Last Chance for Saratoga, Colonial Downs Handicapping Challenges and First NHC Qualifier for 2023 Nonwinners Among 31 Featured Tourneys During Action-Packed Friday, Saturday and Sunday

If you’re an action junkie, this is your weekend at HorseTourneys and HorsePlayers. This Friday, Saturday and Sunday, we offer a record (we think!) 31 featured events.

Don’t raid your kid’s piggy bank—but do carbo load because a lot of challenges (literally and figuratively) lie ahead…starting on Friday.

Usually Sunday is our busiest day of the weekend, but this week, we don’t really discriminate. Ten of our 31 features take place on Friday, including a Last-Chance qualifier to Saturday’s Saratoga Challenge, which can be played on track or at NYRABets. An entry fee of $236 buys you a 1-in-15 chance at a $3,000 entry.

Friday’s Colonial Downs Handicapping Challenge play-in isn’t a Last Chance qualifier per se…but this IS the last weekend in which to earn a $600 entry for Tuesday’s contest. Entries cost $71, and the winning ratio is 1-per-10.

We’ll have a qualifier each day of the weekend for Colonial Downs (playable at Xpressbet). And the same holds true for our Kentucky Downs Challenge, Del Mar Pacific Challenge and Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge qualifiers. 

The Kentucky Downs Challenge consists of  three contests on September 1, 4 and 11, and if you win our $134 qualifier, you get $1,700 in entry fees—enough for all three days. 

The Del Mar Pacific Classic and Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenges are more traditional one-day affairs. At stake are $3,000 Del Mar seats for September 3 and $3,500 Keeneland berths, playable on October 15.

There’s also a “First Chance” qualifier on Friday—an economical $59 qualifier for the Monmouth NHC/BCBC contest on August 27th. (Shame on them for not dubbing it a “Challenge!”). One of every 10 entrants will earn a $500 seat for this on-track-only tournament. And if you miss on this one, you can try again on Saturday and Sunday.

Another Friday offering is the qualifier to the Travers Challenge, which will be held on August 27 at Xpressbet. One of every 15 entries, at $118 per entry, will scoop up a $1,500 entry. (There will also be a Travers Challenge play-in on Saturday.)

There are so many qualifiers this weekend that we almost forgot to tell you about Friday’s HT Tour event—our $15,000 Guaranteed No Limit Pick & Pray. An entry fee of $190 gets you in.

At HorsePlayers on Friday, you can shoot for NHC and Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge seats.

Friday’s NHC qualifier is a $75 Pick & Pray with two seats certain and a winning ratio of 1-per-143. Entries are limited to three per person. 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 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge tilt is a $500 Low Ratio Pick & Pray. The winning ratio is 1-per-23, and at least one $10,000 entry will land in somebody’s lap.

The Friday 10-race schedule is made up of the 6th, 7th, 8th and 10th from Saratoga; the 7th through 10th at Woodbine; and the 8th and 9th from Monmouth.

By one tourney, Saturday is our busiest day of the weekend with 11 marquee games—and all of them are Pick & Prays.

The richest competition of the week is Saturday’s HT Tour event, our $30,000 Guaranteed game. It’s $350 to enter.

Saturday is the first of two consecutive days of guaranteed qualifiers to The BIG One —a mythical-money contest here at HorseTourneys on Saturday and Sunday, September 17-18. In The BIG One, the field will be no greater than 57, and no one will be playing more than one entry. Despite the smallish field, the prizes will be large (and plentiful). 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.) Saturday’s qualifier carries an entry fee of $395, and there is a limit of 27 entries that will be accepted. Also—the winner of the qualifier gets a $500 bonus prize in addition to the September entry…and the runner up receives a $395 refund/consolation prize.

Our $10,000 Guaranteed Big Bucks game is always a Pick & Pray on Saturdays. It’s an “up-to-$20,000” skirmish with an entry fee of $1,150—and there is a limit of 20 entries that will be accepted. Payouts go only to the top three finishers with the winner taking the biggest share (70 percent) of the net pool, the runner up getting 20 percent, and the third-place finisher picking up the remaining 10 percent.

If you’ve read carefully up to now, you already know that qualifiers to the Colonial Downs Handicapping Challenge, the Travers Challenge, the Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge, the Del Mar Pacific Classic Challenge, the Kentucky Downs Challenge and the Monmouth NHC/BCBC contest are all part of the Saturday slate. 

On the Saturday menu at HorsePlayers are qualifiers to the NHC and the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge—and the NHC play-in has a special twist to it.

The NHC qualifier is a “regular,” $165 Pick & Pray with two spots guaranteed and a winning ratio of 1-per-65, but it’s only for those who have yet to earn a 2023 seat. It’s a great opportunity to punch your ticket to Vegas without having to defeat some of the contest stalwarts out there.

The BCBC battle is also a 1-per-65 Pick & Pray, and this one is open to all. It carries an entry fee of $179, and one seat is guaranteed.

Saturday’s 12 featured-tourney races are the 6th, 7th, 8th and 11th from Woodbine; the 6th, 8th and 11th at Saratoga; the 9th through 11th from Gulfstream; and the 4th and 5th at Del Mar. Closing time will be approximately 3:46 pm ET.

The final 10 of the weekend’s 31 featured tourneys take place on Sunday. 

The Sunday opportunity to qualify for the 2023 NHC will be offered here at HorseTourneys this week. It’s a $165, Live-format contest with at least two spots certain. Unlike Saturday’s NHC qualifier, all are welcome to enter this one.

Sunday’s HT Tour event is our $20,000 Guaranteed, No Limit Pick & Pray. The doorman will ask you for $250 on your way in.

Another of the weekend’s rare Live-format featured tourneys is Sunday’s Big Bucks game. It’s an up-to-$20,000 get-together with a purse guaranteed to be at least $7,500. Total entries will again be capped at 20, and payouts go only to the top three finishers.

Back on the slate, of course, on Sunday are qualifiers to The BIG One (one seat guaranteed), the Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge, the Del Mar Pacific Challenge, the Colonial Downs Handicapping Challenge (Last Chance!), the Kentucky Downs Challenge and the August 27 Monmouth NHC/BCBC contest. All of these are Pick & Prays.

Over at HorsePlayers on Sunday, the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge has the featured-tourney stage to itself. 

It’s a $500 Low Ratio qualifier. The winning ratio is 1-per-23, and at least one $10,000 entry is certain to be awarded in this Pick & Pray tourney.

There you have it—as many featured tourneys as Baskin-Robbins has flavors, Have fun, pace yourself, and…good luck!