12/04/2015 9:03AM

Fornatale: Gulfstream, Santa Anita combining forces for contest


Some long rumored news in the contest world is now official. On March 19-20, Santa Anita and Gulfstream will be hosting a coast-to-coast contest together, dubbed the Coast-to-Coast Challenge.

Both have held successful events in the past, but in combining forces they are putting forth an event expected to have a total purse above $200,000 which could grow to $300,000 or higher.

The contest will utilize a live-bankroll format and have National Handicapping Championship seats and Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge entries as part of the prize pool, along with cash. Players have the option of competing from Gulfstream or Santa Anita. Buy-in for the contest is $4,500 with a $3,000 live bankroll and $1,500 fueling the prizes.

The best way to play is qualify online via DRFQualify.com. The first – and so far only – qualifier scheduled is this Sunday. Entry fee is $110 and up to two seats to the Coast-to-Coast Challenge will be awarded, with one guaranteed.

Also on Sunday, BCQualify.com will be offering a qualifier for the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge. Buy-in there is $190, and up to four $10,000 seats will be awarded with two guaranteed.

Here are the races that will be part of the qualifying contest.

3:20 Aqueduct 7
3:35 Gulfstream 7
3:50 Aqueduct 8
3:55 Fair Grounds 4
4:05 Gulfstream 8
4:20 Aqueduct 9
4:25 Fair Grounds 5
4:35 Gulfstream 9
4:54 Fair Grounds 6
5:05 Gulfstream 10
5:28 Los Alamitos 5
5:58 Los Alamitos 6

It’s a turf heavy sequence – six of the 12 races are scheduled for the green stuff. The spacing looks good but it’s always good to put in default picks at the start of the contest.

To win your way in to the Coast-to-Coast contest, go here.

To punch your ticket for the BCBC, go here.