03/26/2015 10:32AM

Fornatale: Three contests for stakes-rich Saturday


Daily Racing Form is excited to announce a new schedule of qualifying contests for the spring season. The first of these will take place Saturday, with a qualifying contest for the rescheduled Raise Your Game contest at Gulfstream Park, to be held Sept. 19. Buy-in for the qualifier costs $90, and up to four $3,000 seats will be awarded, plus a travel allowance.

There is one seat given for every 46 entries, and there’s a maximum of 184 entries in the qualifier. Steve Wells won more than $50,000 at the Santa Anita Betting Challenge, and he qualified for less than $100 on DRFQualify.com. Go to https://www.drfqualify.com/buy_advanced.aspx to sign up for the opportunity to do the same.

Here is a tentative list of the upcoming qualifiers on DRFQualify.com for the Sept. 19 Gulfstream contest and the May 16-17 Santa Anita live-bankroll contest.

Saturday Gulfstream $90  4
Sunday Santa Anita $90  4
Saturday, April 04 Santa Anita $90  4
Saturday, April 11 Santa Anita $90  4
Sunday, April 12 Gulfstream $90  4
Saturday, April 18 Santa Anita $90  4
Sunday, April 19 Gulfstream $90  4
Saturday, April 25 Santa Anita $90  4
Sunday, April 26 Gulfstream $90  4
Saturday, May 02 Santa Anita $90  4
Sunday, May 03 Gulfstream $90  4
Saturday, May 09 Santa Anita $90  4
Sunday, May 10 Santa Anita $90  4
Saturday, May 16 Santa Anita $90  4
Sunday, May 17 Gulfstream $90  4
Saturday, May 23 Santa Anita $90  4
Sunday, May 24 Gulfstream $90  4
Saturday, May 30 Santa Anita $90  4
Sunday, May 31 Gulfstream $90  4

Both dates and contests are subject to change.

There is also action on NHCQualify.com on Saturday. Buy-in at the official qualifying site of the National Handicapping Championship is $165, and between three and five seats will be awarded, depending on participation. The purse at last year’s NHC was more than $2.3 million, and it would be no surprise to see that number topped this year. To play on NHCQualify.com on Saturday, go to https://www.nhcqualify.com/buy_advanced.aspx.

Saturday is a busy day in the DRF contest universe, with three contests in all. The field is already set for the third one, the second-round contest on BCQualify.com. Through contests held each Saturday this month, 83 players qualified for $110 by finishing in the top 10 percent of first-round events. On Saturday, seven players will win their full $10,000 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge entries, plus a travel allowance.

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Six players will have two entries in the Round 2 contest: John Gamane, Patrick Gianforte, Edward Enborg, Garrett Skiba, Robert O’Shea, and Ken Seeman. They all will be at the top of the players-to-watch list Saturday. The two-stage qualifying format will return to BCQualify.com in August, and one-day qualifiers will resume next weekend.

Here are the races for all three contests Saturday:
4:26 Gulfstream 10 (G2 Honey Fox)
4:53 Tampa 9
5:00 Gulfstream 11 (G3 Orchid)
5:23 Tampa 10
5:35 Gulfstream 12 (G2 GP Oaks)
5:54 Fair Grounds 10 (G2 New Orleans)
6:00 Santa Anita 6
6:11 Gulfstream 13 (G3 Pan American)
6:24 Fair Grounds 11 (G2 Louisiana Derby)
6:30 Santa Anita 7
6:48 Gulfstream 14 (G1 Florida Derby)
7:00 Santa Anita 8 (G3 Tokyo City)

It’s a stakes-loaded sequence, with nine stakes in all (eight graded) and five turf races.  The spacing looks particularly good, a potential benefit to players with entries in all three contests. Still, it’s always a good idea to have default picks in so you don’t get shut out, particularly if you’re “multitabling,” i.e. playing in more than one event.

Free past performances are available on all three contest sites.