If you like action, we have it here in high volume over Fourth of July weekend. Seven marquee games on Friday and Saturday, 15 (!) on Sunday, and another five during a special holiday Monday menu.
So cue the John Philip Sousa music and let’s take a look, starting, of course, with the Friday slate.
We shouldn’t need to shoot pyrotechnics into the sky for you to know that Friday’s Xpressbet Summit of Speed qualifier is your last chance to qualify for it here (since the contest takes place on Saturday). It costs $118 to play with one of every 15 participants getting a $1,500 entry. Like all the other Friday features—and the bulk of this weekend’s top events, it’s a Pick & Pray.
Also offering a 1-per-15 success rate is Friday’s qualifier to the July 10th Lone Star Summer NHC Finals. This one mandates an entry fee of $79, and offers a $1,000 seat at Lone Star as the grand prize.
We’ll host five qualifiers this weekend to the $300,000 Guaranteed Spa & Surf Showdown here on August 14-15. Friday’s play-in is a $147 Pick & Pray with a winning ratio of 1-in-20. Winners pick up 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 perform on August 14-15.
There’s a single qualifier on all four days of the upcoming weekend to the NHC First Chance/Last Chance tournament at Bally’s on August 26. One of every 10 entrants—at $59 per try—will get a $500 place in the annual NHC Eve competition. 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.
For cash-game enthusiasts, there’s our $15,000 Guaranteed No-Limit Pick & Pray. You can do battle here for $190.
The NHC and the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge again share the Friday spotlight at HorsePlayers.
Friday’s $75 NHC Pick & Pray offers two guaranteed seats plus NHC Tour Points if you finish in the top 10 percent of the field. 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. If you’re not a member, you can become one quickly and easily at NTRA.com for a $50 membership fee.
The other Friday feature at HorsePlayers is a $500 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Low Ratio Pick & Pray. At least one $10,000 BCBC entry is guaranteed to be awarded.
Contest races for the Friday featured events are the 6th through 9th from Belmont; the 7th and 8th at Pimlico; the 2nd and 3rd from Los Alamitos; and the 7th and 8th at Ellis Park—10 in all.
Another seven features—six here and one at HorsePlayers—come your way on Saturday.
The second qualifiers of the weekend to the Spa & Surf Showdown and the Bally’s NHC First Chance/Last Chance tournament take place on Saturday. Both are Live-format games. The qualifier to the $300,000 Guaranteed Spa & Surf Showdown costs $147 and carries a 1-per-20 winning ratio, while the Bally’s play-in will set you back $59.
Also on the docket is a Live-format qualifier to the Monmouth Park Haskell Challenge. Those who risk the $79 entry fee have a 1-in-15 chance to reel in a $1,000 entry for the July 17th event, which can be played at Monmouth or online at Xpressbet/4NJBets.
On the cash-game front, Saturday’s $25,000 Guaranteed, No Limit game (Live format) is the richest event of the holiday weekend. It has a buy-in of $260.
For Pick & Pray preferrers, there’s our “up-to-$20,000” Big Bucks game. (The Saturday version of this is always run as a Pick & Pray.) The purse here is guaranteed to be at least $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 collecting 70 percent of the net pool, the runner up getting 20 percent, and the third-place finisher picking up the remaining 10 percent.
The carryover for Saturday’s $15 Pick 4 Jackpot tourney is up to $8,056. 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 7th and 10th at Woodbine and the 10th and 11th (both stakes) from the Summit of Speed card at Gulfstream.
The Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge has the floor to itself on Saturday at HorsePlayers.
It’s a $179 Live-format qualifier. At least one $10,000 BCBC entry is guaranteed to be at stake, and the winning ratio is 1-per-65.
The 12 contest races for Saturday are the 5th through 10th from Belmont; the 8th, 10th and 11th at Gulfstream; and races 7, 9 and 10 from Woodbine.
On Sunday, Uncle Sam will be pressing his red-white-and-blue suit with a little extra starch, so he can look crisp throughout a lengthy 15-featured-tourney schedule.
The lone Live-format feature on the Sunday menu is our $79 qualifier to the Monmouth Park Haskell Challenge. One of every 15 will earn a $1,000 entry for July 17th.
The rest are all Pick & Prays—even our Sunday Big Bucks game which is usually run in Live Format. It’s an up-to-$20,000 tourney with $7,500 Guaranteed and an entry fee of $1,150. Entries are limited to 20, and payouts go just to the top three finishers.
