Three Pop-Up Play-Ins for Monday’s Gold Cup Challenge, Last Chance for Lone Star Million and Five-Seat NHC Qualifier Among the Highlights of the Memorial Day Weekend Featured Schedule

Many of you are aware that Lone Star Park will host its on-track Lone Star Million Betting Challenge on Memorial Day. Our Last Chance qualifier for that popular event comes your way on Saturday.

Fresh off its Preakness Challenge, our friends at Xpressbet are back at you with the Gold Cup Challenge—also taking place on Memorial Day. Your first three (and final three) opportunities to win a $1,500 seat to it will be offered this weekend—starting on Friday.

One of every 15 entrants in our first (1/ST?) Gold Cup Challenge qualifier, at $118 per entry, will reel in a $1,500 berth in the Santa Anita/Xpressbet tournament. The Friday qualifier is a Pick & Pray.

On Friday,, Saturday and Sunday, you can participate in qualifiers for not just the Gold Cup Challenge…but also the June 3 Monmouth Pick Your Prize Challenge and the August 5-6 Spa & Surf Showdown.

Friday’s Monmouth Pick Your Prize Challenge Pick & Pray calls for an entry fee of $156, with one in 15 picking up a $2,000 spot.

The Spa & Surf Showdown is a $400,000 Guaranteed, all-cash tourney that also happens to be the final leg of the 2023 Tourney Triple. You can earn a $2,500 place in the Spa & Surf starting gate for $147 in Friday’s 1-per-20 Pick & Pray. The winning ratio is 1-per-20.

For cash game enthusiasts, there’s Friday’s $15,000 Guaranteed, No Limit Pick & Pray. It’s an HT Tour event, and the entry fee is $190.

At HorsePlayers, the co-featured tourneys are two Friday staples.

One is a $75 NHC Pick & Pray, which guarantees two seats for the March 2024 extravaganza (though often winds up awarding three seats). The winning ratio is 1-per-143.

The other is a $500 Low Ratio Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Pick & Pray. At least one $10,000 is assured to be in the prize pool regardless of participation. The winning ratio here is 1-per-23.

The 10 featured-tourney races this Friday are: the 5th through 9th from Belmont; the 6th, 8th and 9th at Pimlico; and the 6th and 7th from Santa Anita.

Most of Saturday’s featured tourneys will be operated in Live format. Two of them are at HorsePlayers and eight here at HorseTourneys

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

The day’s other cash feature is Saturday’s lone Pick & Pray—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.

As mentioned at the top, Saturday is your final chance to qualify for the Lone Star Million Betting Challenge. One of every 15 entrants in will get a $2,500 entry to play in the on-track-only contest on Memorial Day. The entry fee for this qualifier is $196, and the format is Live.

For $384, you can compete in our weekly qualifier to the July 29-30 Del Mar Summer Challenge play-in. One of every 20 participants will earn a $6,500 package ($6,000 entry fee plus $500 travel stipend) for the lucrative on-track-only tournament.

Also on the Saturday menu is a $118, Live-format play-in to the Hawthorne OTBs NHC qualifiers. One of every 10 competitors will secure $1,000 in entry fees for the two contests (hosted in a handful of area OTBs) on June 24-25. 

For the second straight day, we’ll have qualifiers to the Gold Cup Challenge, the Monmouth Pick Your Prize Challenge and the Spa & Surf Showdown. The entry fees are the same as on Friday, but the format for all three on Saturday will be Live.

There are two Live-format features on Saturday at HorsePlayers—one for the NHC and the other pegged to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.

The NHC game requires an entry feel of $210, which makes for a winning ratio of 1-per-65. Two Vegas seats for next March are guaranteed.

The BCBC game costs $179 to play. At least one $10,000 seat is guaranteed in this 1-per-65 tilt.

Saturday’s featured-tourney contest races are the 8th through 11th at Monmouth; the 8th through 10th at Belmont; and the 5th through 9th at Santa Anita. Closing time is scheduled to be 3:54 pm ET.

On Sunday, your NHC qualifying opportunity is hosted here at HorseTourneys.

It comes in the form of a $165 Pick & Pray. Two seats are guaranteed, and the winning ratio is 1-per-65.

The day’s HT Tour battle is a Live-format, $20,000 Guaranteed cash tourney. The barrier to entry is $250.

There’s another Big Bucks game on Sunday, though unlike Saturday’s, this one will be contested in Live format. The Sunday, high-end test guarantees a pot of at least $7,000. Again, payouts go just to the top three finishers on a 70/20/10 basis. A maximum of 20 entries will be accepted—and if we get that many, the purse will top $20,000.

For the third straight day, we’re planning to host qualifiers to the Gold Cup Challenge, the Monmouth Pick Your Prize Challenge and the Spa & Surf Showdown. All three will be waged in Live format.

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

It’s a $500, Live-format, Low-Ratio qualifier with a winning ratio of 1-per-23. One $10,000 seat is guaranteed to be headed out the door.

We’ll have more featured tourneys on tap this Monday, Memorial Day. The HorseTourneys schedule for Monday has not yet been determined, but the slate is ready at HorsePlayers. There are two marquee games there, including a special 5-seat NHC qualifier.

It’s a $125 NHC Pick & Pray with (I’ll say it again) a whopping 5 seats certain. The winning ratio is 1-per-80, but it will be more favorable than that if 400 entries aren’t attracted. 

Meanwhile, for the second consecutive day, HorsePlayers offers a $500 Low Ratio Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier, though this Memorial Day version is a Pick & Pray (so that you can still get your barbecuing in). One $10,000 seat is guaranteed here.

I’m heading out on vacation for a bit…so the next blog will be seen in this space on June 8. In the meantime, have a great Memorial Day weekend, and good luck in all of your tourney play!