First Qualifier to the September 16th Canterbury Big 10 Contest and Last Chance for Lone Star Among 26 Featured Events This Weekend

In addition to being one of the most fun tracks you could ever visit, Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn., has always been a big supporter of contest play. (No wonder so many top tournament players hail from the North Star State.) So we are delighted to now be able to welcome back the suburban Minneapolis oval to the roster of HorseTourneys contest tracks.

In fact, we are doubly glad—because not only can we offer those full Canterbury fields in our single-track tourneys, but we can begin offering qualifiers to what promises to be a very popular event, the Canterbury Big 10 BCBC Handicapping Contest on September 16. 

Playable both onsite and online, the “Big 10” will offer 10 BCBC seats, two NHC seats plus $10,000 in guaranteed cash. It carries an entry fee of $3,000…but you could win your way into it for $177 in our first Canterbury qualifier this Sunday.

That is but one of 26 featured events on the slate at HorseTourneys and HorsePlayers this weekend. Six of those take place on Friday.

The Friday headliner is our $15,000 Guaranteed No-Limit Pick & Pray. You can be a part of it for $190.

Qualifiers to the $300,000 Guaranteed Spa & Surf Showdown (August 14-15) will again be offered on each day of the upcoming weekend. Friday’s play-in is a $147 Pick & Pray with a winning ratio of 1-in-20. Winners get a $2,500 entry into the Showdown—the third and final leg of the 2021 Tourney Triple series.

Monmouth Pick Your Prize Challenge qualifiers are also an omnipresent component of the weekend schedule. Friday’s qualifier is a Pick & Pray with one of every 15 entries, at $156 per entry, gaining a place in the June 12th onsite/online contest.

Yet another weekend “constant” is a $59 qualifier to the NHC First Chance/Last Chance tournament at Bally’s Las Vegas on August 26. In each case, one of every 10 entrants will pick up a $500 entry for the NHC eve test. If you succeed there, you win a 2021 NHC seat or, if you’re already double-qualified for 2021, a 2022 berth. 

The NHC and the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge share the Friday spotlight at HorsePlayers. 

The NHC opportunity is a $75 NHC Pick & Pray with two seats guaranteed and plenty of NHC Tour points all but guaranteed. The winning ratio is 1-per-143, so if we reach the 429-entry mark, a third NHC seat will be added to the prize pool. Remember—you must be a 2021 NHC Tour member, prior to the start of the contest, in order to be eligible for an NHC package in this or any other NHC qualifier. Not a member? You can become one quickly and easily at for a $50 membership fee. 

The other Friday featured get-together at HorsePlayers is a $500 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Low Ratio Pick & Pray. At least one $10,000 BCBC entry is certain to be handed out in this 1-per-23 battle of wits.

Contest races for the Friday featured events are the 7th through 9th from Belmont; the 8th and 9th at Gulfstream; and races 3 through 7 from Santa Anita—10 in all.

Five Live-format and three Pick & Pray features come your way on Saturday.

The weekend’s richest tourney, Saturday’s $25,000 Guaranteed No Limit game, is a live-format event this week. It requires an upfront entry fee of $260.

Also in live-format mode are Saturday’s second of three weekend qualifiers to: the $300,000 Guaranteed Spa & Surf Showdown ($147 buy-in required), Monmouth Pick Your Prize Challenge ($156) and Bally’s NHC First Chance/Last Chance ($59). 

Saturday’s “up-to-$20,000” Big Bucks game is always run as a Pick & Pray, and it has a guaranteed purse of $10,000. Entries are limited to 20 (unless we get a late arrival or two from last-minute Saturday feeders). Payouts go strictly to the top three finishers with the winner landing 70 percent of the net pool, the runner up getting 20 percent, and the third-place finisher picking up the remaining 10 percent. The entry fee is $1,150.

Another “always Pick & Pray” affair is our $15 Pick 4 Jackpot tourney. Saturday’s starts out with a carryover of $3,815. In our Pick 4 Jackpot games, going four-for-four means you win or share the Jackpot. (You don’t have to have the only perfect ticket.) Meanwhile, 70% of the daily 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 are limited to three per person.

Saturday’s Pick 4 Jackpot races are all stakes. They are the 5th and 8th from Belmont; and the 11th and 12th at Gulfstream.

