Confetti will be raining down not just on the Super Bowl winner, but on 22 of you this weekend as well…because that’s how many featured events we have going on here this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Just like the Chiefs and 49ers, it’s an even matchup on paper between Friday/Saturday (11 features) and Sunday (also 11 features). If the Super Bowl comes down to a late field goal attempt, you’ll see a lot of praying going on. You can kind of think of these moments as Kick & Prays. Such prayers are sometimes answered (Vinatieri), sometimes not (Norwood). So it is with Pick & Prays as well, and we certainly have a lot of those going on this weekend. Let’s start with Friday.
The first of 18 Pick & Prays this weekend is our up-to-$15,000 cash tourney with $7,500 Guaranteed. The ticket price is $190 (no scalping, please!), and the stadium has a capacity of 90.
It’s another “qualifier-a-day” weekend for the Horse Player World Series. On Friday, there’s an entry-only Pick & Pray for $89. One of every 20 entries will earn a $1,500 spot this March 26-28 at The Orleans, home of Java Vegas.
You may need plenty of Java to get through all the handicapping during NHC Weekend, especially if you start your week with the NHC Last Chance Tournament. You can win a $500 entry to it in Friday’s 1-per-10 Pick & Pray, which carries an entry fee of $59. We’ll remind you one final time…should you win a $500 entry to this tournament and later earn an actual 2020 NHC seat, you have the option of keeping the entry, trading it in for $500 in HorseTourneys credit or transferring the $500 entry to another player. However, if you want to exercise this option, you must let us know by Saturday. (THIS Saturday!)
This year’s Super Bowl is a Mizz-Cal Faceoff. Here at HorseTourneys (on February 29-March 1), we have a Flo-Cal Faceoff. That’s our $100,000 Guaranteed online event featuring full-card picks from just Gulfstream and Santa Anita. The first of two weekend opportunities to win a $1,500 spot to the Faceoff comes Friday with an $86 Pick & Pray. The winning ratio is 1 in 20.
At HorsePlayers, the highlight of the Friday schedule is the first of five weekend qualifiers to the 2020 NHC. (These are your last chances to qualify online for the big dance…now just eight days away.)
It’s a $125 Pick & Pray with a winning ratio of 1-per-85. One “Bally’s Berth” is guaranteed.
Contest races for Friday are the 6th, 7th, 8th and 10th at Gulfstream; the 6th, 7th and 9th from Tampa; and the 6th through 8th at Aqueduct—10 races in all.
Five more Pick & Prays (including a brand new one), plus a live-format tourney, come your way on Saturday.
Added to the HorseTourneys lineup (but only for three weekends) is a qualifier to the February 22 Santa Anita February Challenge. You can pick up a $500 entry to this on-track event for $59 in Saturday’s 1-per-10 Pick & Pray
The weekend’s richest competition is Saturday’s up-to-$30,000 Pick & Pray with $15,000 Guaranteed. It’s $260 to enter.
The Saturday Horse Player World Series qualifier is a full-package tourney with winners receiving a $1,500 entry, a four-night hotel stay, and a $500 travel credit deposited into your HorseTourneys account. The entry fee here is $148, and the winning ratio is 1-per-20.
We also have a “regular” qualifier on Saturday to the April 19 Keeneland Grade One Gamble. It’s $236 to play, and one in 20 will leave with a $4,000 package to the Gamble, where players will match wits for cash, NHC seats and BCBC entries.
Two more 2020 NHC qualifiers (one Pick & Pray; one Live) are set for HorsePlayers on Saturday.
If you’re seatless and really want to take part in the 2020 NHC, Saturday’s Low Ratio “Maiden Special” is for you. It’s a $500 Pick & Pray restricted to those who have yet to qualify for the Feb. 7-9 get together. The winning ratio is 1-per-21, and one prize is guaranteed regardless of participation.
There’s also a Live-format, $210 qualifier that’s open to all. The winning ratio here is 1-per-50 and, again, one package is certain to be awarded.
