01/14/2016 12:09PM

Fornatale: Final shot to get in NHC online

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There are three contests in the Daily Racing Form universe on Saturday, highlighted by the final scheduled opportunity to qualify for the National Handicapping Championship online. The NHC – with an expected purse of at least $2.5 million – takes place from Thursday, Jan. 28 through Saturday, Jan. 30 at Treasure Island in Las Vegas.

The NHC is unique in that it’s the one contest you can’t simply buy your way into, you have to win your way in at an event like Saturday’s NHCQualify.com contest. NHCQualify is the official qualifying site for the NHC. Saturday’s event requires a buy-in of $400 and at least five seats to the big dance will be awarded. Additonally, qualifiers will receive a $500 travel stipend and a four-night stay at Treasure Island.

On both Saturday and Sunday, BCQualify.com is hosting Round 1 qualifiers for the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge. Buy-in for each contest costs $95 and the top 10 percent of finishers each day will advance to the Round 2 contest on Sunday, Jan. 24. From that Round 2 event, up to 10 players will win their full $10,000 entries to the BCBC. Last weekend, 37 players advanced to Round 2.

Also on Saturday and Sunday, DRFQualify.com is hosting qualifiers for the Ultimate Betting Challenge. The Ultimate Betting Challenge is a live-bankroll contest held jointly between Gulfstream and Santa Anita. Players can win their entire $4,500 buy-ins – plus a travel allowance -- via DRFQ for $125.

Here are the races that will be part of all three Saturday contests:

3:50    Aqueduct 8
4:05    Gulfstream 9
4:20    Aqueduct 9
4:35    Gulfstream 10
4:54    Fair Grounds 8
5:00    Santa Anita 4
5:05    Gulfstream 11
5:23    Fair Grounds 9

5:30    Santa Anita 5
5:52    Fair Grounds 10 (G3 Col. Bradley)
6:00    Santa Anita 6
6:21    Fair Grounds 11 (G3 Lecomte)

It’s a great day of winter racing with fields that are chock-full – 11 of the 12 have more than 10 runners – so plenty of good prices can be expected. It’s a varied sequence as well with four turf races, seven stakes, and a maiden special weight included. The highlights are the two graded stakes from Fair Grounds and the deep and competitive Sunshine Millions races at Gulfstream. As ever, DRF Classic PPs are available at the contest sites.