Free NHC Play-In With Five Guaranteed Seats, All-Optional-Live Cash Games and “First Chance” Qualifiers to Xpressbet Preakness Challenge and Del Mar Summer Challenge Headline 24 Features on Friday, Saturday and Sunday

It’s time to sharpen your pencil for another free NHC qualifier with five guaranteed spots in the March 2023 event. It takes place at HorsePlayers on Sunday. (Remember that you must be a 2022 NHC Tour member in order to play and win.)

Meanwhile, if you’re the kind of handicapper who is up for a challenge, we have two literal Challenges that you can aim at for the first time during the upcoming weekend. One is to the Xpressbet Preakness Challenge—which means that there isn’t much time in which to earn a $1,500 seat. The other is for the July 30-31 Del Mar Summer Challenge. 

We also have our customary assortment of qualifiers and lucrative cash tourneys. As always, the weekend gets started around here on Friday.

Friday’s HT Tour event is our $15,000 Guaranteed No Limit Pick & Pray. The cost to play is $190.

Friday also marks the first of three straight daily qualifiers to both the Spa & Surf Showdown and the Monmouth Pick Your Prize Challenge.

The Friday Spa & Surf Showdown qualifier is a $147 Pick & Pray, and one of every 20 participants gets a $2,500 spot in the $400,000 Guaranteed, two-day, final leg of the 2022 Tourney Triple here on August 6-7.

Play-ins to the Monmouth Pick Your Prize Challenge require an upfront investment of $156, and they carry a winning ratio of 1-per-15. Winner(s) of Friday’s Pick & Pray get a $2,000 entry to the June 4th test, which can be played on-track in New Jersey or at Xpressbet. Based on 200 entries, the Pick Your Prize Challenge will offer a whopping 18 spots to the 2023 NHC, plus four Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge berths and cash prizes of $65,000.

On Friday at HorsePlayers, you can take swings at qualifying for the NHC and/or the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.

The NHC play-in is a $75 Pick & Pray with two seats guaranteed and a winning ratio of 1-per-143. Remember—you must be a 2022 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.

The BCBC qualifier is a $500 Low Ratio Pick & Pray. The winning ratio is 1-per-23 and at least one $10,000 entry to November’s important live-bankroll contest is certain regardless of how many people take part. 

The 10 contest races for Friday are the 5th, 6th and 9th from Belmont; the 5th through 9th at Gulfstream; and the 1st and 4th from Santa Anita.

The Saturday featured schedule, including our first Preakness Challenge qualifier, consists mainly of Live-format games. However, the day’s HT Tour event, our $30,000 Guaranteed No Limit tourney, has a twist to it. 

Instead of being a 12-race, Live-format game, the $30,000 Guaranteed No Limit tourney will be run in All Optional Live format—meaning that players will make 10 plays from a “bank” of 25 eligible contest races. The entry fee is the usual $350.

For those looking to get an early jump on their handicapping, the 25 races in question will be the 7th through 10th at Monmouth; the 6th through 11th from Belmont; the 6th through 11th at Gulfstream; and the full, nine-race card from Santa Anita.

In traditional, 12-race, Live-format mode will be that first play-in to the Xpressbet Preakness Challenge a week from Saturday. One of every 15 entrants, at $118 per entry, earns a $1,500 seat to the tournament—which can be played at either Xpressbet or live on-track at Santa Anita.

Also operating as 12-race, Live-format games are the Saturday qualifiers to the Spa & Surf Showdown ($147 to enter, 1-per-20 winning ratio) and the Monmouth Pick Your Prize Challenge. ($156, 1-per-15).

The Saturday Big Bucks tourney is always a Pick & Pray. It’s an “up-to-$20,000” square-off with a guaranteed pot 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 only to the top three finishers with the winner taking the lion’s share (70 percent) of the net pool, the runner up getting 20 percent, and the third-place finisher picking up the remaining 10 percent.

