It’s a “Big” Weekend coming up—in more ways than one.
The Canterbury Big 10 BCBC Challenge takes place at Xpressbet—and on-track in Minnesota—on Thursday, September 15. The two-day The BIG One, meanwhile, will be hosted here 48 hours later on the 17th. That means that this weekend is your final one in which to qualify for these two “Big” events. We’ll have play-ins to both contests on each day of the upcoming weekend, including The BIG One Blowout, on Sunday which guarantees three seats to “The High Expectation Tourney.”
The weekend qualifying…and cash games…and fun…get started here on Friday with seven marquee games.
Friday’s HT Tour event is our $15,000 Guaranteed No Limit Pick & Pray. An upfront investment of $190 gets you in the door.
The first of three straight play-ins to The BIG One guarantees one berth and carries an entry fee of $395. 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. Win a spot in The BIG One, and you will be one of no more than 57 competing for cash and your choice of a seat to the NHC, the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge, or the Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship. In all, 10 such seats will be won on Sept. 17-18.
There will also be a qualifier on each day of the weekend for the Canterbury Big 10 BCBC Challenge, the Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge and the Exacta Extravaganza.
Time is drawing short to earn a $3,000 seat for the Canterbury tournament, which is set for next Thursday, September 15. On Friday (and Saturday and Sunday), one of every 20 Pick & Pray entrants will do just that by putting up an entry feel of $177.
The Keeneland Pick & Pray play-in has a sticker price of $206, and one of every 20 participants will pick up a $3,500 entry for the October 15 competition.
Exacta Extravaganza are run in Live, Exacta format (not as a Pick & Pray). In Exacta-format games, players make a mythical, three-horse exacta box selection in each contest race, and there are no price caps in effect. You get the full return if you hit a long one. Friday’s Extravaganza qualifier costs $89 to play, and winners (1-per-10) get a $750 seat for the two-day, $50,000 Guaranteed tourney here on December 3-4.
At HorsePlayers on Friday, we again host Pick & Pray qualifiers for the NHC and the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.
Friday’s NHC game 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 test 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 no matter what.
The Friday 10-race schedule is the 5th through 8th from Woodbine; the 7th through 9th at Pimlico; and the 5th, 6th and 8th from Horseshoe Indianapolis. (Potentially severe weather is forcing us to stay away from Southern California, unfortunately.)
The prevailing format this weekend is Pick & Pray, so that is how most of the Saturday and Sunday features will operate. On Saturday, we have nine marquee games.
The richest tourney of the week is Saturday’s HT Tour event, our $30,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray. It’s $350 to play.
Another lucrative Pick & Pray on the Saturday slate is our $10,000 Guaranteed Big Bucks game. It’s an “up-to-$20,000” battle 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.
On Saturday, we’ll take a swing at a qualifier for the Santa Anita Opening Weekend Challenge…playable on-track on October 1-2 or at Xpressbet. A stake of $236 buys you a 1-in-20, Pick & Pray chance at a $4,000 berth.
As alluded to earlier, we’ll have Saturday qualifiers to The BIG One, the Canterbury Big Ten BCBC contest, the Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge and the $50,000 Guaranteed Exacta Extravaganza.
The format and price points are the same for these four on Saturday as they were on Friday. Note, however, that Saturday’s qualifier to The BIG One will guarantee TWO spots, rather than one. As a result, entries for it will be capped at 54 instead of 27.
Over at HorsePlayers, the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge and the NHC again share the spotlight.
The Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier is a $179 Pick & Pray with one seat guaranteed. The winning ratio is 1-per-65.
The NHC play-in guarantees two 2023 berths, and has an entry fee of $210. The winning ratio is 1-per-50, and the format here is Live, not Pick & Pray.
Saturday’s contest races are the 6th, 7th and 9th from Woodbine; the 7th through 9th at Pimlico; the 9th through 11th from Monmouth; and the 10th through 12th (all full-field graded stakes) at Kentucky Downs. Closing time will be approximately 3:41 pm ET.
On Sunday, there are nine featured tourneys, including a pumped-up qualifier to The BIG One.
The Sunday play-in to The BIG One—expected to be the final qualifier ahead of the September 17-18 main event—will guarantee not one (like on Friday), not two (like on Saturday), but THREE seats. As such, we are taking the liberty of calling it a Blowout…and also, entries will be capped at 81. The format is Pick & Pray, and the entry fee remains at $395. Keep an eye on entry count. This could be a chance at a BIG overlay.
Again on Sunday, we’ll offer qualifiers to the Canterbury Big 10 BCBC contest, the Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge and the $50,000 Guaranteed Exacta Extravaganza. The first two will be Pick & Prays. The Exacta Extravaganza play-in will be a Live, three-horse Exacta box affair…just like December’s Extravaganza.
A qualifier for the Santa Anita Opening Weekend Challenge is part of the lineup again on Sunday. It’s $236 to enter, and the winning ratio is 1per–20. Winners get a $4,000 entry for October 1-2.
Sunday’s HT Tour event is our $20,000 Guaranteed, No Limit Pick & Pray. You can play in exchange for a fee of $250.
Sunday’s Big Bucks game is always run in Live format. It’s an up-to-$20,000 tourney with a purse guaranteed to be at least $7,500. Total entries will again be limited to 20, and payouts go only to the top three finishers.
The Sunday opportunity in which to qualify for the 2023 NHC takes place here at HorseTourneys. It’s a “regular” $165 Pick & Pray with 2 spots certain.
On Sunday at HorsePlayers, the feature is a Low Ratio Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier.
It’s a $500 Live-format game with a winning ratio of 1-per-23, and one $10,000 entry guaranteed.
Good luck to all!