New Woodbine Mile, Hawthorne OTB and Lone Star Qualifiers Join Roster of 17 Featured Events During First Weekend of Summer

Not only can you compete for contest seats this weekend in all of your favorite events like the NHC, BCBC, The BIG One, Saratoga Del Mar and Keeneland, this week we have three newcomers to the proceedings—the Woodbine Mile Horseplayers Tournament, the Stars of Texas Betting Challenge and the Hawthorne OTBs Summer NHC Qualifier—and all have direct qualifiers this weekend at HorseTourneys.

HorseTourneys is also your home for top-notch cash games, and it is in that category that the featured schedule kicks off on Friday.

It’s the wonderful workweek-ender, the up-to-$12,500 Pick & Pray with $7,000 guaranteed. The entry fee is $190, and total entries are limited to 75. There are 10 races on the docket: the 7th and 9th from Laurel; the 3rd, 6th, 7th and 8th from Santa Anita; the 7th and 9th from Gulfstream and the 6th and 7th from Belmont.

On Saturday, there are six featured events, including one of the weekend’s three first-time qualifiers:

The new kid on the block is the $63 qualifier for the July 27-28 Hawthorne OTBs Summer NHC Qualifier. One in every 15 entries will win $800 in entry fees for the Illinois event—enough for an entry in each of the two single-day events. Players will start with $400 in their live bankroll each day and that is pretty much it as far as rules are concerned. There are no additional entry fees and two NHC seats will be available to the top scorers each day, and the first place finisher each day will not just go to the NHC, but will go to the NHC alive for a $1 million bonus should he or she win the Treasure Island event. There is one very important thing to keep in mind, though. The event may only be played on July 27-28 and one of the 10 Club Hawthorne OTBs in the area. The contest will not be taking place at Hawthorne Race Course.

If you prefer brick-and-mortar events at racetracks, then perhaps our Saratoga Challenge qualifier is for you. Like the Hawthorne OTB affair, the Saratoga competitions will be run as two single-day tournaments.

If you prefer brick-and-mortar events at casinos, then perhaps Saturday’s qualifier for the Orleans Fall Classic is more your cup of tea (as those at Royal Ascot might say).

Cash, of course, is everyone’s cup of tea. Our Saturday up-to-$30,000 cash game is a Pick & Pray this week and guaranteed at $17,500 no matter how many enter. (Entries, at $260 each, are limited to 133.)

Contest races for Saturday are the 6th, 8th and 9th from Belmont; the 4th through 9th from Santa Anita; and the 9th through 11th from Gulfstream—12 in all.

That same slate of contest races will serve as the structure for the two featured tourneys at HorsePlayers on Saturday.

One is an NHC Super Qualifier with one berth guaranteed and a 1 in 21 chance for success. The other is a ‘regular” BCBC qualifier with one $10,000 entry prize guaranteed and a 1 in 65 winning ratio. This BCBC event is a Pick & Pray like most of this weekend’s featured tourneys—but note that the NHC Super Qualifier will be run in live-format mode.

You may need a scorecard to keep our Sunday featured events straight—there are 10 of them all together, eight at HorseTourneys and two at HorsePlayers.

(Couldn’t even fit ’em all on one screenshot.)

There are three very “high-end” tourneys on Sunday. One is our Pick & Pray qualifier to The BIG One, which is back up to 2-seats-guaranteed this week. Last week, Dan Shugar joined the ranks of the no-more-than-57 who will compete in late September at Laurel for 10 NHC seats, 10 BCBC entries and 10 Horse Player World Series entries…plus cash. As always, all The BIG One qualifier prize winners earn all-inclusive packages including travel, hotel, welcome dinner, open bar and buffet at Laurel and transfers between Laurel and the host hotel.

Another lucrative qualifier on Sunday is that for the Del Mar Handicapping Challenge on July 28-29. Winners here, one per each 25 entries in this live-format game, earns an $8,500 package to compete at one of the most delightful racetracks on earth.

Then there’s our up-to-$20,000 Sunday tourney which, this week, has a guaranteed person of $10,000 even if just you and your dog sign up.

We mentioned earlier about the new games this week. One of those is a qualifier for the Woodbine Mile Horseplayers Tournament. Woodbine is considered by many to be one of the very best, most hospitable tournament hosts, and this event has the added attraction of being held on Woodbine Mile Day. Winners receive a package including entry fee ($3,500 Canadian) and travel ($500 U.S.). At stake up in suburban Toronto are two BCBC entries and four NHC berths—plus some nice stacks of that always-dignified-looking Canadian money.

The other “first chance” event on Sunday is an entry-only qualifier to the Stars of Texas tournament at Lone Star Park on July 15 (right around the corner). This qualifier costs just $41 to play and one in 10 will win a $350 entry fee. This event at Lone Star will work somewhat similarly to the Hawthorne OTB competitions—no entry fee…that $350 is yours to bet with, and may the best bettors win! At least two NHC seats will be on offer down in the Lone Star state.

Sunday is also your next-to-last opportunity to earn a $500 entry to the July 7 Stars and Stripes Challenge at Belmont. Entries to this 1-in-10 winning ratio contest cost just $59.

And, of course, we’ll be offering an up-to-$5,000 Exacta tourney. As always in this event, players are required to select a three-horse exacta box in each race. Here, $2,000 is guaranteed regardless of participation, and there are never any price caps. Whatever your exacta pays is what you get on your scorecard.

As on Saturday, HorsePlayers offers Sunday handicappers a chance to qualify for either the NHC, the BCBC or both.

The NHC qualifier is a “regular” live-format tourney with two packages certain and an entry fee of $165 (one in 65 winning ratio).

The BCBC competition is a “Low Ratio” contest with an entry fee of $500 and winning ratio of just one in 23. This one is a Pick & Pray, so you can enter in your picks for this one early, and then focus on the NHC qualifier, changing your picks along the way in that one, if you wish.

It’s an even fuller menu of featured tournaments than usual this weekend. Whichever tourneys you target, we wish you the very best of luck.