It’s Breeders’ Cup weekend and HorseTourneys is ready (HorsePlayers too) with its biggest Breeders’ Cup contest menu ever.
The big kahuna on Friday is a $15,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray whose prize pool could grow to as much as $35,000 if we get enough entries. The races? Simple—the full card from Del Mar, races 1-10. The cost to play is $260, and entries are limited to 151.
But that’s just the headliner.
We also have a $79 live-format Pool-Style game with a pot that won’t max out unless we hit $5,000.
There’s also a live-format Exacta game for $72 that could also pay out as much as $5,000.
For Pick & Pray fans we have a pair of $1,500 tourneys. One is priced at $69, and the other one, a Guaranteed $1,500 game, carries a budget-friendly entry fee of just $12.
We’re also offering a Friday direct qualifier to the Horse Player World Series for $87. One entry per each 20 in this Pick & Pray will earn a $1,500 entry to next year’s big event at The Orleans in Las Vegas.
If you love contests, but find the big fields of smart handicappers a little intimidating, we have a pair of five-player games (one live-format, one Pick & Pray) for $339. These two tourneys will “go” as long as we get at least three entries. It’s a fun way to compete for nice money against a small number of opponents. With small field sizes, you can miss a couple of price horses early on and still be completely in the hunt.
And on both days of the Breeders’ Cup, well be offering “Last Six” tourneys that only include the day’s final six races from Del Mar. These are wonderful ways to “start anew” should the first part of your day not go so well. And if you ARE doing well, these tourneys can be a means of hedging…or of doubling down on a day when your thoughts seem to be on point.
We turn up the flame a bit for Breeders’ Cup Saturday.
The Breeders’ Cup Classic Day feature is a $50,000 Guaranteed live-format game with a pool-style pot that could go as high as $75,000. But it won’t be less than $50,000 no matter what. The entry fee is $595 and, as with all pool-style games, the more that play, the more we pay. Do keep in mind, however, that total entries are limited to 141. Contest races for this—and all of our Saturday featured tourneys—are the nine Breeders’ Cup races…races 4-12 at Del Mar. (Though we’ll again be running plenty of “Last Six” tourneys as well.)
There’s also a $6,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray with a pot that could potentially reach $10,000. This one costs $190 to enter.
And there’s a $2,000 Guaranteed live-format Exacta Box game (our Exacta games are always run in live format). I don’t know about you, but to me, Exacta games are terrific for days like Breeders’ Cup when the races are super tough. The ability to box three horses in a contest race rather have to single one out can sometimes make a mind-bending race feel more “hittable.”
Like Friday, Saturday will again offer a pair of $1,500 Pick & Prays—one at $69 (non-guaranteed) and the other game (Guaranteed) for just $12.
We’ll also offer those $339 games for between 3-5 players. As well as a new twist for Saturday: a pair of high-stakes games (one live-format, one Pick & Pray) where the entry fee is $250 and there is absolutely no limit on the number of entries the tourney will accept. (Please note that there is a limit of two entries per person, however.)
Then there are the qualifiers—five of them to be exact. For entry fees ranging from $58 to $236, you can win your way into the Del Mar Fall Classic (last chance to qualify for this one!), the Horse Player World Series, the Gulfstream Park Caribbean Classic Betting Championship, the Aqueduct Challenge and the Hawthorne Fall NHC qualifier.
With so much excitement on Friday and Saturday, perhaps you don’t even want to think about Sunday…perhaps (as in my case) that’s the day you have designated to once again communicate with your spouse and children.
Should you play on Sunday?
Perhaps our $15,000 Guaranteed game serves as a nice inducement. Frankly, I think the HorseTourneys bean counters might be a little bit foolish offering a guaranteed pot of that size on the day after Breeders’ Cup. But as Peter Marshall liked to say on Hollywood Squares after someone made a dumb move, “This may work out for you.” In this case, the “you” is you.
But that’s not the real reason you should play on Sunday.
A friend (and frequent NHC qualifier) once told me that the day after the Breeders’ Cup is the absolute best day of the year to qualify for the NHC.
“Nobody else is playing,” he said.
Well, we’re banking on the fact that at least some of you will play. And that’s why we’re offering a 2-seat-guaranteed Pick & Pray on Sunday to the big dance.
In fact, you can try to win an NHC spot all weekend long over at HorsePlayers.
Note the variety of price points at your disposal. You can shoot for the NHC for as little as $75 on Friday. Or as much as $500 on Sunday. Or for the in-between amount of $165 on Saturday and Sunday. It’s basically a question of how many opponents you will face.
And I may just have buried the lede and saved the best for last.
Yes, that’s a Saturday free-roll for a trip to the 2018 Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs AND a $10,000 entry to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge. So if you do nothing else this weekend, be sure to enter that contest. There’s nothing to lose, and if you hit a couple of winners early on…who knows?
A quick reminder: McKay Smith and I will be onsite at the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge at Del Mar on Friday and Saturday. For real-time tournament updates, check our Twitter feed and (at the end of the day) the HorseTourneys blog page.
This weekend promises to be many things. But “boring” is not one of them. We wish our friends at Del Mar the best of luck as they host their first Breeders’ Cup. And we wish the same to you. Go get ‘em!