Final Weekend Before Christmas Offers Full Slate of Featured Cash Tourneys and Qualifiers at HorsePlayers and HorseTourneys

Not to dampen the holiday mood, but Christmas falls on a Saturday this year—which means there will be no tracks open on Saturday, the 25th and only a couple (Gulfstream and Tampa) racing on Friday, the 24th. So, in essence, if you want to hunker down and fire away for cash or important contest seats, this is your last full weekend in 2021 to do that.

We’ll try to make the most of this final opportunity by offering 25 featured events over the weekend which, here at HorseTourneys, always begins on Friday.

Friday’s HT Tour event is our $15,000 Guaranteed No Limit Pick & Pray, which carries an entry fee of $190. Remember that the HT Tour year ends on December 31 (like the year, itself!) so if you’re pushing to finish in the Top 50 (to win a spot in our free $25,000 site credit tourney) or the Top 10 (to earn two such spots in that $25,000 event), now is the time to act!

Every day of the weekend offers a shot at qualifying to the December 26th Santa Anita Opening Day Challenge, the January 8 Tampa Bay Downs Last Chance/First Opportunity NHC qualifier Presented by HorseTourneys, the $250,000 Guaranteed Flo-Cal Faceoff here on January 15-16 and the January 27th Bally’s NHC Last Chance contest. 

Our play-in to the Santa Anita Challenge requires an entry fee of $118, which gets you a 1-in-15 chance at a $1,500 entry for the event that will be held at Xpressbet on the day after Christmas.

The Tampa qualifier (with open bar and goodies provided by HorseTourneys) calls for an entry fee of just $80. Contestants have a 1-in-15 chance of earning a $1,000 seat in the Oldsmar, Fla., tournament. 

A stake of $118 gets you a seat at the table for the Flo-Cal Faceoff qualifiers. The objective is a $1,500 seat to the $250,000 Guaranteed all-cash battle here in mid-January, and the winning ratio for these are 1 per 15.

Then there’s the Bally’s NHC Last Chance tournament on Thursday, January 27th. Winners of Friday’s (or Saturday’s or Sunday’s) $59, 1-per-10 play-in earn a $500 entry for the annual NHC Eve get together.

Friday regulars know what the feature at HorsePlayers is going to be.

It’s a $75 NHC Pick & Pray with two spots guaranteed and a winning ratio of 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.

Contest races for Friday are the 6th through 9th from Aqueduct; the 7th through 9th at Gulfstream; and races 7 through 9 from Tampa—10 races in all.

Most of our Saturday-Sunday featured events will be operated in Live format this week—including the weekend’s richest tourney, which takes place on Saturday.

That most lucrative skirmish is Saturday’s $30,000 Guaranteed, No Limit cash tourney. Entries cost $350 each.

Running as a Pick & Pray (like it always does) is Saturday Big Bucks tourney. It’s an “up-to-$20,000” game with 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.

Also on the Saturday agenda, as mentioned earlier, are qualifiers (all in Live format) to the Flo-Cal Faceoff ($118 entry fee, 1-per-15 winning ratio), the Santa Anita Opening Day Challenge ($118, 1-per-15), the Tampa Bay Downs Last Chance/First Opportunity tournament Presented by HorseTourneys ($80, 1-per-15) and the Bally’s NHC Last Chance contest ($59, 1-per-10).

Saturday’s $15 Jackpot Pick 4 tourney, a Pick & Pray, will have a carryover of $2,902. In our Pick 4 Jackpot games, 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.

The Jackpot Pick 4 races for Saturday are the 8th through 10th from Tampa Bay Downs and race 9 at Aqueduct.

Over at HorsePlayers, there are “regular” qualifiers to both the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge and the NHC.

The BCBC play-in is a $179 Pick & Pray with at least one $10,000 entry guaranteed to be awarded…even if fewer than 65 take part. 

Also carrying a 1-per-65 winning ratio is Saturday’s $165 NHC qualifier, which will be run in Live-format mode. Two spots to next month’s extravaganza will be guaranteed here.

Saturday’s 12-race featured-tourney contest races are the 6th through 9th from Aqueduct; the 6th through 10th at Tampa Bay Downs; and the 7th, 8th and 10th from Gulfstream.

The Sunday slate contains 10 featured tourneys—all but two in Live format.

Once again, Live format qualifiers are scheduled for the Flo-Cal Faceoff ($118 entry fee), Santa Anita Opening Day Challenge ($118), Tampa Bay Downs Last Chance/First Opportunity contest ($80) and the Bally’s NHC Last Chance tournament ($59). 

Sunday’s HT Tour test is our $20,000 Guaranteed, No Limit tourney. Entries cost $195 apiece.

You can also realize a nice payday—without taking on a large field—in our Big Bucks tourney which, on Sundays, is always run in Live format. 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 again are directed only to the top three finishers.

Another $15 Pick 4 Jackpot tourney (a Pick & Pray, as always) is also on tap this Sunday. The Jackpot amount will depend on how many played in the Saturday Pick 4 Jackpot tourney—and whether anyone hit it. Check our website or our Twitter feed starting on Saturday night for updates.

At HorsePlayers, there are two NHC qualifiers and also a Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge play-in on the Sunday bill of fare.

One of the NHC qualifiers is a $500, Live-format, Low Ratio play-in with a winning ratio of 1-per-21. Note that at least 10 entries must be signed on for this game to go forward as scheduled.

The other NHC qualifier is restricted to those who have yet to earn a 2022 seat. It’s a $165 Pick & Pray with a winning ratio of 1-per-65, and at least one seat is certain to be awarded in this guaranteed event.

The BCBC game is a $500, Low Ratio qualifier that will be contested in Live format. One $10,000 entry is guaranteed, and the winning ratio is 1-per-23. 

Enjoy these three days that are chock-a-block with tourney action. The favorite present under your tree just may come a week early. Good luck!