08/27/2015 9:48AM

Fornatale: Three contests on Travers Day


The field is set for Round 2 of this month’s BCQualify.com contest. Participation has been strong all month, and the full allotment of eight $10,000 Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge seats will be awarded out of Saturday's contest.

One player to watch is Kevin McIntyre. He is the lone player to have the maximum of three entries in Round 2. Given that the field is limited to 94 players, he is in a great spot. Eight other players have earned two entries to the event: Christopher Podratz, Sally Goodall, Matthew Baiungo, Edwin Spaunhurst, Shadron Walton, Steven Wecker, Carl Gioio, and NHC Tour leader Jonathon Kinchen.

Podratz is a good story. He just missed qualifying out of the first Round 1 event, finishing 31st when 30 players advanced, but he bounced back nicely last weekend to finish 23rd and 24th.

Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge champions Patrick McGoey and Bob Traynor both qualified on BCQualify.com and parlayed those wins into hundreds of thousands of dollars. Qualifying continues next weekend in the two-stage format for a buy-in of $165.

Also on Saturday, the NHC Tour returns to NHCQualify.com with a contest limited to 129 entries. The entry fee is $250, and up to three spots to the National Handicapping Championship will be awarded, plus a travel package that includes $500 and a four-night stay at the NHC host hotel, Treasure Island in Las Vegas.

The third and final contest Saturday takes place on DRFQualify.com. The entry fee is $110, and up to two seats to the Sept. 19 Gulfstream Park Raise Your Game event will be distributed to the top finishers. The Gulfstream contest will be a live-bankroll event with a prize pool of around $100,000 in cash and seats to the BCBC and NHC.

On Sunday, DRFQualify.com will host a qualifier for the Oct. 17-18 Santa Anita Autumn Championship with the same specs as the Saturday contest – $110 entry fee, up to two seats. Qualifying players will have a chance to see why Santa Anita is known as the market leader in live-bankroll events.

Here are the races for Saturday’s contests:
3:41 Gulfstream 7
3:47 Saratoga 8 (G1 King's Bishop)
4:25 Saratoga 9 (G1 Forego)
4:46 Gulfstream 9
5:04 Saratoga 10 (G1 Sword Dancer)
5:05 Del Mar 1
5:21 Gulfstream 10
5:46 Saratoga 11 (G1 Travers)
6:09 Del Mar 3 (El Cajon)
6:20 Saratoga 12 (G2 Ballston Spa)
6:40 Del Mar 4
6:53 Saratoga 13

As you'd expect, the stellar sequence is Saratoga heavy, and contest director Ken Kirchner chose to include the Travers itself despite the presence of overwhelming favorite American Pharoah. Given how central Pharoah is to the racing-fan experience Saturday, that was really the only call. As always, past performances are available on the contest sites.

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