I forgot to mention one anecdote in my “Thoughts from The BIG One” blog. Late on Sunday, Saratoga Colonel took the final race from Belmont at odds of 29-1. David Wolff excitedly raised his arms and said, “I’ve got it!” Except that he didn’t.
He wasn’t completely wrong, though. Wolff didn’t have the winning longshot in The BIG One—but he had him in that day’s BCBC qualifier at HorsePlayers…and he won a $10,000 entry as a result. Such “multi-tabling” may well be on full display this weekend as 18 of the 20 featured events will be Pick & Prays. The first four of those take place on Friday.
The Friday feature at HorseTourneys is our up-to-$15,000 Pick & Pray with $7,500 Guaranteed. It’s $190 to play, and a maximum of 90 may enter.
Also on tap is an entry-only qualifier to the October 17-19 Orleans Fall Classic, which is really sneaking up on us…though that shouldn’t be surprising since it is now officially Fall. One in every 10 entries—at $59 per entry—will earn a $500 ticket to the Fall Classic in Las Vegas.
HorsePlayers has its own strong pair of Pick & Prays on Friday.
Two guaranteed spots to the NHC are on the line in a qualifier with an entry fee of just $75. That works out to a winning ratio of 1 per 143, though no fewer than two berths will be awarded even if fewer than 286 people sign up.
There’s also a Low Ratio Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier with a $500 entry and a winning ratio of 1 in 23. One $10,000 BCBC entry is guaranteed in this tourney regardless of participation.
Contest races for Friday’s featured tourneys at both sites are the 7th through 9th from Gulfstream; the 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th on the opening day card at Santa Anita; and the 6th and 7th from Woodbine—10 races in all.
For Saturday, we need to begin with the HorsePlayers schedule because there’s one event there that almost all of you should definitely play.
It’s a free, one-day NHC qualifier with seats guaranteed to the top five finishers (provided that you haven’t already won two seats to next February’s event, of course). In order to participate and win, you must be a paid-up member in good standing of the 2019 NHC Tour. If you’re not a member, you can become one by visiting NTRA.com.
There are also two Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifiers at HorsePlayers on Saturday—the second and third of four on the weekend.
One is a “regular,” live-format game with an entry fee of $179, and a winning ratio of 1 in 65. One $10,000 entry/prize is guaranteed.
The other is a Super Low Ratio BCBC Pick & Pray. With an entry fee of $1,000, the winning ratio here is a success-friendly 1 in 11. One grand prize is guaranteed here as well—even if fewer than 11 take part.
Four featured events come your way at HorseTourneys on Saturday.
The weekend’s richest tourney is Saturday’s up-to-$30,000 Pick & Pray with $15,000 Guaranteed. It’s $260 to play.
We also have a Pick & Pray qualifier for the October 13 Keeneland NHC/BCBC Challenge. (Just one more weekend remains to qualify for this highly-anticipated contest after this weekend.) Winners receive a $3,000 Keeneland entry plus $500 for travel to the picturesque Lexington, Ky., oval. The winning ratio for this qualifier is 1 per 25, and entries cost $162 each.
Horse Player World Series fans can win not just a $1,500 entry on Saturday, but four nights’ hotel at The Orleans (home of The Copper Whisk) and $500 for travel. The 1-per-25 Pick & Pray has an entry fee of $118.
Speaking of The Orleans, there’s also a Pick & Pray qualifier to the Orleans Fall Classic. This one offers a $1,000 package ($500 entry plus $500 travel) to the October 17-19 three-day, mythical-money event, where some serious money will be paid out.
Ten of the 12 Saturday contest races for the HorseTourneys and HorsePlayers contests are stakes. They are: the 6th through 9th at Monmouth; the 7th through 9th from Belmont; the 10th through 13th at Gulfstream; and the 7th and 8th from Santa Anita.
Sunday is our most highly-trafficked day of the weekend with nine featured tourneys.
We have not one, but two $10,000 Guaranteed Pick & Prays on Sunday. One is our “Big Bucks” tourney, which has an $1,150 entry fee and permits no more than 20 entrants. Payoffs go solely to the top three finishers on a 70%/20%/10% basis, and if we draw a full field, the pot will exceed $20,000.
There’s also a “regular” Sunday, $10,000 Guaranteed cash Pick & Pray. This one carries a more modest entry fee of $195. This one is also an up-to-$20,000 “pool-style” contest.
Business has been brisk thus far with our qualifiers to the Flo-Cal Faceoff on February 29-March 1. The Faceoff is a $100,000 Guaranteed, No Limit tourney modeled closely after August’s successful Spa & Surf Showdown, which had a final purse of $272,000. On Sunday, you can win a $1,500 entry to the two-day, online event that will feature full-card racing from Gulfstream and Santa Anita during Fountain of Youth weekend. Sunday’s qualifier is a Pick & Pray with an $86 entry fee, and one in every 20 entries will earn a place at the Faceoff.
Two entry-only Pick & Pray qualifiers will be hosted on Sunday. One is to the October 13 Keeneland NHC/BCBC Challenge. One of every 10—at $352 per entry—will win a $3,000 seat to the Kentucky contest.
The other is to the Orleans Fall Classic. The winning ratio is one per 10 here as well, though the entry fee for this game is just $59. Winners receive a $500 Fall Classic entry.
It’s a given on Sunday that we offer an up-to-$5,000 Exacta tourney. It’s always a live-format game, and it offers a guaranteed purse of $1,000 Players pick a mythical three-horse-exacta box play in each of the 12 contest races, and the biggest overall return(s), based on $1 payoffs, wins. You can play for $125.
Our $8 Pick 6 Jackpot is now up to $2941. In this economical game, you pay $8 to enter and 70% of the net pool gets paid out to players via the normal, $2 win/place scoring method, while the other 30% is directed to the Jackpot pool. Pick the winners of all six races and you win the Jackpot. (Multiple winners would share the jackpot.) This game is always run in live format…so, if you like, you can play the favorite in every race.
Over at HorsePlayers, there are co-features—a qualifier to the NHC and another to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.
The NHC competition is a “regular,” $165 Pick & Pray, and two NHC seats are guaranteed.
The BCBC qualifier (the fourth and final of the weekend) is a low-ratio Pick & Pray where an entry fee of $500 gets you a 1 in 23 chance at a $10,000 BCBC seat. One prize is guaranteed.
Good luck this weekend. There’s still time to make it a September to remember.