04/02/2015 12:30PM

Fornatale: Contest action returns to DRF Bets


It’s a great day of racing from coast to coast on Saturday, and the Daily Racing Form family of contests offers players two ways to win into the 2016 National Handicapping Championship while playing the day’s biggest events.

Contest action returns to the DRF Bets platform with the Spring NHC Challenge. DRF Bets or Xpressbet customers can buy in for $50. Then, they must make 10 optional $10 win bets across three tracks: Aqueduct, Tampa Bay, and Santa Anita. The two players at the end of the contest with the highest scores will receive seats to the NHC.

Contest director Jordan Goldberg is excited about the opportunity to offer more NHC seats than ever before in 2015 via DRF Bets. “This is the first of numerous NHC qualifying contests hosted on DRF Bets this year,” he said. “Stay tuned for a full contest calendar coming in the next few weeks.”
For more information, check out www.drf.com/store/spring-nhc-challenge.

Meanwhile, there will be contests Saturday at NHCQualify.com and DRFQualify.com. On NHCQualify, the buy-in is $165, and up to five seats to the NHC will be awarded. On DRFQualify.com, up to four $4,000 entries for the May Santa Anita Handicapping Challenge will be on offer, along with $500 travel allowances.

Here are the races for those two contests (all times Eastern):

4:00 Santa Anita 3
4:08 Oaklawn 5
4:42 Keeneland 8 (G3 Shakertown)
4:52 Aqueduct 9 (G3 Bay Shore)
5:00 Santa Anita 5
5:20 Keeneland 9 (G1 Ashland)
5:30 Santa Anita 6
6:04 Aqueduct 11 (G1 Carter)
6:09 Oaklawn 9 (G3 Fantasy)
6:30 Keeneland 11
6:35 Aqueduct 12
7:00 Santa Anita 9 (G3 Providencia)

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There are seven stakes in all (six of them graded), three turf races, two claimers, an optional claimer, an allowance race, and a maiden special weight, giving a nice balance to the sequence. Players will note that the three big Triple Crown preps on the day – the Wood Memorial, Blue Grass, and Santa Anita Derby – are not included. With short fields and big favorites, those races will be better to watch and/or bet cash on than to use for a contest – though players in the DRF Bets contest can play the Wood Memorial and Santa Anita Derby if they wish.

As always, free past performances are available at both websites. To play on NHCQualify.com, go to www.nhcqualify.com/buy_advanced.aspx. To enter the Santa Anita qualifier, check out www.drfqualify.com/buy_advanced.aspx.