If you like playing for big money, but prefer to risk less than four figures while doing so, there’s Sunday’s $20,000 Guaranteed, No Limit Pick & Pray. An entry fee of $195 will get you a seat at the table for this one.
Our other Sunday featured cash tourney is the $15 Pick 4 Jackpot tourney (always a Pick & Pray). The jackpot amount will depend on how many competed in the Saturday Pick 4 Jackpot tourney—and whether anyone hit it. Check our website or our Twitter feed on Saturday night for updates.
The high-end Sunday qualifier at HorseTourneys is our Del Mar Summer Challenge Pick & Pray. It carries an entry fee of $236, and a winning ratio of 1-per-20. Winners earn a $4,000 entry for the live-bankroll, on-track tournament on July 31-August 1 at the beautiful racetrack just north of San Diego,
Another rich qualifiers is Sunday’s Pick & Pray play-in to the Canterbury Big 10 BCBC Handicapping Contest (Thursday, September 16). 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.
We again offer two Spa & Surf Showdown qualifiers this Sunday. One is a “regular” $147 Pick & Pray with a winning ratio of 1-in-20. The other is a 1-per-8, $368 Pick & Pray. The grand prize in each case is a $2,500 berth to the $300,000 Guaranteed Showdown here on August 14-15.
One of the more sought-after prizes up for grabs each Sunday is a berth to The BIG One here in September. It’s sought-after because the field for The BIG One will be no more than 57 (each playing just one entry), and there will be plenty of cash on the line plus 10 seats to the winners’ choice of the BCBC, NHC or Pegasus World Cup. Sunday’s qualifier guarantees one winner (who also gets a $500 bonus), and it carries an entry fee of $395. No more than 27 entries will be accepted in this play-in.
Note that Sunday’s qualifier to the Lone Star Summer NHC Finals is again guaranteed this week. So we’ll be awarding at least one $1,000 entry in this $79 Pick & Pray regardless of participation.
Another Pick & Pray is Sunday’s qualifier to the Club Hawthorne OTB contests on July 17-18. These are run as two single-day competitions, and winners of our 1-per-10, $94 play-in get rewarded with $800 in entry fees—enough for both days.
Sunday’s the third consecutive day in which you can qualify for just $59 to the NHC First Chance/Last Chance tournament at Bally’s. It’s a Pick & Pray.
The same price ($59) will get you a 1-in-10 prospect at a $500 entry to the Colonial Downs Handicapping Challenge (a rare Monday contest on July 26th). This can be played online at Xpressbet on the 26th of next month.
The NHC and the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge combine to provide the fireworks at HorsePlayers on Sunday
The NHC qualifier is a Pick Your Year Pick & Pray (PYYP&P). It costs $210 to play, the winning ratio is 1-per-50, and two spots are assured. Winners get to choose whether they wish to play in the August 2021 event or the January 2022 event. Note that, per NHC Tour rules, this qualifier will NOT offer NHC Tour points unless at least two 2022 NHC seats are awarded/chosen.
The Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier is a 1-per-23, Low Ratio Pick & Pray with an entry fee of $500. At least one player will take home a $10,000 BCBC entry at the conclusion of this competition.
Monday is not the Fourth…it’s the Fifth—which, in the U.S., is the observed date of the Fourth for holiday purposes. For contest purposes, we are counting Monday (the Fifth) as a Sunday (like the Fourth). As might befit a pseudo-holiday like the Fifth, we are celebrating with five features.
For cash specialists (and aren’t we all?), we will offer a $15,000 Guaranteed No Limit Pick & Pray for an entry fee of $190.
For $147, you can partake in a Spa & Surf Showdown Pick & Pray with one of every 20 participants grabbing a $2,500 entry for the $300,000 Guaranteed event here in August.
Our fourth consecutive daily Bally’s NHC First Chance/Last Chance qualifier is on the Monday agenda. It’s a 1-per-10, $59 Pick & Pray with a $500 entry serving as the objective.
And it’s not yet showing on our homepage, but reliable sources tell this reporter that we will also offer a Last Chance Lone Star Summer NHC Finals qualifier on Monday. Winner(s) will compete six days hence in Texas. Count on it being $79 to play and that one of every $15 will pocket a $1,000 Lone Star entry.
At the end of this busy weekend that ends on the Fifth, you may be in need of a fifth of a different sort. Enjoy responsibly! And may you and your loved ones have a successful, fun and safe holiday weekend.