06/20/2014 11:41AM

Fornatale: DRF Bets offers new way to qualify for NHC


On Saturday, DRFBets.com offers a new way to qualify for the National Handicapping Championship in a two-stage format. Here’s how it works: There is a $25 registration fee. In round 1, players must make 10 $15 real-money win bets on any races they choose at designated tracks. Saturday’s tracks are Belmont, Monmouth, Woodbine, and Santa Anita. Players keep all monies won, meaning that if you can break even on your bets, you have a chance to win an NHC seat for just $25.

The top 20 finishers Saturday will advance to a second round to take place July 5, when the top four finishers will win seats to the National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas. There also will be another round 1 DRF Bets event June 28.

DRF Bets’ Josh Tepper explained the format choice.

“We have been wanting to run a two-stage contest for a while to give players two chances to qualify for the finals, since you’re not always going to be at your best on any given day,” said Tepper.

Another part of the contest’s appeal is that July 5, the day of the finals, projects to be a good day of racing.

“With NYRA having a big day and Los Alamitos running their first big race, we figured it would be a good day to give out four NHC seats,” he said.

The all-optional format gives players a lot of flexibility and allows them to stick to their strengths. Are you a turf specialist? You should be able to find 10 turf races from those four tracks. Do you prefer maiden races? There are 11 of them across the four tracks, and you can build your own mini-contest around those if you’re so inclined. And, of course, local specialists will be able to lean heavily on their home tracks.

The contest is available to all DRF Bets and Xpressbets members. If you don’t already have an account, you can sign up for one today.

For a special promotional offer for this contest, follow @DRFTournaments on Twitter.

Also on Saturday, BCQualify.com is hosting the third and final first-round contest for their two-stage June contest. It’s a 12-race, all-mandatory, $2 win-place format, with players who finish in the top 10 percent advancing to the finals, which take place June 28. Here are the contest races:

3:47    Churchill 7th
4:10    Monmouth 8th
4:26    Belmont 7th
4:41    Monmouth 9th
4:49    Churchill 9th
4:57    Belmont 8th
5:20    Churchill 10th
5:28    Belmont 9th
5:43    Monmouth 11th
6:00    Santa Anita 5th
6:30    Santa Anita 6th
7:00    Santa Anita 7th

Over at PublicHandicapper.com, this weekend’s contest races all take place Saturday. They are:

The Bed o’ Roses Handicap (Belmont)
The Eatontown (Monmouth)
The Singletary (Santa Anita)
The Summertime Oaks (Santa Anita)

As always, Public Handicapper has a weekly prize for anyone who correctly picks all four races – a 10-card Daily Racing Form past-performance plan. It’s never too late to sign up.