There are Breeders’ Cup preps from coast to coast this weekend, including some many important ones in between the two coasts at Keeneland. So we’re ready to supercharge things with a 23-featured-tourney weekend led by a $40,000 Guaranteed, No Limit Road to the Cup cash game on Saturday that includes nine stakes (five of them Grade Is).
The weekend starts even faster than usual on Friday, however, since it’s opening day at Keeneland. The Grade II Phoenix Stakes for sprinters and the Grade 1 Alcibiades Stakes for 2-year-old fillies will be two of the 10 races on the Friday featured schedule. And a nice schedule it is.
By now, you probably know that all NHC qualifiers during the month of October will be found here at HorseTourneys. The first of those comes Friday with a two-spots-guaranteed qualifier to the NHC with an entry fee of just $75. It, like all of the Friday features, is a Pick & Pray.
Also on the docket is our up-to-$15,000 Pick & Pray with $7,500 Guaranteed. It’s $190 to play, and the field is limited to 90.
The leaves have begun turning here in the East, and you can get in on that beautiful Las Vegas fall foliage by qualifying to the Orleans Fall Classic—now just a couple of weeks away.. One in every 10 entries—at $59 per entry—will earn a $500 berth to the Fall Classic in Las Vegas.
Since all the NHC qualifiers are at HorseTourneys in October, that means that the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge has HorsePlayers to its self throughout the month. The first of the October BCBC play-ins takes place on Friday.
It’s 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 how many ultimately sign up.
Contest races for Friday’s featured tourneys at both sites are the 5th through 7th from Belmont; the 6th through 9th on the opening day card at Keeneland; and the 6th, 9th and 10th from Laurel—10 races in all.
On Saturday, there are five featured events at HorseTourneys including three of special note, topped by the $40,000 Guaranteed game.
The $40,000 Guaranteed, No Limit “Road to the Cup” tourney has an entry fee of $495, and there is no limit as to how high the purse could grow…though it won’t be less than $40,000. The format will be live. If you don’t want to buy in, you can win your way into the event for as little as $27 via feeders that will continue to run right up until Saturday.
There is also an NHC “Maiden” qualifier on Saturday. It’s a live-format game restricted to those who have yet to earn a 2020 NHC seat. The buy-in is $165 and one NHC spot is guaranteed. Given that there is a restricted field and that only one seat is guaranteed, there will be no NHC Tour points awarded in this one. So play to win! (Not that you don’t do that anyway.)
Saturday represents your next-to-last chance to qualify for the October 13 Keeneland NHC/BCBC Challenge. This game is a package qualifier, meaning that winners (one per every 25 entries) receive not just a $3,000 entry to Keeneland, but $500 for travel as well. This is a live-format game with an entry fee of $162.
Another live-format package qualifier on Saturday is that for 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 handicap-a-thon at The Orleans in Las Vegas.
Speaking of package qualifiers…and The Orleans…you can win a $1,500 entry, a four-night hotel stay, and $500 for travel to the March 26-28 Horse Player World Series. Saturday’s live-format qualifier costs $118 to play and one of every 25 entrants will win.
There are two featured tourneys at HorsePlayers on Saturday, and, of course, they are both pegged to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.
One is a “regular,” Pick & Pray 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 live-format tourney. It carries an entry fee of $1,000, and the winning ratio is just 1 in 11. One grand prize is guaranteed here as well—even if fewer than 11 take part. So keep an eye on the running tally of entries as closing time approaches.
Nine of the 12 Saturday contest races for the HorseTourneys and HorsePlayers featured events are stakes…and five of those stakes are Grade Is. The contest races are: the 5th through 10th at Keeneland; the 8th through 10th from Belmont; and the 3rd, 4th and 8th from Santa Anita—that makes a dozen.
A dozen is also a relevant number (amount? unit of measurement?) on Sunday. That’s how many featured tourneys we will be offering.
If Saturday was your next-to-last chance, then Sunday is your final chance to qualify for the Keeneland NHC/BCBC Challenge. We close out Keeneland qualifying with a Low Ratio, entry-only affair. A $352 entry fee buys yourself a 1-in-10 chance of being in the Keeneland starting gate in seven days’ time.
The Del Mar Fall Challenge returns to the HorseTourneys lineup on Sunday. You can win a $5,000 entry plus $500 for travel to the November 9-10 (weekend after the Breeders’ Cup tournament) in Sunday’s live-format, 1-per-20 qualifier.
There are not one but two NHC play-ins on Sunday. One is a special low-ratio qualifier with an entry fee of $500 and a winning ratio of 1 in 21. One seat is guaranteed.
The other is a “regular”, two-seats-guaranteed qualifier with the more customary entry fee of $165. Note that this one is a Pick & Pray.
On the Sunday cash front, there’s also an up-to-$20,000 tourney with $10,000 Guaranteed. It’s a live-format competition with an entry fee of $195. This one is also an up-to-$20,000 “pool-style” contest.
A smaller buy-in, $125, will get you into our up-to-$5,000 Exacta tourney with $1,000 Guaranteed. Players pick a mythical three-horse-exacta box play in each of the 12 contest races, and the biggest overall returns, based on $1 payoffs, wins. Remember that there are never any payout caps in these exacta tourneys.
An even smaller buy-in…$8…gets you in the door for our Pick 6 Jackpot tourney in which 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, which is now up to $3,028. This game is always run in live format…so you can study the toteboard before committing to your horse, if you like.
In addition to the aforementioned last-chance Keeneland qualifier, there are three more entry-only qualifiers on the Sunday slate. One is 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 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 live-format game with an $86 entry fee. The winning ratio is 1 in 20.
Another is to the Orleans Fall Classic. The winning ratio here is just one per 10. Winners receive a $500 Fall Classic entry as their return for their $59 entry fee.
The winning ratio goes back to 1 in 20 for our $89 Horse Player World Series qualifier. (Interesting how The Orleans has always broken up “Horse Player” into two words!). Win this and you’ll head to Vegas next March with a $1,500 entry already paid for.
Over at HorsePlayers, there are two BCBC qualifiers—one for high rollers and one for really high rollers.
You can get yourself a one-in-23 chance of winning by playing the $500 Low Ratio BCBC qualifier. One prize is guaranteed, and the format is live.
Or you can really cut down on the competition by springing for a $2,200 entry in a special Ultra Low Ratio Pick & Pray in which the winning ratio is one in just five. It’s important to note that one prize is guaranteed here as well, so this will be an extra good deal if fewer than five sign up.
Good luck in this weekend’s tourneys, and don’t forget to keep an eye out for horses that may come in handy for you four weeks down the road at Santa Anita.