The Stage is Set for The BIG One—Two-Day Event to Offer 10 Top Tournament Seats and at Least $159,000 to Field of 57; Plus Twenty Other Features on Tap This Friday, Saturday and Sunday

With the top 15 players sharing in a cash prize pool currently at $159,000 (and growing) and the top 10 finishers also earning one of 10 seats to either the NHC, the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge or the Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship—and the field (with each contestant playing just one entry) numbering just 57—The BIG One probably represents your best mathematical chance to enter an important contest and leave with a nice prize.

It’s a two-day, Saturday-and-Sunday, All Optional Live competition with players making 12 mythical $2.00 win-and-place selections per day from among 30 available races each day. 

This may be the most popular The BIG One ever. All of our $6,000 buy-in slots for it are already sold out. That makes our three-seats-guaranteed, Last Chance qualifier to The BIG One an even more prominent part of our Friday featured schedule. 

The final three online seats to The BIG One are guaranteed to be awarded in this $395 Pick & Pray qualifier that has a limit of 81 entries. Also…the three winners get a $500 cash bonus and the fourth-place finisher earns a $395 consolation prize/refund.

There will be a qualifier a day this weekend to the October 16th Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge. Friday’s has an entry fee of $206 and a winning ratio of 1-per-20. Winners earn a $3,500 entry, which can be played either on-track or at Xpressbet.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday qualifiers will also be hosted for the October 2nd Santa Anita Opening Weekend Challenge at Xpressbet. A $118 entry fee buys you a 1-in-15 chance at picking up a $1,500 entry to “The Great Race Place” test.

On the cash-game 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 is The BIG One).

Once again,, the 2022 NHC and the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge share the featured-tourney stage on Friday at HorsePlayers. 

Friday’s $75 NHC Pick & Pray offers two guaranteed seats for 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 will definitely be headed out the door here.

Contest races for the Friday featured events are the 5th, 7th, 8th and 9th from Belmont; the 7th through 10th at Laurel; and races 6 and 7 from Gulfstream—10 races in all.

Saturday, of course, is Day One of The BIG One.

While The BIG One contestants do battle in the All Optional Live format, choosing from among 30 races…so will be those in most of our other Saturday (and Sunday) featured tourneys.

Saturday’s $30,000 Guaranteed No Limit cash game (an HT Tour event) will be held in All Optional Live game with a $350 buy-in. There is no limit as to how high the purse could go in this $350 buy-in test. Players make 10 selections from a menu of 30 races.

The same format will be in place for Saturday’s Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge qualifier ($206 buy-in) and the day’s Santa Anita Opening Weekend Challenge play-in ($118). Sounds challenging!

We stick with a good, old fashioned 12-race Pick & Pray for Saturday’s “up-to-$20,000” Big Bucks tourney, which carries a purse guarantee of $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 $15 Jackpot Pick 4 tourney on Saturday is another Pick & Pray, and it has a carryover of $1,114. 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 the 9th and 10th from Belmont and the 9th and 10th at Woodbine. All four races are stakes on the grass with an international flavor, including a pair of Grade I tilts at Woodbine—the Canadian International and the Woodbine Mile.

A 12-race 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 for the HorsePlayers feature and the Big Bucks game at HorseTourneys are the 7th through 11th at Belmont; the 7th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th from Woodbine; and the 9th and 10th at Laurel.

The 30-race All Optional Live menu for The BIG One and the other “AOL” tourneys are the 5th through 11th from Laurel; the 4th through 12th at Woodbine; the 6th through 12th from Gulfstream and the 5th through 11th at Belmont. Starting time (as of now) is listed at 2:40 pm ET…but if you’re intent on getting in a play in the 5th at Laurel (or planning on entering at the very last minute), keep an eye on the Laurel signal. That track often runs earlier than the published post times initially circulated by Equibase.

On Sunday, we will crown our our newest The BIG One champion. (It’s a BIG crown, to be sure.) There will also be eight other marquee games (five of them in All Optional Live format) going on that day.

Two of those “AOLs” are the earlier-promised Sunday qualifiers to the October 16 Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge and the October 2 Santa Anita Opening Weekend Challenge.

Sunday’s HT Tour event—and featured cash game—is our $20,000 Guaranteed, No Limit event. It has a price tag of $195, and it, too, will be run in All Optional Live style with 10 picks to be made from 30 available races.

Color the Sunday Big Bucks game an All Optional Live tourney as well this week. It’s an up-to-$20,000 competition with $7,500 Guaranteed and an entry fee of $1,150. Entries are limited to 20, and payouts go just to the first three finishers.

Sunday’s Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship qualifier is guaranteed with at least one $6,000 entry/prize certain. It’s $384 to play, and the winning ratio in this, yes, All Optional Live showdown is 1-per-20. Winners also get a $500 stipend for travel to Gulfstream next January.

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 won it. Check our website or our Twitter feed starting on Saturday night for updates.

There’s double-barrel action on Sunday at HorsePlayers with a pair of 12-race Pick & Prays. (They don’t do AOL games over there.)

The Sunday NHC qualifier is a $165 Pick & Pray with two spots to the 2022 event guaranteed. The winning ratio is 1-per-65

For Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge fans (and aren’t we all?), there’s a Low Ratio Pick & Pray with an entry fee of $500 and a winning ratio of 1-per-23. At least one $10,000 entry is certain to be won.

We hope it’s a BIG weekend…for more than just one of you. We trust it will be. Enjoy all of your contest action…enjoy the return of Belmont racing…and good luck!