Del Mar Qualifier, Big Bucks and Regular $10,000 Guaranteed Tourneys, First Chance at Stars & Stripes Plus Six Certain NHC Seats Among the Highlights of Weekend Jam-Packed with 20 Featured Events

If you like action, this is a really terrific weekend coming up at HorseTourneys and HorsePlayers. We have a total of 20 featured events on the Friday-Saturday-Sunday schedule and a rich blend of significant cash games and qualifiers to some of the top brick-and-mortar tournaments around the country. An excellent microcosm of the weekend offerings is on display for Friday.

By now, you are probably aware that our Friday up-to-$12,500 Pick & Pray has had its guarantee upped to $7,500. Last week, the game had a purse of more than $11,000. With an entry fee of $190 and an entry limit of 75, this Friday staple is a really fun way to bring the workweek to a close

HorsePlayers has a featured tourney of its own on Friday—one likely to draw a big crowd.

It’s an always-popular $75 NHC Pick & Pray with two spots guaranteed. The winning ratio is one per 143 (though, again, two prizes are guaranteed), and if we reach the 429-entry mark, a third “Bally’s Berth” will be added to the prize pool.

Contest races for both featured tourneys on Friday will be the 5th, 6th, 8th and 9th from Belmont; the 7th through 10th at Laurel; and the 3rd and 5th from Santa Anita—10 races in all.

With 61 entrants now lined up, the guaranteed purse of the August 3-4 Spa & Surf Showdown right here at HorseTourneys is now up to $107,970. The pot will continue to grow through June and July, of course, and due to popular demand, we will now be offering two Spa & Surf qualifiers each weekend…starting on Saturday.

Most of the Saturday features, including the Spa & Surf Showdown play-in, will be run in live format this week—including our NHC qualifier.

This one is a “regular” qualifier with two seats to the February 2020 event guaranteed. One per 65 will win and move on to Vegas.

You can win your way into another Las Vegas contest this Saturday: the Orleans Fall Classic. The entry fee for this qualifier is just $79, and winners (one per 15) will earn a $500 entry to the three-day, mythical money competition at The Orleans, plus another $500 for travel.

Those in more of a New York State of Mind may prefer Saturday’s Saratoga Challenge qualifier. (Though, frankly, upstate New York calls for an altogether different mindset than downstate, and I was never quite sure why they played the Billy Joel song at the end of each Spa card.) The Saratoga Challenge is run as two single-day tourneys, and our Saturday winner or winners will receive $3,000 in entry fees (good for both days) plus $500 for travel. Entries to this live-format tourney are $166 each, and the winning ratio is 1 per 25.

I’ve probably been remiss for not mentioning it already…but our richest tourney of the weekend is Saturday’s up-to-$30,000 game, also to be run in live format this week. The entry fee is $260, and there is a guaranteed purse of at least $17,500 in this one. No more than 133 entries will be accepted.

At HorsePlayers, the Saturday star of the day is the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.

Saturday’s qualifier is a “regular,” $179 event with one $10,000 entry guaranteed to be awarded. The winning ratio is 1 per 65 and please note that, unlike the day’s other featured tourneys, this one is a Pick & Pray.

Saturday contest races for the featured events at HorseTourneys and HorsePlayers are the 9th through 13th at Monmouth, where it’s United Nations Day; the 7th, 8th and 10th from Belmont; and the 4th, 6th, 7th and 8th at Santa Anita—12 races in total.

We have no fewer than 11 featured contests on Sunday—nine of them here at HorseTourneys.

Back on the board this Sunday is our every-other-week Big Bucks tourney with $10,000 Guaranteed. Always run as a Pick & Pray, our Big Bucks game costs $1,150 to play and offers a purse of up to $20,000 (or slightly above) with a limit of 20 entries total. Payoffs go only to the top three…on a 70/20/10 percent basis.

There’s also a “regular” $10,000 Guaranteed game on Sunday that also has a purse possibility of up to $20,000. This one has a lower entry fee, $195. But here, you’ll have as many as 117 opponents to defeat. Tougher…but equally lucrative…and less expensive!

There wasn’t enough room to include it in the above screenshot…but another fun cash game is our up-to-$5,000 Exacta tourney with $1,000 Guaranteed. Always run in live format, this game carries an entry fee of $125 and requires players to play a mythical $1.00 three-horse exacta box in each of the 12 contest races. Entries are capped at 45, and payoff caps are never in effect.

Want to go all the way over to the far side of featured-tourney, entry-fee spectrum? Then try our Jackpot Pick 6 tourney. The entry fee is just $8, with 70 percent of the net pool going to the top finishers, and 30% being directed to the carryover pool should no one get all six contest races right. If someone does, though, that $8 would take down the jackpot pool (currently $1,891). If more than one player does so, then the jackpot pool is shared.

Shifting back to the high-rent district, we have two high-end qualifiers on tap this Sunday. One is to the “high expectation” The BIG One at Laurel Park on September 21-22. Some may prefer to think of it as The BIG Two…because we now guaranteed two all-inclusive packages in our Sunday qualifier. Make it to Laurel and you’ll be one of no more than 57 players competing for 10 NHC spots, five BCBC entries, five Pegasus World Cup entries plus at least $75,000 in cash. (Hence the term “high expectation”!)

Another lucrative Sunday qualifier affords players the chance to earn an $8,500 package to the July 27-28 Del Mar Summer Challenge. This one is expected to offer $250,000 in total prizes including eight NHC seats and another eight BCBC berths (based on 125 entries).

There’s also a “first chance” qualifier on the Sunday schedule. It’s to the July 7 Stars & Stripes Challenge at Belmont Park. Winners in this one-per-10 affair receive a $500 entry to the holiday weekend contest in New York. It’s just $59 to take part.

Only slightly more costly is our qualifier to the July 14 Stars of Texas Betting Challenge at Lone Star Park. Entries in this live-format game are $79, and one of every 15 who sign up will earn a $1,000 buy-in for the Grand Prairie, Texas, contest.

Last but far from least is the weekend’s second qualifier to the August 3-4 Spa & Surf Showdown. As is the case on Saturday, Sunday’s “play-in” is a live-format tourney carrying an entry fee of $113 and a winning ratio of 1 in 20. Winners receive a $2,000 entry to play the Saratoga/Del Mar-only cyber tournament here in early August.

HorsePlayers has two features on its Sunday docket…one tied to the NHC and the other to the BCBC.

The NHC tourney is a “regular” Pick & Pray with two berths guaranteed to be awarded. The winning ratio is one per 65.

The Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier is a “Low Ratio” event with an entry fee of $500, and a winning ratio of one in just 23. This one will be run, like the majority of the weekend’s featured games, in live format.

Before we say goodbye, we want to wish good luck to Jason Avila, Kevin Willett and Travis Foelsch who qualified through HorseTourneys and will be competing in this Saturday’s Santa Anita Spring Challenge.

We also want to call your attention to an exciting free tourney that we just announced.

It takes place on the Fourth of July and has a total purse of $5,000 ($2,000 to the winner). The winner also gets an additional $1,000 to donate to his or her choice of the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF), the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation—three of our favorite national horse racing-related charities. One small catch—you can’t just sign up for this tourney on July 4th. You must qualify for it in one of many free feeders that we’ll be offering, starting on Monday, June 24. Tell your friends! It’s a chance to have fun, win money and show your support for a good cause.

In the meantime…good luck in your tourneys this weekend!