Last Chance to Get Into Ultimate Betting Challenge and Free NHC Qualifier on Saturday Highlight First Weekend in March.

The first of four free NHC qualifiers in 2022, and the last of many play-ins to Saturday’s 1/ST Ultimate Betting Challenge are two headlines in what shapes up as an action-packed weekend at HorseTourneys and HorsePlayers.

If you are a paid-up member of the 2022 NHC Tour, you can take a free swing at a 2023 NHC seat this Saturday at HorsePlayers. The top five will all get one. (If you’re not a member, you can join for $50 at So if you are a member, sign up for the complimentary entry at HorsePlayers before you forget. 

That free event takes place on Saturday, though. As always, the weekend action around here kicks off on Friday.

Friday is your absolute last chance to qualify for the 1/ST Ultimate Betting Challenge…and with good reason…the “UBC” takes place on Saturday. Entries to Friday’s Pick & Pray play-in cost $207 each, and one of every 20 gets a $3,500 seat for the March 5th contest, which can be played from either Gulfstream, Santa Anita or Xpressbet. Up for grabs in the UBC (based on 125 entries) will be one Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge seat, two 2023 NHC spots and nine berths to the 2023 Pegasus World Cup Contest. (The winner earns an entry in all three!)

Friday’s HT Tour event is our $15,000 Guaranteed No Limit Pick & Pray. You can compete if you put up an entry fee of $190.

There’s also a qualifier on Friday to the Keeneland Grade One Gamble. The Keeneland event will be held on Saturday, April 23rd, and it will offer cash prizes plus seats to the NHC and Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge. This year’s “Gamble” can be played either on-track at Keeneland or online at Xpressbet. Winners of Friday’s Keeneland Pick & Pray play-in garner a $3,500 entry.

The Monmouth Pick Your Prize Handicapping Challenge on June 4th is also a hybrid on-track/off-track (Xpressbet/4NJBets) contest. Based on 200 entries, the Pick Your Prize Challenge will offer a whopping 18 2023 NHC spots, four Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge berths and cash prizes totaling $65,000. You can lock down a $2,000 entry to it for $156 in Friday’s 1-per-15 Pick & Pray.

The $350,000 Guaranteed Players Championship, the middle leg of the 2022 Tourney Triple, will be held right here at HorseTourneys on April 9-10. A $156 entry fee buys you a 1-in-15 chance at a $2,000 seat for the lucrative, all-cash competition.

Also on the Friday schedule: a play-in to the onsite Sam Houston Texas Champions Day contest on March 26th . Two NHC seats will be at stake in that one. The entry fee  on Friday is $79, and the grand prize is a $1,000 seat.

The first of three NHC qualifiers during the weekend will take place on Friday at HorsePlayers. The Friday competition is not free (like Saturday’s), but it’s not too expensive.

It’s a $75 Pick & Pray with two seats guaranteed and a winning ratio of 1-per-143. Also…major NHC Tour points are always up for grabs in these well-attended Friday games. Those points could come in handy if you are trying to make a push for one of the free NHC spots available to those “not otherwise qualified” or those shooting for a big prize atop the year-end NHC Tour standings.

Contest races for Friday are the 6th through 9th from Tampa Bay Downs, the 5th, 6th, 9th and 10th at Gulfstream; and race 6 and 8 from Aqueduct—10 races in all.

Saturday is the day of the big, free NHC qualifier.

It takes place at HorsePlayers, and it’s a 15-race Pick & Pray with five seats guaranteed to be won. Again, you must be a paid-up member of the 2022 NHC Tour in order to play and win. The 15 races that can land you in the NHC next January are: races 7 through 13 on the big Fountain of Youth Day card at Gulfstream; the 7th, 8th and 10th at Aqueduct, where it’s Gotham Day; and races 4, 5, 6, 10 and 11 from Santa Anita, where the 11th and final is the Santa Anita Handicap (known not all that long ago as “The Big ‘Cap”). Twelve of the 15 races are stakes…11 of them graded stakes. Closing time for the gratis Pick & Pray is slated for 3:10 pm ET. 

