Guaranteed Qualifiers to September’s The BIG One Now to be Offered on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays Starting with Upcoming Pacific Classic Weekend

With the record-breaking Spa & Surf Showdown now in the books and the ink barely dry on Randy Miller’s first-place check of $235,764, it’s time to redouble our focus on our next major event—the September 18-19 The BIG One, played once again in 2021 right here at HorseTourneys.

The BIG One is limited to 50 online qualifiers plus up to seven buy-in contestants (at $6,000 each). As of now, however, just 27 of the 50 seats have been filled, so that means we need to get on our horse (pun intended) to fill the remaining 23. 

Starting this weekend, we will offer a guaranteed qualifier to The BIG One every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until the BIG weekend arrives. Word to the wise: Do not discount the word “guaranteed” in that last sentence. The last handful of $395 qualifiers to The BIG One have attracted somewhere between 12 and 19 entries. But that was when there was just one offered per week. With three such play-ins now on the featured weekend menu, you might find that turnout on a given day is lower—which means your chances for, ahem, BIG success could be higher.

Why play in The BIG One? We call it the “High Expectation Tourney” and not without good reason.

We already mentioned that the field for the two-day event will number no more than 57 (and no one is allowed to play more than one entry. Up for grabs among those 57 will be a cash-prize pool that currently sits at $94,000 and should continue to grow between now and September 18…plus 10 seats to top onsite tournaments around the country.

If you finish in the Top 10, you get a choice of a seat to the 2022 NHC, the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge or the 2022 Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship. (The only “catch” is that in order for us to be able to award NHC Tour points in The BIG One, which we will be doing, at least two of the 10 seats awarded have to be NHC seats, according to NHC Tour rules. So if no one in the top eight select NHC berths, those will automatically be assigned to the 9th- and 10th-place finishers.)

The BIG One is a two-day, mythical bankroll ($2.00 win and place plays), All Optional Live tourney with contestants each day making 12 plays from 30 eligible contest races. (Contest tracks/races will be determined during the week of the event.)

If 10-out-of-57 odds sound good to you, then you might want to play in a The BIG One qualifier as soon as Friday (before some of your peers realize it is even being offered). It is one of seven featured events on tap that day.

By the way, the winner of every qualifier to The BIG One gets a $500 cash bonus to go along with the seat (even if it’s a short field), and the runner up gets a $395 consolations prize/refund. So there may be even more reasons to play in this Pick & Pray than you realized.

There will also be a daily qualifier this weekend to the NHC First Chance/Last Chance tournament at Bally’s on August 26 (right around the corner!). On Friday, one of every 10 entrants—at $59 per entry—will earn a $500 berth into the annual NHC Eve event. There, you can win cash plus a 2021 NHC seat for the following day…or, if you’re already double-qualified for 2021, a seat for 2022 instead.

And as you can see from the above, we’ll also be offering a Saratoga-only, full-card qualifier to the Bally’s First Chance/Last Chance contest. These Saratoga-only play-ins for Bally’s will be offered on Saturday and Sunday too.

Keeneland qualifiers make their Friday debut this week. A $206 entry fee gets you a 1-in-20 shot at a $3,500 seat to the October 16 Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge. Like all the other Friday features, this one is a Pick & Pray.

On the straight-cash side of the street, there’s Friday’s $15,000 Guaranteed No-Limit Pick & Pray. The entry fee here is $190. As a Friday/Saturday/Sunday featured cash tourney, this one is also an HT Tour event.

As per usual, the NHC and the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge are the centerpiece of important qualifiers on Friday at HorsePlayers. 

Friday’s $75 NHC Pick & Pray offers two guaranteed spots in the 2022 event plus NHC Tour Points if you finish in the top 10 percent of the field. The winning ratio is 1-per-143. Remember—you must be a 2021 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 for a $50 membership fee. 

The other feature at HorsePlayers on Friday is a $500 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Low Ratio Pick & Pray. At least one $10,000 BCBC entry is assured to be in the outgoing prize pool here.

Contest races for the Friday featured events are the 6th through 10th from Saratoga;; and races 5,6,8,9 and 10 at Gulfstream—10 races in all.

Saturday is Pacific Classic Day at Del Mar, so their races—including their five graded stakes—figure to play a prominent role in the outcome of our eight featured tourneys that day.

Your second chance of the weekend to nail down a spot in The BIG One comes on Saturday. Once again, it’s a $395 Pick & Pray with one berth fully guaranteed regardless of participation.

The richest tourney of the weekend is Saturday’s $30,000 Guaranteed No Limit Pick & Pray. The  is no limit as to how high the purse could go in this $350 buy-in game, which is also an HT Tour event.

