HorseTourneys Closes Out May with an All Optional Live Weekend…and the NHC Lowers the Winning Ratio on its Friday $75 Qualifiers

We haven’t been able to been able to offer All Optional Live tourneys in quite some time…because, frankly, we haven’t had enough weekend tracks with which to create a 25-race schedule. That changes this week, however, with Santa Anita and Golden Gate back on board. We have six “AOL” featured tourneys—but those don’t start until Saturday. Our weekend begins on Friday, of course, and this Friday’s schedule includes an improved winning ratio in one of the week’s most popular events.

Friday’s $75 NHC qualifier at HorsePlayers has had its winning ratio improved from 1 per 143 to 1 per 115. Two seats are still guaranteed, and NHC Tour points continue to be up for grabs. As usual, this Friday feature is a Pick & Pray.

Also a Pick & Pray is Friday’s $500 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier. One seat is guaranteed, and the winning ratio is 1-per-65.

Another two featured events are on the Friday menu here at HorseTourneys.

The day’s big cash tourney is Friday’s $10,000 Guaranteed No Limit Pick & Pray. The entry fee is $190.

Friday also represents the first of three consecutive Spa & Surf Showdown qualifiers on offer this weekend. Each day, a grand prize of a $2,000 entry will go to one of every 20 entries. The buy-in on Friday (and the other days) is $113. The winners get to play two full days of racing from Saratoga and Del Mar on August 15 and 16 for a cash-only prize pool that is guaranteed to be at least $150,000.

We’re back to a nice, normal 10-race schedule of featured-tourney contest races this Friday at both HorseTourneys and HorsePlayers. Those 10 races are: the 6th through 8th from Tampa; the 6th through 10th at Gulfstream; and races 3 and 5 from Santa Anita.

There’s another Saturday Big Bucks competition this week…plus three more marquee games that day at HorseTourneys…two of them to be run in All Optional Live format.

The $10,000 Guaranteed Big Bucks games stays as a Pick & Pray on Saturday. It has an $1,150 buy-in and a maximum of 20 signups. The purse could grow as high as $20,000. Payouts go to the top three finishers on a 70%/20%/10% split.

Despite the introduction of “Big Bucks” to Saturday, we still offer a $25,000 Guaranteed game, which will also be a Pick & Pray this week. It carries an entry fee of $260.

The Saturday qualifier to the Lone Star Park Spring Betting Challenge also remains as a 12-race qualifier (Live format). The entry fee is $80, and the winning ratio is 1-per-15. Winners earn a $1,000 entry for Lone Star’s onsite contest on June 27.

The other two Saturday features at HorseTourneys will be run in All Optional Live format with players required to make 10 plays (mythical $2 to win and place) from 25 eligible races. One of these “AOL” games is Saturday’s $25,000 Guaranteed, No Limit tourney. The entry fee here is $260.

The other All Optional Live feature is Saturday’s Spa & Surf Showdown qualifier. An entry fee of $113 gets you in the door, and the winning ratio is 1-per-20. Winners receive a $2,000 entry to the $150,000 Guaranteed online cash event in August.

The two features at HorsePlayers on Saturday are traditional live-format tourneys consisting of 12 mandatory races.

One is a “regular” NHC qualifier with an entry fee of $165 and two seats guaranteed. The winning ratio is 1-per-65.

The other is a regular Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier. The winning ratio here is also 1-per-65 and at least one $10,000 BCBC entry is guaranteed. Entries cost $179 each.

The 25 Saturday contest races for the two All Optional Live games at HorseTourneys are the 1st through 9th (full card) from Santa Anita; the 7th through 9th at Tampa; the 7th through 11th from Gulfstream; and the 1st through 8th at Golden Gate. The deadline for entry will be about 3:30 pm ET.

The contest races for the two 12-race features at HorseTourneys and both features at HorsePlayers are the 7th and 9th from Tampa; the 7th, 8th, 10th and 11th at Gulfstream; the 6th through 8th from Golden Gate; and the 7th through 9th at Santa Anita. The start time for these should be in the neighborhood of 3:43 pm ET.

Nine more marquee games are on tap Sunday—seven here and two at HorsePlayers.

Last Sunday saw the first Big Bucks tourney run in Live format. Here’s another “first” for a Sunday Big Bucks game—this Sunday’s will be the first one to be run in All Optional Live format. The buy-in amount ($1,150) and the guaranteed purse ($7,500) remain the same as last Sunday’s edition. Here, though, players will make 10 plays from among 25 races.

The same “10-from-25” format will be in place for Sunday’s qualifier to The BIG One. Entries are $395 each and capped at 27. One grand prize is guaranteed in the qualifier, and the runner up gets his or her entry refunded. In The BIG One, to take place here on September 19-20, the top 10 finishers receive their choice of a seat to the NHC, BCBC or Pegasus World Cup plus cash bonuses of at least $75,000. Finishers 11-15 get a choice of either $1,500 or a Horse Players World Series entry. The final field will consist of no more than 57.

Sunday’s $12,500 Guaranteed No Limit tourney is also an All Optional Live game this week. The buy-in is $195.

So is the weekend’s third qualifier to the Spa & Surf Showdown. One of every 20 entries, at $113 per entry, will earn $2,000 tickets to the Showdown and vie for an all-cash prize pool ($150,000 Guaranteed) on August 15-16. Players will be playing each race of the Saratoga and Del Mar cards on both days of the Showdown.

There are also a couple of more customary, 12-race featured tourneys on Sunday. One is the day’s Low Ratio NHC qualifier. It’s not a guaranteed event—there have to be 10 $500 entries on the books for this game to “go”— but this game has yet to not fill. The winning ratio is 1-per-21. (Note that, per NHC Tour rules, Tour points will only be available here if there are enough entries to award two seats.)

Sunday’s up-to-$5,000 Exacta tourney with $1,000 Guaranteed is also a 12-race competition (Live format as always). Perhaps we should rename it the Rhonda Graziano Invitational. She has won this weekly game on each of the last three Sundays.

Of course, we also have a 6-race game on the Sunday schedule—the $8 Pick 6 Jackpot tourney. These are also always run in live-format, and 70% of the net pool gets paid to top finishers via the normal, $2 win/place scoring method, while the other 30% gets directed to the Jackpot pool. You win (or share) the Jackpot if you pick the winners of all six races. This week, the Jackpot is all the way up to $12,071.

There are two features at HorsePlayers on Sunday—one a qualifier to the NHC and the other a play-in for the BCBC.

The NHC tourney is a “regular,” 2-seats-guaranteed qualifier. It is a Pick & Pray with a winning ratio of 1-per-65, and an entry fee of $165.

The Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge test is a Low Ratio, Live-format qualifier with a price tag of $500, and a winning ratio of 1-per-23. One $10,000 BCBC entry is guaranteed to be awarded, however, even if fewer than 23 take part.

Before we sign off, we want to let you know about some special games on Belmont Stakes Day (June 20) that are now available for feeder play and direct entry.

Both the Live-format, $50,000 Guaranteed, No-Limit tourney and the $25,000 Guaranteed No-Limit Pick & Pray will be contested solely on that day’s Belmont card. (In other words, they won’t be multi-track tourneys.)

That’s next month, of course. First things first. Here’s wishing all of you success over the final three days of THIS month.