Not only is it not too early to start thinking about Breeders’ Cup, it’s time to start thinking about Thanksgiving weekend too, because this weekend we begin offering qualifiers for the Del Mar Fall Challenge (Saturday, November 26) and the Hawthorne Thanksgiving Contests (November 26-27).
Of a more pressing nature from a chronological standpoint, however, are the Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge and the Laurel Champions tournament. Those both take place this Saturday and the Last Chance qualifiers for each are part of the Friday featured-tourney menu.
The Keeneland play-in, a Pick & Pray, costs $206 to play, and one of every 20 entrants will earn a $3,500 entry for the on-track/Xpressbet contest.
The Laurel Champions Pick & Pray requires a fee of $59, and one in 10 gets a $500 place in the on-track Maryland starting gate.
Friday’s HT Tour event is our $15,000 Guaranteed No Limit Pick & Pray. An upfront stake of $190 gets you a seat at the table, along with 10 bullets to fire.
We’ll also host a qualifier a day for the $250,000 Guaranteed Flo-Cal Faceoff. Friday’s will be a $118 Pick & Pray, offering one $1,500 seat to the first leg of the 2023 Tourney Triple per every 15 entrants.
At HorsePlayers on Friday, there will be Pick & Pray qualifiers to both the NHC and the soon-to-be-upon-us Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.
Friday’s NHC get-together 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 skirmish is a $500 Low Ratio Pick & Pray. The winning ratio is 1-per-23, and at least one $10,000 entry is guaranteed no matter how many—or few—sign up.
The Friday 10-race schedule is comprised of the 5th through 10th from Keeneland; the 5ht and 6th north of the border at Woodbine; and the 7th and 8th on the “Belmont at Aqueduct” card.
The flavor of the day on Saturday and Sunday this week is Live—as in Live-format tourneys.
One of those is our $30,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray, the richest tourney of the week. It’ll cost you $350 to enter this game, which serves as the day’s HT Tour event.
Another Live-format tilt is our first qualifier to the on-track Hawthorne Thanksgiving contests on November 26 and 27, the Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving. Our qualifier carries an entry fee of $118 and has a winning ratio of 1-per-10. Winners get a $1,000 prize that will fund your $500 starting bankrolls on each day in Chicagoland. The two contests out there go as two wholly separate events—one on Saturday, one on Sunday.
As advertised earlier, we’ll have another $118 qualifier on Saturday to the $250,000 Guaranteed Flo-Cal Faceoff in January. This play-in will be operated in Live format.
The $50,000 Guaranteed Exacta Extravaganza joins the lineup on Saturday, and it will be run in Live, Exacta format. 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 payoff added to your score if you land a big one.) Saturday’s Extravaganza qualifier requires an $89 entry fee, and winners (1-per-10) pick up a $750 seat for the two-day, exotic tourney here on December 3-4.
There’s an exception to every rule and our exception to the Live-format “rule” on Saturday is our $10,000 Guaranteed Big Bucks game—which is always run as a Pick & Pray 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.
Wait…there’s another exception…another Pick & Pray on Saturday. It’s a special NHC Low Ratio qualifier. It costs $500 to play and the winning ratio is 1-per-21. This is not a guaranteed tourney. However, the minimum number of entrants for this game to “go” is just 10. Overlay hunters, be alert!
Two more take place on Saturday at HorsePlayers, and they’re both Live-format Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifiers.
The less pricey one is a standard $179 qualifier with one $10,000 BCBC seat guaranteed. The winning ratio is 1-per-65.
There will also be a Super Low Ratio offering. One seat is guaranteed here as well. The difference is that the entry fee is $1,000, and the winning ratio is 1-per-11. Because this event is guaranteed (and because the entry fee is high-end), this may be a good spot in which to pick up an overlaid BCBC berth.
Saturday’s 12 contest races are the 5th, 6th, 9th and 10th from Keeneland; the 6th and 8th at Laurel; the 7th through 10th from “Belmont at Aqueduct”; and races 8 and 10 at Woodbine. Closing time will be approximately 3:08 pm ET.
We close the weekend out with eight more featured tourneys—all of them Live-format affairs.
You already know that one of them is a Flo-Cal Faceoff qualifier. We’ll also reprise the Saturday qualifiers (same price points and winning ratios too) for the Hawthorne Thanksgiving contests and the $50,000 Guaranteed Exacta Extravaganza.
The new kid on the block this day (and this week) is a play-in to the November 26 Del Mar Fall Challenge. Sunday’s qualifier calls for an entry fee of $236, and one of every 15 entrants will move on to the 26th (either on-track or at TVG.com) with his or her $3,000 entry paid up.
Sunday’s HT Tour game is our $20,000 Guaranteed, No Limit competition. You’ll need to put $250 in the collection plate for this one.
Sunday’s Big Bucks game is an up-to-$20,000 tourney with a purse guaranteed to be at least $7,000. Total entries will again be limited to 20 (at $1,150 per entry), and payouts go just to the top three finishers.
There are co-featured qualifiers on Sunday at HorsePlayers—one for the NHC, one for the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.
The NHC play-in is restricted to those who have yet to earn a 2023 berth and, as such, there will be no NHC Tour points available in this tourney. The entry fee is $165, the winning ratio is 1-per-65, and one spot is guaranteed.
The Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier is a $500 Low-Ratio tourney. The winning ratio is 1-per-23, and at least one player will get a $10,000 BCBC entry for the first weekend in November.
We wish a successful weekend to all of you—and especially those who will be competing in the Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge and/or the Laurel Champions tournament after having qualified for those events here with us. We’re biased…but we think our players are the best contest players out there. Good luck!