For a horseplayer, it doesn’t get much better than Breeders’ Cup Weekend. It was true in 1984, and it’s true now. For a tournament player, the anticipation is, I would argue, even more intense. Contests are fun even if you’re focusing on cheap claiming races, but when you can play against great players on the greatest races, it sort of brings out the best in all of us—and reminds us why we grew to love this sometimes frustrating avocation in the first place.
With the above in mind, our Friday and Saturday featured tourneys will focus strictly on the races from Keeneland. (We can worry about Laurel and Santa Anita…and “Aqueduct at Aqueduct”…next week!). We’ll be handing out lots of money to deserving players—and a bunch of good contest seats too. So let’s get to it. On Friday, we have five highly-select marquee games.
Friday marks the beginning of our annual, two-day Breeders’ Cup tourney. It’s a $75,000 Guaranteed competition, and it is comprised of the five Breeders’ Cup races on Friday and the nine on Saturday. (Ignore those undercard races!) The format is Live, and the entry fee is $495.
That is one of three HT Tour games on tap for Friday. (So if you need another Friday victory to get a $500 or $1,000 bonus, this could be an extra-big day.) Another is our $30,000 Guaranteed, Live-format tourney. It will be contested on the full, 10-race card at Keeneland, and the entry fee is $395.
The other HT Tour cash game on Friday is a $20,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray. The barrier to entry here is $260, and it will also be waged over the full Friday card in Central Kentucky.
Also on Friday is a $118, 1-per-15 qualifier to the $250,000 Guaranteed Flo-Cal Faceoff here on January 14-15. We’ll have Flo-Cal qualifiers on each day of the weekend, so consider this your first of three opportunities.
It may be Breeders’ Cup Weekend, but we can still rely on our old friend to show up on Friday at HorsePlayers.
It’s a $75 NHC Pick & Pray with two seats guaranteed and a winning ratio of 1-per-143. Again, the 10 contest races will be the full, 10-race card on Breeders’ cup Friday at Keeneland. 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.
On Saturday, all featured tourneys will be contested over the full 12-race card at Keeneland (including the non-Breeders’ Cup race at the end).
About a half hour after we crown a winner in the two-day, Breeders’ Cup-races-only tourney, we’ll be celebrating the winner of Saturday’s $85,000 Guaranteed, Live-format game. It’s an HT Tour event, and it costs $495 to enter.
Another HT Tour test is Saturday’s $60,000 Guaranteed Pick & Pray. This one requires an upfront stake on your part of $395.
As alluded to earlier, We’ll have a $118 qualifier on Saturday to the $250,000 Guaranteed Flo-Cal Faceoff. As was the case on Friday, this one will be a Pick & Pray.
We switch to Live format for Saturday’s Del Mar Fall Challenge play-in. One of every 15 entries—at $236 per entry—gets a $3,000 entry that is playable either on-track at Del Mar or online at TVG.com.
We’ll also have a Breeders’ Cup Saturday qualifier to the $50,000 Guaranteed Exacta Extravaganza here on December 3-4. 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…and you know there are going to be big ones on BC Saturday.) This play-in requires an expenditure of $89, and winners (1-per-10) earn a $750 seat for the two-day, exotic tourney.
We also offer a Saturday qualifier to the on-track Hawthorne Thanksgiving contests on November 26 and 27 (the Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving). This play-in also carries an entry fee of $118, and it has a winning ratio of 1-per-10. Winners get $1,000 with which to fund their $500 starting bankrolls on each day of the two separate contests (one each day) in Chicago.
Some would say that the day after the Breeders’ Cup is the best day all year to play online contests because many top players are traveling home from the BCBC—while other are just too worn out to play. Their lack of conditioning can be your opportunity!
On this “hangover-ish” day, all of our features will be contested in Live format. They include the day’s HT Tour battle, our $20,000 Guaranteed cash game, which carries an entry fee of $250.
Also on Sunday is our one and only Big Bucks tourney of the week.
It’s an up-to-$20,000 game with a purse guarantee of $7,000. Total entries are limited to 20 (at $1,150 per entry), and payouts go solely to the top three finishers.
We also have Live-format Sunday qualifiers to the Flo-Cal Face-off ($118 buy-in), the Del Mar Fall Challenge ($236), the Hawthorne Thanksgiving contests ($118) and the $50,000 Guaranteed Exacta Extravaganza. The “EE” qualifier will be an Exacta Box affair (not win-and-place).
After taking Breeders’ Cup Saturday off, HorsePlayers jumps back into the fray on Sunday.
The Sunday HP feature is a live-format NHC qualifier for those who have yet to qualify for the big dance next August. The entry fee is $165 and one berth is guaranteed to be headed out the door. Since this is a restricted contest, NHC Tour points will not be offered, but this is a really good opportunity to qualify since many highly-accomplished players won’t be allowed in…and because many other non-qualifiers-to-date may be suffering from Breeders’ Cup fatigue (despite the extra hour of sleep we get on Saturday night).
Enjoy the Breeders’ Cup and, if you qualified for the BCBC at HorsePlayers, we hope you have a weekend that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Good luck!