NHC, The BIG One, Ky. Derby B.C. Qualifiers Highlight Another Robust February Weekend


Last weekend, HorseTourneys awarded 27 seats to important on-site contests throughout the U.S. This weekend, with 11 qualifiers scheduled, we just may exceed that total.

We haven’t forgotten our cash-game fans, though.


On Friday, We’ll again host a $6,500 Guaranteed Pick & Pray offering $3,000 to the winner and prizes down to fourth place. There will be 10 contest races—Aqueduct’s 6th and 7th; Gulfstream’s 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th; Fair Grounds’s 7th and 8th; and Oaklawn’s 8th and 9th.

Some of you may have already noticed that we have also added a fun $500 guaranteed game to our Wednesday, Thursday and Friday Quick Early Bird schedule for just $12. You could win up to $250…and if you lose, well, at least it will be over quickly…just six races and about an hour and 20 minutes each day.

There’s more cash to hand out on Saturday.


The top cash event that day is our $15,000 Guaranteed tourney (Pick & Pray format) with $7,000 to the winner; and payouts down to 7th place. Entry fee is $195 with a limit of 86 entries. Contest races for this—and for all of our Saturday featured tourneys are the 8th through 11th at Gulfstream, the 8th through 10th at Tampa, the 5th through 7th at Oaklawn, and the 10th and 11th at Fair Grounds—12 races in all with the grand finale being the 14-horse Risen Star Stakes, the first 50-point race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

We’ll also host another $2,000 Guaranteed Saturday Night Live tourney, using the evening tracks…but let’s talk qualifiers.

It’s safe to say that our most popular qualifier of the weekend will be Saturday’s NHC Pick & Pray (indeed, most of this weekend’s featured tourneys are of the Pick & Pray variety) with three NHC berths guaranteed and up to five awarded based on participation. The entry fee is $165 (two entries maximum per person).

We’ll also host a Horse Player World Series full-package direct qualifier (with one in 25 winning an entry, plus hotel and travel) and a Pick & Pray feeder to our Sunday The BIG One qualifier. Entry fees are $116 for the HPWS contest and $87 for the feeder to The BIG One. And there’s also a $110 feeder to Sunday’s Kentucky Derby Betting Championship qualifier on tap.

The Saturday docket also includes a qualifier to The Stronach Group Ultimate Betting Challenge (March 11), where cash and up to 10 NHC seats and five BCBC spots will be at stake. Entries to this are $232 apiece with one in 25 winning a $4,500 entry along with $500 for your travel costs.

We round things out on Saturday with a $69 qualifier to Keene;and’s April 22 $400 Spring Challenge where two NHC seats, one BCBC seat and cash make up the prize pool.

If Saturday sounds busy, it’s just a relative warm-up compared to Sunday, which has seven big qualifiers slated.


Some would say our top event on Sunday is our seventh qualifier of the year to The BIG One. One all-inclusive package (entry, travel, hotel & more) is guaranteed to be awarded, and entries (at $390 each) are capped at 35, with up to five $300 consolation prizes also available. Last week, Anthony Trezza added his name to the select group that will battle for NHC and BCBC spots plus cash on the last weekend of September at Laurel.

Others could reasonably claim that our most coveted tournament seat available on Sunday is the one (or more) to the Kentucky Derby Betting Challenge. This one costs $495 with one in 40 winning…and oh what a win it would be: a $12,000 entry plus hotel, ticket and amenities for Oaks and Derby days at Churchill Downs, along with $500 in travel.

Keeneland is again an important part of our Sunday mix with a qualifier to its April 23 Grade One Gamble. Five NHC spots and five BCBC spots (plus lots of money) will be at stake on April 23 (the day after the Keeneland $400 Spring Challenge). Entries are $162 each with one in 25 winning a $3,000 entry fee (dining included) plus $500 for travel.

Then there’s an entry-only Pick & Pray to the $200,000 Wynn Handicapping Challenge, with one in 20 winning a $2,000 entry to the prestigious August event.

Another great tourney for which we’ll hold a Sunday qualifier is the June 3 Monmouth Park Pick Your Prize tournament where up to 13 NHC spots and four $10,000 BCBC entries will be awarded, as well as cash prizes of varying amounts. The prize or prizes you receive are your choice, but the higher you finish, the higher your “draft pick”. This qualifier costs $116 with one entrant per 25 receiving a $2,000 entry plus $500 for travel to Oceanport, NJ.

Or you could shoot for the Hawthorne Spring NHC tourneys on March 24-25, which go as two separate one-day tourneys with a $400 live bankroll (no entry fee) required each day. Winners of our qualifier (one per just 15 entries at $62 per entry) will receive $800 in bankroll cash—enough for both days. At Hawthorne, you would be competing for four NHC seats and two BCBC entries during the weekend.

Last but not least, an entry-only qualifier to the Horse Player World Series ($1,500 value) is on tap Sunday. Entry costs $87 with one in 20 winning a seat to next month’s “major” at The Orleans in Las Vegas.

You may want some money to pay for all of these qualifier entries, so we also have a Sunday $8,500 Guaranteed cash game. $4,000 will go to the winner and cash prizes will be paid down to 5th. Entry is $190. And, of course, we’ll be hosting another $1,500 Guaranteed Exacta Box tournament on Sunday for $54 ($600 to the victor). This Exacta Box game (along with our Saturday Night Live contest) is one of the very few featured events this weekend that will be run in “Live” format.

A lot of players lately have been entering one set of picks in multiple tournaments on a given day so that, if they are having a good day, they could qualify to more than one event on their wish list. Others focus solely on a particular tourney each week and purchase multiple entries to increase their odds for success. Still others prefer to study the races ahead of time, then decide how aggressively they will attack a day’s menu.

Whatever your strategy, we wish you luck and fun. The skill part is up to you.