Last Chances for Santa Anita and Hawthorne OTB Plus Flo-Cal Faceoff Qualifiers Among 25 Featured Events as the Calendar Flips from September to October

It’s Breeders’ Cup prep season as Santa Anita gets set to open, and that means plenty of exciting racing action will serve as the backdrop for another vast array of lucrative tourneys this weekend.

As always, we consider the weekend to commence on Friday, and the day offers the final opportunities to qualify for contests taking place the next day.

“The Great Race Place” (and Xpressbet) will host the Santa Anita Opening Weekend Challenge on Saturday and Sunday. Your final chance to land a $4,000 entry without digging too deep comes Friday in our $236, 1-per-20 Pick & Pray. 

It’s only $59 to play our last Hawthorne OTB qualifier on Friday. One of every 10 entrants, at $59 per entry, gets a $500 berth to compete in Chicagoland.

Friday’s HT Tour event is our $15,000 Guaranteed No Limit Pick & Pray. An investment of $190 gets you into this one.

There will also be a qualifier on each day of the weekend for the Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge, the $50,000 Guaranteed Exacta Extravaganza, the on-track-only Laurel Champions tournament and, last but not least, the $250,000 Guaranteed Flo-Cal Faceoff.

The Keeneland play-in (a Pick & Pray on Friday) has a barrier to entry of $206, and one of every 20 combatants will earn a $3,500 entry for the October 15 skirmish. 

On the same day as the big Keeneland (and Xpressbet) contest, Laurel Park will play host to its popular Laurel Champions tournament. The format for the Friday edition of the Laurel play-in is Pick & Pray. The price to play is $59, and the winning ratio is 

Exacta Extravaganza qualifiers are run in Live, Exacta format (not as a Pick & Pray). In Exacta-format games, players make a mythical, three-horse exacta box selection in each contest race, and there are no price caps in effect. (You get the full payoff if you hit a big one.) Friday’s Extravaganza qualifier requires an $89entry fee, and winners (1-per-10) pick up a $750 seat for the two-day, $50,000 Guaranteed exotic tourney here on December 3-4.

We’re back to Pick & Pray mode for our first of three Flo-Cal Faceoff play-ins this weekend. It’s three and a half months away, but it’s never too early to lock down a spot in this lucrative competition that guarantees a quarter of a million dollars and features two days of full-card action at Gulfstream (Flo) and Santa Anita (Cal). You can garner a $1,500 Flo-Cal seat if you win Friday’s $118 qualifier, which has a winning ratio of 1-per-15.

At HorsePlayers on Friday, we host Pick & Pray qualifiers for the NHC and the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.

Friday’s NHC tourney 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 game is a $500 Low Ratio Pick & Pray. The winning ratio is 1-per-23, and at least one $10,000 entry is certain to be awarded regardless of how many ultimately take part.

The Friday 10-race schedule is the 1st, 6th and 7th on the opening day card at Santa Anita; the 7th through 9th from “Belmont at Aqueduct”; the 8th and 9th north of the border at Woodbine; and races 6 and 7 from Hawthorne.

On the first day of October, eight more marquee games come your way.

Most of our Saturday (and Sunday) features will be Live-format affairs, including our earlier-promised qualifiers for the Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge, the Laurel Champions tournament; the $250,000 Guaranteed Flo-Cal Faceoff and the $50,000 Guaranteed Exacta Extravaganza. The price points and winning ratios for each are the same as they were on Friday. Do note again, though, that the Exacta Extravaganza play-in will be operated in Live, Exacta-box format…not win/place

The richest game of the week is our $30,000 Guaranteed tourney. It’s $350 to participate, and the format is Live here too.

An exception to the prevailing Live-format pattern on Saturday is our $10,000 Guaranteed Big Bucks game—which is always run as a Pick & Pray on Saturdays. It’s an “up-to-$20,000” gambit 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.

Another Saturday Pick & Pray is the NHC qualifier, which takes place here at HorseTourneys. The entry fee is $165, the winning ratio is 1-per-65, and two seats to the world’s most famous horse racing handicapping contest are guaranteed.

Since the NHC qualifier is at HorsePlayers, the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge has the Saturday featured-tourney spotlight at HorsePlayers to itself.

That spotlight will be illuminating a $179, Live-format qualifier with one $10,000 BCBC seat guaranteed. The winning ratio is 1-per-65.

Saturday’s 12 contest races are the 1st, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th on the big card from Santa Anita; the 6th, 9th and 11th at “Belmont at Aqueduct”; races 8 and 10 from Laurel; and the 9th and 10th at Woodbine. Closing time will be approximately 3:30 pm ET, and seven of the 12 races will be stakes

The weekend wraps up with eight featured tourneys.

You already know what half of them are—Live-format qualifiers to the Keeneland Fall BCBC/NHC Challenge, the Flo-Cal Faceoff (soon to be added to our homepage), the Exacta Extravaganza and the Laurel Champions tournament. 

Sunday’s HT Tour test is our $20,000 Guaranteed, No Limit game. You can play this Live-format attraction in exchange for an entry fee of $250. 

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

There are co-features on Sunday at HorsePlayers—one open to all and the other with a restriction in place.

The Sunday NHC qualifier is the one with a little bit of fine print. It’s restricted to those who have yet to earn a March 2023 seat, and, as such, there will be no NHC Tour points awarded. The price tag for this one is $165, and one seat is guaranteed. The winning ratio is 1-per-65.

The Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier—accessible to all red-blooded horseplayers—is a  Live-format, Low-Ratio play-in. The winning ratio is 1-per-23, and you’ll be expected to drop $500 into the Sunday collection plate.  At least one skillful player is guaranteed to emerge with a $10,000 BCBC entry. 

We hope you knock ‘em dead in September and even deader in October this weekend. Good luck!