First 2023 NHC Low Ratio Qualifier and New Sam Houston Play-In Both Join the Sunday Featured-Tourney Lineup

With just three months remaining until the 2023 NHC, qualifying for the “Big Dance” takes on even more urgency. Those looking to maximize their chances at landing a spot in March can now—starting on Sunday—play in a 1-per-21 qualifier…and if you’re really lucky, your odds of success could be 1 in just 10.

Meanwhile, Sam Houston Race Park has announced that it will be hosting an on-track NHC play-in on January 28th. Your first chance to earn a $1,000 entry for that event also takes place this Sunday.

It’s all part of an exciting, last-weekend-before-Christmas weekend that gets rolling here on Friday.

Friday’s HT Tour competition is our $15,000 Guaranteed, No Limit Pick & Pray. The barrier to entry is $190.

There will be a qualifier on each day of the weekend for the $250,000 Guaranteed Flo-Cal Faceoff (first leg of the 2023 Tourney Triple) here on January 14-15, the December 26th Santa Anita Opening Day Challenge, the January 29 NHC on-track qualifier at Hialeah and the February 10-11 Tampa Bay Downs High Rollers Contest (also an on-track-only tournament).

The Flo-Cal Faceoff qualifiers are all $118, 1-per-15 propositions. Friday’s is a Pick & Pray. Winners will pick up a $1,500 entry for January 14-15.

The Santa Anita Opening Day Challenge can be played on-track at Santa Anita or at Xpressbet. The price point and winning ratio for these qualifiers are the same as for the Flo-Cal Faceoff—$118 and 1-per-15. At stake in Friday’s Pick & Pray (and in the Live-format play-ins on Saturday and Sunday) are $1,500 entries for December 26.

The on-track NHC qualifier at Hialeah would cost $500 to play if you walk up and purchase an entry on January 29. Here at HorseTourneys, you can land a spot for $59 in a 1-per-10 qualifier. Friday’s opportunity to do this will be a Pick & Pray.

Note that the Tampa Bay High Rollers Contest will be a two-day competition on Friday and Saturday, February 10 and 11. (We had it listed incorrectly as a one-day tournament last week. Apologies for the error.) Winner(s) in our $80, 1-per-15 Pick & Pray on Friday will get a $1,000 entry to play on Super Bowl weekend down in sunny Oldsmar, Fla.

The Friday feature at HorsePlayers is our old friend, the $75 NHC qualifier.

Two seats are guaranteed in this Pick & Pray carrying 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.

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

Most (but not quite all) of our marquee games on Saturday and Sunday will be operated in Live format. We have nine featured tourneys for you to choose among on Saturday.

The richest tourney of the weekend is our $30,000 Guaranteed, No Limit game. The entry fee is $350, the format is Live and the game serves as the day’s HT Tour event.

Saturday’s other important cash game is our Big Bucks Pick & Pray. It’s an “up-to-$20,000” test with a purse guarantee of $10,000. Entries—at $1,150 each—are limited to 20, and payouts go just to the top three finishers. The winner collects 70 percent of the net pool, the runner up gets 20 percent, and the third-place finisher picks up the remaining 10 percent.

An upfront layout of $384 will purchase you a 1-in-20 chance in our first of two Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship qualifiers during the weekend. Winners of Saturday’s Live-format skirmish receive a $6,500 package ($6,000 entry plus $500 for travel) for January 28.

Once again will offer qualifiers—on this day, all in Live format—for the Flo-Cal Faceoff, the Santa Anita Opening Day Challenge, the Hialeah NHC tournament and the Tampa Bay High Rollers Contest.

At HorsePlayers, the Saturday co-features are a Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier and an NHC play-in. 

The BCBC qualifier is a $179 Pick & Pray. The winning ratio is 1-per-65 and at least one $10,000 seat will be awarded even if fewer than 65 sign up.

The NHC qualifier will be run in Live format. It’s a “regular,” $165 play-in. Two spots are guaranteed here, and the winning ratio is 1-per-65.

The 12 Saturday contest races are the 7th, 8th and 10th from Aqueduct; the 6th, 8th and 9th at Tampa Bay Downs; the 7th through 9th from Laurel; and the 9th through 11th at Gulfstream.

Sunday is an extra-frenetic day of action with 11 featured tourneys scheduled.

Two of the offerings are brand new. The new one here at HorseTourneys is a $79, 1-per-15, Live-format play-in to the recently-announced NHC qualifier on January 28 at Sam Houston Race Park.

Sunday’s HT Tour battle is our $20,000 Guaranteed, No Limit game. It’s in Live-format this week, and you can play for $250.

Also in Live format is the Sunday Big Bucks tourney—an up-to-$20,000 high-end, high-octane affair with a purse guaranteed at $7,000. Total entries are limited to 20 (at $1,150 per entry), and payouts go solely to the top three scorers.

For an entrance fee of $384, you can compete in another Live-format Pegasus World Cup qualifier. Winners grab a $6,500 package playable either at Gulfstream or Xpressbet.

We’ll also present our third consecutive day of qualifiers for the $250,000 Guaranteed Flo-Cal Faceoff, the Santa Anita Opening Weekend Challenge, the Hialeah NHC qualifier and the two-day Tampa Bay Downs High Rollers Contest. All four of these Sunday qualifiers will be hosted in Live format.

There are two NHC qualifiers available on Sunday, and the one here is HorseTourneys is the day’s lone Pick & Pray. It’s a $165 two-seater that carries a winning ratio of 1-per-65.

The other Sunday NHC qualifier is over at HorsePlayers (sharing the HP stage with a BCBC qualifier), and it deserves special attention.

The NHC qualifier is a special $500 Low Ratio qualifier. It’s a Live-format game with a winning ratio of 1-per-21, but it will only be run if we get at least 10 entries. Note that, per NHC Tour rules, NHC Tour points will only be awarded if there are enough entries (in this case, 42) to award two seats.

The Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier is a Live-format, Low Ratio game. The entry fee is $500; the winning ratio is 1-per-23; and at least one $10,000 seat is certain to be headed out the door. 

Good luck accomplishing all of your shopping and handicapping this weekend. In each case, we hope your efforts achieve the desired results.