06/11/2015 1:06PM

Fornatale: Double chances for tournaments seats


There's a unique opportunity in the Daily Racing Form family of tournaments this weekend. For the first time in a long time, players will be able to compete simultaneously in online contests for seats at the two most important handicapping contests in the world, the Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge and the National Handicapping Championship.

On Saturday, at BCQualify.com, there is a $190 buy-in and two seats to the BCBC are guaranteed. The winner will also receive an NHC seat. NHC Tour membership is required to compete for the NHC seat, but no Tour points will be allowed as only one NHC seat is on offer.

On Sunday, over on NHCQualify.com, buy-in is $165 and two NHC entries are guaranteed, with a BCBC seat also going to the winner. Tour membership is required for the NHC seats and this event will award Tour points.

"We wanted to try something different," explained tournament director Ken Kirchner. "We had run these types of events several years ago and they were very popular. The positive is that someone can win an entry to the two major handicapping events, the NHC and BCBC if they have a great day.  That's a good thing, especially for new players.  Further, if someone wins a second BCBC spot those are transferable – so no downside there."

The National Handicapping Championship takes place in January and is the most prestigious handicapping contest of them all. You can't buy-in to the NHC -- you must qualify. The winner gets an Eclipse Award for Handicapper of the Year. This year, $2.5 million in prize money is expected to be awarded at the NHC. The contest uses a fixed-bankroll, mythical-money format that is a blend of optional and mandatory races.

The Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge is the greatest test of betting acumen that there is and the biggest live-bankroll contest. Held over the two days of the Breeders' Cup, players can buy-in for $10,000, $7,500 of which acts as a live bankroll where players can wager in all vertical pools except the superfecta on the host track races on the Breeders' Cup days. Last year, Bob Traynor qualified on BCQualify.com and won over $300,000.

Gold Cup qualifier

Also on Saturday, DRFQualify.com is running the second-to-last qualifier for the June 27 and 28 Gold Cup Betting Challenge at Santa Anita. Buy-in for the qualifier is $100 and up to two $5,000 seats for the Santa Anita contest will be awarded with one guaranteed. The prize pool -- in cash and seats -- is expected to be valued at $100,000.

There are some media reports that Triple Crown winner American Pharoah will be on hand to parade at Santa Anita on Gold Cup Day. That would be another added incentive to make the trek to the Great Race Place to play in the contest. Why buy-in for $5,000 when you can win in for $100?

On Sunday, DRFQualify will host a qualifier for the Sept. 19 Gulfstream Park contest. The buy-in for the qualifier is also $100 and up to three $3,000 seats will be awarded with one guaranteed.

All of this weekend's qualifying contests feature the typical live format -- 12 races where contestants must make one $2 mythical win-place bet on one horse in each race. Highest scores advance. Here are the races that will be used for Saturday's contests:

3:24    Belmont 5

3:55    Belmont 6

4:00    Santa Anita 2

4:11    Arlington 5

4:41    Arlington 6

4:57    Belmont 8

5:00    Santa Anita 4

5:28    Belmont 9

5:41    Arlington 8

5:59    Belmont 10

6:00    Santa Anita 6

6:30    Santa Anita 7

Check back on DRF.com later in the week for a closer look at some of the Saturday contest races from current NHC Tour leader Ryan Flanders. The sequence as a whole is turf-centric, with seven races on the grass, and maiden players will be  pleased to see three of their preferred events, with two maiden special weights and one maiden claimer in the mix.

To sign up for the BCQualify.com contest, go to https://www.bcqualify.com/buy_advanced.aspx.

To play over at DRFQualify.com, check out https://www.drfqualify.com/buy_advanced.aspx

MultiraceWagers More than 1 year ago
Double the chances maybe, but 1 of 206 or .49% seems like a poor value play.
Nick Pavletic More than 1 year ago
This is a reactionary change of course! Why are you following the lead of your competition? Why is a schedule posted, then disregarded? This is the second time the schedule has been altered. Why? I've been complaining about the over saturation each weekend because of the DRF Qualifying events cannibalizing NHC & BCBC Qualifiers. So my prediction comes true and now you're completely copying someone else's business model? How about some NEW tournament ideas? What about emphasizing consistency instead of maxed out price horses? How about a 10 race format with no cap that gives you 10% of your total price for each race scored in? This format balances the ability to find a price but also rewards consistency too! 8 races @12.5%; 20 races @ 5%, 16 races @ 6.25%, etc. Finding winners,in order to make money, is the core goal of handicapping! When can we be rewarded for consistency in NHC Qualifiers? The NHC isn't won by one horse over the three days, so I believe one horse shouldn't determine who qualifies to the NHC either. Peter, your articles consistently point out who got the max horse. The real handicapping skill is shown by the people who qualify WITHOUT the max horse! I know it makers for an easier story, but change up the coverage once and awhile...please!
MultiraceWagers More than 1 year ago
Nick - I certainly share your frustration at time with the 'bomb centric" nature of some of these tournaments. I for one have always advocated a structure where there the field is cut in half after a certain point in time. This would limit situations where the leader-board is seemingly turned upside down by a nonsensical bomb that the bottom half of the field was forced to play due to price. Public Handicapper is a great alternative perhaps as that is more of a balanced structure and actually free. At the end of the day, there are just a limited things you can do to alter the format and like all sports/games, there will be frustrating aspects. I have found most of the guys who run tournament sites to be fairly open to new opinions/ideas.