There won’t be a creature stirring here on Saturday—not even a mouse—but we’ll have plenty of featured tourney action on Christmas Eve and on Sunday which, as many of you know, is opening day at Santa Anita.
Six marquee games are scheduled for Friday—and since only two tracks, Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs, are operating that day, things will wrap up nice and early, leaving all of us plenty of time to leave milk and cookies for Santa…and also to wrap.
The Friday festivities are highlighted by the day’s HT Tour event, our $15,000 Guaranteed No Limit Pick & Pray. Entries go for $190 apiece.
Friday also offers a Last Chance qualifier to Sunday’s Santa Anita Opening Day Challenge, which will be contested at Xpressbet. Entries to this Pick & Pray play-in cost $118 per attempt, and participants have a 1-per-15 chance at gaining a $1,500 entry for the Sunday Xpressbet tournament.
This weekend is the next-to-last one in which to qualify for the January 8th Tampa Bay Downs High Rollers Tournament Presented by HorseTourneys. For an entry fee of $80, you get yourself a 1-in-15 chance of earning a $1,000 seat to the Oldsmar, Fla., tournament, which promises to have better-than-usual amenities (like open bar)…because we are in charge of that!
Another event we are in charge of (completely, in this case) is the $250,000 Guaranteed Flo-Cal Faceoff on January 15-16. Winners of our $118, 1-per-15 Pick & Pray on Friday get a $1,500 seat to the first leg of the 2022 Tourney Triple series, which again offers bonuses of up to $2 million.
Later in January is the Bally’s NHC Last Chance tournament on NHC Eve (Thursday, January 27th). Those who prosper in Friday’s $59, 1-per-10 play-in garner a $500 entry for the annual NHC appetizer.
Over at HorsePlayers, the Christmas Eve entree is a hallowed Friday tradition—a $75 NHC Pick & Pray.
Two 2022 seats are guaranteed in this one, which carries 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 Christmas Eve are the 5th through 9th from Tampa Bay Downs and the 6th through 10th at Gulfstream—10 races in all. The tourneys should all begin at 2:13 pm ET and finish up by 4:32 pm ET.
After the one day of the year when nothing goes on in horse racing, we come back at you with a robust featured slate on Sunday. Even if you are still stuffed from the day before, we hope you will be hungry for action.
As was the case on Friday, Pick & Pray qualifiers to the Flo-Cal Faceoff ($118 entry fee), Tampa Bay Downs High Rollers contest ($80) and the Bally’s NHC Last Chance tournament ($59) will be part of the Sunday menu.
Sunday’s HT Tour test is our $20,000 Guaranteed, No Limit tourney. Entries cost $195 eache.
One of the only Live-format games of the day (and weekend) is our Big Bucks tourney. It’s an up-to-$20,000 test with $7,500 Guaranteed and an entry fee of $1,150. Entries are limited to 20, and payouts are made only to the top three finishers.
We’ll also have a $15 Pick 4 Jackpot tourney on Sunday. The carryover into Sunday will be $3,556 for anyone skillful enough to go four-for four in this Pick & Pray. Contest races are expected to be 10th and 11th at Gulfstream and races 9 and 11 on the opening-day card at The Great Race Place (aka Santa Anita).
It’ll be an extra-busy Sunday at HorsePlayers, with four featured events—two NHC qualifiers and two Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge play-ins.
One of them, the $179 BCBC qualifier, will be held in Live format. The winning ratio is 1-per-65 and at least one $10,000 entry is guaranteed to be headed out the door regardless of participation.
The other three Sunday features at HorsePlayers are all Pick & Prays, including the $500 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Low Ratio qualifier. One seat is guaranteed in this one too, and the winning ratio here is 1-per-23.
One of the NHC qualifiers is a $210 Pick & Pray with a winning ratio of 1-per-50. Two spots for next month in Vegas are guaranteed.
The other NHC qualifier is restricted to those who have yet to earn a 2022 seat. It’s a $500 Low Ratio Pick & Pray with a winning ratio of 1-per-21. Note that there must be at least 10 entries signed on for this tourney to “go,” and that, since it is a restricted contest, no NHC Tour points will be awarded in this event.
Subject to change, contest races on Sunday are expected to be the 7th and 8th (both stakes) from Laurel; the 9th through 11th at Gulfstream; the 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 11th (four of them graded stakes) from Santa Anita’s opening day program; and races 5 and 10 at Golden Gate — a total of 12 races.
On behalf of all of us at HorseTourneys, we wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas—and we hope that an extra present or two finds its way under your tree on Friday or Sunday.