There are just 58 shopping days left until the 21st NHC. Actually, there are just 57…since, for some reason, no tracks are open on Christmas Day. As a public service to shoppers feeling under pressure, the NTRA this weekend is offering seven guaranteed spots at HorseTourneys/HorsePlayers to their big dance at Bally’s on February 7-9. We at HorseTourneys will augment those holiday offerings with cash games (more than $35,000 guaranteed this week) plus qualifiers to many other worthy events.
The fun begins on Friday.
The first two of those seven certain NHC spots get put on the table at HorsePlayers in a $75 NHC Pick & Pray. Because the entry fee is low, participation should be high—and that means a lot of available NHC Tour Points are likely.
Four featured tourneys share the spotlight here at HorseTourneys on Friday.
We don’t have a direct qualifier here on Friday like HorsePlayers does…but we have a $59 entry-only qualifier to the next best thing…the NHC Last Chance Tournament on February 6 at Bally’s Las Vegas, where the NHC will be held the very next day. One of every 10 entries will earn a $500 entry. Please note…should you win an entry to this tournament and later earn an actual 2020 NHC seat prior to February 6, you have the option of keeping the entry, trading it in for $500 in HorseTourneys credit or transferring the entry to another player. Please note that the deadline for making such a decision is February 1.
Our Friday, up-to-$15,000 Pick & Pray leads off the weekend cash tourneys. It has an entry fee of $190 and offers a guaranteed purse of $7,500. No more than 90 may enter.
The first of two weekend Pegasus World Cup Betting Challenge qualifiers comes your way on Friday. Itoffers a $6,000 entry to the Pegasus competition plus another $500 for travel. The entry fee for this elite-level Pick & Pray is $384. One per 20 will win.
Meanwhile the first of three weekend qualifiers to the Horse Player World Series takes place on Friday. This one is an entry-only Pick & Pray with a price tag of $89, and the winning ratio is 1 per 20. Winners receive a $1,500 entry to the signature handicapping contest at The Orleans in Las Vegas.
Contest races for Friday (for all five features at HP/HT) are the 6th through 8th at Aqueduct, the 7th through 9th from Tampa Bay Downs; the 2nd and 4th north of the border at Woodbine; and the 9th and 10th from Gulfstream—10 races in all.
On Saturday, seven more featured tourneys are “on sale”…including six here at HorseTourneys.
The weekend’s richest competition is Saturday’s up-to-$30,000 game with $17,500 Guaranteed (up from $15,000 last Saturday). The cost to play is $260, and no more than 140 may stake part. The format here, as is the case for all seven Saturday features, is live.
Your second consecutive day of Horse Player World Series qualifying takes place on Saturday. This one is a full-package play-in…so winners receive not just a $1,500 entry but a four-night hotel stay and a $500 travel stipend as well. The entry fee is $118, and the winning ratio will be 1-per-25.
You can also take a shot on Saturday at the Santa Anita Opening Day Challenge.
The Santa Anita event takes place on the track’s traditional, day-after-Christmas opening day. Winners of our one-per-15 qualifier earn a $1,500 entry to the picturesque Arcadia, Calif., track (not far from Pasadena, home of the Tournament of Roses Parade).
Then there’s the Tampa Bay Downs High Roller Tournament on January 11. Entries cost $1,000 if you wait until “game day”…but you could win one here on Saturday for $80. “High rollers” at Tampa will vie for two NHC spots…at your choice of either the 2020 or the 2021 NHC.
If you don’t do well in the heat, then consider the December 28 NHC qualifier at Monmouth. We have a qualifier for it on Saturday in which one of every 10 entries will receive not one but two entries (worth a total of $600) for Monmouth on the 28th. The entry fee on Saturday is $71.
Or…instead of qualifying to a tournament in which you could win an NHC seat, you can eliminate the middle man and qualify to the NHC directly right here. We have a regular, live-format qualifier with two spots guaranteed going on Saturday for an entry fee of the customary $165.
