Two All-Optional Live Cash Tourneys, Five Guaranteed BCBC Entries, Six NHC Seats Plus Last Chance for Orleans Highlight Columbus Day Weekend

This coming Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday (Columbus Day) will primarily be a Pick & Pray weekend, but no matter which format you like best, there will be something for you. Not only are there seven live tourneys sprinkled in on Saturday and Sunday, our featured cash game on Saturday and Sunday will be 25-race All Optional Live events in which you make 10 plays from 25 available race choices.

Friday is always all about the Pick & Prays as the workweek comes to a close, and this week is no exception.

The first two of six guaranteed NHC seats on the weekend will be fought over in Friday’s $75 qualifier. It, like all of the Friday features, is a Pick & Pray. Expect a good-sized field which, among other things, means some nice NHC Tour points available as well as the grand prizes.

Also in the Friday starting lineup is our trusty up-to-$15,000 Pick & Pray with $7,500 Guaranteed. It’s $190 to compete, and the field is limited to 90.

The 2019 Orleans Fall Classic is just a week away, so consider this Pick & Pray your last Friday opportunity to qualify for it. One in every 10 entries—at $59 per entry—will earn a $500 berth to the mythical-money competition in Las Vegas.

There are five Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifiers at HorsePlayers this weekend—each guaranteeing at least one winner of a $10,000 entry—and the first of those five is set for Friday.

It’s a Low Ratio Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier with a $500 entry and a winning ratio of 1 in 23. As noted in the preceding paragraph, one grand prize is guaranteed in this tourney regardless of how many take part. If we get 46, then we’ll toss in a second $10,000 entry, of course.

Contest races for Friday’s featured tourneys at both sites are the 6th and 8th from Belmont; the 7th and 9th at Keeneland; the 3rd and 5th north of the border at Woodbine; and the 5th through 8th from Santa Anita—10 races in all.

On Saturday, there are four featured events at HorseTourneys, including an up-to-$30,000 tourney with $15,000 Guaranteed that will be operated under the All Optional Live format.

Carrying a $260 entry fee, the All Optional Live $15,000 Gtd. game requires players to make 10 mythical $2 win and place selections from among 25 races: the 5th through 9th at Gulfstream Park West, the 5th through 10th from Keeneland, the full card (races 1-9) from Santa Anita and races 6 through 10 at Belmont.

Run under the more conventional, 12-race, live format is Saturday’s NHC “Maiden” qualifier on Saturday. It’s restricted to those who have yet to earn a 2020 NHC seat. The buy-in is $165 and one NHC spot is guaranteed. Given that there is a restricted field and that only one seat is guaranteed, there will be no NHC Tour points awarded in this one.

Run under the equally conventional 12-race Pick & Pray format will be Saturday’s package qualifier to next week’s Orleans Fall Classic. This last-Fall Classic-package qualifier offers a $1,000 prize ($500 entry plus $500 travel) for the October 17-19 handicapping fest.

Another Orleans-related Pick & Pray on Saturday is that for the Horse Player World Series. Entrants can win a $1,500 entry, a four-night hotel stay, and $500 for travel to the March 26-28 event at The Orleans. Saturday’s qualifier costs $118 to play and one of every 25 entrants will win.

There are two featured tourneys at HorsePlayers on Saturday—both tied to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.

One is a “regular,” live-format game with an entry fee of $179, and a winning ratio of 1 in 65. One $10,000 entry/prize is guaranteed.

The other is a Super Low Ratio Pick & Pray. It carries an entry fee of $1,000, and the winning ratio is just 1 in 11. One grand prize is guaranteed here as well—even if fewer than 11 take part. So value hunters should keep a special eye out in case turnout is low.

The 12 Saturday contest races for all of the featured tourneys other than the All Optional Live event are: the 5th, 7th, 8th and 9th at Keeneland; the 7th, 9th and 10th from Belmont; the 7th through 9th races at Gulfstream Park West; and the 3rd and 6th from Santa Anita—a dozen heats all together.

Sunday brings with it 11 featured events—nine at HorseTourneys…including another All Optional Live featured cash game.

Here the 25-race menu resides with Sunday’s up-to-$20,000 tourney, which has $10,000 Guaranteed. The buy-in is $195. If you don’t like a race, skip it! Just make sure you get 10 plays in.