Significant cash will also be on the line in Saturday’s “up-to-$20,000” Big Bucks Pick & Pray. Here, the purse guarantee is $10,000. Entries—at $1,150 each—are limited to 20 (unless we get a late arrival or two from last-minute Saturday feeders…in which case the pot will exceed $20,000). Payouts go just to the top three finishers with the winner collecting 70 percent of the net pool, the runner up getting 20 percent, and the third-place finisher picking up the remaining 10 percent.

The other Saturday cash feature is our $15 Jackpot Pick 4 tourney. The carryover pool is $923.  In our Pick 4 Jackpot games (always run as Pick & Prays), going four-for-four means you win or share the Jackpot. (You don’t have to be the only winner.) Meanwhile, 70% of the daily net pool gets paid out to players via the traditional $2.00 win/place scoring system. The other 30% goes to the Jackpot pool. Entries in these Jackpot Pick 4 tourneys are limited to three per person.

Saturday’s Pick 4 Jackpot races are all at Del Mar—races 7 through 10 (concluding with the Pacific Classic).

Switching back to Saturday qualifiers, we will again offer both a multi-track and a Saratoga-only qualifier to the Bally’s NHC First Chance/Last Chance tournament. Both will be Pick & Prays costing $59 and carrying a winning ratio of 1-per-10. 

There will also be a Saturday qualifier to next month’s new Exacta Extravaganza, a $50,000 Guaranteed event, here on September 11-12. This qualifier will be run in Live, Exacta Box format—just like the Exacta Extravaganza, itself. Winners of this $59, three-horse-box, 1-per-10 play-in, will earn $500 entries for the Extravaganza…where they will again be making exacta box picks on the full cards from Kentucky Downs and Woodbine.

A Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier is the featured tourney on Saturday at HorsePlayers.

It’s a $179 Live-format play-in. At least one $10,000 BCBC entry is guaranteed, and the winning ratio is 1-per-65.

The 12 contest races for Saturday are the 8th through 10th from Saratoga; the 10th and 11th at Woodbine; and the 5th through 11th on the Pacific Classic Day card at Del Mar. Note that with the inclusion of so many races from Del Mar, the featured schedule will begin a bit later than usual (5:03 pm ET) and conclude later as well (approximately 10:00 pm ET).

The Sunday featured schedule is our largest of the weekend, and it, of course, includes yet another Guaranteed qualifier to The BIG One.

Same buy-in for this one—$395—but note that the format for this The BIG One qualifier will be Live.

Sunday’s HT Tour event—and featured cash game—is our $20,000 Guaranteed, No Limit tourney. You can compete in this Pick & Pray for $195.

The Sunday Big Bucks game is always operated in Live format. It’s an up-to-$20,000 game with $7,500 Guaranteed and a sticker price of $1,150. Entries are limited to 20, and payouts go strictly to the first three finishers.

Our other Sunday featured cash tourney is the $15 Pick 4 Jackpot tourney (always a Pick & Pray). The Jackpot amount will depend on how many took part in the Saturday Pick 4 Jackpot tourney—and whether anyone went 4-for-4. Check our website or our Twitter feed starting on Saturday night for updates.

You can earn $2,600 worth of entry fees in Sunday’s Kentucky Downs King of the Turf Handicapping Challenge qualifier. The grand prize will cover you for all three of the two-day contests that Kentucky Downs will be hosting during its 2021 meet. Projections call for $100,000 in cash plus 13 2022 NHC seats and three BCBC entries to be awarded over the course of the three contests. The Challenge will be hosted at Xpressbet and TVG. Our Sunday Pick & Pray requires $204 to play, and one in every 15 will prosper.

Another Sunday Pick & Pray is the qualifier for the October 16th Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge. This one has an entry fee of $206 and a winning ratio of 1-per-20. Winners garner a $3,500 entry to the Central Kentucky tournament, which can be played either on-track or at Xpressbet.

We’ll try again to award a $3,000 seat to the Canterbury Park Big 10 BCBC Handicapping Contest on Thursday, September 16th. The entry fee is $177., and the winning ratio is 1-per-20 in this Pick & Pray. The Canterbury/Xpressbet final will offer cash, 10 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge entries and two 2022 NHC seats.

Of course, the NHC First Chance/Last Chance tournament at Bally’s is on the Sunday schedule. We’ll have a $59, 1-per-10 Pick & Pray, with winners earning $500 entries for NHC Eve. And look for a single-track, full-card Bally’s qualifier on the Saratoga program as well—and possibly one on Del Mar too.

There will be direct qualifiers to both the NHC and the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge at HorsePlayers on Sunday.

The NHC game is a “regular,” $165, 1-per-65 Live-format tourney. Two seats to the 2022 event are certain. 

The BCBC qualifier is a Low Ratio play-in that will also be contested in Live format. It carries an entry fee of $500 and a winning ratio of 1-per-23. At least one $10,000 entry is guaranteed to be headed out the door.

Good luck to all the HorseTourneys qualifiers who will be competing this weekend in the Del Mar Pacific Classic Betting Challenge…and good luck to you too!