Qualifiers to Laurel Champions Tournament and Florida Derby Challenge Join the Featured-Tourney Fun This Friday, Saturday and Sunday

The first opportunities to win a $500 seat to the onsite Laurel Champions Tournament on March 19 or a $1,500 entry into the onsite/offsite Florida Derby Challenge on April 2 take place this weekend at HorseTourneys.

You can compete for a Laurel or Florida Derby spot each day of the weekend which, around here, always begins on Friday.

The Laurel Champions event, offering cash plus a pair of NHC seats, carries an entry fee on March 19th of $500. That means that you can score a seat for $59 in Friday’s 1-per-10 Pick & Pray. 

Unlike the Laurel contest, the Florida Derby Challenge can be played at Xpressbet as on track. This weekend’s qualifiers to it all cost $118 to enter, with one of every 15 contestants garnering a $1,500 entry. 

There are plenty of other qualifiers on the Friday docket. Most of them should be pretty familiar to you by now.

Take the Keeneland Grade One Gamble, for example. The April 23rd competition 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 at Xpressbet. Winners of Friday’s $207, 1-per-20 Pick & Pray play-in earn a $3,500 entry to the annual Central Kentucky classic.

The Monmouth Pick Your Prize Handicapping Challenge on June 4th is also a hybrid on-track/off-track (Xpressbet/4NJBets) battle. Based on 200 entries, the Pick Your Prize Challenge will offer no fewer than 18 spots to the 2023 NHC, four Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge berths and cash prizes totaling $65,000. You can land 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 hosted here at HorseTourneys on April 9-10. A $156 entry fee purchases you a 1-in-15 chance at a $2,000 seat for the lucrative, all-cash tourney.

Two NHC seats plus cash prizes will be at stake in the onsite Sam Houston Texas Champions Day contest on March 26th . The entry fee on Friday is $79, and the grand prize is a $1,000 seat. One of every 15 competitors in the Pick & Pray play-in will prosper.

We haven’t forgotten you cash gamers (and HT Tour devotees). Friday’s HT Tour game is our $15,000 Guaranteed No Limit Pick & Pray. You can compete in exchange for an entry fee of $190.

The first of three NHC qualifiers during the weekend will be the sole Friday focus at HorsePlayers.

It’s a $75 Pick & Pray with two seats guaranteed and a winning ratio of 1-per-143. 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. If you’re not a member, you can become one quickly and easily at for a $50 membership fee.

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

It’s a Pick & Pray weekend this week—and every single one of Saturday’s 10 featured tourneys will operate in that “Set it and forget it” mode.

The weekend’s richest tourney is our $30,000 Guaranteed, No Limit Pick & Pray, which is also the day’s HT Tour event. Entries require you to risk $350.

The Saturday Big Bucks tourney (always a Pick & Pray) is an “up-to-$20,000” game with a guaranteed purse of $10,000. Entries—at $1,150 each—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 also part of the Saturday menu. It’s a $156 Pick & Pray with a winning ratio of 1-per-15. Winners get a $2,000 entry for the first Saturday in June.

The same sticker price ($156) is in effect for Saturday’s Players Championship play-in. It’s a 1-per-15 Pick & Pray dangling $2,000 seats to the All Optional Live, $350,000 extravaganza here on the weekend of April 9-10.

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

Your “second-chance” qualifier to the Laurel Champions is offered on Saturday. Same entry fee as Friday—$59. Same format—Pick & Pray.

A second second-chancer is Saturday’s Florida Derby Challenge Pick & Pray. An upfront investment of $118 gets you a 1-per-15 chance at a $1,500 berth.

Also a Pick & Pray is Saturday’s $15 Jackpot Pick 4 tourney, which has a current carryover of $864. In our Pick 4 Jackpot games, 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 7th at Aqueduct, the 10th and 12th from Gulfstream and race 11, the Tampa Bay Derby, from Tampa Bay Downs.

Two features—both Pick & Prays—are slated for Saturday at HorsePlayers.

One is a “regular,” $165 NHC qualifier with two spots for the 2023 event guaranteed. The winning ratio is 1-per-65.

Sharing the spotlight is a $179 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge play-in. The winning ratio is 1-per-65, and at least one $10,000 BCBC entry is assured.

Saturday’s 12 contest races are the 1st, 3rd, 7th, 8th and 9th from Santa Anita; the 8th and 11th (both graded stakes on the dirt) at Tampa; the 6th and 7th from Aqueduct; and the 10th through 12th from Gulfstream. Closing time is approximately 3:30 pm ET.

As busy as Friday and Saturday are, the final day of the weekend is even more frenetic with 11 marquee games. We assume that’s why so many people refer to this day as Selection Sunday.

Sunday’s HT Tour event is our $20,000 Guaranteed, No Limit Pick & Pray. The maitre d’ will ask for $250 before seating you.

We actually have a couple of Live-format games in the Sunday mix. One of them is our Big Bucks game (always a Live-format affair on Sundays). It’s an up-to-$20,000 tilt with an entry fee of $1,150 and a purse guaranteed to be at least $7,500. Total entries are limited to 20, and payouts go only to the top three finishers.

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

A qualifier to the Sam Houston Texas Champions Day is back in the fold on Sunday after a day off on Saturday. It is again a $79, 1-per-15 Pick & Pray, with winners securing themselves a $1,000 seat.

Another $15 Pick 4 Jackpot tourney takes place on 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.

There are two featured tourneys on Sunday at HorsePlayers. One of them is a specially-priced NHC qualifier.

It’s a $125, Live-format play-in with two seats guaranteed. The winning ratio is 1-per-85, and since the relatively low entry fee figures to attract a rather large field, a healthy dose of NHC Tour points should be on offer as well to those who finish in the top 10 percent of the field. 

There’s also a Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier on Sunday. It’s a $500 Low Ratio Pick & Pray. One $10,000 seat is guaranteed even if just you and a friend show up. Assuming more people than that take part, the winning ratio will be 1-per-23.

There you have the 29 featured tourneys that can bring you fortune and fame (at least in the Monday recap blog). Have fun and good luck!