Initial Chances to Earn Spots in $50,000 Exacta Extravaganza and Santa Anita Opening Weekend Challenge Plus First Double-Seat Qualifier to The BIG One Highlight Another Full-Throttle Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Exotics specialists will again have their day…or weekend…here at HorseTourneys on  December 3-4. Those are the dates of the second annual Exacta Extravaganza. A $50,000 Guaranteed event, the “EE” requires contestants to make a preset number of three-horse exacta box picks from among 25 or 30 available contest races each day. Likely contest tracks those days include Aqueduct, Gulfstream and Del Mar. Our first qualifier to the Extravaganza is offered this Saturday.

On October 1-2, Santa Anita will host an on-track-only tournament, the Santa Anita Opening Weekend Challenge. It’s a $4,000 buy-in affair, and your first chance to win your way into it takes place here on Sunday.

Those are but two of 28 featured tourneys here this weekend. The first eight of those 28 come your way on Friday.

Friday’s HT Tour event is our $15,000 Guaranteed No Limit Pick & Pray. An entry fee of $190 gets you into the fray.

The Kentucky Downs Turf Handicapping Challenge is made up of three contests on September 1, 4 and 11, and if you succeed in our $134 qualifier on Friday, you earn $1,700 in entry fees—enough for all three days. 

There will be a qualifier on each day of the weekend for the Del Mar Pacific Classic Challenge on September 3, the Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge on October 15 and the Monmouth NHC/BCBC contest on August 27. Players in the Del Mar qualifier will pay $236 to play and vie for a $3,000 spot. The grand prize in the $206, 1-per-20 Keeneland game is a $3,500 seat. A smaller entry fee of $59 gets you into the Monmouth play-in and one of every 10 participants will receive a $500 berth. 

On the same day as the Monmouth contest is the Travers Challenge, which will be held on August 27 at Xpressbet. In Friday’s qualifier, one of every 15 entries, at $118 per entry, will land a $1,500 entry.

At HorsePlayers on Friday, you can earn your way into the NHC and/or the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.

Friday’s NHC play-in is a $75 Pick & Pray with two seats guaranteed and a winning ratio of 1-per-143. Entries are limited to three per person. Remember—you must be a 2022 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 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge battle is a $500 Low Ratio Pick & Pray. The winning ratio is 1-per-23, and a $10,000 entry will definitely go to at least one skillful handicapper.

The Friday 10-race schedule is the 8th through 10th from Saratoga; the 7th and 8th at Ellis Park (where every penny counts!); and the 3rd through 7th from Del Mar.

It’s a Live-format weekend here this week, and so picks for most of our Saturday and Sunday tourneys can be made right up until each race’s post time. Eight of our nine marquee games on Saturday fit that profile.

One of those nine is the “First Chance” qualifier to the $50,000 Guaranteed Exacta Extravaganza. It’s a customary $2.00 win-and-place tourney (unlike the Extravaganza) with an $89 entry fee, and a winning ratio of 1-per-10. Winners in this Live-format get-together grab a $750 ticket into the Exacta fest on December 3-4.

The most valuable competition of the week is Saturday’s HT Tour event, our $30,000 Guaranteed game. It’s $350 to enter, and the format is Live.

Saturday is the first of two consecutive days of guaranteed qualifiers to The BIG One —a mythical-money contest here at HorseTourneys on Saturday and Sunday, September 17-18. In The BIG One, the field will be no greater than 57, and no one will be playing more than one entry. Despite the smallish field, the prizes will be large (and plentiful). The top 10 finishers will all receive cash and his or her choice of a seat to the NHC, the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge, or the Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship. (At least two of the seats awarded must be for the NHC.) Saturday’s qualifier carries an entry fee of $395, and there is a limit of 27 entries that will be accepted. Also—the winner of the qualifier gets a $500 bonus prize in addition to the September entry…and the runner up receives a $395 refund/consolation prize. One berth to The BIG One is certain to be awarded in this Saturday square-off.

Our $10,000 Guaranteed Big Bucks game is Saturday’s lone Pick & Pray. It’s an “up-to-$20,000” game with an entry fee of $1,150—and there is a limit of 20 entries that will be accepted. Payouts go only to the top three finishers with the winner taking the biggest share (70 percent) of the net pool, the runner up getting 20 percent, and the third-place finisher picking up the remaining 10 percent.

As noted earlier, we’ll have Saturday qualifiers (all in Live format) to the Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge, the Del Mar Pacific Classic Challenge and the Monmouth NHC/BCBC contest. 

On the Saturday schedule at HorsePlayers are qualifiers to the NHC and the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.

The NHC qualifier has a special $210 entry fee, which makes the winning ratio 1-per-50. Two seats are certain in this Live-format tourney.

The BCBC test carries an entry fee of $179, and one seat is guaranteed. It’s a Live-format game with a winning ratio of 1-in-65.

Saturday’s 12 featured-tourney races are the 7th, 8th and 10th from Woodbine; the 8th through 11th at Saratoga; the 9th, 11th and 12th from Gulfstream; and the 1st and 3rd at Del Mar. Closing time will be approximately 4:09 pm ET. It should be about 2 hours and 15 minutes from start to finish.

The final 11 of the weekend’s 28 featured tourneys take place on Sunday, (Queen’s Plate Day at Woodbine). There’s a special sweetener attached to one of the Sunday games.

The sweetener applies to Sunday’s guaranteed qualifier to The BIG One Instead of there being one seat certain in this $395, Live-format play-in, there will be two. Accordingly, entries here will be capped at 54, rather than the 27-entry limit imposed on Saturday.

That initial qualifier to the Santa Anita Opening Day Challenge is set for Sunday. One of every 20 entries, at $236 per entry, will earn a $4,000 berth in this Live-format play-in. Note that the October 1-2 Challenge is an on-track tournament, playable only at Santa Anita.

The Sunday NHC qualifier will be hosted here at HorseTourneys. It’s a $165 play-in with two spots guarantee, and it also serves as the day’s only featured Pick & Pray. 

Sunday’s HT Tour event is our $20,000 Guaranteed, No Limit cash game. You must pony up $250 to compete in the Live-format contest. 

Also run in Live-format is Sunday’s Big Bucks game. It’s an up-to-$20,000 tourney with a purse guaranteed to be at least $7,500. Total entries will again be limited to 20, and payouts go only to the top three finishers.

Back on the menu for a third straight day are qualifiers to the Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge, the Del Mar Pacific Challenge and the August 27 Monmouth NHC/BCBC contest. All will be contested in Live format.

After a one-day hiatus, we’ll again offer opportunities to qualify for the Kentucky Downs Turf Handicapping Challenge and the Travers Challenge at Xpressbet, 

Over at HorsePlayers on Sunday, the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge has the featured-tourney stage to itself. 

It’s a $500 Low Ratio qualifier. The winning ratio is 1-per-23, and at least one $10,000 entry will definitely be awarded—regardless of participation—in this Live-format tourney.

Thanks to all for reading. I’m off next week, so I will be back after Travers Weekend. See you then. In the meantime, good luck!