Travers Weekend is upon us, and we’re blowing it out with 34 featured events, including a slew of Spa & Surf Challenge qualifiers (Purse now up to $286,000!) and a brand new play-in to August 22 Del Mar Pacific Classic Betting Challenge. Of most note, however, are our Travers Day cash games. We have a $60,000 Guaranteed Live-format game and a $20,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray. That’s in addition to the Big Bucks, Pick 6 Jackpot and all the other customary Saturday games and qualifiers.
In short, it’s going to be a very busy weekend…but, hopefully, a good kind of busy. It gets started on Friday with a robust slate of eight features.
A new addition to the HorseTourneys schedule is a qualifier for the August 22 Del Mar Pacific Classic Betting Challenge. One of every 20 entries, at $236 each, will earn a $4,000 entry for the 22nd. PLEASE NOTE: The Pacific Classic Betting Challenge will take place exclusively at TVG. If you do not have a TVG account—or cannot get one set up—by August 22, please don’t play in this qualifier. (There are certainly plenty of other top games to pick from this weekend!) “After-the-fact” refunds/credits are not possible.
While it’s your first chance for the “PCBC”, it’s your last chance on Friday for the Xpressbet Travers Online Challenge. It’s $175 to play and one in 20 will earn a $3,000 entry for the next day’s competition offering cash and contest seats.
Typically we might have three Spa & Surf Showdown qualifiers on a given weekend. This weekend we have three on Friday alone! All three cost $113 to enter and are 1-per-20 play-ins. One will be a multi-track game; one is just on the Saratoga card; and one is just on the Del Mar program.
We’ll lather, rinse and repeat like this on Saturday and Sunday as well. As noted at the top, the guaranteed purse for the August 15-16 Showdown is $286,740, and that figure will continue to grow with additional qualifiers and buy-ins.
Cash-gamers will have be attracted not just to the Spa & Surf Showdown, but also to Friday’s $10,000 Guaranteed No Limit Pick & Pray. Entries here are $190 each.
Over at HorsePlayers, there’s one qualifier on Friday for the NHC and one for the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.
Friday’s $75 NHC Pick & Pray will award at least two seats, and potentially-valuable NHC Tour points will also be given to those finishing in the top 10%. It’s a Pick & Pray with a winning ratio of 1 in 143.
The Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge play-in is a Low Ratio Pick & Pray. At least one $10,000 entry is certain to be won in this $500 event. The winning ratio is a low 1-per-23.
Contest races are the 5th, 7th, 8th and 9th from Saratoga; the 6th and 8th at Woodbine; and the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th from Del Mar—10 races in all.
Features on Travers Day? We have a baker’s dozen. Here are some of the highlights:
Cash is king on Travers Day. We have both a $60,000 Guaranteed live-format game ($395 buy-in) and a $20,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray ($260). This is in addition to Saturday’s $10,000 Guaranteed Big Bucks Pick & Pray. That game, limited to 20 entrants, has an entry fee of $1,150.
There’s one Saturday cash tourney we neglected to mention—our $8 Pick 6 Jackpot game. The carryover, awaiting the player or players who can go 6-for-6, is $17,941. Seventy percent of net entry fees (at $8 a pop) get paid out via traditional win/place scoring totals while 30% gets directed to the Jackpot. The Pick 6 Jackpot races this week are the 7th through 10th (all graded stakes) from Saratoga, and the first two heats at Del Mar. Total betting interests, before scratches, across the six races: 41.
There are some great non-cash features on Travers day as well.
Operating in Live format is a “regular,” two-seats-guaranteed qualifier to the NHC. You can get a spot in the starting gate for $165. The winning ratio is 1-per-65.
Our Saturday qualifier to The BIG One is a Pick & Pray. The grand prize includes $500 in cash plus an entry to the finals on September 19-20. (Just 15 online seats remain available.) The buy-in here is $395, and no more than 27 entries will be accepted to this qualifier. In The BIG One, the top 10 finishers get their choice of a seat to the NHC, BCBC or Pegasus World Cup plus they share in a cash pool that is already up to $123,914 (and counting). Finishers 11-15 get a choice of either $1,500 or a Horse Player World Series entry. The BIG One will be held here at HorseTourneys this year, and the final field in September will consist of no more than 57 entries (50 online qualifiers plus up to seven buy-ins). So if you get to The BIG One, you have a good chance of coming away with a nice prize.
