08/20/2015 11:56AM

Fornatale: Full slate of contests this weekend


It's a busy weekend in the DRF contest universe, with the action including a Saturday-Sunday doubleheader on NHCQualify.com and the last chance to qualify for the Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge for only $110 on BCQualify.com on Saturday.

Both NHCQualify contests share the same setup: The entry fee is $165, and up to three seats to the National Handicapping Championship will be awarded each day. The contests follow the typical "live" online format: Players must pick a horse to make a mythical $2 win-place bet on in each of 12 races, and the highest scores advance to the NHC, where approximately $2.5 million in purse money will be awarded.

The BCQualify contest should be of particular interest to budget-conscious players. The buy-in for the rest of this year's BCQualify contests will be at least $165, and the events will require players to finish at the very top of the standings. Saturday's Round 1 event requires you to finish in the top 10 percent. Should you advance to Round 2 next Saturday, Travers Day, up to eight full $10,000 Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge seats will make up the prize pool, and a field of 94 will be competing. This contest needs to sell out all 320 seats for the eight seats to be awarded, so don't hesitate to purchase multiple entries.

Also on both Saturday and Sunday, DRFQualify.com will be hosting events. Each contest costs $90 to play. On Saturday, up to two $3,000 spots to the Sept. 19 Gulfstream Park Raise Your Game event will be on offer. The contest will be limited to 92 players. On Sunday, up to two seats in the $4,000 buy-in Santa Anita Autumn Championship will be awarded. That contest will allow up to 116 entries.

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All winners on all of the qualifying sites also will receive travel packages. Here are the races for Saturday’s contests:
4:19 Arlington 5
4:22 Saratoga 7
4:50 Arlington 6
4:57 Saratoga 8
5:16 Monmouth 10
5:21 Arlington 7
5:32 Saratoga 9
5:37 Del Mar 2
5:46 Monmouth 11
5:52 Arlington 8
6:09 Del Mar 3
6:15 Monmouth 12

It's a whirlwind contest that will last just over two hours. There is a lot of action for players, with four tracks, decent spacing, and full fields. The contest is highlighted by the Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Futurity (Arlington’s seventh race) and the Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks (Monmouth Park’s 11th race). There is something for everyone, with three maiden special weight races, seven turf races, and some bread-and-butter claimers mixed in.

Check back on DRF.com on Friday to see NHC Tour leader Jonathon Kinchen's thoughts on one of the races in the sequence.

To play in the NHC qualifiers, go to https://www.nhcqualify.com/buy_advanced.aspx. To win your way to Gulfstream or Santa Anita, check out https://www.drfqualify.com/buy_advanced.aspx. And for your last chance to win into the BCBC for $110, visit https://www.bcqualify.com/buy_advanced.aspx.