Plenty of Fast-Paced, Featured-Tourney Action on Tap for the Friday and Saturday Before Christmas

December 25th is the one day during the year that HorseTourneys turns its lights off, but weekend warriors will still be able to fill up on a sumptuous spread of 18 featured events on Christmas Eve…and Christmas Eve Eve. Of course, all 18 will be run as Pick & Prays, leaving you some additional time to shop, wrap, cook, spend time with relatives…or watch football—depending on your obligations and preferences.

The marquee games—along with their companion last-minute feeders—will all be contested on just two tracks, Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs. That means that featured tourneys will be slightly compressed this weekend. We’ll have nine contest races for the big games on Friday and eight on Saturday. So each heat will be that much more crucial.

Eight of the 18 weekend features come your way on Friday.

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

There will be a Pick & Pray 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 soon-to-arrive December 26th Santa Anita Opening Day Challenge, the January 28th Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship, the following day’s 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 $118, 1-per-15 battles. Winners will nail down 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 this coming Monday. The price point and winning ratio for these qualifiers are the same as those f or the Flo-Cal Faceoff—$118 and 1-per-15. At stake are $1,500 entries for the live-bankroll “final”.

The Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship, to be held on Saturday, January 28, is one of the highest-end live-bankroll contests of the year. Winners of this weekend’s $384, 1-per-20 Pick & Prays get not only a $6,000 Pegasus entry, but an additional $500 for travel to Florida. (Those who choose not to play on-site can just pocket the $500!)

The on-track NHC qualifier at Hialeah has a buy-in of $500, but here at HorseTourneys, you can grab a seat for $59 in our 1-per-10 play-ins.

The Tampa Bay High Rollers Contest is a two-day competition this year. The dates are Friday and Saturday, February 10 and 11. Those who succeed in our $80, 1-per-15 Pick & Prays on Friday and Saturday will garner a $1,000 entry to play on Super Bowl weekend down at the sunny Oldsmar, Fla., oval.

For the first time in a while, we’ll have two Friday features at HorsePlayers.

It sort of goes without saying that one of them will be a $75 NHC qualifier. Two seats are guaranteed in this Pick & Pray, which carries a winning ratio of 1-per-143 and offers abundant NHC Tour points. 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.

Concurrent to the $75 NHC qualifier at HorsePlayers will be a $179 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Pick & Pray. The winning ratio is 1-per-65, and one seat is guaranteed to be awarded…even if fewer than 65 sign up.

Contest races for the Friday featured tourneys at both HorseTourneys and HorsePlayers are the 5th through 9th from Tampa; and the 6th through 9th at Gulfstream—nine races in all.

On Saturday, Gulfstream and Tampa are (collectively) carding enough races for us to run a normal 6-race Quick Early Bird schedule and an 8-race multi-track schedule. Therefore…on the day before Christmas, plenty of features are stirring through the HorseTourneys house.

For this week only, our Saturday HT Tour event will have a purse guarantee of $20,000 rather than the usual $30,000. The entry fee is the customary $350.

Saturday’s other important cash game, our Big Bucks Pick & Pray, runs with the usual $10,000 purse guarantee. It’s an “up-to-$20,000” test. 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.

For the second straight day, we’ll have Pick & Pray qualifiers to the Flo-Cal Faceoff, the Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship, the Santa Anita Opening Day Challenge, the Hialeah NHC tournament and the Tampa Bay High Rollers Contest.

We’ll also host a Saturday play-in to the NHC qualifier on January 28 at Sam Houston Race Park. One of every 15 entries—at $79 per entry—will win a $1,000 seat for the on-track-only tournament in Texas.

At HorsePlayers, the Saturday co-features are a Low Ratio Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge qualifier and a $210 NHC play-in. 

The BCBC qualifier is a $500 Pick & Pray with a winning ratio of 1-per-23 and at least one $10,000 seat will be awarded regardless of participation.

The NHC qualifier is also a Pick & Pray. The $210 price tag reflects a 1-per-50 winning ratio. Two spots are guaranteed in this one.

As mentioned earlier, the Saturday featured tourneys will be contested over eight contest races. Those eight will be the 5th through 8th from Tampa Bay Downs and the 6th through 9th over at Gulfstream. Based on published post times, the tourneys should last from 2:29 pm ET to 4:11 pm ET.

Here’s wishing all of you a wonderful holiday weekend with family and friends…and perhaps an extra winner or two under your tree as well. Good cheer and good luck!