We hope you have some time off over Thanksgiving weekend, because our featured-tourney plate is filled with delectable helpings that may have you coming back for seconds, thirds, fourths or even fifths during the five-day holiday weekend.
As far as we’re concerned, the weekend begins on Friday, and we’ll kick things off with an up-to-$5,000 event on Wednesday evening.
This $1,000 Guaranteed live-format tourney puts an emphasis on the Penn National card, which includes three stakes including the Fabulous Strike Stakes. Synchronize your watches for this 6:05 pm ET start.
On Thanksgiving Day, we offer a pair of Pick & Prays—which, on this day, we consider to be Pick & Eat & Prays. One of these tourneys, it should be noted, is a special offering.
It’s a $15,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray with no limit as to how high the pot can grow. There’s always room for one more at this table. The entry fee is $195 and there will be 10 contest races—the 7th through 9th at Laurel; the 7th through 9th at the Big A; and races 3 through 6 at Del Mar.
Using the same races, we’ll also offer an always-popular Horse Player World Series entry-only qualifier. One entry per 20, at $90 each, will earn a $1,500 entry to The Orleans’s signature tournament next March.
We go from one featured tourney on Wednesday to two on Thursday to three on Friday.
The Friday headliner at HorseTourneys is an up-to-$12,500 Pick & Pray with $5,000 Guaranteed. The entry fee is $190 and there is a limit of 75 entries.
We also offer another Horse Player World Series entry-only qualifier—our second of three during the weekend.
Meanwhile, the first two of at least eight guaranteed NHC seats over the holiday weekend get put up for grabs on Friday at HorsePlayers.
It’s our always-well-attended $75 NHC Pick & Pray qualifier. One of every 143 entries will “get qualified” to the NHC, and if we reach 429 entries, we’ll toss in a third seat.
On Saturday, it’s all about Las Vegas and cold, hard cash.
Our richest event of Thanksgiving weekend (at least from a guaranteed standpoint) is Saturday’s up-to-$30,000 Pick & Pray with $17,500 assured in the kitty no matter what. The entry fee here is $260.
There are no fewer than four guaranteed NHC seats available on this day—two of which get put on the table in a “regular” qualifier. This live-format tourney carries an entry fee of $165.
Sticking with the Vegas theme, there’s our full-package Saturday qualifier to the Horse Player World Series. This Pick & Pray offers a $1,500 HPWS entry, a four-night hotel stay at The Orleans, and another $500 for your travel expenses to those smart enough to win (one per each 25 entries will do just that). This event costs $117 to play.
Over at HorsePlayers, there are two NHC qualifiers, including one brand new contest.
The new kid on the block is a 1-seat-guaranteed Pick & Pray restricted to those who have yet to win a 2019 NHC seat. (If you like, you can think of it as an NHC Maiden Special.) It’s a great chance to qualify without facing some of the heavy heads. The entry fee is $165, and please note—because of the special, restricted nature of this qualifier, no NHC Tour Points will be awarded in this tourney.
The other Saturday NHC qualifier at HorsePlayers is a $500 “Low Ratio” qualifier in which the winning ratio is one in just 21 and one seat is guaranteed. Single- or even double-qualified players are welcome to take part in this one, along with those looking for their first 2019 NHC seat (though if you are already double-qualified, you are obviously just playing for the NHC Tour Points).
Eleven more featured events come your way on Sunday, including a pair of last-chance qualifiers.
Last-chance opportunity number one comes in the form of a Gulfstream Park Conquer the Crown Challenge Pick & Pray. Win this, and you’ll be the recipient of a $3,000 entry for opening day at Gulfstream, where it will be Claiming Crown Day. The buy-in for the Sunday qualifier is $176.
Last-chance opportunity number two is an entry-only Pick & Pray qualifier to the December 1 Lone Star NHC Qualifier. You can play in this one for just $59, and one in just 10 will win a $500 entry to the contest at the site of the 2004 Breeders’ Cup.
Another entry-only qualifier on Sunday pays off with a $1,500 entry to the Horse Player World Series. This, too, is a Pick & Pray. The buy-in is $90.
One of the most lucrative tourneys of the weekend is our qualifier to the January 25-26 Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship. The winner(s) of this one will head to Gulfstream with his or her $12,000 entry covered, plus another $500 on top of that for travel to South Florida.
If you want to appreciate the Florida winter weather even more, take a run out to Monmouth for their December 29 Monmouth Park NHC qualifier. You can win an entry to it in our Sunday qualifier, which carries an entry fee of just $71 and offers winners a $900 package ($400 entry plus $500 travel).
On the cash front, Sunday marks the return of our Big Bucks tourney. This one is an up-to-$20,000 affair with $10,000 Guaranteed. As usual, it’s a Pick & Pray and, as always, only the top three will win money…on a 70%/20%/10% basis. An entry fee of $1,150 gets you action in this one.
Of course, there’s also our more traditional up-to-$20,000 Sunday tourney with an entry fee of $195. Regardless of participation, the pot is guaranteed to be at least $10,000. No more than 118 entries will be accepted in this Pick & Pray.
Exacta game devotees will know that Sunday means an up-to-$5,000 Exacta box tourney. Do the best in picking three-horse exacta boxes and you win. This contest (always run in live-format mode) offers a guaranteed purse of $1,000.
There are three featured events on Sunday over at HorsePlayers—all tied, one way or another, to the NHC.
One is a “regular” NHC direct qualifier with a buy in of $165. Two NHC spots are guaranteed to be earned in this live-format game.
There are also a pair of Sunday, $118 qualifiers to onsite NHC super qualifiers held at the end of the 2018 NHC Tour year. One is to the December 22 event at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, and the other is to the January 5 contest at Santa Anita. One entry per 20 in these Sunday HorsePlayers qualifiers will earn a $1,500 entry plus $500 for travel to Fair Grounds or Santa Anita, as the case may be. The two super qualifiers will each offer one NHC seat per every 15 entries, utilizing an interesting hybrid format involving a live bankroll but mandatory win/place wagers.
This weekend we say, “Break a (turkey) leg” to Michael Odorisio, Ray Davis, Jim Gillis, Kevin Willett, Jim Templin, George Henning and George Gass—all of whom will be representing HorseTourneys at the Hawthorne Fall NHC Super Qualifier.
Also, we remind you that feeders continue to be offered on a daily basis for our $35,000 Guaranteed, No-Limit tourney on Saturday, December 1.
It’s Cigar Mile Day at Aqueduct and opening day at Gulfstream that day—almost certainly the biggest day left on the 2018 racing calendar. We hope you can join us on December 1 for some fittingly high-stakes action.
Even more important, we hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving. Please know that all of us at HorseTourneys are extremely thankful for you—our valued players.