Contest Players have their first opportunity on Sunday to qualify for Memorial Day’s Lone Star Million Betting Challenge—which caps off three consecutive days of NHC qualifiers down in the Dallas Metroplex. (Things should have warmed up down there by then, we hope.) That qualifier is just one of 25 marquee games on tap this weekend.
The featured-tourney fun begins on Friday.
The most lucrative game of the day is our $15,000 Guaranteed No Limit Pick & Pray. An entry fee of $190 will get you into the starting gate.
We’re up to 88 entries for the $200,000 Guaranteed Players Championship here on April 2-3. Friday’s qualifier to carries an entry fee of $156 and one of every 15 contestants will receive $2,000 entries to the “PC”. Along with January’s Flo-Cal Face-off and this August’s Spa & Surf Showdown, the Players Championship is part of the 2021 Tourney Triple…which offers the top three overall performers seats to such events as the NHC (2022), the BCBC and The BIG One.
Keeneland Grade One Gamble qualifiers continue to attract solid gatherings. Friday’s Pick & Pray edition costs $207 to play, and one of every 20 participants earns a $3,500 package ($3,000 entry fee plus $500 for travel) to compete in the April 10th event on the Sunday after Easter. Those not wishing to travel to Keeneland for it may participate via Xpressbet.
Now just two weeks away is the 1/ST Ultimate Betting Challenge on March 6th. On Friday, you can win a $3,000 seat to this Xpressbet event. A small number of spots are also available in the Sport of Kings Theatre for those who’d like to play onsite at Gulfstream. This Pick & Pray qualifier carries and entry fee of $236, and one in 15 will advance.
Also on March 6th is the NYRA Bets Gotham Challenge. Seats are worth $3,000 there as well…so it’s the same setup here as for the 1/ST Ultimate Betting Challenge. It’s $236 to enter and the winning ratio is 1-per-15. Perhaps some may think of this as the 2/ND March 6th Challenge.
A new addition to the ever-growing Friday schedule is a Monmouth Pick Your Prize qualifier. One of every 15 entries, at $156 per entry, gets a $2,000 seat for the June 12th (Saturday after the Belmont Stakes) competition.
Like the San Diego Padres manager writing Fernando Tatis Jr.’s name into the lineup for the next 14 years, HorsePlayers sticks with its traditional staple on the Friday featured schedule.
It’s a $75 Pick & Pray qualifier to the 2022 NHC. Two seats are guaranteed to be awarded, and the winning ratio is 1-per-143.
Contest races for the Friday features are the 8th through 10th at Gulfstream Park; the 3rd and 7th from Golden Gate Fields; and the 5th through 9th at Santa Anita Park—10 races in all.
It’s a Pick & Pray weekend this week and on Saturday, six more features of this sort come your way.
The single richest event of the week is Saturday’s $25,000 Guaranteed No Limit Pick & Pray. The entry fee is $260.
Saturday’s “up-to-$20,000” Big Bucks game is always a Pick & Pray. The purse is assured to be at least $10,000, and entries are limited to 20 (unless we get a late arrival or two from last-minute Saturday feeders). Payoffs go strictly to the top three finishers with the winner collecting 70 percent of the net pool, the runner up getting 20 percent, and the third-place finisher earning the remaining 10 percent. The entry fee for this high-end test is $1,150.
We’ll also have a Pick & Pray qualifier to the Players Championship—with one of every 15 entrants, at $156 per entry, receiving a $2,000 berth in the all-cash, two-day, All Optional Live tourney that will be held here on April 2-3.
You can also invest $156 and attempt to win a $2,000 entry in Saturday’s Monmouth Pick Your Prize qualifier. Win this Pick & Pray, and you’ll be competing for NHC seats, BCBC entries and plenty of cash from either Monmouth, Xpressbet or (if you live in New Jersey) 4NJBets.
The carryover into Saturday’s $15 Pick 4 Jackpot is up to $2,426. In our Pick 4 Jackpot tourneys, if you go four-for-four, you win or share the Jackpot. Meanwhile, 70% of the net pool gets paid out to players via the traditional $2.00 win/place scoring system. (The other 30% goes to the Jackpot pool.) Entries in these Jackpot Pick 4 games—always run as Pick & Prays—are limited to three per person.
