On the racetrack, Labor Day weekend includes Pacific Classic Day at Del Mar, closing weekend at Saratoga and opening weekend at Kentucky Downs. Those three things, by themselves, should make for a pretty terrific few days of racing action. Here at HorseTourneys (and HorsePlayers too), we’ll try to make things just that much more exciting with a vast assortment of games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, plus one of our most robust Labor Day slates ever.
You’ll even see some “All Optional Live” cash events on Saturday and Sunday. On Friday, though, the format of the day—as per usual—is Pick & Pray.
Labor Day weekend offers a total of four HT Tour events (one per day). The first of those is our $15,000 Guaranteed No Limit Pick & Pray. An entry fee of $190 holds the promise of getting your holiday period off in grand style.
New to the Friday schedule is a guaranteed, Pick & Pray qualifier to The BIG One —a mythical-money contest here at HorseTourneys on Saturday and Sunday, September 17-18. In The BIG One, the field will be no greater than 57, and no one will be playing more than one entry. Despite the smallish field, the prizes will be large (and plentiful). The top 10 finishers will all receive cash and his or her choice of a seat to the NHC, the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge, or the Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship. (At least two of the seats awarded must be for the NHC.) Friday’s qualifier carries an entry fee of $395, and there is a limit of 27 entries that will be accepted. Also—the winner of the qualifier gets a $500 bonus prize in addition to the September entry…and the runner up receives a $395 refund/consolation prize. One berth to The BIG One is certain to be headed out the door in this one.
We’ll have a qualifier to The BIG One on each day of the weekend. The same holds true for the the Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge and the Exacta Extravaganza.
The Keeneland play-in has a ticket price of $206, and one of every 20 entrants will earn a $3,500 entry for the October 15 competition.
The Exacta Extravaganza is something of the oddball in the Friday lineup in that it will be run in Live, Exacta format (not as a Pick & Pray). In Exacta-format games, players make a mythical, three-horse exacta box selection, and there are no price caps in effect. Pick bombs and get rewarded in kind if they come in! Friday’s Extravaganza qualifier costs $89 to play, and winners (1-per-10) get a $750 seat at the table of the two-day, $50,000 Guaranteed tourney here on December 3-4.
At HorsePlayers on Friday, there are the customary qualifiers for both the NHC and the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.
Friday’s NHC play-in is a $75 Pick & Pray with two seats guaranteed and a winning ratio of 1-per-143. Entries are limited to three per person. Remember—you must be a 2022 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 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge game is a $500 Low Ratio Pick & Pray. The winning ratio is 1-per-23, and at least one $10,000 entry is certain to be awarded regardless of participation levels.
The Friday 10-race schedule is the 8th and 9th from Saratoga; the 7th and 8th at Woodbine; the 7th through 10th on the final Friday program from Saratoga; and the 3rd and 4th at Del Mar.
It’s a Live-format weekend here this week and so picks for most of our Saturday and Sunday tourneys can be made right up until the horses break from the gate. (Careful…TV signals can be a bit tape-delayed!) Not only do we have traditional, 12-race, all-mandatory Live games on Saturday, but we have a 25-race, All Optional Live affair in which players make 10 plays from among 25 eligible heats.
The All Optional Live battle (the last one showing on the above graphic) is Saturday’s HT Tour event, our $30,000 Guaranteed game. It’s $350 to enter. Eligible contest races are 7th through 13 at Saratoga, the 5th through 11th at Kentucky Downs and the full, 11-race, Pacific Classic Day card from Del Mar. Choose your horses wisely—and your races too.
Our first qualifier for the September 15 Canterbury Big Ten BCBC contest is also on the Saturday bill of fare. One of every 20 entries—at $177 per entry—will earn a $3,000 entry for the event that offers more Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge seats than any other. And one of the best things about the September 15 tournament is that the name is a misnomer…because Canterbury is guaranteeing 11 BCBC spots that day!
The NHC qualifier takes place here at HorseTourneys on Saturday. It’s a “regular” two-seater with an entry fee of $165 and a winning ratio of 1-per-65. The format is Live (12 races, all mandatory).
