It’s opening weekend at Santa Anita, and that doesn’t just mean a Last Chance qualifier for Saturday’s Santa Anita Opening Weekend at Xpressbet…it means an inordinate number of high-quality stakes races as Breeders’ Cup preps start to really kick in.
As usual, the weekend, featured-tourney fun gets started around here on Friday—which happens to be opening day at “The Great Race Place.”
Friday serves as your last call to qualify for the following day’s Santa Anita Opening Weekend Challenge. The entry fee is $118, and the winning ratio is 1-per-15. Winners get a $1,500 entry for the next day at Xpressbet.
Flo-Cal Faceoff qualifiers ramp up this weekend in a big way with a play-in per day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Friday’s will be a $118 Pick & Pray with a 1-per-15 winning ratio. The goal: a $1,500 entry into the $250,000 Guaranteed, all-cash tourney here on January 8.
There will also be a qualifier a day this weekend to the October 16th Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge. Friday’s game carries an entry fee of $206 and a winning ratio of 1-per-20. Winners earn a $3,500 entry, which can be played on the 16th either on-track or at Xpressbet.
Friday’s HT Tour event is our $15,000 Guaranteed No-Limit Pick & Pray. The cost to play here is $190.
As is customary these days, the 2022 NHC and the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge share the stage on Friday at HorsePlayers.
Friday’s $75 NHC Pick & Pray puts two guaranteed seats for the 2022 event on the table plus NHC Tour Points if you finish in the top 10 percent of the field. The winning ratio is 1-per-143. Remember—you must be a 2021 NHC Tour member, prior to the start of the contest, in order to be eligible for an NHC package in this or any other NHC qualifier. If you’re not a member, you can become one quickly and easily at NTRA.com for a $50 membership fee.
The other feature at HorsePlayers on Friday is a $500 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Low Ratio Pick & Pray. At least one $10,000 BCBC entry will definitely be awarded in this one.
Contest races for the Friday features are the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th from Woodbine; and the 5th through 8th (all stakes!) on the opening-day card at Santa Anita—10 races in all.
On Saturdays and Sundays, we essentially rotate formats from week to week with our features so as not to tilt the scales too far one way or another between Live and Pick & Pray games. This Saturday (and Sunday) most of our features will be Live-format tourneys.
Saturday’s $30,000 Guaranteed No Limit game is an HT Tour event and requires a $350 buy-in. There is no limit as to how high the purse could rise, but it won’t be less than $30,000. The format will be Live.
One Saturday Pick & Pray is our “up-to-$20,000” Big Bucks tourney, which contains a purse guarantee of $10,000. Entries—at $1,150 each—are limited to 20 (unless we get a late arrival or two from last-minute Saturday feeders…in which case the pot will exceed $20,000). Payouts go just to the top three finishers with the winner collecting 70 percent of the net pool, the runner up getting 20 percent, and the third-place finisher picking up the remaining 10 percent.
Saturday’s Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge qualifier ($206 buy-in) and the day’s Flo-Cal Faceoff play-in ($118) will both be operated in Live format. The winning ratio for the Keeneland tourney is 1-per-20, while the chances for success in the Flo-Cal game is 1-per-15.
The $15 Jackpot Pick 4 tourneys are always run as Pick & Prays. Saturday’s has a carryover of $2,063. In our Pick 4 Jackpot games, going four-for-four means you win or share the Jackpot. (You don’t have to be the only winner.) Meanwhile, 70% of the daily net pool gets paid out to players via the traditional $2.00 win/place scoring system. The other 30% goes to the Jackpot pool. Entries in these Jackpot Pick 4 tourneys are limited to three per person.
Saturday’s Pick 4 Jackpot races all come from Santa Anita: Races 7, 9, 10 and 11 (the last three of which are graded stakes).
A Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier is the featured tourney on Saturday at HorsePlayers.
It’s a $179 Live-format play-in. At least one $10,000 BCBC entry is guaranteed, and the winning ratio is 1-per-65.
The 12 featured-tourney races for Saturday are the 9th through 11th (two of them graded stakes) from Belmont; the 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th (four of them graded stakes) at Santa Anita; and the 9th through 11th from Woodbine.
On Sunday, we have eight featured events on tap—one at HorsePlayers and seven right here at HorseTourneys.
One, of course, is our Sunday qualifier to the January’s $250,000 Guaranteed Flo-Cal Faceoff. It’s a Live-format tourney with a barrier to entry of $118, and one of every 15 will get a paid-up $1,500 berth.
There’s an NHC qualifier right here at HorseTourneys on Sunday. It’s a $165, Live-format game with two berths to the 2022 event guaranteed.
Sunday’s HT Tour event—and featured cash game—is our $20,000 Guaranteed, No Limit tourney. Entries are $195 apiece, and the format is Live.
The Sunday Big Bucks tourney is always run in Live format. It’s an up-to-$20,000 competition with $7,500 Guaranteed and an entry fee of $1,150. Entries are limited to 20, and payouts go just to the first three finishers.
Sunday’s Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship qualifier is guaranteed again this week with at least one $6,000 entry/prize certain to be headed out the door. It’s $384 to participate, and the winning ratio in this Live-format test is 1-per-20. Winners also get a $500 stipend for travel to Gulfstream next January. Keep in mind that this event has yet to reach 20 entries over the last few weeks…so if you’re looking for an overlay opportunity, this may be a nice opportunity to play with an extra edge.
Our third of three weekend qualifiers to the October 16 Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge takes place on Sunday. It’s a Live-format game with an entry fee of $206 and a 1-per-20 winning ratio.
Our other Sunday feature here at HorseTourneys is the $15 Pick 4 Jackpot tourney (always a Pick & Pray). The Jackpot amount will depend on how many took part in the Saturday Pick 4 Jackpot tourney—and whether anyone hit it. Check our website or our Twitter feed starting on Saturday night for updates.
At HorsePlayers on Sunday, the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge has the spotlight to itself.
That spotlight will be shining on a Low Ratio Pick & Pray with an entry fee of $500 and a winning ratio of 1-per-23. At least one $10,000 entry is guaranteed to be won.
Good luck to the many HorseTourneys qualifiers competing in Saturday’s Santa Anita Opening Weekend Challenge at Xoressbet—and enjoy the first weekend in October.