The Pick 4 Jackpot races on Saturday are races 9 and 11 from Gulfstream and the 7th and 9th from Santa Anita.
The Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge is the lone featured focus on Saturday at HorsePlayers.
It’s a $179 Pick & Pray qualifier to the BCBC with a winning ratio of 1 per 65 and at least one $10,000 entry certain to be awarded.
The 12 Saturday contest races for our multitrack features are the 8th through 12th from Gulfstream; the 8th and 9th at Tampa; the 6th and 8th out at Golden Gate; and the 7th through 9th from Santa Anita.
Sunday is the busiest day of the weekend with 12 featured tourneys, including one new one.
On Memorial Day, Monday, May 31st, Lone Star Park will host its Lone Star Million Betting Challenge. It’s the high point of three consecutive days of contest action in Grand Prairie, Tex. Our first qualifier to the Memorial Day match takes place Sunday with a $177 Pick & Pray. One of every 20 entries will garner a $2,000 entry for May 31st, plus $500 for travel to suburban Dallas.
Last Sunday, Rick Broth became the first of what will be no more than 57 to qualifier for September’s The BIG One. Chance number two to compete for cash and 10 major tournament seats comes Sunday in a $395 Pick & Pray. One package is guaranteed to be awarded regardless of participation, and entries are capped at 27. The first-place finisher also gets a $500 winner’s bonus. The runner up gets a consolation prize of $395.
Your second opportunity of the weekend to earn a $3,500 package ($3,000 entry plus $500 for travel) to the Keeneland Grade One Gamble takes place on Sunday. One of every 20 entrants in this Pick & Pray, at $207 a prayer, will secure his or her spot in the live-bankroll event on April 10th to be contested at both Keeneland and Xpressbet.
Sunday is also your second chance of the weekend to earn a NYRA Bets Gotham Challenge seat for March 6th. An entry fee of $236 gets you into the game. One in 15 will earn a $3,000 Gotham entry.
The winning ratio is also one per 15 for Sunday’s 1/ST Ultimate Betting Challenge qualifier. The entry fee here is also $236 and, similar to the NYRA Bets Gotham play-in, one of every 15 entrants will earn a $3,000 entry. Like the Gotham Challenge, the 1/ST Ultimate Betting Challenge takes place on March 6th.
The Players Championship, middle leg of the 2021 Tourney Triple, is slated for April 2-3. One of every 15 in Sunday’s Pick & Pray qualifier will pick up a $2,000 seat for the $200,000 Guaranteed event. We also have a $156 All Optional Live qualifier to the “PC” on the Sunday schedule. So if that one fills, there will be two Sunday chances to qualify.
For cash-game aficionados, the Sunday headliner is our $20,000 Guaranteed No Limit Pick & Pray. The entry fee is $195.
The Sunday Big Bucks tourney is, as per usual, a live-format game. It has a guarantee of $7,500, and the final pot could reach $20,000 if we reach the maximum 20 entrants. The entry fee is $1,150, and prizes go solely to the first three finishers.
We’ll be offering another $15 Pick 4 Jackpot tourney on Sunday, though we don’t quite know yet how much the jackpot will be. Check our home page or our Twitter feed on Saturday night for the Jackpot carryover amount. It will depend on how many participated in Saturday’s Pick 4 Jackpot tourney—and whether anyone hit the mother lode. This, like all our Pick 4 Jackpot games, will be a Pick & Pray.
The NHC and the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge share the featured-tourney spotlight on Sunday at HorsePlayers.
The BCBC game is a live-format, low-ratio qualifier with at least one $10,000 BCBC entry guaranteed. It costs $500 to enter, and the winning ratio is 1-per-23.
The NHC qualifier is a “regular,” live-format, $165 play-in to the 2022 event. Two “Bally’s Berths” are guaranteed to be headed out the door.
There’s lots to choose from, so pick your spots wisely…and your horses even more wisely. We wish all of you—and especially those battling the very difficult weather—a happy and safe weekend.