First Chance for Lone Star Million Betting Challenge and Last Chance for Golden Gate Gold Rush Challenge Among the Highlights as the Curtain Drops on April

Memorial Day is when Lone Star Park hosts its annual Lone Star Million Betting Challenge (pegged to the track’s Lone Star Million Day, of course) and Saturday is the day when you have your first opportunity to earn a $2,500 entry to the May 29 on-track contest.

Meanwhile, Golden Gate Fields has an excellent card on tap to serve as the determining factors for Saturday’s Golden Gate Gold Rush Challenge, and on Friday, you can make a last-ditch attempt to secure a $1,000 entry for it.

That Last Chance Golden Gate qualifier, a Pick & Pray, is one of seven featured tourneys on tap this Friday.

An upfront investment of $118 will put you in the running for that final Golden Gate opportunity (playable on-track or at Xpressbet). One in 15 will prosper.

Friday’s HT Tour test is our $15,000 Guaranteed, No Limit Pick & Pray. The barrier to entry is $190.

On each day of the weekend, you can compete for a $3,000 entry in the Kentucky Derby Challenge on May 6, a $2,000 spot in the Monmouth Pick Your Prize Challenge on June 3 and a $2,500 berth in the $400,000 Guaranteed Spa & Surf Showdown here on August 5th and 6th.

Friday’s Kentucky Derby Challenge play-in is a $177 Pick & Pray with a winning ratio of 1-per-20.

The Monmouth Pick Your Prize Challenge qualifier costs $156 to play. and one in 15 will garner a $2,000 entry for the June 3 battle.

The Spa & Surf Showdown is a $400,000-certain, all-cash event that serves as the final leg of the 2023 Tourney Triple. You can grab a $2,500 seat to it in Friday’s $147 Pick & Pray. One of every 20 entrants will so prosper.

As per recent custom at HorsePlayers, there will be opportunities on Friday to safeguard seats to both the NHC and the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.

The NHC tourney is a $75 NHC qualifier that assures two available spots for next March. The winning ratio is 1-per-143. There will also be a heaping helping of hospitality…and 2023 NHC Tour points…in this one. Remember—you must be a paid-up member of the 2023 NHC Tour in order to win this or any other NHC qualifier. If you’re not yet a 2023 member, you can become one quickly and easily for $50 at

The BCBC gathering is a $500 Low Ratio Pick & Pray. One $10,000 berth is guaranteed to be in the prize pool, regardless of turnout. The winning ratio is 1-per-23.

The Friday featured-tourney races are the 6th through 9th from Gulfstream; the 5th through 8th at Aqueduct; and the first two races on the Friday program at Santa Anita—10 races in all.

The Saturday bill of fare offers nine marquee games—seven of them Live-format scrimmages.

The richest tourney of the week is our Live-format, $30,000 Guaranteed tilt. The entry fee is $350.

For the second straight day, we’ll have qualifiers to the the Kentucky Derby Challenge, the Monmouth Pick Your Prize Challenge and the Spa & Surf Showdown. The price points are the same as those established on Friday, but note that Saturday’s editions are all Live-format tourneys.

As noted at the top, Saturday is your first chance to lock down a $2,500 seat for the Lone Star Million Betting Challenge on Memorial Day. It’s an on-track-only contest (which is not surprising because pretty much everything is on-track-only these days in Texas!). One of every 15 entrants, at $196 per entry, will move on to the finals in Saturday’s Live-format play-in. 

Saturday is also the day of our weekly qualifier to the Del Mar Summer Challenge. The Del Mar tournament, like its Texas counterpart, is an on-track-only deal, though this one encompasses two days—July 29 and 30. If you’re willing to risk a $384 starting stake, we’ll put up a $6,500 package ($6,000 entry fee plus $500 travel stipend).  One in 20 will succeed in this Live-format game.

We also have a couple of Pick & Prays on Saturday. One is a “regular,” $165 NHC qualifier. The winning ratio is 1-per-65, and two packages for next March are guaranteed.

The other Saturday Pick & Pray is our $10,000 Guaranteed Big Bucks tourney. Entries are $1,150 each, with the winner earning 70 percent of the net pool, the runner up getting 20 percent, and the third-place taking home the remaining 10 percent. Entries are capped at 20, and if we reach that number, the total purse will exceed $20,000.

The Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge is tied to the lone Saturday feature at HorsePlayers.

It’s $179, Live-format tourney. At least one $10,000 seat will be awarded no matter how many (or few) sign up for this 1-per-65 showdown.

With Golden Gate and Santa Anita both offering very nice cards on Saturday, the 12 Saturday, featured-tourney contest races will be centered on those two tracks and, thus, commence a bit later than usual. The dozen races in question are: the 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th (including 5 stakes) from Golden Gate; and the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 12th at Santa Anita. Per published post times, closing time for the first of our 12 is slated to be approximately 6:15 pm ET.

Live-format features are the order of the day on Sunday, with all seven headliners being run in that mode.

For $250, you can test your handicapping acumen in Sunday’s $20,000 Guaranteed tourney, which is the day’s HT Tour competition. 

Another lucrative Sunday cash game is our Big Bucks tourney. The purse guarantee here is $7,000, with entries costing a not-insignificant $1,150 (hence the moniker “Big Bucks”). Payouts go strictly to the top three finishers on a 70/20/10 basis, and a maximum of 20 entries will be accepted.

For the third consecutive day, we’ll host Pick & Pray qualifiers to the Kentucky Derby Challenge, the Monmouth Pick Your Prize Challenge and the Spa & Surf Showdown.

At HorsePlayers, there are qualifiers to the NHC and the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge on the agenda.

The NHC qualifier is another $165 proposition. Two packages are guaranteed in this 1-per-65 brain teaser.

The BCBC play-in is a $500, Low-Ratio opportunity. The winning ratio is 1-per-23; and at least one $10,000 seat will be headed out the door regardless of the degree of participation.

We hope you enjoy our weekend offering and find one or two worthy of your time and money. If you win, we’ll toast your success in this space on Monday. Good luck!