Also set up as 12-race Live tourneys are the previously-promised play-ins to The BIG One, the Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC and the $50,000 Guaranteed Exacta Extravaganza. Note, again, that the Exacta Extravaganza qualifier will be contested in Live, Exacta Box format (i.e. no $2.00 win-and-place plays)
The lone Pick & Pray on the Saturday featured menu is our $10,000 Guaranteed Big Bucks game. It’s an “up-to-$20,000” skirmish with an entry fee of $1,150—and there is a limit of 20 entries that will be accepted. Payouts go only to the top three finishers with the winner taking the biggest share (70 percent) of the net pool, the runner up getting 20 percent, and the third-place finisher picking up the remaining 10 percent.
Over at HorsePlayers, the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge has the stage to itself.
The HP headliner is a Live-format, $179 qualifier with one seat guaranteed. The winning ratio is 1-per-65.
Saturday’s contest races for the 12-race tourneys (all but the All Optional Live $30,000 game) are the 2nd, 7th, 8th and 9th from Del Mar; the 9th through 12th at Saratoga; and the 7th through 10th from Kentucky Downs. Closing time will be approximately 4:30 pm ET.
On Sunday, there are nine featured tourneys, including two All Optional Live games.
For the second consecutive day, the HT Tour event will be an “AOL” competition. Win it, and “You’ve Got Money”…because the pot is guaranteed to be at least $20,000 in this No Limit cash game. The entry fee is $250.
Also to be run in All-Optional-Live format (10 plays from 25 races) is Sunday’s Big Bucks game. It’s an up-to-$20,000 tourney with a purse guaranteed to be a minimum of $7,500. Total entries will again be limited to 20, and payouts go only to the top three finishers.
Making its first appearance of the week is a qualifier to the Santa Anita Opening Weekend Challenge on October 1-2. If you put up the requisite $236, you have a theoretical 1-in-20 shot at a $4,000 entry—playable either on-track at Santa Anita or at Xpressbet.
We’ll offer another Canterbury Big 10 (Big 11?) BCBC qualifier on Sunday—and we’ll do likewise as it pertains to The BIG One (one spot guaranteed), the Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge and the $50,000 Guaranteed Exacta Extravaganza. The first three will be 12-race, Live-format tourneys. So will the Exacta Extravaganza ply-in, though that one will be an Exacta box tourney.
On Sunday at HorsePlayers on Sunday, there’s a Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier, and a special NHC play-in as well. Both will be Live-format, 12-race get togethers.
The BCBC game is a $500 Low Ratio qualifier. The winning ratio is 1-per-23, and at least one $10,000 entry will awarded no matter what.
The NHC qualifier is restricted to those who have yet to earn a 2023 seat. As such, no NHC Tour points will be awarded in this one. The entry fee is $165, and the winning ratio is 1-per-65.
On Labor Day, we switch back to Pick & Pray format (for all but the Exacta Extravaganza qualifier). Two of the agenda items are our fourth HT Tour event and third Big Bucks game of the weekend.
The HT Tour test is a $25,000 Guaranteed No Limit Pick & Pray. The entry fee here has been set at $260. Win this and you may be sad that Saratoga is ending…but you’ll still be pretty happy overall!
Big Bucks game #3 of the weekend (a rarity!) is a $7,500 Guaranteed tourney with the usual entry fee of $1,150. Entries will again be capped at 20 in this up-to-$20,000 tilt.
If at first you didn’t succeed, you can take another swing on Monday at The BIG One (1 spot guaranteed), the Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge and the $50,000 Guaranteed Exacta Extravaganza. (And you can play in them even if you DID succeed in them too.) As you probably already surmised, the qualifiers for The BIG One and Keeneland takes the form of traditional Pick & Prays, while the Extravaganza play-in will be a Live-format, three-horse box deal.
HorsePlayers holds up its end of things on Monday with two marquee games, including an NHC qualifier with 3 seats guaranteed (rather than the usual 2).
It’s just $100 to take part in the NHC Pick & Pray. That works out to a winning ratio of 1-per-100. Unlike Sunday’s restricted play-in, this NHC qualifier WILL offer NHC Tour points…quite a lot of them, in fact.
There’s also a tried-and-true, $500 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Low Ratio qualifier. One of every 23 entries in this Pick & Pray will earn a spot in the world’s most prestigious live-bankroll game. At least one $10,000 berth will definitely be won…even if fewer than 23 sign up.
We hope you enjoy the terrific racing, the time off and, yes, perhaps a tourney or two. Enjoy the weekend…and good luck!