There are some interesting Derby preps on Saturday—the Holy Bull at Gulfstream, the Withers at the Big A and the Robert Lewis out at Santa Anita—and all three will be among the Saturday contest races. Overall, the 12 heats that will make up the featured tourneys this day are 7th and 8th at Laurel; the other six will be the 6th through 8th from Aqueduct; the 9th and 11th at Gulfstream; and the 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th from Santa Anita.
Ten more featured contests are slated for Sunday at HorseTourneys, and another at HorsePlayers. We’ll lead with HorsePlayers since this is your very last day in which to qualify online for the upcoming NHC.
The HorsePlayers marquee event is a $500, live-format, Low Ratio NHC play-in with one spot guaranteed. The winning ratio here works out to 1 in 21.
That’s your last chance to qualify for the 2020 NHC at HorsePlayers. There’s also one final NHC opportunity—along with 10 other featured events—here at HorseTourneys on Sunday.
The “Last HorseTourneys Chance” to qualify for the 2020 NHC comes via a “regular”, $165 Pick & Pray. One seat is guaranteed.
We’ll try again this week with a Low Ratio qualifier to the April 19 Keeneland Grade One Gamble. It’s $460 to play this Pick & Pray and one in 10 will pick up a $3,500 Keeneland entry plus $500 for travel.
Consider Sunday your “second chance” to qualify for the 2020 The BIG One at Laurel on September 19-20. Brendan Fay became the first to do so last Sunday. Fifteen contest seats and at least $75,000 in cash will be at stake at Laurel—shared amongst a field that will number no more than 57. The qualifier carries an entry fee of $395 and no more than 26 may enter on Sunday. One prize is guaranteed. Winners receive an all-inclusive package comprised of hotel, travel stipend, welcome dinner, top shelf amenities at Laurel and more.
At The BIG One, the top 10 finishers will receive cash bonuses plus their choice of a seat to the NHC, BCBC or Pegasus World Cup. Finishers 11-15 get either $1,500 or a Horse Players World Series entry. (Their choice!)
This Sunday, we have not one but two up-to-$20,000 cash tourneys, each with $10,000 Guaranteed.
One is our “Big Bucks” game, 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. These Big Bucks games are always run as Pick & Prays.
A smaller entry fee ($195) gets you into our other up-to-$20,000/$10,000 Guaranteed cash game. Entries to this one are capped at 118.
Qualifiers continue for the NHC Last Chance Tournament at Bally’s—now just one week away. One of every 10 entries in Sunday’s qualifier—at $59 each—will get a $500 spot in the NHC Eve competition.
We’re back to an entry-only prize for Sunday’s Horse Player World Series play-in. It’s $89 to compete, and one in 20 will earn a $1,500 entry to the “March Major” in Las Vegas.
Our Sunday qualifier to the $100,000 Guaranteed Flo-Cal Faceoff also offers $1,500 entries as its bait. The entry fee is $86, and the winning ratio is 1 per 20 in this Pick & Pray.
Two live-format cash games round out the “Sunday Super Slate”:
One is our up-to-$5,000 Exacta tourney with $1,000 Guaranteed. Players pick a three-horse-exacta box in each of the 12 contest races, and your score is credited with the returns of a $1.00 base play. No price caps are in effect in our Exacta tourneys. So you’re never really out of hope.
There’s also 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% is directed to the Jackpot pool. No one has hit the Jackpot yet…which is now up to $4,773…which means that more and more are playing. If one or more of this week’s entrants go six-for-six, he/she/they will win or share the Jackpot.
It dawned on us while writing this that, at the Super Bowl, confetti also rains down on the losers as they walk dejectedly off the field. That doesn’t seem right.
If you enter any tourneys this weekend and fall short of victory, we (unlike the NFL) promise not to rub salt in your wounds…unless you do something amusing along the way. Then it might find its way into Monday’s recap!
Good luck, and enjoy the big game.