Another Saturday Pick & Pray is Saturday’s $15 Jackpot Pick 4 tourney, which has a carryover of $6,269. 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 race 9 from Monmouth; the 7th and 11th at Belmont; and the 12th from Gulfstream. 

Two more co-features take place at HorsePlayers on Saturday—both 12-race, Live-format affairs.

For $179, you can test your skill in a 1-per-65 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge tourney with at least one $10,000 entry to the November contest guaranteed.

In addition, there’s a $165 NHC qualifier (also carrying a 1-per-65 winning ratio). Two seats are guaranteed in this one.

Saturday’s race schedule in the 12-race games are the the 7th through 10th from Monmouth; the 1st and 3rd at Santa Anita; the 7th, 9th, 10th and 11th from Belmont; and races 8 and 9 at Gulfstream.  Closing time will be approximately 3:01 pm ET. 

It’s a robust contest schedule of 11 features on Sunday—including one you should all be playing (assuming you’re an NHC Tour member).

The no-excuses-for-your-absence game is Sunday’s FREE NHC qualifier at HorsePlayers. It will be a special 15-race Pick & Pray that guarantees five spots to the 2023 event. Again, you MUST be a 2022 NHC Tour member in order to play and win.

The other Sunday feature at HorsePlayers is a $500 Low Ratio qualifier to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge. One $10,000 seat is guaranteed in this Pick & Pray, and the winning ratio will be 1-per-23.

Here at HorseTourneys, there are nine marquee games on Sunday. 

Again the day’s HT Tour event—a $20,000 Guaranteed, No Limit tourney—will be contested in All Optional Live format. The entry fee is $250, and participants will make 10 selections from among 25 eligible contest races.

The Sunday Big Bucks game will also be played in All Optional Live format this week. It’s an up-to-$20,000 tourney with an entry fee of $1,150 and a purse guarantee of at least $7,500. Again, players will make 10 plays out of 25 races. Total entries are capped at 20, and payouts go strictly to the top three finishers.

For the third consecutive day, we’ll offer opportunities to qualify for the $400,000 Guaranteed Spa & Surf Showdown (August 6-7) and the Monmouth Pick Your Prize Challenge (June 4). These two Sunday qualifiers will both be waged in traditional, 12-race, Live format.

Another 12-race, live format battle is our first qualifier to the Del Mar Summer Challenge, a two-day, on-track competition on July 30-31. Sunday’s Del Mar qualifier calls for a $295 entry fee, and winners get a juicy $5,000 entry. 

There will also be another Xpressbet Preakness Challenge play-in on Sunday. It’s another 12-race, live-format game with the same entry fee as on Saturday—$118. The winning ratio remains 1-per-15.

Sunday is also the day of our weekly qualifier to The BIG One—a mythical-money competition here at HorseTourneys on Saturday and Sunday, September 17-18. In The BIG One, the field will be no larger than 57, and no one will be playing more than one entry. Despite the seemingly small numbers, the prizes are large and bountiful. The top 10 finishers will all receive cash and his or her choice of a seat to the NHC, the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge, or the Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship. (At least two of the seats awarded must be for the NHC.) Sunday’s Live-format qualifier carries a $395 entry fee, and there is a maximum of 27 entries that will be accepted. Also—the winner of the qualifier gets a $500 prize in addition to the seat…and the runner up receives a $395 refund/consolation prize.

Another once-a-week skirmish is our Sunday qualifier to the Lone Star Million Betting Challenge at Lone Star Park. Entries to it on May 30th (Memorial Day) will cost $2,500 each. But you can win a $2,500 entry—plus a $500 travel stipend—for $177 if you succeed in Sunday’s 1-per-20, Live-format play-in.

There will be another $15 Pick 4 Jackpot tourney 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. Pick 4 Jackpot games are always run as Pick & Prays.

Good luck in all of your post-Derby, pre-Preakness handicapping endeavors!