05/28/2015 12:31PM

Fornatale: NHC, Santa Anita contest entries on the line

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There are two great opportunities for contest players on Saturday – a chance to qualify for the National Handicapping Championship on NHCQualify.com and a shot to win a $5,000 buy-in for the Santa Anita Gold Cup Betting Challenge on DRFQualify.com. Both contests Saturday will utilize the typical $2 win-place mythical-money format and will use the same sequence of 12 races.

The buy-in for the NHCQualify.com event is $165, and up to four NHC seats will be on offer, depending on participation, with three guaranteed. Qualifiers will receive a $500 travel stipend and a four-night hotel stay in Las Vegas as part of the prize package.

NHCQualify.com is the official qualifying site of the NHC and annually sends more players to the event than any other site. At last year’s NHC, more than $2.3 million in cash was awarded, and that number is expected to be the same or greater this year. The NHC takes place in January at Treasure Island during the week between the NFL conference championship games and the Super Bowl. Once you attend the first time, you’ll want to go back every year.

Players also are encouraged to play simultaneously in the qualifier for the Santa Anita Gold Cup Betting Challenge, which takes place June 27-28. Buy-in for the DRFQualify.com tournament is $100, and up to three $5,000 entries will be claimed by the winners, depending on the overall number of players.

The Santa Anita contest is a live-bankroll format, meaning you can reinvest as much of your bankroll as you like at any time and can keep any money that remains at the contest’s end. This allows qualifying players to make good money even if they don’t do well in the tournament. For example, at the last Santa Anita contest, Billy Blake qualified for less than $100 on DRFQualify.com. He took $1,500 of his bankroll and played aggressively, trying to win the tournament. That didn’t work out, but at the end, he was left with $2,000 in his pocket – not a bad score for such a small initial investment.

In the same event, Gary Johnson parlayed a DRFQualify.com win into more than $50,000 in cash and seats to the NHC and Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge. There are many ways to win in a live-bankroll contest, and the best way to play in one is to punch your ticket through DRFQualify.com.

:: Click here to purchase a copy of “The Winning Contest Player” by Peter Thomas Fornatale

Here are the races for Saturday’s contests:

4:26 Belmont 7
4:30 Santa Anita 3
4:49 Churchill 9
4:57 Belmont 8
5:20 Churchill 10
5:30 Santa Anita 5
5:59 Belmont 10
6:00 Santa Anita 6
6:30 Santa Anita 7
6:54 Penn National 3
7:00 Santa Anita 8
7:22 Penn National 4

The contest will start later and last longer than in many weeks, which should be good in terms of the spacing of the races and helpful for California players. West Coasters also will be pleased to see four races from the Great Race Place, which is logical because the DRFQualify.com contest is tied to Santa Anita.

Overall, it’s a solid mix of races, with three graded stakes, two listed stakes, seven turf races, and a good combination of other conditions, including a maiden race. As always, free Daily Racing Form classic past performances are available on the contest sites.

To sign up for the NHC qualifier, click here. To win your way to Santa Anita, click here.