It’s a pretty terrific weekend on the racing calendar as the lone weekend of the Keeneland Summer Meet and opening weekend at Del Mar. We have 25 featured events to help do it all up in style. Since many of our players will be busy with the Keeneland Summer Challenge on Saturday over at Xpressbet, we’re directing a lot of extra emphasis to our Sunday schedule.
Friday’s menu is extra good too.
Friday presents your final opportunity to qualify for the following day’s Keeneland Summer Online Challenge. You can win a $3,000 entry to it for an entry fee of $175 in a 1-per-20 Pick & Pray 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 Keeneland 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 contest (which, this year, serves to replace the venerable Keeneland Grade One Gamble).
Speaking of lucrative online competitions, the purse for the August 15-16 Spa & Surf Showdown has zoomed past the guarantee and is already up to $173,000, and that figure will grow with each successive qualifier. Friday’s Showdown play-in is the first of three on the weekend. Winners earn a $2,000 entry to the all-cash competition here at HorseTourneys. The buy-in each day for these qualifiers is $113. Winners (1-per-20) will play two full days of racing from Saratoga and Del Mar in August. Friday’s format will be Pick & Pray.
Another Friday qualifier is a $116 Pick & Pray to the Xpressbet NHC Super Qualifier, which will take place on July 18. Winners (1-per-15) receive a paid-up $1,500 entry.
Fear not, cash-game players…we haven’t forgotten about you. Friday’s richest tourney is our $10,000 Guaranteed No Limit Pick & Pray. Entries cost $190 each.
There is one qualifier on Friday for the NHC and one for the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge—both at HorsePlayers.
Friday’s $75 NHC Pick & Pray at HorsePlayers offers two guaranteed seats to the most prestigious handicapping contest in the world, and NHC Tour points will also be awarded to those finishing in the top 10% of the standings. It’s a Pick & Pray with a winning ratio of 1 in 143.
The Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier is a Low Ratio Pick & Pray. At least one $10,000 entry is guaranteed to be in handed out regardless of participation in this $500 event. The winning ratio is 1-per-23. So if we reach 46 entries, there would be two $10,000 entries in the prize pool—but there won’t be less than one no matter what.
Not surprisingly, the Keeneland and opening-day Del Mar cards provide the bulk of the material with which to test your handicapping grey matter on Friday. Contest races are the 5th through 8th from Keeneland; the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th at Del Mar; and the 8th and 9th at Belmont. That’s 10 races in all.
We have six featured events here at HorseTourneys on Saturday, including one brand-new qualifier.
Ruidoso Downs (one of the most beautiful racetrack settings in the country) has just announced that it will host the Ruidoso Handicapping Challenge onsite on August 29. Entries at “Ria-doso” (as the locals call it) will be $500 each…but you can win one for $59 in our 1-per-10, live-format qualifier on Saturday. Two NHC seats will be guaranteed at the New Mexico track on the 29th.
Speaking of the NHC, there a “regular,” 2-seats-guaranteed qualifier to it right here on Saturday. It’s a Pick & Pray with an entry fee of $165.
A Saturday is our $25,000 Guaranteed No Limit cash tourney. It’s a live-format game this week, and $260 gets you in the door.
Saturday’s $10,000 Guaranteed Big Bucks competition has an $1,150 buy-in and signups are limited to 20, though occasionally the field can exceed that figure slightly due to last-minute feeders. The purse could get up as high as $20,000 (or even a little bit more). Payouts go to the top three finishers on a 70%/20%/10% basis.
We have guaranteed qualifiers to The BIG One on both Saturday and Sunday. The grand prize each day 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. 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 $99,000 (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 better-than-usual chance of winning a nice prize. That’s why we refer to it as “the high-expectation tourney.”
There’s also a Spa & Surf Showdown qualifier on Saturday, and the entry fee once again is $113. This time, it’s a live-format tourney. The winning ratio remain 1-per-20 play-in, and winners receive a $2,000 entry to the $173,000 (and counting) Guaranteed online cash event here at HorseTourneys on August 15-16.
There’s double-barrel BCBC action in the HorsePlayers bullpen on Saturday.
For $179, you can play a “regular” Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier with one grand prize guaranteed. The format is Live, and the winning ratio is 1-per-65.
You can also drop your winning ratio to 1-per-11 by playing in Saturday’s Super Low Ratio Pick & Pray, which also guarantees at least one winner. Here, the entry fee is $1,000.
There will be 12 contest races on Saturday: Races 5 through 10 at Keeneland (five graded stakes including the Blue Grass and the Jenny Wiley); the 6th and 8th at Delaware Park, where it’s Delaware Handicap day; the 7th and 8th from Belmont; and the 2nd and 4th at Del Mar.
There are nine featured tourneys here on Sunday. Two of them will be contested on the full nine-race card at Keeneland…including the weekend’s richest event.
It’s a $30,000 Guaranteed No Limit game to be run in live format with an entry fee of $395.
Our regular, Sunday, $15,000 Guaranteed tourney will also take place, and it will also be contested using only the Keeneland card. This one will be a Pick & Pray.
The other seven features here (as well as the two at HorsePlayers) will be run with a traditional multi-track schedule (races and tracks still to be determined).
The multi-track games include the second qualifier of the weekend to The BIG One. Note that 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 take part. A maximum of 27 entries will be accepted.
There’s also another Big Bucks tourney slated for Sunday. This one is a live-format game with a buy-in of $1,150 and a guaranteed purse of $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 finishers.
Your third weekend chance to qualify for the Spa & Surf Showdown takes place on Sunday. It’s a $113 live-format game with a winning ratio of 1-per-20.
We’re back to a Pick & Pray for Sunday’s Low Ratio NHC qualifier. The entry fee is $500, and the winning ratio is 1-per-21. Note that this game requires at least 10 entries in order to “go.”
Qualifier #2 of the weekend for the Xpressbet NHC Super Qualifier is on the Sunday schedule. It’s a $116 live-format affair, with winners earning a $1,500 spot in the “Super Q” at Xpressbet on July 18.
Our up-to-$5,000 Exacta tourney with $1,000 Guaranteed is always run in Live format. This game requires entrants to select a three-horse exacta box in each contest race. The entry fee is $125, and no payoff caps are in effect. If you hit a monster exacta, your score gets credited with the full payoff.
Also “always-live” is our $8 Pick 6 Jackpot game. In this low-risk, high-potential-reward 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 $15,202.
The NHC and the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge share the stage at HorsePlayers on Sunday.
Two NHC seats are certain to be won in Sunday’s $165 live-format qualifier. The winning ratio is 1-per-65.
At least one grand prize worth $10,000 is a certainty in Sunday’s Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Low Ratio qualifier with an entry fee of $500, and a winning ratio of 1-per-23. This is also a live-format tourney.
Enjoy the races from Keeneland, Del Mar and all our contest tracks this weekend. Next weekend, Keeneland will have a pretty able replacement—Saratoga. It must be summertime! Good luck.