It’s hard to believe that Labor Day is already upon us. If such a milepost brings with it tinges of sadness over the impending end of summer…or Saratoga or Del Mar…then this weekend’s array of top events should provide at least some measure of restorative happiness—because it’s a really good lineup, with no fewer than 20 featured tourneys.
The first of these begins on Friday.
Friday regulars will know what’s coming: an up-to-$12,500 Pick & Pray with $5,000 Guaranteed regardless of participation. It’s $190 to enter and there is a limit of 75 entries overall.
Contest races for the Friday featured tourneys are the 7th through 10th from Saratoga; the 8th and 9th from Woodbine; the 8th and 9th from Gulfstream and the 1st and 2nd from Del Mar—10 races in all.
Using the same races, HorsePlayers gets going with what has become a Friday staple almost as entrenched as the $5,000 Guaranteed tourney—a Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Low Ratio Pick & Pray.
This entry fee here is $500, which gets you a winning ratio of just 1 in 23 for grabbing a $10,000 BCBC seat.
Saturday is opening day at Kentucky Downs—and Woodward day at Saratoga. While this isn’t a weekend that gets a lot of national attention, it’s about as good a betting day as you’ll find…at least as measured by our 12-race featured schedule, which includes 10 stakes. The 12 races are:
The 11th and 13th at Gulfstream; the 9th through 12th at Saratoga; the 7th through 10th from Kentucky Downs and the 3rd and 6th from Del Mar. That’s 12 in all and only the two at Del Mar are not stakes, though those are both 12-horse fields.
Now let’s take a look at the minor detail of which tourneys we’ll be offering on Saturday.
Two of the four guaranteed NHC seats up for grabs this weekend will be available in Saturday’s NHC Lower Ratio tourney. This, like most of the weekend events, is a Pick & Pray, and this game carries an entry fee of $240 and a winning ratio of 1 in 45.
Last weekend was our first entry-only qualifier to the 2019 Horse Player World Series at The Orleans and Saturday is our second. It’s $90 to play and one per each 20 entries earns a $1,500 HPWS seat.
Also available on Saturday are $1,000 packages to another Orleans event—the Orleans Fall Classic on October 11-13. In this Pick & Pray, one in 15 will win. The entry fee is $79.
HorsePlayers will be using the same exciting 12 betting races on Saturday and here, the second of four guaranteed BCBC seats during the weekend will be in play via a “regular” BCBC qualifier.
It carries a $179 entry fee and one $10,000 entry/prize guaranteed. One entry per each 65 will win, but again, there will be at least one grand prize no matter what. No guesswork on that front.
Sunday offers eight featured tourneys—four live and four Pick & Prays—including a second helping of what was a very popular debut tourney last weekend.
The “back-by-popular-demand” game is our “Big Bucks” tourney in which 20 players will compete for between $15,000 (guaranteed) and $20,000. The entry fee is $1,150 and only the top three finishers get paid (on a 70/20/10 basis). Last Saturday, Gary Machiz won $14,248 in the inaugural Big Bucks tourney. Already just 12 seats remain for Sunday’s event. Between now and then, you can qualify via feeder for as little as $62.
There’s another Sunday tourney with a potential $20,000 pot. It’s our $15,000 Guaranteed game with an entry fee of $195. Both this and the Big Bucks games are Pick & Prays.
Another Sunday Pick & Pray is our two all-inclusive packages-guaranteed qualifier for the Sept. 22-23 The BIG One at Laurel. Just six online seats remain available for this and after Sunday, there will be just four. Win this $515 buy-in qualifier (or finish second) and you’ll be competing for cash, 10 NHC seats, 10 BCBC entries and 10 Horse Player World Series entries from a field of no more than 57 at Laurel in a few short weeks.
The last of the Sunday Pick & Prays is our qualifier to the October 14 Keeneland NHC/BCBC Challenge. One in 25 entries in this qualifier will earn a $3,500 package ($3,000 entry fee and $500 for travel) to one of America’s most prestigious race tracks/race meets.
Looking at Sunday’s live-format tourneys, we’ll try again Sunday to send a player or two to the September 15 Woodbine Mile Horseplayers Tournament. Win our qualifier (one per 20 will do so) and you’ll earn your Woodbine entry fee of $3,500 (Canadian) plus $500 in U.S. dollars for travel. The Woodbine Mile Day competition offers a prize pool that will include two BCBC entries and four NHC berths.
Sunday also has an up-to-$5,000 Exacta box tourney on the docket and that game is always live-format. Pick three horses in each contest race, and the winner is determined by who racks up the most money based on $1 exacta box payoffs. It’s simple…and fun. No price caps here, and a purse of at least $2,000 is guaranteed.
There are two more live-format events over at HorsePlayers.
The Big Bucks tourney isn’t our only “second-time” offering. So is our qualifier for the NTRA/Belmont Park Super Qualifier on September 29, when one NHC berth will be awarded per each 15 entries. Winners of our Sunday qualifier (one per each 20 entries) receive a $1,500 entry to the Belmont NHC Super Qualifier plus $500 for travel.
There’s also a BCBC Low Ratio qualifier with a $500 buy-in and a player-friendly winning ratio of just one-in-23. One prize is guaranteed regardless of participation levels, though.
The good news for Monday is that it’s a national holiday and most of you should be off. The bad news is that it’s closing day at Saratoga and Del Mar. We’ll try to close those two meets out with a bang with five special Labor Day tourneys.
The three here at HorseTourneys are led by an up-to-$15,000 Pick & Pray with $8,000 guaranteed. The entry fee is $190 and no more than 90 entries will be accepted.
Another Monday Pick & Pray (actually they’re all Pick & Prays today, which should make things easier on those of you barbecuing or driving) is our second HPWS entry-only tourney of the weekend (see Saturday). The same parameters apply…$90 buy-in and one in 20 win.
We also offer an entry-only qualifier on Monday for the Orleans Fall Classic. In this Pick & Pray, one in 10 will win and the entry fee is just $59.
There are two more Labor Day Pick & Prays over at HorsePlayers.
One is a BCBC Low Ratio tourney with one $10,000 entry guaranteed, and the other is a “regular” NHC qualifier with a buy-in of $165 and two seats guaranteed.
Whatever plans you have for Labor Day weekend, we hope they’re enjoyable and safe—and, while you’re at it, we hope you set aside some time to take part in some tourney play. Now that’s a true labor of love!