At $238,950, the purse for the January 9-10 Flo-Cal Faceoff has already exceeded the level of the 2020 event ($225,000) when Thomas Blosser won and took home $87,000.The next few days represent the final weekend of qualifying for the Faceoff, and we’ll be offering no fewer than 13 direct qualifiers that figure to drive the pot considerably higher.
The first four of those 13 New Year’s Weekend Flo-Cal “fiers” are part of the Friday featured schedule.
Flo-Cal Faceoff qualifiers come in four flavors on Friday. There’s the traditional 10-race, multi-track competition, and (though they are not pictured above) there will also be separate single-track, full-card qualifiers on the programs from Aqueduct, Gulfstream and Santa Anita. All four qualifiers are 1-per-15 Pick & Prays with an entry fee of $118.
As you probably know by now, the Flo-Cal Faceoff is the first leg in the new 2021 “Tourney Triple” series that also includes April’s Players Championship and August’s Spa & Surf Showdown.
The top 100 finishers in each event get points and the overall best performer based on point totals gets a $10,000 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge entry plus a 2022 NHC seat. Second best gets a BCBC entry, and the third-highest point-getter receives an entry into the 2021 The BIG One.
Also (and this is a big “also), if someone wins two of the three legs, he or she earns a $1 million bonus. A clean sweep of all three is worth a $2 million bonus.
There’s more to Friday than Flo-Cal play-ins, though. Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship entries are at stake as well. Friday’s qualifier is a Pick & Pray, with an entry fee of $384. One of every 20 entrants will earn a $6,500 package for the live-bankroll Pegasus event that can be played from either Gulfstream or Xpressbet on January 23rd.
A qualifier to the January 9th onsite tournament at Tampa Bay Downs is also on the Friday schedule. It requires an entry fee of $80 to participate, and one of every 15 contestants gets a $1,000 entry to the Oldsmar, Fla., competition.
Cash games are also a prominent part of the Friday slate.
For $190, you can match wits in Friday’s $10,000 Guaranteed No Limit Pick & Pray. “No Limit” means there is no limit as to how high the purse can grow.
An $1,150 entry fee will get you in the door for Friday’s up-to-$20,000 Big Bucks Pick & Pray, which guarantees at least $7,500 in the kitty. Payoffs only go to the top three finishers on a 70/20/10-percent basis, and no more than 20 entries will be accepted.
There are two Friday features at HorsePlayers, and since it’s the first day of the New Year (and new month), we welcome the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge back into the fold.
The BCBC qualifier is a Low Ratio Pick & Pray with an entry fee of $500, and a winning ratio of 1 in 23. One $10,000 seat is guaranteed to be awarded regardless of participation.
Meanwhile your New Year will definitely be off to a “Happy” start if you win (or come in second) in Friday’s $75 NHC qualifier. It, too, is a Pick & Pray, and two NHC berths are guaranteed to be won.
Contest races for New Year’s Day are the 6th, 8th and 9th fro Tampa, the 1st, 2nd and 4th at Santa Anita and the 8th through 11th from Gulfstream—10 races in all.
Day 2 of the new year offers 10 features including five Flo-Cal Faceoff qualifiers.
In addition to a multi-track Flo-Cal Faceoff qualifier, plus one just on the Gulfstream card, one on Aqueduct and one singularly devoted to the goings on at Santa Anita (all with entry fees of $118 and winning ratios of 1-per-15), we’ll also host our first-ever Low Ratio Flo-Cal play-in. It’s a live-format tourney with an entry fee of $350 and a winning ratio of 1 in just 5.
There are also three important cash tourneys on Saturday.
The richest of those is Saturday’s $25,000 Guaranteed, No Limit game. It’s $260 to enter, and it’s a live-format contest this week.
Operating in Pick & Pray mode is our “up-to-$20,000” Big Bucks game on Saturday. The purse is guaranteed at $10,000, and entries are limited to 20 (unless we get a late arrival or two via last-minute Saturday feeders). Payoffs go strictly to the top three finishers with the winner earning 70 percent of the net pool, the runner up getting 20 percent, and the third-place finisher scooping up the remaining 10 percent.
Saturday’s $15 Pick 4 Jackpot tourney begins with a carryover of $6,831 after going unhit once again (twice again, actually) last week. If you go four-for-four in this Pick & Pray, you win or share the Jackpot. Meanwhile, 70% of the net pool gets paid out to players via the traditional $2.00 win/place scoring system. (The other 30% goes to the Jackpot pool.) Note that there is a maximum of three entries per player allowed in these Jackpot Pick 4 games.
The Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge again shares the featured spotlight with the NHC at HorsePlayers on Saturday.
The BCBC qualifier is a $179, live-format game with at least one $10,000 entry certain to be won.
The Saturday NHC qualifier is also a “regular,” 1-per-65 live-format tourney. It guarantees two seats, and the entry fee is $165.
A whopping 14 events are on the featured-tourney agenda this Sunday—11 here at HorseTourneys and three at HorsePlayers.
As you might guess, there are another five Flo-Cal Faceoff qualifiers—one on Gulfstream ($118), one on the Big A ($118), one on Santa Anita (also $118), one $118 multi-track play-in, and one Low Ratio multi-track qualifier. The Low Ratio game has a price tag of $350 and the winning ratio is again a success-conducive 1-per-5.
After a “day off” on Saturday, Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship and Tampa qualifiers are back in play on Sunday schedule. The Pegasus play-in is a Live-format tourney costing $384, while the Tampa tourney (also Live) requires you to pony up $80.
Cash gamers can occupy—and possibly enrich—themselves with Sunday’s $15,000 Guaranteed No Limit tourney. It’s a Live-format game this week with the customary entrance fee of $195.
The Sunday Big Bucks game has a guarantee of $7,500 and could reach $20,000 if we reach the maximum 20 entrants. The entry fee is $1,150, and prizes go only to the top three. Sunday Big Bucks games are always run in Live-format.
Another “always-Live” test is Sunday’s up-to-$5,000 Exacta tourney with $1,000 Guaranteed. You pick a three-horse exacta box in each contest race, and whoever has the best overall score (based on $1.00 payoffs with no price caps in effect) takes the top prize.
There’ll be another $15 Pick 4 Jackpot tourney (Pick & Pray again) on Sunday. Check our home page or our Twitter feed on Saturday night for the Jackpot carryover amount. It will depend on how many played in Saturday’s Pick 4 Jackpot tourney—and whether anyone went 4-for-4.
At HorsePlayers on Sunday, there will be two NHC featured tourneys and one BCBC feature.
The BCBC game is a Live-format, low-ratio qualifier. One grand prize is guaranteed, and the winning ratio is 1-per-23 in this $500 event.
There’s also a Low Ratio qualifier on the NHC side of the street. It’s a $500 Pick & Pray with a winning ratio of 1-per-17 and one “Bally’s Berth” guaranteed. (Note that, per NHC Tour rules, there will only be NHC Tour points if two seats are awarded.)
The other Sunday NHC qualifier also guarantees one seat. It’s a Live-format, $165 game only for those who have yet to earn a 2021 NHC berth. Since this is a restricted affair, no Tour points will be involved in this one.
Have a Happy and safe New Year’s…and a happy and profitable contest weekend.