08/08/2014 11:43AM

Fornatale: Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge adds satellite sites


The Breeders’ Cup today announced a major change to the format of the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge, the premier live-bankroll handicapping contest. For the first time, the Breeders’ Cup will allow participants to play from satellite locations located at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., and Aqueduct Racetrack in Ozone Park, N.Y.

“The success of the Betting Challenge has exceeded our expectations in developing the event into an elite tournament on a grand scale,” said Tournament Director Tim Schram. “We are delighted to be working again with the staff at Santa Anita, who have been excellent hosts for our players the past two years and provide us with an ideal venue in the Regency Room for the tournament.

“We are equally excited about our expansion of the BCBC to satellite locations at Keeneland and Aqueduct and look forward to working with our new racetrack partners in attracting more players to participate in the tournament in Kentucky and New York.”

Keeneland Director of Mutuels and Simulcasting Jim Goodman is a popular figure on the tournament scene. He is a contest player himself, and he runs the prestigious Grade 1 Gamble contest at Keeneland.

“Keeneland is proud to partner with the Breeders’ Cup in hosting a satellite location for the 2014 BCBC,” said Goodman. “The growth of this premier tournament has been amazing and will only be enhanced by the addition of alternate sites for the players. As the host track of the 2015 Breeders’ Cup, we are also looking forward to the participation of satellite sites next year.”

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New York Racing Association President Christopher K. Kay also is an enthusiastic supporter. NYRA just recently cleared regulatory hurdles and now is able to host live-bankroll contests.

“We look forward to welcoming horseplayers for the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge to Longshots, our new, state-of-the-art simulcasting center and sports bar in Aqueduct,” said Kay. “With more than 270 individual handicapping carrels and 55 self-service betting terminals located across four separate seating areas, Longshots is the perfect place for our East Coast fans to join in the excitement.”

BCBC contestants pay an entry fee of $10,000 – of which $2,500 goes into the prize pool and the remaining $7,500 serves as a live bankroll. Contestants keep whatever bankroll they have left at the end of the contest. The BCBC permits win, place, show, exacta, and trifecta wagering as part of the contest. The tournament winner is the player who has accumulated the highest live money betting bankroll over the two-day event.

Upward of $575,000 in purses is expected for this year’s event, with the following purse distribution expected:

First - $210,000
Second - $100,000
Third - $70,000
Fourth - $55,000
Fifth - $40,000
Sixth - $30,000
Seventh - $25,000
Eighth - $20,000
Ninth - $15,000
10th - $10,000

In another positive change to the BCBC this year, the top 15 finishers will be awarded berths to the National Handicapping Championship that takes place at Treasure Island Las Vegas in January 2015. BCBC participants will have access to a premium tournament room at Santa Anita Park, Keeneland, and Aqueduct, guest credential, and discounted hotel rooms while available.

Registration for the sixth Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge is open now. To register for the BCBC, go to www.breederscup.com/bcbc or contact Tim Schram at 859-422-2658.