There’s a featured tourney at HorsePlayers as well on Saturday. It’s a direct qualifier to—you guessed it!—the NHC.
This one is a $165 live-format game restricted to those who have yet to win a seat to the 2020 NHC. This “Maiden Special” guarantees one spot. Since the field is—by definition—restricted, no NHC Tour Points will awarded in this tourney.
Contest races for Saturday will be the 7th through 11th (four of them stakes) at Gulfstream; the 7th through 9th from Aqueduct; the early double (races 1 and 2) at Los Alamitos; and the 7th and 9th from Woodbine. That’s 12 races all together.
Right around the time the early NFL games start the second half on Sunday, we’ll be kicking off 12 battles of our own.
The Pegasus World Cup Betting Challenge rejoins our starting lineup on Sunday. One of every 20 entries in this $384 live-format qualifier gets a $6,000 entry plus $500 for travel to the January 25th event.
The Horse Player World Series never left our starting lineup. Sunday’s qualifier for it is an entry-only game with an entry fee of $89. One in 20 will move on to play at the The Orleans next March in Las Vegas.
The day’s top cash tourney is our $10,000 Guaranteed game. Entries for this $195 buy-in affair are capped at 118, and the pot could reach $20,000 depending on participation…but it won’t be less than $10,000.
We’ll try again this Sunday to get Sam Houston off the ground. The qualifier to their January 26 NHC play-in requires an up-front investment of $80, and one in 15 will liftoff to a $1,000 entry.
A $1,500 entry will be at stake in Sunday’s qualifier to the NTRA/Santa Anita NHC Super Qualifier on January 4. This, too, is a live-format contest with a 1-per-15 winning ratio. The entry fee here is $118.
If January 4 constitutes too much advance planning for you, then you could try to qualify for the February 7 NHC on February 6. That’s the date of the NHC Last Chance Tournament at Bally’s. In our Sunday qualifier, one of every 10 entries, at $59 each, will pick up a $500 entry for NHC eve.
Speaking of waiting until the last minute, Sunday is your last chance to qualify for the NTRA/Fair Grounds Super Qualifier. This play-in offers a $1,500 entry plus $500 for your journey to the Big Easy on December 21. The entry fee is $118. One in 20 will win.
No need to travel anywhere for the two-day, February 29-March 1, Flo-Cal Faceoff. The “Flo-Cal” is an online contest here at HorseTourneys offering a Guaranteed purse of $100,000, though it’s a “No Limit” tourney, so the final pot could potentially exceed $100,000. The event is modeled after last summer’s popular Spa & Surf Showdown. On Sunday, you can pick up a $1,500 entry to the Faceoff, which will feature full-card racing from Gulfstream and Santa Anita during Fountain of Youth weekend. Sunday’s qualifier will carry an $86 entry fee. The winning ratio is 1 in 20.
Completing the Sunday featured schedule at HorseTourneys are two fun cash games that are a little out of the ordinary compared to our usual win-place competitions.
One is our up-to-$5,000 Exacta tourney with $1,000 Guaranteed. Players here will make a mythical three-horse-exacta box play in each of the 12 contest races. The format here, as always, is live, and there’s no payoff cap. It’s $125 to take part.
The other is our $8 Pick 6 Jackpot tourney. Seventy percent of the net pool goes to top finishers via the normal, $2 win/place scoring method, while the other 30% gets assigned to the Jackpot pool. Pick the winners of all six races and you win (or share, if multiple players do so) the Jackpot, which is now up to $3,746. This game is also always run in live format.
There are two more live-format, featured events on the schedule at HorsePlayers this Sunday—one to the NHC and one to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.
The NHC game is a “regular,” $165 qualifier with two spots guaranteed.
The BCBC qualifier is a Low-Ratio confab with an entry fee of $500 and one $10,000 seat guaranteed. The winning ratio here is 1-per-23.
There you have it…another weekend chock-a-block with tourneys sure to address any contest player’s holiday shopping list. Happy Handicapping!