On January 8th of next year, HorseTourneys will present the Tampa Bay Downs First Chance/Last Chance NHC qualifier. It’s an on-site event taking place at the Oldsmar, Fla., oval—a proverbial stone’s throw from HorseTourneys headquarters in Saint Petersburg.
It’s a chance for us to support a racetrack partner (and neighbor) of ours, and it’s a chance for you to participate in a popular, warm-weather event that will feature not just a nice wintertime racing product and NHC seats, but also some hospitality and amenities not typically found at on-site handicapping contests these days.
Our first qualifier for Tampa Bay Downs takes place this Sunday. However the featured weekend fun gets underway here on Friday with four important tourneys.
The day’s richest game is our HT Tour event, the $15,000 Guaranteed No-Limit Pick & Pray. You can test your skill for $190, and there is no limit as to how high the purse could rise.
There will be a Flo-Cal Faceoff qualifier each day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Friday’s affair is a $118 Pick & Pray with a 1-per-15 winning ratio. Winners garner a $1,500 entry into the $250,000 Guaranteed, all-cash tournament here on January 15-16.
Another “One-a-day” this weekend is a qualifier to the Hawthorne Thanksgiving weekend contests. For a $118 entry fee, players get a 1-in-10 chance at earning $1,000 in entry fees—enough to cover them for the Saturday and Sunday tournaments in Chicagoland.
There will be three NHC direct qualifiers at HorsePlayers this weekend, and the first of those is slated for Friday.
It’s a $75 play-in with two NHC spots guaranteed and a winning ratio of 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.
Contest races for Friday are the 6th through 9th from Gulfstream; the 8th through 10th at the Big A (Aqueduct) and races 1, 3 and 4, from Del Mar—10 races in all.
Seven more featured tourneys are on the Saturday slate—most of them Live-format competitions.
As promised, we’ll offer another qualifier to the Flo-Cal Faceoff and the Hawthorne Thanksgiving contests (both will be $118, Live-format play-ins).
Saturday is your first opportunity in which to earn a spot in the November 28 Del Mar Fall Challenge, which can only be played either on track or at TVG.com. One of every 20 entries in this Live-format tourney, at $177 per entry, will win a $3,000 entry into the live-bankroll Del Mar contest.
The day’s HT Tour event—and our richest event of the weekend—is our $30,000 Guaranteed No Limit game. You can participate in this Live-format test for $350.
For well-heeled cash-game enthusiasts, there’s Saturday Big Bucks tourney, which, on Saturdays, is always run as a Pick & Pray. It’s an “up-to-$20,000” get together, with 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.
The $15 Jackpot Pick 4 tourneys are always run as Pick & Prays. Saturday’s has a carryover of $1,052. 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 are the 2nd and 7th at Del Mar and the 8th and 9th from Woodbine.
The second of three NHC qualifiers this weekend takes place at HorsePlayers on Saturday.
It’s a Live-format, $165 play-in with two seats to the big dance guaranteed. The winning ratio is 1-per-65.
The featured-tourney races for the 12-race Saturday events are expected to be the 8th through 10th from Aqueduct; the 6th through 10th at Woodbine; and the 2nd, 5th, 7th and 8th from Del Mar.
Sunday is our busiest day of the weekend with no fewer than 10 marquee games, including two “First Chance” qualifiers.
One is the Tampa Bay Downs First Chance/Last Chance qualifier that we mentioned at the top. Did we mention that it is being presented by HorseTourneys this year?? That’s how you know that it will be extra good! It costs just $80 to take part in this Live-format, 1-per-20 qualifier, and winners pick up a $1,000 entry into the January 8th on-track contest. Rumor has it that McKay Smith and the HorseTourneys blogger may be on hand there on the 8th as well. We hope that doesn’t discourage too many of you from participating.
The other new kid on the block this Sunday is our qualifier to the Santa Anita Opening Day Challenge, which can be played on-track or at Xpressbet. It will take place, of course, on the traditional opening date of the Santa Anita meet—December 26th. One of every 15 entrants who pony up $118 will earn a $1,500 seat to the opening weekend showdown.
We’ll also again offer Live-format qualifiers to the Flo-Cal Faceoff, the Del Mar Fall Challenge and the Hawthorne Thanksgiving Weekend contests.
Sunday’s HT Tour event is our $20,000 Guaranteed, No Limit tourney, which will be run in Live format this week. Entries cost $195 apiece.
The Sunday Big Bucks tourney is always run in Live format. It’s an up-to-$20,000 showcase with $7,500 Guaranteed and an entry fee of $1,150. Entries are limited to 20, and payouts go only to the top three finishers.
Another $15 Pick 4 Jackpot tourney will take place on Sunday. The Jackpot amount will depend on how many played 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.
There are two featured tourneys on Sunday at HorsePlayers, including, yes, yet another “First Chance.”
It’s a pretty major “First Chance” at that—the very first qualifier to the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge. It’s a $500 Low Ratio Pick & Pray with one $10,000 seat certain to be won regardless of participation levels. The winning ratio is 1-per-23.
The other Sunday feature at HorsePlayers is also a Pick & Pray. It’s a $165 NHC qualifier restricted to those who have yet to earn a 2022 berth. The entry fee is $165 and one NHC seat is guaranteed in this 1-per-65 game. Please note that, because this is a restricted event, no NHC Tour points will be awarded here.
Please also note that, while this is the first weekend of qualifying for the Del Mar Fall Challenge, it also is the final weekend of qualifying for it…since the contest takes place on November 28th. So act now…operators are standing by!
In the meantime, good luck to you in all your contest and parimutuel endeavors this weekend—and with your Thanksgiving grocery shopping as well.