The 2023 NHC is still 11 months away, but you wouldn’t necessarily know that from the turnouts at recent qualifiers. The norm of late has been for “two-seats-guaranteed” play-ins to wind up awarding three seats.
This weekend, between HorseTourneys and HorsePlayers, we’ll be offering three NHC qualifiers (up from two)—to help address the early cases of NHC Fever apparently out there.
The weekend action gets started on Friday.
The first of the three weekend NHC qualifiers takes place over at HorsePlayers. It’s a $75 Pick & Pray with two seats guaranteed and a winning ratio of 1-per-143.
Back here at HorseTourneys, the weekend featured events will predominantly be run in Pick & Pray format this week. All six of the Friday features fit that category.
Friday’s HT Tour event is our $15,000 Guaranteed No Limit Pick & Pray. An entry fee of $190 gets you a seat in the room.
This is the last full weekend in which to qualify for the 1/ST Ultimate Betting Challenge. Entries to Friday’s Pick & Pray play-in cost $207 apiece, with one of every 20 receiving a $3,500 berth to compete in the March 5th contest, which can be played from either Gulfstream, Santa Anita or Xpressbet.
Another $207 qualifier is Friday’s Keeneland Grade One Gamble play-in. The Keeneland event will be held on Saturday, April 23rd, and it will offer plenty of cash and seats to the NHC and Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge. This year’s “Gamble” can be played either on-track at Keeneland or online at Xpressbet. Winners of Friday’s Keeneland Pick & Pray bag a $3,500 entry.
The Monmouth Pick Your Prize Handicapping Challenge on June 4th is also a hybrid on-track/off-track (Xpressbet/4NJBets) contest this year. Based on 200 entries, the Pick Your Prize Challenge will offer 18 2023 NHC spots, four Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge berths and cash prizes totaling $65,000. You can secure yourself a $2,000 entry to it for $156 in Friday’s 1-per-15 Pick & Pray.
The $350,000 Guaranteed Players Championship, the middle jewel of the 2022 Tourney Triple, is bro hybrid. It’s an online-only affair, hosted right here at HorseTourneys on April 9-10. A $156 entry fee purchases you a 1-in-15 chance at a $2,000 seat for the lucrative, all-cash competition.
The Sam Houston Texas Champions Day contest on March 26th is also not a hybrid, but an on-track-only get together. Two NHC seats on the line will be on the line in that one. An upfront investment of $79 can win you a $1,000 spot in it.
Contest races for Friday are the 6th through 9th from Tampa Bay Downs, the 1st and 3rd at Santa Anita; and the 7th through 10th from Gulfstream—10 races in all.
Saturday is another day in which all the features are Pick & Prays.
One of them is the weekend’s richest tourney, our $30,000 Guaranteed, No Limit cash game, which is also the day’s HT Tour event. Entries cost $350 each.
Saturday’s NHC qualifier takes place right here at HorseTourneys. It’s a good old fashioned $165 Pick & Pray with two spots to the 2023 guaranteed. The winning ratio works out to 1 per 65.
The Saturday Big Bucks tourney is always a Pick & Pray. It’s an “up-to-$20,000” game with a guaranteed purse of $10,000. Entries—at $1,150 per try—are limited to 20 (unless we get a late arrival or two from last-minute Saturday feeders…in which case the pot will slightly 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 grabbing the remaining 10 percent.
The weekend’s second Monmouth Pick Your Prize qualifier is on the Saturday slate. It’s a $156 Pick & Pray with a winning ratio of 1-per-15. Winners earn a $2,000 entry for June 4th.
The same price tag ($156) is in place for Saturday’s Players Championship play-in. It’s a Pick & Pray offering $2,000 seats to the All Optional Live “PC” here on the weekend of April 9-10..
For $207, you can take a swing at another Keeneland Grade One Gamble qualifier…or 1 S/T Ultimate Betting Challenge play-in. The winning ratio for both of these Pick & Prays is 1-in-20.
The $15 Jackpot Pick 4 tourney carryover currently sits at $447. 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 be the only winner.) 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.
The Jackpot Pick 4 races for Saturday are races 7 and 9 at Aqueduct and the 9th and 10th from Gulfstream.
The feature at HorsePlayers on Saturday involves the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.
It’s a $179, Live-format qualifier with at least one $10,000 entry certain to be won regardless of participation. The winning ratio here is 1-per-65.
Saturday’s featured-tourney races are the 6th through 10th from Tampa; the 1st and 3rd at Santa Anita; the 8th and 9th (both graded stakes) from Laurel; and races 9, 10 and 12 at Gulfstream—12 races all together.
On Sunday, we mix in a couple of Live-Format games among the 10 marquee battles.
The Sunday Big Bucks game is always run in Live format. It’s an up-to-$20,000 square-off with an entry fee of $1,150 and a purse guaranteed to be at least $7,500. Entries for this one are limited to 20, and payouts are made only to the top three finishers.
The other seven Sunday features at HorseTourneys are all Pick & Prays, though, including the day’s HT Tour event, our $20,000 Guaranteed, No Limit cash game. Entries will set you back $250 each.
For a third straight day, we’ll again offer Pick & Pray opportunities to qualify for the Pick Your Prize Challenge, the Players Championship, the Keeneland Grade One Gamble and the 1/ST Ultimate Betting Challenge.
After a one-day break, a Pick & Pray qualifier to the Sam Houston Texas Champions Day contest returns to the schedule. It is again a $79, 1-per-15 play-in, with winners garnering a $1,000 seat.
Another $15 Pick 4 Jackpot tourney (a Pick & Pray, as always) is also on tap this Sunday. The Jackpot amount will depend on how many played in the Saturday Pick 4 Jackpot tourney—and whether anyone hit it. Check our website or our Twitter feed starting on Saturday night for updates.
The NHC and the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge share the stage on Sunday at HorsePlayers.
The NHC qualifier is the other Live-format game on the Sunday featured menu. The entry fee is $210, which means a winning ratio of 1-in-50. At least two seats to the 2023 NHC are certain to be won.
The BCBC play-in is a Low Ratio Pick & Pray requiring an entry fee of $500. The winning ratio is 1-per-23. One $10,000 entry for next November is guaranteed regardless of participation.
There you have it—a 26-featured-tourney weekend that shapes up as a fun one. Choose your tourneys wisely—and your horses even wiselier! Good luck to all.