There’s also a 12-race, Live-format Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge play-in on the Saturday menu. The entry fee is $179, the winning ratio is 1-per-65, and at least one $10,000 BCBC entry is certain to be headed out the door regardless of participation.

Back here at HorsePlayers, there are several excellent 12-race featured tourneys on Saturday.

One of them is the weekend’s richest tourney, our $30,000 Guaranteed, No Limit cash game, which is also the day’s HT Tour event. It’s a Live-format game this week, and entries will set you back $350 each.

The Saturday Big Bucks tourney is always a Pick & Pray. It’s an “up-to-$20,000” game with a guaranteed purse of $10,000. Entries—at $1,150 per attempt—are limited to 20 (unless we get a late arrival or two from last-minute Saturday feeders…in which case the pot will slightly exceed $20,000). Payouts go just to the top three finishers with the winner collecting 70 percent of the net pool, the runner up getting 20 percent, and the third-place finisher scooping up the remaining 10 percent.

The weekend’s second Monmouth Pick Your Prize qualifier is on the Saturday slate. It’s a $156 Live-format skirmish with a winning ratio of 1-per-15. Winners earn a $2,000 entry for June 4th.

The same price tag ($156) is in place for Saturday’s Players Championship play-in. It’s a Live-format tussle offering $2,000 seats to the All Optional Live, $350,000 extravaganza here on the weekend of April 9-10.

For $207, you can take a swing at another Keeneland Grade One Gamble qualifier. The winning ratio is 1-in-20, and the objective once again is a $3,500 seat in the popular April 23rd event.

Saturday’s 12 featured-tourney races (for all marquee games other than the free, 15-race NHC qualifier at HorsePlayers) are the 8th through 13th from Gulfstream; the 7th, 8th and 10th at Aqueduct; and the 4th through 6th from Santa Anita. That’s nine stakes (all graded) out of 12 races. Closing time for these 12-race, multi-track battles is set for 3:40 pm ET.

One other Saturday feature to preview—the $15 Jackpot Pick 4 tourney…whose carryover currently stands at $656. In our Pick 4 Jackpot games (always run as Pick & Prays, going four-for-four means you win or share the Jackpot. (You don’t have to be the only winner.) 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.

The Jackpot Pick 4 races for Saturday are the 5th at Santa Anita, the 10th from Aqueduct and the 12 and 13th at Gulfstream. All four races are graded stakes—two on the turf and two (the Gotham and the Fountain of Youth) on the dirt. 

Nine features come your way on Sunday, including an NHC qualifier right here at HorseTourneys.

The NHC play-in is a good, old-fashioned $165 buy-in test with two spots certain. The format is Live.

In fact the format is Live for everything on Sunday except for the Pick 4 Jackpot tourney. The richest game of the day is the HT Tour event, our $20,000 Guaranteed, No Limit cash game. Entries will run you $250 apiece.

The Sunday Big Bucks game is always run in Live format. It’s an up-to-$20,000 showdown with an entry fee of $1,150 and a purse guaranteed to be at least $7,500. Entries for this one are limited to 20, and payouts are made only to the top three finishers.

For a third straight day, we’ll again offer opportunities to qualify for the Monmouth  Pick Your Prize Challenge, the Players Championship, and the Keeneland Grade One Gamble.

A qualifier to the Sam Houston Texas Champions Day contest is back on the board for Sunday. It is again a $79, 1-per-15 play-in, with winners grabbing themselves a $1,000 seat.

Another $15 Pick 4 Jackpot tourney (a Pick & Pray, as noted above) is also on the docket this Sunday. The Jackpot amount will depend on how many played in the Saturday Pick 4 Jackpot tourney—and whether anyone hit it. Check our website or our Twitter feed starting on Saturday night for updates.

The spotlight shines solely on the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge this on Sunday at HorsePlayers. 

The focus is a Live-format BCBC Low Ratio qualifier with an entry fee of $500. The winning ratio is 1-per-23, and at least one $10,000 entry for next November is guaranteed no matter how many (or few) take part.

Enjoy the big Saturday of racing at Gulfstream, Santa Anita and Aqueduct on Saturday; enjoy the Derby preps; and enjoy the contest action should you elect to partake in one or more this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We’ll be back on Monday with a full recap of what transpired. Good luck!