First Qualifiers to August’s $300,000 Guaranteed Spa & Surf Showdown Top the Friday/Saturday/Sunday Marquee Lineup

With the ink barely dry on Dan Wilde’s $213,000 Players Championship check, it’s time to turn our attention to—and begin trying to qualify for—the third and final leg of the 2021 Tourney Triple, the $300,000 Guaranteed Spa & Surf Showdown here on August 14-15.

As many of you know, the Spa & Surf Showdown requires players to make mythical $2 win and place selection on every race of the full cards from Saratoga and Del Mar each day. Last year’s purse reached $644,000, with winner Scott Fiedler taking home $248,000. 

This year, there’s an added perk to the Showdown. In addition to the $1 million bonuses still available to Flo-Cal Faceoff winner Alan Levitt and Players Championship victor Dan Wilde should either capture the Spa & Surf Showdown, important tournament seats will be awarded to those who finish in the top 3 of the Tourney Triple overall standings. (Players get 100 points for winning a Tourney Triple race, 99 for second, and so on down to 1 point for 100th place.) Here’s what the leaderboard looks like heading into Leg 3:

The top points getter receives a Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge entry plus a 2022 NHC seat. The runner up earns a BCBC entry. And the third-place finisher picks up a berth to The BIG One here in September. (In case of a tie, the higher finish in the Spa & Surf Showdown, even if outside the top 100, will break the tie.)

We’ll offer two qualifiers to the Spa & Surf Showdown this weekend. (They will likely get more frequent sometime soon, and we will also offer low-ratio qualifiers in the near future as well.) When is the first one? This Friday!

Friday’s Showdown play-in is a Pick & Pray with an entry fee of $147 and a winning ratio of 1-per-20. Succeed, and you bag a $2,500 entry for August 14-15.

Our featured Friday cash game has had its guaranteed restored to $15,000 now that Players Championship weekend is behind us. It’s a no-limit Pick & Pray with an entry fee of $190.

There’s also a Friday Monmouth Pick Your Prize qualifier. One of every 15 entries, at $156 per entry, earns a $2,000 seat for the June 12th competition on the Saturday after the Belmont Stakes. It can be played on the 12th at Monmouth, at Xpressbet or—if you live in New Jersey—4NJBets.

There are two featured tourneys at HorsePlayers on Friday. 

One is a $75 NHC Pick & Pray with two seats guaranteed. The winning ratio is 1-per-143, and if we reach 429 entrants, we’ll add in a a third grand prize. Big turnouts in these $75 NHC games mean a good amount of NHC Tour points get distributed to the top 10 percent of the field. Those can mean bonus money or an NHC berth at the conclusion of the 2021 NHC Tour year.

The other Friday HorsePlayers feature is a $500 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Pick & Pray. At least one $10,000 BCBC entry will definitely be won by some skillful handicapper.

Contest races for the Friday features are the 5th through 9th from Keeneland; the 7th and 8th at Tampa Bay Downs; and the 5th, 6th and 8th from Aqueduct10 races in total.

On Saturday, our top attraction is the weekend’s richest event.

It’s a $25,000 Guaranteed, no-limit cash tourney. The entry fee for this live-format competition is $260, and the only limit on the size of the final purse is how many entries we receive.

Saturday’s “up-to-$20,000” Big Bucks game is a Pick & Pray with a guaranteed pot of $10,000. Entries are limited to 20 (unless we get a late arrival or two from last-minute Saturday feeders). Payoffs go only to the top three finishers with the winner taking 70 percent of the net pool, the runner up getting 20 percent, and the third-place finisher pocketing the remaining 10 percent. The entry fee for this big-money, short-field event is $1,150.

There’s an NHC qualifier here at HorseTourneys on Saturday. It’s a “regular,” $165 Pick & Pray with two berths to the 2022 event assured.

Saturday’s Monmouth Pick Your Prize qualifier has a barrier to entry of $156, and it offers a a $2,000 entry to the June 12th tournament to one of every 15 contestants. In the Pick Your Prize tournament, you can compete for NHC seats, BCBC entries and cash. The format here for the Saturday qualifier is Live. 

The $15 Pick 4 Jackpot tourney starts out on Saturday with a carryover of $834. In our Pick 4 Jackpot games, if you go four-for-four, you win or share the Jackpot. (You don’t have to have the only perfect ticket.) Meanwhile, 70% of the net pool gets paid out to players via the traditional $2.00 win/place scoring system. (The other 30% goes to the Jackpot pool.) Entries in these Jackpot Pick 4 tourneys—always run as Pick & Prays—are limited to three per person.

Saturday’s Pick 4 Jackpot races will be the 5th and 9th at Keeneland and the 7th and 8th from Aqueduct.

The Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge has the main stage to itself at HorsePlayers on Saturday.

It’s a $179, live-format qualifier with at least one $10,000 entry certain to be awarded. The winning ratio is 1-per-65. 

The 12 Saturday contest races are the 5th, 6th, 9th and 11th from Keeneland; the 6th, 8th, 10th and 11th at Gulfstream; and races 6 through 9 from the Big A.

The Spa & Surf Showdown…or at least a qualifier for it…is back on the docket for Sunday.

Same parameters as the Friday Showdown qualifier. It’s a $147 Pick & Pray and 1 in 20 will get a $2,500 entry for the final leg of the Tourney Triple.

If you don’t want to wait until August to win a nice sum of money, there’s Sunday’s $20,000 Guaranteed No Limit cash game. The entry fee is $195, and it will be played in Live format this week.

The Sunday Big Bucks tourney is always a live-format game. It has a guarantee of $7,500, and the final pot could reach $20,000 if we reach the maximum 20 entrants. The entry fee is $1,150, and prizes go just to the top three.

Sunday is your one chance of the week to qualify for The BIG One. Sunday’s play-in is a $395 live-format test, and one berth will be awarded regardless of participation. Note, however, that these qualifiers to The BIG One are capped at 27 entries. The first-place finisher also receives a $500 winner’s bonus. The runner up gets a $395 consolation prize. Keep in mind that when The BIG One is contested in September, the field will be no more than 57, with each entrant playing just one entry in his or quest for major-tournament seats and quite a bit of money.

You can also win a spot on Sunday for the Lone Star Million Betting Challenge. The Lone Star Challenge is the grand finale of three consecutive days of contest action in Grand Prairie, Tex. Sunday’s qualifier carries an entry fee of $177, and one entry per 20 will pick up a $2,000 entry for the May 31st (Memorial Day) on-site event, plus $500 for travel to Texas.

We’ll have another $15 Pick 4 Jackpot tourney (always a Pick & Pray) on Sunday. The jackpot amount will depend on how many played in Saturday’s Pick 4 Jackpot tourney—and whether anyone hit it. Check our home page or our Twitter feed on Saturday night for updates.

Two more features come your way at HorsePlayers on Sunday.

The day’s NHC qualifier carries a lower-than-par $100 entry fee. Two seats to the 2022 big dance are guaranteed in this live-format battle. The winning ratio is 1-per-100.

At least one $10,000 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge entry will be on the line in Sunday’s Low Ratio qualifier. It’s $500 to take part in this 1-per-23 Pick & Pray.

Good luck to all this weekend—and especially to the many HorseTourneys qualifiers who will be competing on Saturday in the Keeneland Grade One Gamble. May your “Gamble” pay off.