lucrative cash competition is Sunday’s $15,000 Guaranteed No Limit tourney. The buy-in for this live-format get-together is $195.
Of course, there’s another qualifier on Sunday to the Spa & Surf Showdown. One of every 20 entries, at $113 per entry, will earn a $2,000 spot in the Showdown where at least $150,000 will be in the prize pool on August 15-16. The format for the Sunday qualifier is Live.
We switch over to a Pick & Pray for Sunday’s Low Ratio NHC qualifier. The winning ratio is 1-per-21. (Note that, per NHC Tour rules, Tour points will only be available here if there are enough entries to award two seats.) This event carries a $500 entry fee, and there must at least 10 entries in the hopper for the contest to take place.
A Sunday staple is our up-to-$5,000 Exacta tourney with $1,000 Guaranteed. The entry fee for this one—which requires competitors to select a three-horse exacta box in each contest race—is $125.
The biggest bang for your buck might just come in our $8 Pick 6 Jackpot game…and obviously you only need eight of those bucks. In this event, 70% of the net pool gets paid to top finishers via the normal, $2 win/place scoring method, while the other 30% gets directed to the Jackpot pool. You win (or share) the Jackpot if you pick the winners of all six races. This week, the Jackpot begins at $14,209.
As usual, the NHC & BCBC share the stage over at HorsePlayers—this time with a pair of Pick & Prays.
One is a “regular,” 2-seats-guaranteed NHC qualifier. It carries a winning ratio of 1-per-65, and an entry fee of $165.
The other is a Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Low Ratio tourney with an entry fee of $500, and a winning ratio of 1-per-23. At least one $10,000 BCBC entry is certain to be awarded no matter what.
We hope we’ve given you plenty to consider this weekend as you pass the time between the first and second jewels of the Triple Crown. Look at the bright side, though. This time around, there are only 11 weeks between the Belmont Stakes and the Derby—as opposed to the usual 47. Good luck!