Final Weekend of Qualifying for $350,000 Gtd. Players Championship and Special 5-Seat Florida Derby Day NHC Qualifier Top the Friday-Saturday-Sunday Lineup

If you are hoping to compete in the middle leg of the 2023 Tourney Triple—the $350,000 Guaranteed Players Championship—but would prefer not to pay the full freight of $2,000 for the privilege of doing so, then you’ll want to gear up for this weekend, when we offer the last remaining Friday, Saturday and Sunday qualifiers to the prestigious HorseTourneys “major” taking place here on April 7-8.

Saturday, of course, is Florida Derby Day, and HorsePlayers is rising to the occasion to make a big day even bigger by offering a special $125 Pick & Pray that will award a minimum of five berths to the 2024 NHC in Las Vegas. 

Rest assured, there will be plenty of action on this first weekend in April—but don’t go to sleep on the final day of March, because six featured tourneys make that a very fun day as well.

Friday’s HT Tour event is our $15,000 Guaranteed, No Limit Pick & Pray—which serves as the day’s HT Tour event. The entry fee is $190, and there is no limit as to how big the purse could reach…though it won’t be less than $15,000.

The Friday Players Championship qualifier—the first of three this weekend—is a $156, l-per-15 Pick & Pray. Winners lock down a $2,000 seat for the $350,000 Guaranteed second leg of the 2023 Tourney Triple here on Friday and Saturday, April 7-8.

We mentioned that Saturday is Florida Derby Day. That means that Friday will feature our Last Chance qualifier to the Florida Derby Challenge. The qualifier is a $118 Pick & Pray, with one of every 15 participants earning a $1,500 entry—playable the following day at Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita Park or Xpressbet.

Not long from now, on April 15, the Keeneland Grade One Gamble will take place. You can pick up a $3,500 entry to it on Friday (and Saturday and Sunday) for $207. The winning ratio is 1-per-20, and winners can play their entry on-track at Keeneland or online at Xpressbet.

We’ll be offering Players Championship and Keeneland qualifiers each day of the upcoming weekend—and the same applies vis-a-vis the June 3 Monmouth Pick Your Prize Challenge. 

Friday’s Monmouth Pick Your Prize Challenge qualifier is a Pick & Pray that requires an upfront investment of $156. One of every 15 will secure a $2,000 entry for the popular test in which you “draft” your prize at the end of the day—assuming you’ve done well, of course.

On Friday at HorsePlayers, the NHC hogs the spotlight.

It does so with a $75 NHC qualifier that guarantees two spots for next March. There will also be an ample helping of 2023 NHC Tour points on the table for those who finish in the top 10 percent of the field. Remember—you must be a paid-up member of the 2023 NHC Tour in order to win this or any other NHC qualifier. If you’re not a member, you can become one quickly and easily for $50 at NTRA.com.

Contest races for Friday are the 6th, 7th and 9th from Tampa Bay Downs; the 6th, 8th and 9th at Gulfstream; and the 5th through 8th from Aqueduct—10 races in all.

We’ll begin on Florida Derby Day preview with HorsePlayers—since that is where the 5-seat NHC qualifier will be hosted.

Most of the Saturday features will be run in Live format, but the special $125 NHC play-in guaranteeing 5 seats will be a Pick & Pray. The winning ratio for this one works out to 1-in-80. 

The other marquee game on Saturday at HorsePlayers is a Live-format, $179 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier with one $10,000 berth certain. The winning ratio here is 1-per-65.

Six marquee games—five of them Live-format battles—come your way on Saturday at HorseTourneys.

Saturday’s $30,000 Guaranteed cash tourney is the day’s HT Tour competition, and also the richest game of the week. The doorman out front will ask you for $350 on your way in.

The lone Saturday Pick & Pray among the “HorseTourneys Six” is our $10,000 Guaranteed Big Bucks tourney. The price to play is a not-incidental $1,150 (hence the term “Big Bucks”). The rewards, however, are plenty worthwhile. The winner receives 70 percent of the net pool, the runner up gets 20 percent, and the third-place finisher picks up the remaining 10 percent. Entries are capped at 20, and if we reach that figure, the total purse will exceed $20,000.

On Saturday, we offer the first of two weekend qualifiers to the April 22 Lone Star Spring Betting Challenge. One of every 15 contestants, at $79 per entry, will grab a paid-up $1,000 seat for the on-track-only tournament later this month in the Dallas Metroplex.

As mentioned earlier, there will again be qualifiers on Saturday for the April 7-8 Players Championship ($156 entry fee), the April 15 Keeneland Grade One Gamble ($207) and the June 3 Monmouth Pick Your Prize Challenge ($156). The format for these three on Saturday will be Live. The price points and winning ratios for each are the same as those in place for Friday.

The 12 contest races that will decide featured tourneys on Florida Derby Day are the 9th through 14th (all stakes) from Gulfstream, the 8th and 9th at Tampa; the 7th and 9th from Aqueduct; and the 3rd and 6th at Santa Anita. Closing time is slated for approximately 3:31 pm ET, and the sequence will conclude with the 12-horse Florida Derby at 6:40 pm ET.

On Sunday, all eight of our top games at HorseTourneys and HorsePlayers are Live-format affairs. 

Sunday’s HT Tour skirmish is our $20,000 Guaranteed tourney.  A stake of $250 will get you a seat at the table. 

Sunday Big Bucks tourneys are always run in Live format. It’s an up-to-$20,000 meeting of the minds with a purse guarantee this day of $7,000. Entries cost $1,150. Payouts go just to the top three finishers on a 70/20/10 basis.

Your chance to qualify on Sunday for the 2024 NHC exists here at HorseTourneys. It’s a $165 “two seater” with a winning ratio of 1-per-65.

We’re back on for another Lone Star Spring Betting Challenge on Sunday. As was the case on Saturday, the entry fee is $79, the format is Live and one of every 15 earns a $1,000 entry for April 22 in Texas.

For the third straight day, we’ll have direct qualifiers to the Players Championship, the Keeneland Grade One Gamble, and the Monmouth Pick Your Prize Challenge.

The lone Sunday feature at HorsePlayers is tied to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.

It’s a $500, Low-Ratio, Live-format tourney. The winning ratio is 1-per-23; and at least one $10,000 seat will go into some skillful handicapper’s pocket.

Good luck to our HorseTourneys qualifiers playing in the Florida Derby Challenge on Saturday, and also to those who will be trying their luck right here this weekend. We hope the final day of March and the first days of April treat you well.

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