07/17/2014 2:16PM

Fornatale: Place your bets with two free contests that begin this weekend


Contests come in many shapes and sizes, and the start of the Saratoga meeting brings a couple of new opportunities for tournament players online. On Saturday, the Breeders’ Cup Fantasy ’Capping league challenge starts. Here’s how it works: Over the course of 12 Saturdays, you have 14 mandatory races in which to bet a mythical $20. You can bet your $20 to win, place, or show, or spend it in the form of a $10 exacta box. You can join a league by following this link.

Mike Watchmaker, Dan Illman, Matt Bernier, and I are all hosting our own leagues. You are able to join up to five leagues, so you can join all of them if you wish. The prizes vary from league to league. For Mike and Dan’s leagues, the prize is a three-month unlimited Formulator subscription. For Matt’s league, it’s a $200 wagering credit at DRF Bets. In my league, the prize is a $165 buy-in to a contest at NHCQualify.com. I love the idea that you could potentially play for free, win a buy-in, do great on NHCQualify, and end up competing for your share of $2 million at the National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas. I’ll be competing as well (for honor only), and I look forward to discussing the races with the league via the website’s chat feature.

Here is the calendar of races – all key Breeders’ Cup preps:

1 Eddie Read S. Del Mar July 20
2 Haskell Inv. Monmouth July 27
3 Whitney H. Saratoga Aug. 2
4 Saratoga Special S. Saratoga Aug. 10
5 Sword Dancer Inv. Saratoga Aug. 17
6 Travers S. Saratoga Aug. 23
  Pacific Classic Del Mar Aug. 24
7 Woodward H. Saratoga Aug. 30
8 Super Derby Louisiana Downs Sept. 6
9 Woodbine Mile Woodbine Sept. 14
10 Pennsylvania Derby Parx Racing Sept. 20
11 Awesome Again S. Santa Anita Sept. 27
12 Breeders’ Futurity Keeneland Oct. 4
  Spinster S. Keeneland Oct. 5

 For the complete rules, go to https://www.fantasycapping.com/rules.

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

Free Twitter contests

Meanwhile, over on Twitter, @DRFTournaments, @DRFBets, and @DRFFormulator are hosting another free-roll contest, the DRF Saratoga Twitter Challenge, that also starts Saturday and will continue on weekend days throughout the meet and include closing Monday. All players start with a mythical $1,000 bankroll and are required to place one bet per contest day. The bet must be a single wager between $50 and $250 and can be of any accepted type – including the pick five or pick six. For example, you could wager $100 to win, or $100 on a 2-4 straight exacta, or a $5 pick three of 1-4-7/2-6-7-9/2-5 for $120, or a $2 superfecta of 2-5/2-4-5/1-2-4-5/1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9 for $96. If a horse is scratched as part of your wager, you will receive a refund or the post-time favorite, following the New York Racing Association scratch rules for the type of bet in question. Contestants should consider using DRF’s Ticketmaker to help them construct efficient tickets, especially if they plan on tackling the pick four, pick five, or pick six.

Entrants must tweet picks to @DRFFormulator by one hour prior to post time for the first race on contest days. Entrants’ tweets should start “STC @DRFFormulator” and then be followed by your wager as well as total amount wagered. Example: STC @DRFFormulator: R5. $20 exacta 3/1-4-7-9 for $80.

If you skip or miss a race day, you will have the minimum bet deducted from your bankroll. The winner gets a choice from options including entries at NHCQualify.com or BCQualify.com, a 60-card Formulator PP plan, or a $200 wagering credit in the winner’s DRF Bets account.

For the full rules, check out: http://www.drf.com/store/saratoga-twitter-challenge.

Other weekend contests

There are also contests this weekend at both NHCQualify.com and BCQualify.com. On Saturday at NHCQualify, entries are $165, and up to five NHC seats will be awarded.

The races have been announced for Saturday’s NHCQualify.com tournament:




1 Saratoga 7 4:10 p.m.
2 Monmouth 8 4:28 p.m.
3 Arlington 6 4:30 p.m.
4 Saratoga 8 4:42 p.m.
5 Arlington 7 5 p.m.
6 Saratoga 9 5:14 p.m.
7 Monmouth 10 5:29 p.m.
8 Del Mar 2 5:30 p.m.
9 Saratoga 10 5:46 p.m.
10 Del Mar 3 6 p.m.
11 Saratoga 11 6:16 p.m.
12 Del Mar 4 6:30 p.m.


You can sign up now at https://www.nhcqualify.com/buy_advanced.aspx.

On Sunday at BCQualify.com, the buy-in is $190, and up to four slots will be awarded. Races will be posted soon at BCQualify.com and on Twitter via @DRFTournaments.com.