02/13/2015 10:10AM

Fornatale: Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge qualifier Sunday


On Sunday, BCQualify.com will be running a one-day qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge at Keeneland, to be held over the two days of the Breeders’ Cup. It’s the world’s premier live-bankroll betting contest – an event quickly gaining in stature on the National Handicapping Championship in terms of prestige and popularity.

Unlike the NHC, players can buy in to the BCBC for $10,000, but most players try to win entry for $190 on BCQualify.com – up to four spots, along with $500 travel allowances, will be awarded Sunday.

Also on Sunday, on the same set of races, players can put up $80 to compete for up to four seats for the Raise Your Game Handicapping Challenge at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 28. Participation is expected to be strong for the Gulfstream contest, and the prize pool could exceed $100,000.

You can win your way in through DRFQualify.com or contact Nancy Berry at Gulfstream Park to buy in for $3,000. The Raise Your Game Handicapping Challenge will utilize a live-bankroll format, but Sunday’s qualifier will follow the typical 12-race, $2 win-place, mythical-money format most common online.

Here are the races for Sunday’s contests:
3:55 Fair Grounds 4
4:00 Gulfstream 8
4:19 Oaklawn 5
4:20 Tampa 9
4:30 Gulfstream 9
4:55 Fair Grounds 6
5:00 Gulfstream 10
5:14 Oaklawn 7
5:24 Fair Grounds 7
5:30 Gulfstream 11
5:40 Oaklawn 8
5:54 Fair Grounds 8

Santa Anita is notably absent from the sequence since there are not a lot of great contest races out West on Sunday, so players are left with a mix of races including four each from Gulfstream and Fair Grounds, three from Oaklawn, and one from Tampa. The weather in Hot Springs, Ark., is expected to be very cold but dry, so they should be OK for Sunday.

They are mostly midlevel races with competitive fields, with seven turf races and three maidens. The best race in the sequence is the Grade 3 Bayakoa at Oaklawn, where 10 fillies and mares compete going 1 1/16 miles on the main track in a very evenly matched race. The anchor leg, while not of the same quality, is still a really interesting handicapping puzzle. It’s a full field of 12 restricted $30,000 claimers going a mile on turf at Fair Grounds. The presumable favorite, Mendota, is parked out in the No. 11 post and is just 1 for 15 lifetime. This is a race where contest players should be able to find a solid price with an excellent chance.

To sign up for the BCBC qualifier, go to https://www.bcqualify.com/buy_advanced.aspx, and to sign up for the Gulfstream qualifier, go to https://www.drfqualify.com/buy_advanced.aspx. Free DRF classic past performances are available on both host websites as well.