First Qualifiers to 1/ST Ultimate Betting Challenge and More 2023 NHC Play-Ins Highlight Pick & Pray Weekend With 26 Featured Events

On March 4, Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita Park and Xpressbet will collectively play host to the 1/ST Ultimate Betting Challenge, offering cash and spots to the NHC and Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge. Entries will set you back $3,500 each if you buy in to the contest, but starting on Friday, you can earn one for $207 if you succeed in one of our 1-per-20 Pick & Prays this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Last Sunday, the 2022 NHC Tour year concluded with Jay Johns wrapping up the overall championship. Just because the NHC Tour is done, it doesn’t mean you still can’t win spots here to next month’s big dance in Las Vegas, however. 

We’ll have four 2023 NHC qualifiers coming up over the next three days, including one on Friday at HorsePlayers.

It’s a $100 Pick & Pray with one 2023 berth guaranteed regardless of participation. The winning ratio is 1-per-100.  Remember—you still 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 qualifier to the 2023 NHC.

Six Pick & Pray features inhabit the Friday featured schedule here at HorseTourneys.

The “rookie” in the lineup is the aforementioned 1/ST Ultimate Betting Challenge play-in. If you win a seat here, you can play it at Gulfstream, Santa Anita or Xpressbet.

Friday’s HT Tour event is our $15,000 Guaranteed, No Limit Pick & Pray. The entry fee is $190, and there is no limit on how high the purse can go.

Getting back to the Friday qualifiers, all five of the day’s play-ins at HorseTourneys will be offered on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. One of them is our Monmouth Pick Your Prize Pick & Pray. One of every 15 entries, at $156 per entry, receives a $2,000 entry for the popular contest on June 3.

Another $156, l-per-15 qualifier set for Fridayis our Players Championship Pick & Pray. Winners reel in a $2,000 seat for the $350,000 Guaranteed second leg of the 2023 Tourney Triple here on April 7-8. 

For a slightly higher entry fee, $207, you can shoot for a $3,500 spot in the April 15 Keeneland Grade One Gamble. One of every 20 entrants will advance in Friday’s Pick & Pray. 

A qualifier a day will also be held this weekend for the March 9 NHC First Chance/Last Chance contest at Horseshoe Las Vegas. These get-togethers require an entry fee of $59, with one of every 10 participants garnering a $500 ducat to play in the popular NHC Eve skirmish.

Contest races for the Friday featured tourneys at both HorseTourneys and HorsePlayers are the 8th and 9th from Gulfstream; the 7th through 9th at Tampa Bay Downs; and the 3rd through 7th from Santa Anita—10 races in all.

All of this Saturday’s features at HorseTourneys are Pick & Prays, including the week’s richest tourney.

It’s our $30,000 Guaranteed No Limit game, which serves as the day’s HT Tour event. It calls for an upfront investment of $350.

Another lucrative cash game on Saturday is our $10,000 Guaranteed Big Bucks tourney. The purse could exceed $20,000, however, if we hit our maximum entry count of 20. The price to play in this high-end tilt is a not insignificant $1,150. 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 picking up the remaining 10 percent.

Saturday’s opportunity to qualify for the 2023 NHC takes place here at HorseTourneys. It’s a $165 Pick & Pray with at least one spot certain to be headed out the door. The winning ratio is 1-per-65.

As cited higher up, there will again be qualifiers on Saturday for the March 4 1/ST Ultimate Betting Challenge; the March 9 NHC First Chance/Last Chance tournament ($59 entry fee), the April 7-8 Players Championship ($156), the April 15 Keeneland Grade One Gamble ($207) and the June 3 Monmouth Pick Your Prize Challenge ($156). The price points and winning ratios for each are the same as those in place for Friday.

The one Live-format feature on Saturday is over at HorsePlayers.

It’s a $179 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier with a winning ratio of 1-per-65. It’s a guaranteed game, though, so at least one $10,000 BCBC berth will be awarded even if fewer than 65 show up. 

The 12 contest races for Saturday are the 8th through 10th from Gulfstream; races 7 and 9 at Aqueduct; the 8th through 10th from Tampa; and the 6th through 9th from Santa Anita. Closing time will be approximately 3:38 pm ET.

Sunday is our busiest day of the weekend with 10 featured tourneys—seven here and three at HorsePlayers.  Here’s what’s on the green and black side of the street:

Most of the Sunday features here are Pick & Prays, including our $20,000 Guaranteed No Limit tourney. You can get in the door for $250. 

For the third straight day, we’ll have direct qualifiers to the Players Championship, the NHC First Chance/Last Chance tournament, the Keeneland Grade One Gamble, the 1/ST Ultimate Betting Challenge, and the Monmouth Pick Your Prize Challenge. (Sounds challenging!) All five will be Pick & Prays.

The one Live-format affair at HorseTourneys on Sunday is our $7,000 Guaranteed Big Bucks tourney. It’s an up-to-$20,000 game with entries costing $1,150. Payouts go strictly to the top three finishers on a 70/20/10 basis.

If Live-format games are the exception this Sunday at HorseTourneys, they are the rule at HorsePlayers.

The day’s chance to qualify for the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge comes in the form of a Low Ratio play-in. The barrier to entry is $500; the winning ratio is 1-per-23; and at least one $10,000 seat will awarded even if fewer than 23 sign up.

There are two NHC qualifiers on Sunday at HorsePlayers (both Live-format, of course). One is a $500 Low Ratio game that is open to all and carries a winning ratio of 1-per-21. Note that this game is not guaranteed, and it requires at least 10 entries in order for it to take place as scheduled.

The other NHC game is a $210 qualifier that is restricted to those who have yet to earn a 2023 seat. One spot is guaranteed.

The title of this blog mentions that there are 26 featured tourneys this weekend. Actually there will be more than that—because Monday is part of the weekend too since it’s Presidents Day. As of press time, those Presidents Day features have yet to be finalized, so check back to the HorseTourneys website for updates on what the Monday slate will offer.

Enjoy the long weekend, and good luck in all of your tourney pursuits!