03/30/2015 9:34AM

Fornatale: Call Me George key in BCBC qualifier


Seven players won full $10,000 entries to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge on Saturday on BCQualify.com. Don Allen, of Bradley, Ark., was the overall winner with a score of $117.

Halfway through the contest, it looked like he was going to finish with a much higher score since he’d backed five of the first six winners, highlighted by cap horse Call Me George in the New Orleans Handicap. Call Me George paid $46.40 to win on the tote board, but for contest-scoring purposes, the win was limited to $42.

Allen whiffed in the second half of the card but still ended up on top, partly because in a contest with 83 players, where the top seven all receive the same prize, players don’t have an incentive to shoot for the top spot – they only need to get into one of the money slots to reap the same reward.

Joining Allen at Keeneland will be Nicholas Pavletic, of Park Ridge, Ill.; Michael McIntyre, of Massillon, Ohio; Kevin Booth, of Calgary, Alberta; Bill Wilbur, of Gold River, Calif.; Bryan Teel, of Grimsby, Ontario; and Joel Wincowski, of Lake George, N.Y. Wincowski also had Call Me George. Four others had Moving Style ($20.40) in the 10th race at Tampa Bay Downs. That horse was Allen’s second-biggest payout.

Saturday’s contest was the culmination of a month of play on BCQualify.com. On the first three Saturdays of the month, the site hosted Round 1 events in which the top 10 percent of finishers advanced to the Round 2 contest. The two-round qualifying format will return to BCQualify.com in August.

BCBC qualifying will resume on the site with one-day contests Sunday, April 12, and Sunday, April 26. BCQualify.com is the only place to qualify for the BCBC online.

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Also on Saturday, four players on NHCQualify.com advanced to the National Handicapping Championship, to be held in January at Treasure Island in Las Vegas. Jeff Arthur, of Chesapeake, Va., topped all players with a score of $128. He had both Call Me George and Moving Style.

While the prize is the same for first and second, more NHC Tour points are awarded to the outright winner. This year, in addition to the prize money awarded to the top finishers on the NHC Tour, the top 20 in the tour standings will compete in their own contest within a contest at the NHC for a $25,000 purse and a seat at the following year’s NHC.

Anthony Kite, of Princeton, N.J., was a threat to win after backing five straight winners in the middle of Saturday’s contest, including Call Me George. But Arthur pulled out the win by picking Materiality in the Florida Derby, and Kite wound up second with $126.20.

The other qualifiers were Charles Darnell, of Lovettsville, Va., and George Henning of Palatine, Ill. Each had Moving Style and Call Me George.

The next qualifying contest on NHCQualify.com will be Saturday.


1. Don Allen, $117.00
2. Nicholas Pavletic, $109.20
3. Michael McIntryre, $96.80
4. Kevin Booth, $86.20
5. Bill Wilbur, $83.00
6. Bryan Teel, $81.00
7. Joel Wincowski, $81.00
All seven receive $10,000 entries to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge, plus a travel allowance.

1. Jeff Arthur, $128.00
2. Anthony Kite, $126.20
3. Charles Darnell, $124.40
4. George Henning, $120.40
All four receive berths to the National Handicapping Championship, plus a travel allowance.

1. Mark Stanton, $124.60
2. Gary Johnson, $111.40
Both receive $3,000 entries to the Gulfstream Park Raise Your Game Challenge on Sept. 19, plus a travel allowance.


1. Jason Avila, $180.80
2. Robert Crowe, $172.60
Both receive $4,000 entries to the Santa Anita Betting Challenge, held over Preakness weekend, plus a travel allowance.