08/06/2015 9:49AM

Fornatale: BCBC two-stage qualifiers return Saturday


One of the most popular formats in the DRF universe of contests returns Saturday and continues over the following three Saturdays – the two-stage Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge qualifying tournament.

This Saturday, on Aug. 15, and on Aug. 22, players will compete in Round 1 events where they will try to finish in the top 10 percent. Those players will advance to Round 2 on Travers Day, Aug. 29, when approximately 10 percent of that group will receive their full $10,000 buy-ins to the BCBC, along with a travel allowance.

The buy-in for Round 1 is $110, and up to eight BCBC seats will be awarded in Round 2. In years past, players like Bob Traynor and Patrick McGoey have won their BCBC entries on BCQualify.com and gone on to win hundreds of thousands of dollars at the BCBC.

The reason the two-round qualifying format is so popular is that it rewards consistency over just having one spectacular day. When the goal is to finish in the top 10 percent instead of the top 2 percent, players can focus more on picking horses they like, regardless of the odds.

Also on Saturday, DRFQualify.com offers players a chance to win their $3,000 bankrolls and a travel allowance to the Sept. 19 Gulfstream Park live-bankroll contest. The buy-in is $90, and up to two seats will be awarded. Saturday’s contest will be limited to 92 entries.

Here are the races for both Saturday qualifiers:
4:33 Saratoga 7
4:51 Gulfstream 9
5:05 Del Mar 1
5:11 Saratoga 8
5:26 Gulfstream 10
5:37 Del Mar 2
5:46 Saratoga 9
6:04 Gulfstream 11
6:23 Saratoga 10
6:40 Del Mar 4
6:40 Gulfstream 12
6:57 Saratoga 11

Contest players' prayers were heard, apparently, because the Del Mar and Saratoga post-time spacing has improved this week, although players should be aware of the potential conflict at 6:40 between Gulfstream and Del Mar. It's always a good idea to put in default picks before the contest begins and change things up on the fly.

The sequence is highlighted by two Grade 1 races from Saratoga, the Whitney and the Test, along with five other stakes races. DRF classic past-performances are available on the contest sites. To sign up for the BCBC Round 1 qualifier, go to https://www.bcqualify.com/buy_advanced.aspx. To win a seat for Gulfstream, sign up at https://www.drfqualify.com/buy_advanced.aspx.

:: Click here to purchase a copy of “The Winning Contest Player” by Peter Thomas Fornatale