After a fairly lengthy hiatus, we will once again be operating several of our more popular featured tourneys on Saturday and Sunday in All Optional Live format. For those unfamiliar with that game-play mode, it means you make 10 plays from among 25 eligible contest races. The other 15 you can just simply ignore. Or perhaps ignore—but root wildly for chalk to come in!
We also have three brand new qualifiers joining the weekend lineup—including one on the Friday schedule.
The new kid on the Friday block is our Pick & Pray qualifier to the July 10th Lone Star Summer NHC Finals. It’s $79 to play, and one of every 15 entrants will garner a $1,000 entry for the Grand Prairie, Texas, competition.
The other six features on Friday are also Pick & Prays—including our $15,000 Guaranteed No-Limit cash tourney. You can take part for $190.
Well again offer four qualifiers this weekend to the $300,000 Guaranteed Spa & Surf Showdown here on August 14-15. Friday’s lone opportunity is a $147 Pick & Pray with a winning ratio of 1-in-20. Winners receive a $2,500 entry into the third and final leg of the 2021 Tourney Triple series, which, as a bonus, offers sought-after tournament seats to the top performers across the three events (Flo-Cal Faceoff, Players Championship, Spa & Surf Showdown). If you finished in the top 100 in the first two legs, it means you earned points that could mean a seat to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge, the Pegasus or The BIG One—depending on how you fare on August 14-15.
There’s a single qualifier each day of the weekend to the NHC First Chance/Last Chance tournament at Bally’s on August 26. One of every 10 entrants—at $59 per pop—will get a $500 entry for the annual NHC Eve test. At stake on the 26th will be money plus a 2021 NHC seat for the following day…or, if you’re already double-qualified for 2021, a berth for 2022 instead.
Consider Friday your next-to-last chance to secure a place in Sunday’s Xpressbet Santa Anita Closing Day Challenge. It’s a $118. 1-per-15 Pick & Pray, with winners earning a $1,500 entry.
The NHC and the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge jointly and equally comprise the featured menu on Friday at HorsePlayers.
Friday’s $75 NHC Pick & Pray has two seats guaranteed and lots of NHC Tour Points all but guaranteed The winning ratio is 1-per-143. Remember—you must be a 2021 NHC Tour member, prior to the start of the contest, in order to be eligible for an NHC package in this or any other NHC qualifier. Not a member? You can become one quickly and easily at NTRA.com for a $50 membership fee.
The other Friday marquee event at HorsePlayers is a $500 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Low Ratio Pick & Pray. At least one $10,000 BCBC entry is certain to be won here.
Contest races for the Friday featured events are the 7th through 9th from Belmont; the 2nd and 7th at Santa Anita; the 7th through 9th from Gulfstream; and races 4 and 5 at Monmouth—10 in all.
On Saturday, there’s a First Chance, a Last Chance and three All Optional Live features
The “First Chance” is our initial qualifier to the Monmouth Park Haskell Challenge. This is a traditional, 12-race, Live-format game with an entry fee of $79 and a winning ratio of 1-per-15. Winners pocket a $1,000 entry for the July 17th event, which can be played at Monmouth or online at Xpressbet/4NJBets.
The “Last Chance” is a also a 12-race, Live game—our final Xpressbet Santa Anita Closing Day Challenge play-in. Win this $118 tourney, and you’ll want to head straight to the past performances to get ready for the next day’s task at hand.
One of the three All Optional Live games on Saturday is the weekend’s richest event, our $25,000 Guaranteed, No Limit tourney. It has a $260 buy-in, and you will be required to make 10 mythical $2 win-and-place picks from among 25 eligible races.
Also in 25-race, All Optional Live mode is Saturday’s $147 qualifier to the $300,000 Guaranteed Spa & Surf Showdown. This one carries a 1-per-20 winning ratio with winners earning the right to compete for at least $300,000 here on August 14-15.
The other All Optional Live offering is Saturday’s $59 qualifier to the Bally’s NHC First Chance/Last Chance tournament on August 26th in Vegas. One of every 10 entrants gets a $500 seat.
The one 12-race Pick & Pray at HorseTourneys on Saturday is our “up-to-$20,000” Big Bucks Pick & Pray. The purse here is guaranteed to be no lower than $10,000. Entries—at $1,150 each—are limited to 20 (unless we get a late arrival or two from last-minute Saturday feeders…in which case the pot will exceed $20,000). Payouts go just to the top three finishers with the winner grabbing 70 percent of the net pool, the runner up getting 20 percent, and the third-place finisher picking up the remaining 10 percent. Robert Schintzius Sr. captured this event on both Saturday and Sunday last week. Will anyone outdo him this week? We shall see.
Shifting to Saturday on the weekend schedule this week is our qualifier to the new $50,000 Guaranteed Exacta Extravaganza, which will be held here on September 11-12. In the Exacta Extravaganza, players will pick a three-horse exacta box for every race of the Kentucky Downs and Woodbine cards on both days. High scorers will grab a piece of a $50,000 Guaranteed purse. This Saturday qualifier will be contested in the same Live, Exacta Box format that will be used for the final, and it costs only $59 to play. One of every 10 contestants this Sunday will advance.