Saturday’s qualifier to the Ruidoso Handicapping Challenge—an onsite tournament on August 29—is a live-format play-in. One of every 10 entries, at $48 each, will win a $400 spot in the “Land of Enchantment” contest, where two NHC seats will be awarded.
Remember how I said we’d have three Spa & Surf Showdown qualifiers on Friday, Saturday and Sunday? Actually I undercounted. On Saturday and Sunday, we’ll have four! There’s our Saratoga-only qualifier, our Del Mar-only qualifier and our multi-track play-in—all priced at $113 per entry and offering one $2,000 prize/seat per 20 entries. The fourth Showdown qualifier is a 1-per-8, Low Ratio Pick & Pray. It’s a multi-track affair with an entry feel of $290.
HorsePlayers offers double-barrel Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge action on Saturday.
Saturday’s “regular” BCBC play-in has one grand prize guaranteed and carries an entry fee of $179. It’s a Pick & Pray with a winning ratio of 1-per-65.
The winning ratio is only 1-per-11 in Saturday’s live-format Super Low Ratio BCBC Pick & Pray. It also guarantees at least one winner. Here, the entry fee is $1,000.
The 12 contest races come from just two tracks on Saturday: Races 7-12 (including five graded stakes) on the Travers Day card at Saratoga; and the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th at Del Mar; races 10 and 11 (the Monmouth Oaks) at—you guessed it!—Monmouth; and the 9th through 12th (all stakes) from the Whitney Day card at Saratoga.
Another 13 features are on the Sunday docket.
And, yes, four of them are Spa & Surf Showdown qualifiers, including another Low Ratio game.
Another Sunday Low Ratio game is our $500 NHC Pick & Pray. Please note that there must be at least 10 entries for this game to “go.”
A guaranteed berth is on the line in Sunday’s $395 qualifier to The BIG One. Normally held at Laurel Park, “The high-expectation tournament” will take place here this year on September 19-20. The field for The BIG One will be comprised of no more than 57 players—50 via online qualifiers and up to seven buy-ins.
Sunday offers the weekend’s second opportunity to qualify for the Del Mar Pacific Classic Betting Challenge. (See Friday.) Did we mention that you must have, or set up, a TVG account in order to play in the August 22 PCBC? This $236 qualifier is a 1-per-20 Pick & Pray. Winners receive a $4,000 PCBC entry.
Sunday’s cash games include our $15,000 Guaranteed No Limit cash tourney. This one will operate in live-format mode.
Another live-format event is our $7,500 Guaranteed Big Bucks tourney. The pot could grow to as high as $20,000 depending on participation, but it won’t be less than $7,500. The entry fee is $1,150, and payoffs go only to the top three finishers.
The second of the weekend’s two $8 Pick 6 Jackpot tourneys takes place on Sunday. Check out our Twitter feed on Saturday night or home page on Sunday for an update on the Jackpot amount. It will depend on how many people take a swing at the Travers Day Jackpot ($17,941)…and whether anyone hits it. The Pick 6 Jackpot competition is always a live-format game.
So is our up-to-$5,000 Exacta tourney with $1,000 Guaranteed. This game asks players to make a three-horse exacta box in each race. The entry fee is $125, and no payoff caps are in effect. As long as you have one play left, you always have a chance.
The Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge and the NHC share the Sunday stage at HorsePlayers.
One $10,000 entry is guaranteed in Sunday’s Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Low Ratio qualifier, which carries an entry fee of $500 and a winning ratio of 1-per-23. The format is Live.
Also Live is Sunday’s $165 “regular” NHC qualifier. The winning ratio is 1-in-65, and two spots are assured.
Enjoy Travers Day and the plethora of tourney action this weekend. We hope you find it both pleasant…and profitable.