07/03/2014 12:54PM

Fornatale: Summer series of one-day contests announced


In a major announcement this week, NHCQualify.com and BCQualify.com will host a new series of one-day contests for summer 2014. The idea behind the series is to present an option for newer and/or lower bankroll players. The new tournaments will feature buy-ins as low as $25 and will follow the typical 12-race, all-mandatory, $2 win-place format. Players will win site credit at NHCQualify.com, BCQualify.com, or DRFBets.com. No NHC Tour membership is required. If you’ve been thinking of giving contest play a try, there simply is no better, easier way.

The first event will be Saturday, also a great day of racing. Sign up today.

Exact payouts will vary depending on participation, but based on a full field of 555 players, Saturday’s prize pool will be $12,500, with $2,875 to the winner and payouts down to 30th place. Takeout will be 10 percent. Entries are limited to two per player.

Here is a list of the races, including six graded stakes, that will be part of the July 5 event:

3:30 Delaware, race 6 (Grade 3 Robert Dick Memorial)
3:57 Delaware, race 7
4:01 Belmont, race 6 (Grade 3 Belmont Sprint)
4:24 Delaware, race 8
4:34 Belmont, race 7 (Grade 1 Belmont Derby)
4:51 Delaware, race 9 (Grade 2 Delaware Oaks)
5:02 Gulfstream, race 8
5:08 Belmont, race 8 (Grade 2 Suburban)
5:33 Gulfstream, race 9
5:45 Belmont, race 9 (Grade 1 Belmont Oaks)
6:04 Gulfstream, race 10
6:17 Belmont, race 10

Other lower buy-in contests are scheduled as follows, with more expected later in the year:

July 12 on BCQualify.com – $25 entry
July 26 on BCQualify.com – $40 entry
Aug. 2 on NHCQualify.com – $40 entry
Aug. 16 on NHCQualify.com – $50 entry

◗ Also on Saturday, on the very same sequence of races, there will be a one-day event at BCQualify.com. The buy-in is higher than usual, $330, but up to five full Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge seats will be awarded, and the field will be limited to 200 players. This means that there will be one seat for every 40 players in the tournament, a more favorable ratio than in the typical BCQualify.com events.

◗ If you’re a live-bankroll player and you happen Saturday to be anywhere near Los Alamitos, consider checking out the track’s first one-day, real-money, live-bankroll tournament. Entries are $300 each – $200 of that fee will be placed in the contest prize pool, and players will use the remaining $100 to make bets, keeping whatever money they have earned at the end of the contest.

The tournament covers all live races Saturday from Los Alamitos. Contestants may bet win, place, show, and exacta wagers only. Each entry must wager at least $20 per race on five races held that day.

The top two finishers will receive seats to the National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas. The prize pool will be paid down to fifth place, with the winner getting 50 percent of the total amount.

For questions, please contact Orlando Gutierrez at larace@losalamitos.com or by phone at 714-820-2690.

◗ Fans of contest play should make sure to tune in at 5 p.m. Eastern Saturday to NBC Sports Network’s live telecast of the Belmont Oaks. Two guests on the show will be familiar to readers of this column: the 13-time NHC qualifier and 2011 NHC Tour champ Paul Shurman and Daily Racing Form ’s own Matt Bernier, the youngest player to qualify for the 2013 NHC. Shurman and Bernier will be sharing their thoughts on the Oaks, and you’ll want to hear what they have to say.

A previous version of this article misstated the maximum first prize in the NHCQualify contest. It is $2,875, not $5,000.