HorsePlayers offers one live feature and one Pick & Pray on Saturday.

The Live, play-as-you-go, option is a $100 NHC qualifier (for 2022) with two spots guaranteed. The winning ratio is 1-per-100 and, similar to Friday, a lot of NHC Tour points figure to be headed out the door at the end of this one,

The Pick & Pray is a “regular,” $179, Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier with at least one $10,000 BCBC entry guaranteed to be won. The winning ratio here is 1-per-65.

Saturday has 12 featured-contest races, and they come from just two tracks. The races in question are the 5th through 10th from Belmont and the 7th through 12th at Gulfstream.

We mentioned earlier that Sunday brings with it our first qualifier to the Canterbury Big 10 BCBC Handicapping Contest on Thursday, September 16. It also offers a noteworthy Last Chance opportunity.

A week from Monday (Memorial Day) is the Lone Star Million Betting Challenge—the climax of three straight days of contest action in Grand Prairie, Texas. Sunday’s Last Chance qualifier (Live format) carries an entry fee of $177, and one entry per 20 will snag a late $2,500 entry for this popular on-site tournament, plus $500 for travel to suburban Dallas.

On the Sunday docket is not one but two Spa & Surf Showdown qualifiers. For $147, you can play in a 1-per-20 game. For $368, you can boost your chances for success in a 1-per-8 play-in. Both are Live-format competitions. The grand prize in both cases is a $2,500 entry for the $300,000 Guaranteed spectacular here on August 14-15. 

There’s also another Monmouth Pick Your Prize qualifier on Sunday. As was the case on Friday and Saturday, a $156 entry fee is a necessary investment on your part. The point of Sunday’s Live-format tourney is a $2,000 entry to the June 12th contest, which can be played onsite at Monmouth or online (Xpresbet or 4NJBets). The winning ratio is 1-per-15.

And yes, as alluded to earlier, there will be another $59 qualifier to the NHC First Chance/Last Chance tournament at Bally’s on August 26th. It’s a Live-format game with one of every 10 entrants earning a $500 spot in the annual NHC eve event.

Sunday is the day of the week around here to earn one of 50 available online spots in The BIG One in September. (Seven buy-ins will also be made available closer to tournament time.) Sunday’s qualifier is a $395 Live-format tilt, and one seat will be awarded regardless of participation. Be aware, though, that The BIG One qualifiers are capped at 27 entries, so don’t wait until the last minute to sign up…just in case too many others have the same idea. The first-place finisher in our weekly The BIG One qualifiers also receive a $500 winner’s bonus for capturing the Sunday play-in, and the runner up gets a $395 consolation prize.

Sunday is also your weekly chance at a $500 entry in the new $50,000 Guaranteed Exacta Extravaganza, which will be held here on September 11-12. In the Exacta Extravaganza, players will make a three-horse exacta box play on each race of the Kentucky Downs and Woodbine cards on both days. Those who do best (with no price caps in effect) will divvy up a $50,000 Guaranteed purse. Sunday’s qualifier is—appropriately—run in the same Live, Exacta Box format, and it costs only $59 to play. One of every 10 contestants this Sunday will pocket a $500 entry to the “Ex Ex.”

If you’re a cash-game specialist, there’s Sunday’s $20,000 Guaranteed No Limit tourney. The entry fee is $195, and the format is Live.

The Sunday Big Bucks tourney is always a Live-format game. It has a guarantee of $7,500, and the final purse could reach $20,000 should we reach the maximum of 20 entrants. The entry fee is $1,150, and prize-pool payouts go just to the top three on a 70-20-10 percent basis.

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 the Preakness Day Pick 4 Jackpot tourney—and whether anyone hit it. Check our website or, maybe even better, our Twitter feed on Saturday night for updates.

On Sunday at HorsePlayers, you can play for a $10,000 seat in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge. 

It’s a 1-per-23, Low-Ratio Pick & Pray, and you can join the prayer group for an entry fee of $500. At least one person’s prayers are guaranteed to be answered.

Good luck to all who will compete this weekend for trips to Texas, Minnesota, Las Vegas or just their local bank. We’ll try to make sure the journey is almost as fun as the destination.