Whether you’re on-site or watching from home, the first weekend of Saratoga tends to put an extra spring in one’s step for people like us. For whatever reason, it’s an extra-fun time to bet—and to play contests—and we at HorseTourneys are ready to try and make an exciting weekend even more compelling with a slew of worthwhile events. The weekend features—most of them Pick & Prays this week—get rolling on Friday.
The first of the weekend’s three HT Tour battles is our $15,000 Guaranteed No Limit Pick & Pray. An investment of $190 gets you in the door.
The $400,000 Guaranteed Spa & Surf Showdown is suddenly just three weeks away. We’ll have at least one qualifier for it every day of the upcoming weekend. Friday’s is a $147 Pick & Pray, with one of every 20 entrants receiving a $2,500 berth into the two-day all-cash tourney here on August 6-7. (Also keep an eye out for pop-up, Saratoga-only direct qualifiers to the Showdown.)
There will also be a qualifier each day of the weekend for next week’s Haskell Challenge, which will be played exclusively at Xpressbet or, within the state of New Jersey, at 4NJBets. Friday’s 1-per-15 Pick & Pray costs $79, and winners garner a $1,000 entry for July 23rd.
At HorsePlayers on Friday, there are qualifiers for both the NHC and the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.
Friday’s NHC qualifier is a $75 Pick & Pray with two seats guaranteed and a winning ratio of 1-per-143. Entries are limited to three per person. Remember—you must be a 2022 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 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge game is a $500 Low Ratio Pick & Pray. The winning ratio is 1-per-23, and at least one $10,000 entry is guaranteed.
Friday’s 10 contest races are the 5th through 10th from Saratoga; the 7th and 8th at Woodbine; and the 7th and 8th from Monmouth.
Saturday is not only “Opening Saturday” at Saratoga, it’s a big day of stakes racing at Laurel as well. We’ll be leaning heavily on those two tracks to serve as the “contest-race providers” for our nine Saturday marquee games—all of which are Pick & Prays.
One of the nine is a brand-new qualifier—a $71 play-in for the Colonial Downs Handicapping Challenge taking place on Monday, August 16. The $600 buy-in tournament will be played online at Xpressbet—and you can win a place in it this Saturday in our 1-per-10 Pick & Pray. We’ll also offer another one of these on Sunday.
The richest competition of the week is Saturday’s HT Tour event, our $30,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray. It’s $350 to play.
Our $10,000 Guaranteed Big Bucks game is always a Pick & Pray on Saturdays. It’s an “up-to-$20,000” skirmish with an entry fee of $1,150—and there is a limit of 20 entries that will be accomodated. Payouts go only to the top three finishers with the winner taking the biggest share (70 percent) of the net pool, the runner up getting 20 percent, and the third-place finisher picking up the remaining 10 percent.
Saturday is the first of two consecutive days of guaranteed Pick & Pray qualifiers to The BIG One —a mythical-money contest here at HorseTourneys on Saturday and Sunday, September 17-18. In The BIG One, the field will be no greater than 57, and no one will be playing more than one entry. Despite the modest field, the prizes will be gaudy. The top 10 finishers will all receive cash and his or her choice of a seat to the NHC, the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge, or the Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship. (At least two of the seats awarded must be for the NHC.) Saturday’s qualifier carries an entry fee of $395, and there is a limit of 27 entries that will be accepted. Also—the winner of the qualifier gets a $500 bonus prize in addition to the September entry…and the runner up receives a $395 refund/consolation prize.
Starting this week, we are offering two qualifiers per weekend (one each on Saturday and Sunday) to the July 30-31 Del Mar Summer Challenge. Saturday’s Pick & Pray calls for an entry fee of $295, with one of every 20 entrants grabbing up a $5,000 entry to the lucrative, Southern California on-track tournament.
As noted earlier, there will also be a Saturday qualifier to the Spa & Surf Showdown ($147 entry fee; 1-per-20 winning ratio) and the Haskell Challenge ($79, 1-per-15). Both will be Pick & Prays.
At HorsePlayers on Saturday, handicappers can again vie for spots in the NHC, the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge…or both.
The NHC qualifier tis a “regular,” $165 Pick & Pray with two seats guaranteed and a winning ratio of 1-per-65.
The BCBC tilt is a $179 Pick & Pray with the same winning ratio of 1-per-65. One $10,000 seat is guaranteed here.
Saturday’s 12 featured-tourney races are the 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th and 11th from Saratoga; the 8th, 9th and 11th at Monmouth; and the 7th, 9th and 10th (all stakes, including the DeFrancis Dash) from Laurel. Closing time will be approximately 3:21 pm ET.
Nine more featured tourneys appear on the Sunday schedule.
Sunday’s HT Tour competition is our $20,000 Guaranteed, No Limit Pick & Pray. Put up $250, and you’re in.
One of the few Live-format features this weekend is Sunday’s Big Bucks game—an up-to-$20,000 tourney with a barrier to entry of $1,150 and a purse guaranteed to be at least $7,500. Total entries will again be capped at 20, and payouts go only to the top three finishers.
Pick & Pray qualifiers to The BIG One ($395 entry fee, 1 seat guaranteed), the $400,000 Guaranteed Spa & Surf Showdown ($147, 1-per-20 winning ratio); the Del Mar Summer Challenge ($295, 1-per-20); the Colonial Downs Handicapping Challenge ($71, 1-per-10) and the Haskell Challenge ($79, 1-per-15) are all on the Sunday featured-tourney slate at HorseTourneys.
Meanwhile at HorsePlayers, you can again take swings at both the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge and the NHC.
The BCBC game is a $500 Low Ratio Pick & Pray. The winning ratio is 1-per-23, and at least one $10,000 entry is certain.
We switch to Live format for Sunday’s NHC qualifier—a special $210 play-in with two spots guaranteed. The winning ratio for this one works out to 1-per-50.
Enjoy the action at the Spa and at your other tracks of choice. We send out special good-luck wishes to those competing as HorseTourneys qualifiers in Saturday’s Lone Star Summer Betting Challenge. Knock ‘em dead!