New Qualifiers to the Saratoga Challenge and the Haskell Challenge Among the Features During a Challenging Live-Format Weekend at HorseTourneys and HorsePlayers

If other sports were like horse racing contests, then the NFL would conclude with the Super Challenge and the climax of baseball season would be the World Challenge. Well, there are now two more Challenges to add to the ever-growing list: the August 12 Saratoga Challenge (playable on-track or at NYRABets) and the July 22 Haskell Challenge (playable online only at either Xpressbet or 4NJBETS). 

You can win $1,000 entries for the Saratoga Challenge on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and do likewise for the Haskell Challenge on Saturday and Sunday. They comprise five of the 23 marquee games on tap during a featured-tourney weekend that, as usual, gets started around here on Friday.

The new Saratoga Challenge qualifier is a 1-per-15 Pick & Pray on Friday that carries an entry fee of $79. What’s better than a day at Saratoga? A day at Saratoga with contest action. 

On each day of the weekend, you can attempt to qualify not just for the Saratoga Challenge, but also for the August 5-6 Spa & Surf Showdown here at HorseTourneys. The “Showdown” is the $400,000 Guaranteed final leg of the 2023 Tourney Triple. The barrier to entry on Friday (and Saturday and Sunday as well) is $147, with one of every 20 participants securing a $2,500 place in the lucrative, all-cash tourney that requires participants to play all the races at Saratoga and Del Mar on the first weekend of August. The format for Friday’s qualifier is Pick & Pray.

Friday’s HT Tour event is our $15,000 Guaranteed, No Limit Pick & Pray. You can play for $190.

Two tried-and-true stars occupy the main stage at HorsePlayers on Friday.

There’s a $75 NHC Pick & Pray that guarantees two seats to the big dance next March. The winning ratio is 1-per-143.

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

The 10 featured-tourney races on Friday are the 7th through 9th from Gulfstream; the 7th through 9th at Belmont; and the 5th through 8th on the opening-day card at Los Alamitos.

Saturday and Sunday will be dominated by Live-format featured tourneys. On Saturday, eight of the nine fall into that category.

The lone exception is Saturday’s $10,000 Guaranteed Big Bucks Pick & Pray, which calls for an entry fee of $1,150. (They don’t call it Big Bucks for nuthin.) Entries are limited to 20, 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. If we happen to reach the maximum entry count of 20, the total purse will exceed $20,000.

The richest tourney of the weekend is Saturday’s $30,000 Guaranteed No Limit game. Participation in this Live-format tilt requires an upfront investment of $350, and it’s an HT Tour event.

Saturday’s “new kid on the block” is our qualifier to the Haskell Challenge at Xpressbet/4NJBETS on July 22. One of every 15 entrants, at $79 per entry, will receive a $1,000 berth for the online-only contest.

For $384, you can try your luck in our weekly qualifier for the July 29-30 Del Mar Summer Challenge. One of every 20 entrants will pick up a $6,500 package ($6,000 entry fee plus $500 travel stipend) for the high-intensity, low-humidity tournament in sunny Del Mar.

A Live-format qualifier for the new Delaware Park Handicapping Contest, aka the William Moore Classic, is also on the Saturday bill of fare. Entries are $59 each, and one of every 10 will grab a $500 entry for the on-track contest in Stanton, Del., on July 15. 

For the second straight day, we’ll have a $147 qualifier to the Spa & Surf Showdown and a $79 play-in for the Saratoga Challenge. This time, though, the format for each is Live.

At HorsePlayers, there are two features on Saturday—one for the NHC and the other pegged to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.

The NHC game is a Live-format, $210 qualifier with a winning ratio of 1-per-50. Two seats are certain.

Saturday’s BCBC battle will also be contested in Live format. The entry fee is $179, the winning ratio is 1-per-65, and at least one $10,000 seat is guaranteed.

Saturday’s 12 contest races are the 8th and 10th from Monmouth; the 9th through 12th (all stakes) at Thistledown where it’s Ohio Derby Day; the 7th and 9th from Belmont; and races 8 through 11 at Gulfstream. Closing time is scheduled to be 3:56 pm ET.

There are nine featured tourneys on Saturday—and another nine coming at you on Sunday.

Your Sunday chance to qualify for the NHC exists here at HorsePlayers via a “regular” $165 qualifier that guarantees two seats. The winning ratio is 1-per-65, and the format for this (and all the other Sunday features) is Live.

There’s a guaranteed qualifier on Sunday for the October 21-22 The BIG One at Laurel Park. The winner earns a spot in October’s small-field, big-money contest…plus a full hotel and amenities package in Maryland…plus $500 for your travel. The entry fee is $500.

On the cash game front, the Sunday HT Tour competition is our $20,000 Guaranteed tourney. The doorman will ask you for $250 on your way in.

The other Sunday featured cash tourney is our $7,000 Guaranteed Big Bucks game. Payouts go just to the top three finishers on a 70/20/10 basis. A maximum of 20 entries (at $1,150 each) will be accepted—and if we get that many, the purse will exceed $20,000.

For the third straight day, you can try and nail down a spot in the $400,000 Guaranteed Spa & Surf Showdown and/or the Saratoga Challenge. The price points and winning ratios remain the same as those in place on Friday and Saturday.

We’ll also have additional qualifiers on Sunday for the William Moore Classic at Delaware Park on July 15 and the following Saturday’s Haskell Challenge at Xpressbet.

The Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge has the spotlight to itself on Sunday at HorsePlayers.

That spotlight will be shining on a $500 Low-Ratio Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier. The winning ratio is 1-per-23 in this Live-format skirmish, and at least one $10,000 seat is certain to be awarded.

We send out special good wishes to those representing HorseTourneys this weekend at Lone Star and Hawthorne. And to all the rest of you we say, “Good luck to you too!”