This is one of those rare weekends in which Saturday ends one month and Sunday begins another. Wait…actually, it’s not all that rare—it happens once every seven months on average. But if you like horse racing, and if the months in question are September and October, then you know it’s an important weekend that’s chock full of important Breeders’ Cup prep races.
Sure, a lot of horses are taking the weekend off to train up to the Breeders’ Cup. (I remember—and bet on—Proud Truth when he won the Breeders’ Cup Classic after having run the previous Saturday.) But we here at HorseTourneys take no weekends off. And we’re pleased with the featured-tourney lineup we’ve put together for this weekend.
Things get started on Friday with a $6,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray with pool-style payoffs that could mean a pot as high as $10,000 depending on how many play.
As you probably know by now, the more that play, the more we pay. Contest races are the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th from Santa Anita where it’s opening weekend; the 6th, 7th and 9th from Belmont Park; and the 8th, 9th and 10th from Churchill Downs—10 races in all.
Using the same races, HorsePlayers will host a special $75 NHC qualifier (Pick & Pray) with two packages guaranteed.
If you have a good day, it’s a chance to qualify for the NHC on the cheap.
On Saturday, our featured tourney schedule consists of 12 races, and all of them are stakes.
In fact, eight of the 12 races are Grade I events, including all five of the contest races from Santa Anita. Three others are graded races, leaving only one stakes among the dozen that is non-graded. (How’d that crummy race sneak in there?) Our $100,000 tournament isn’t until next Saturday, but we’ll be hard-pressed to have a race lineup as good as this week’s. (Though we’ll certainly try, of course!)
Saturday’s marquee event is a $25,000 Guaranteed live-format game with $12,500 to the winner and prizes down to 8th place. Entries are capped at 107.
Also on the Saturday HorseTourneys schedule is an entry-only qualifier for the Orleans Fall Classic (entry fee: $58). One in 10 will win.
At HorsePlayers on Saturday, you can take your pick between the NHC and BCBC. Or, really, you don’t have to choose at all. You could play both.
One of the two is another of those highly popular BCBC Super Qualifiers with an attractive winning ratio of 1 in 11. One $10,000 is guaranteed and there could be more if participation warrants.
There’s also an NHC qualifier of the traditional variety—with one entry per 65 winning and two packages guaranteed. Entry is $165. And please note that both of these Saturday HorsePlayers events are Pick & Prays.
On Sunday, we welcome in October with a robust menu of 10 featured tourneys spread across HorseTourneys and HorsePlayers. Let’s start with the HorseTourneys games.
If you like qualifiers to high-end, live-bankroll games, then Sunday is for you. Most pressing, from a scheduling standpoint is the Last Chance qualifier to the October 7-8 Santa Anita Autumn Championship. A $5,500 package can be yours for $255 in this live-format qualifier. And if you’re already double-qualified to the NHC, this tournament pays you $5,000 in lieu of an NHC seat.
Not high-end enough for you? Then play in our live-format Pegasus World Cup qualifier where you could win a $12,500 package to the most exciting new event on the 2018 contest calendar.
Also available is a juicy $5,000 package to the Nov. 11-12 Del Mar Fall Classic (the weekend after Breeders’ Cup). One entry per 25 in this $236 Pick & Pray will advance to Del Mar for a weekend that figures as the calm AFTER the storm.
It always seems calm at Keeneland. You can win a $3,500 package to their NHC/BCBC Challenge (Oct. 15) in our Sunday $160 qualifier.
We also have a couple of nice qualifiers to prestigious mythical-money contests.
One is the NHC, for which you may qualify on Sunday for $240 in a special “Lower Ratio” tourney that costs $240. One in 45 will move on to victory.
Another mythical-money “major” is the Horse Player World Series. You can win a $1,500 entry to its 2018 renewal by playing in our $87 qualifier on Sunday.
To those who believe that cash is always king, there’s our $15,000 Guaranteed tourney (live-format this week) with $7,000 to the winner and payouts down to 7th. Entry is $195 with a limit of 86 entries.
And our Sunday Exacta game will again be guaranteed at $2,500 though it could go up to $5,000 depending on how many take part. Entry fees for the Sunday three-horse-box tourney are $72 each.
There is pair of live-format BCBC qualifiers at HorsePlayers on Sunday.
One is a traditional Pick & Pray for $179 with one $10,000 entry guaranteed. The other is a “Low Ratio” qualifier. This one, also a Pick & Pray, costs $500 to play but has an attractive winning ratio of 1 in just 23.
If you’ve had an unlucky September, take heart—a new month comes around on Sunday. And if September has been good to you, then make the most of Saturday!
Whichever tourneys you might play, in whichever month you might play them, we wish you good luck and a very nice weekend.