Last Chance for Keeneland, Orleans Fall Classic Plus First Chances for NTRA Super Qualifiers at Fair Grounds and Santa Anita Highlight Columbus Day Weekend

There are plenty more Breeders’ Cup preps this weekend at Belmont, Santa Anita and, now, Keeneland, where the Fall Meet opens this Friday. That means some terrific races to serve as the foundations for this weekend’s featured tourneys, which include a last chance, entry-only qualifier for next week’s Orleans Fall Classic, a final opportunity to get into the Keeneland NHC/BCBC Challenge, and first opportunities to earn your way in to the NTRA Super Qualifiers to be held at Fair Grounds (December 22) and Santa Anita (January 5).

The weekend action gets started on Friday—opening day at Keeneland.

We will, of course, be offering a Friday up-to-$12,500 Pick & Pray with $5,000 Guaranteed. It’s $190 to enter and the field is limited to 75 entries.

As noted earlier this week, NHC qualifiers will be offered exclusively at HorseTourneys during October while HorsePlayers focuses on the BCBC. As a result, we are offering an NHC qualifier on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at HorseTourneys, starting with the always-popular $75 qualifier. It’s a Pick & Pray with two spots guaranteed. One per 143 entries will proceed on to Vegas.

At HorsePlayers, the BCBC feature is a Low Ratio Pick & Pray with one $10,000 entry guaranteed and a winning ratio of just one in 23.

Have a really good multi-tabling day on Friday, and you could conceivably win your way into both the NHC and BCBC plus have quite a bit of pocket money for anything else you might want to do in Louisville or Las Vegas (or on your computer).

Contest races for Friday are the 6th through 9th from Keeneland; the 2nd through 5th at Santa Anita; and the 7th and 9th from Santa Anita—10 races in all.

The Saturday schedule offers our riches cash game of the weekend and qualifiers to three different important Las Vegas events.

The cash tourney is our up-to-$30,000 game with $17,500 guaranteed. The entry fee is $260 and a maximum of 133 entries will be accepted. It’s live-format this week and 10 of the 12 contest races are stakes (including five Grade Ones…full schedule below).

Vegas qualifier #1 is a Lower Ratio, $240 qualifier to the NHC. It’s a Pick & Pray with two seats guaranteed and a one in 45 winning ratio.

Vegas qualifier #2 is a last-chancer for the Orleans Fall Classic, which kicks off in less than a week…next Thursday, to be precise. One entry per each eight (at $74 each) in this Pick & Pray will receive a $500 entry to the upcoming three-day, mythical-money event held at the home of the Alligator Bar.

Saturday Vegas qualifier #3 is for the signature handicapping contest at The Orleans, the Horse Player World Series, to be held next March. The entry fee is $90 and one in 20 will earn a $1,500 entry in this Pick & Pray event.

There is a trio of featured tourneys at HorsePlayers on Saturday.

The “new kid on the block” is a $118, live-format qualifier for the December 22 NTRA/Fair Grounds qualifier at, not surprisingly, Fair Grounds. One in 20 in this qualifier earns a $1,500 entry plus $500 for travel to New Orleans, and those at Fair Grounds will compete for cash plus one NHC seat per each 15 entries. Last weekend, the NTRA and Belmont Park teamed up on the first 2018 Super Qualifier, where five players from a field of 72 entries punched their tickets to Vegas. (Congratulations to winner Phil Lam!)

There are not one but two BCBC qualifiers at HorsePlayers on Saturday. One is a “regular” qualifier with a $179 entry fee and a one in 65 winning ratio. The other is a $1,000 qualifier with a one in 11 chance at tasting victory. Both are Pick & Prays and both have one $10,000 prize (i.e. entry) guaranteed.

The contest races for Saturday are the 6th through 10th at Keeneland (all of them graded stakes, including three Grade Ones); the 7th through 11th at Belmont (four stakes including two Grade Ones); and the 4th and 6th from Santa Anita—12 races all together, and, as noted earlier, 10 of them are stakes.

Seven more featured tourneys are offered on Sunday, including three significant cash games.

A new Sunday staple is our Big Bucks tourney, where a maximum of 20 entries play for a total purse of between $15,000 (guaranteed) and $20,000. The entry fee is $1,150 for this Pick & Pray, and prizes go strictly to the top three finishers (on a 70/20/10 basis). As always, low-cost feeders to the Big Bucks tourney are available all weekend long.

There’s also an up-to-$20,000 tourney on Sunday (live format this week). This event carries an entry fee of $195, and a pot of at least $10,000 is Guaranteed. Total entries are limited to 118.

For exacta fans, there is our up-to-$5,000 Exacta box tourney (always live-format) on Sunday. The rules are simple: Contestants pick a three-horse exacta box in each race, and the winner is determined based on cumulative $1 exacta payoffs on the 12 contest races (with no payoff caps). A purse of at least $2,000 is guaranteed.

Also on the Sunday schedule are two big qualifiers. One is a “regular” NHC Pick & Pray with an entry fee of $165 and two NHC berths guaranteed.

The other is a last-chance, live-format qualifier to the October 14 Keeneland NHC/BCBC Challenge. One in 25 entries, at $162 each, will get the last seat(s) on the plane to Lexington.

HorseTourneys has two Sunday features—one to the BCBC and a new one for the NTRA/Santa Anita Super Qualifier.

The NTRA/Santa Anita Super Qualifier offers the same basic prize structure as the NTRA/Belmont (last week) and NTRA/Fair Grounds (December 22) Super Qualifiers. One per each 20 entries, at $118 each, will win a $1,500 entry to Santa Anita on January 5th, plus $500 for travel. The Sunday qualifier will be run in live format.

The BCBC qualifier is a Low Ratio Pick & Pray qualifying tourney with an entry fee of $500 and at least one $10,000 entry guaranteed. One seat is guaranteed.

Schedules have not been finalized yet, but count on a nice assortment of featured tourneys on Columbus Day Monday as well. We hope you have the day off, but if not, a little HorseTourneys action might make the day seem just a little more like a holiday.

Last but not least, good luck to last weekend’s big winner Ronald Peltz, who earned $6,000 in entry fees to this weekend’s Doubleheader tournaments at Santa Anita. And good luck to you—in your tourneys and in your final search for some nice Breeders’ Cup horses to play in four weeks.