02/20/2015 1:33PM

Fornatale: Qualifier offers seats at Santa Anita event


There is just one contest in the Daily Racing Form universe Sunday – an $80 buy-in event on DRFQualify.com, where up to four $3,500 seats for the $100,000 Santa Anita Handicapping Challenge will be awarded.

There are only a few more chances to qualify online for the Santa Anita Park contest. Players can also purchase their $3,500 buy-ins for the live-bankroll event directly by contacting Nate Newby at Santa Anita. For more information, go to the contest page on Santa Anita’s website.

Here are the races for Sunday’s qualifier (all times Eastern):

4:10    Tampa Bay 8

4:30    Gulfstream 9

4:40    Tampa Bay 9

5:00    Santa Anita 4

5:14    Oaklawn 7

5:24    Fair Grounds 7

5:30    Gulfstream 11

5:42    Oaklawn 8

5:54    Fair Grounds 8

6:00    Gulfstream 12

6:00    Santa Anita 6

6:30    Santa Anita 7

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

It’s a solid mix of 12 races from five tracks. With some rain in the forecast at Fair Grounds, Oaklawn Park, and possibly even Santa Anita, contest director Ken Kirchner chose not to use too many races from one place.

Turf-racing fans will be pleased that there are seven events on the green. There is only one stakes race – the rescheduled, Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn, which looks to be a pretty open contest race. There are no graded stakes winners in the field. Mr. Z surely will take money off his close-up third two back to Dortmund. Far Right and Bayerd, who beat Mr. Z in the listed Smarty Jones Stakes, return as well. The undefeated Hillbilly Royalty will try stakes company for the first time in the Southwest. There are plenty of places for contest handicappers to land.

The rest of the sequence includes a mix of allowances and claimers with one maiden special weight race. The overall spacing is good, but players should be aware that late in the contest, two races are scheduled to go off at the same time, Gulfstream’s 12th and Santa Anita’s sixth. This could be tricky as contestants might have to put in their plays for the second-to-last event before knowing the result of the third-to-last event. As always, it’s a good idea to get default picks in at the start of the contest and to make any needed adjustments on the fly.

To see the past performances for all 12 contest races, click here.

To sign up for the contest, click here.