Saturday’s $15 Pick 4 Jackpot tourney will start out with a carryover of $6,311. In our Pick 4 Jackpot games (always run as Pick & Prays), going four-for-four means you win or share the Jackpot. (You don’t have to have the only perfect ticket.) Meanwhile, 70% of the daily 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 tourneys are limited to three per person.
Saturday’s Pick 4 Jackpot races are the 12th at Gulfstream, followed by races 7, 8 and 9 from Santa Anita.
The 25 eligible contest races from which you can make 10 plays in the All Optional Live tourneys are: the 5th through 10th from Belmont; the 7th through 12th at Gulfstream; races 1 through 10 from Santa Anita; and the 9th through 11th at Monmouth.
The Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge has the spotlight to itself on Saturday at HorsePlayers.
It’s a $179 BCBC Pick & Pray with at least one $10,000 entry at stake. The winning ratio is 1-per-65.
The 12 contest races for the this and the 12-race featured competitions at HorseTourneys on Saturday are the 7th through 10th from Belmont; the 9th, 11th and 12th at Gulfstream; and races 3, 7 8, 9 and 10 from Santa Anita.
As for Sunday, we’ll begin with HorsePlayers—which offers a pretty unique NHC qualifier.
Here’s a rare situation where YOU can tell they NTRA which year you want to play—not the other way around! It’s a $165 “Pick Your Year” qualifier. If you are the recipient of one of the two guaranteed seats on offer, you get to decide when to “redeem” your prize. Please note: per pre-existing NHC Tour rules, 2021 NHC Tour Points will only be awarded in this 12-race, live-format event if at least two 2021 NHC seats are chosen by the ultimate winners.
The other Sunday feature at HorsePlayers is a 12-race, 1-per-23, Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Pick & Pray with an entry fee of $500. At least one player will win the grand prize of a $10,000 entry.
The NHC Pick Your Year qualifier aside, there’s yet another new qualifier on the Sunday HorseTourneys schedule.
For $94, you can be the first on your block (or in your nation) to win $800 in entry fees to the Club Hawthorne OTB contests on July 17-18. These are run as two single-day competitions at the Chicagoland OTBs, and winners of our 1-per-10, live-format $94 qualifier get rewarded with $800 in entry fees—enough for both days.
Another 12-race, live-format competition on Sunday is our play-in to the Del Mar Summer Challenge, an on-track event on July 31-August 1. Sunday’s qualifier carries an entry fee of $236, and a winning ratio of 1-per-20. Winners scoop up a $4,000 entry for the live-bankroll get together out in sunny Southern California.
There’s also a Sunday qualifier to the Canterbury Big 10 BCBC Handicapping Contest (Thursday, September 16), though this one is a 12-race Pick & Pray. A $177 entry fee buys you a 1-per-20 chance at earning a $3,000 seat for the onsite/Xpressbet contest that offers cash, 10 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge entries and two NHC spots.
The weekly $368 Spa & Surf Showdown Low Ratio qualifier will be run this week as a 12-race, traditional live-format competition. The winning ratio is a success-friendly 1 in 8. Winners get a $2,500 spot in the mid-August cash extravaganza that focuses on two days of full-card racing at Saratoga (Spa) and Del Mar (Surf).
An entry fee of $59 gets you into Sunday’s 12-race, live-format qualifier to the July 26th Colonial Downs Handicapping Contest. It’s a 1-per-10 affair with winners getting a $500 entry to the Xpressbet-hosted competition.
Four of the Sunday features will be run this week in an All Optional Live format. One is our “regular” $147 Spa & Surf Showdown qualifier. The winning ratio here is 1-in-20. Winners get the customary $2,500 berth in the Showdown.
Sunday’s $59 qualifier to the NHC First Chance/Last Chance tournament at Bally’s will be an All Optional Live game.
So will Sunday’s $20,000 Guaranteed, No Limit cash tourney. An entry fee of $195 will secure you your 10 plays from 25 pre-specified races (which, as of this writing, have yet to be specified).
The other Sunday “AOL” tourney is our weekly qualifier to The BIG One. It’s a $395 Pick & Pray. One seat will be awarded regardless of participation. Be aware, though, that qualifier entries for this are capped at 27…so don’t wait until the last minute to sign up. The first-place finisher in each The BIG One qualifier also earns a $500 winner’s bonus for capturing the Sunday play-in, and the runner up receives a $395 consolation prize/refund.
We’ll have another $15 Pick 4 Jackpot tourney (always a 12-race Pick & Pray) on Sunday. The jackpot amount will be a function of how many played in the Saturday Pick 4 Jackpot tourney—and whether anyone hit it. Check our website or our Twitter feed on Saturday night for updates.
There you have it. Regardless of your preferred price point or format, we wish you good luck—and good fun—in this weekend’s events.