Another up-to-$20,000, $10,000 Guaranteed cash game is available on Sunday in the form of our “Big Bucks” tourney, which has an $1,150 entry fee and permits no more than 20 entrants. Payoffs go solely to the top three finishers on a 70%/20%/10% basis, and if we draw a full field, the pot will actually exceed $20,000 by a little bit. As always, our Big Bucks game is run as a Pick & Pray.

There are two NHC qualifiers on Sunday. One is a special low-ratio, live-format play-in with an entry fee of $500 and a winning ratio of 1 in 21. One seat is guaranteed.

The other is a “regular”, two-seats-guaranteed Pick & Pray with the more customary entry fee of $165.

Another qualifier of special note is Sunday’s Last Chance Orleans Fall Classic game. The winning ratio in this Pick & Pray is just one per 10. Winners receive a $500 Fall Classic entry…and need to pack their bags for Vegas ASAP.

You’ll still be headed to The Orleans—but won’t have to pack your bags as quickly—if you win Sunday’s entry-only Horse Player World Series qualifier. It’s a 1 per 20 tourney for an entry fee of $89 and winners receive a $1,500 HPWS entry redeemable next March.

You won’t have to pack your bags at all if you win Sunday’s qualifier to the Flo-Cal Faceoff on February 29-March 1. That’s because the Faceoff is an online event with a Guaranteed purse of $100,000, though it’s a “No Limit” tourney, so the final pot could well exceed $100,000. On Sunday, you can win a $1,500 entry to the two-day, competition that will feature full-card racing from Gulfstream and Santa Anita during Fountain of Youth weekend. Sunday’s qualifier is a Pick & Pray with an $86 entry fee. The winning ratio is 1 in 20.

Getting back to the cash side of the ledger, there’s our up-to-$5,000 Exacta tourney with $1,000 Guaranteed. Players pick a mythical three-horse-exacta box play in each of the 12 contest races, and the biggest overall returns, based on $1 payoffs, wins. Remember that there are never any payout caps in these exacta tourneys. The format here, as always, is live.

Just $8 gets you into our Pick 6 Jackpot tourney in which 70% of the net pool gets paid out to players via the normal, $2 win/place scoring method, while the other 30% is directed to the Jackpot pool. Pick the winners of all six races and you win the Jackpot, which is now up to $3,098. This game is also always run in live format…so you can always check the odds before entering your play. That could come in handy should get you get close to “jackpot territory”.

Over at HorsePlayers, there are two live-format BCBC qualifiers—one a low-ratio game, and one for whom typical low ratios aren’t low enough.

What does $500 buy you these days? A one-in-23 chance of a BCBC seat in our Low Ratio qualifier. One prize is guaranteed.

You can further cut down on pesky opponents by trying our Ultra Low Ratio BCBC qualifier at HorsePlayers for $2,200. Here, the winning ratio is one in just five. Despite the high cost of entry, one grand prize is guaranteed here as well.

Monday is Columbus Day and several of the bigger tracks will be open that day. So we’ll have an extra-nice Monday schedule this week…we just haven’t figured out what it will be yet!

Two notes before we say goodbye for now.

We wish good luck to Chris Podratz, Jorge “Smooth” Cruz-Aedo, Pete Acocella, Robert “Bat” Masterton, Mark Waggoner, Steven Meier, Kevin Willett, Jason Hammer, James Morgan, Adam Lewis, Ken Jordan, Al Roehl, Ted Apple, David Browning, Paul Shurman, Geno Kroska, Cheryl McIntyre, Pat Stich, Paul Scott, Eric Liebman, Steve Arrison, Steve Wolfson Sr., Frank Foss, Brian Johnson, Tom Cooper, Jim Staub, Lawrence Kahlden, Peter Osella, Julie Laboyko, Bob McIntyre, Stephen “The Undertaker” Thompson and Dan McCormick.

Who are they? And why are they getting good wishes? It’s because they will all be representing HorseTourneys as qualifiers this Sunday at the Keeneland NHC/BCBC Challenge.

Lastly, we have started getting some questions about whether we will be offering Breeders’ Cup tourneys this year. We are finally able to answer that question, and we are happy to say that the answer is “Yes!” Here are three BC tourneys that have already been posted:

More will come, of course, at a variety of price points. In the meantime, good luck and enjoy the extended holiday weekend.