05/31/2016 1:43PM

Baronet ($53.50) decides top six spots in BCQualify contest


Six players won their way into the Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge this Saturday in the final contest on the old BCQualify.com. Future BCQ events will be held on the new DRF Tournaments platform, which can be found at tournaments.drf.com.

Tops in the field was Lawrence Kahlden ($100.20). Kahlden took an All-In approach on BCQ even though the tournament was live. That is, he put in his picks and didn't change them even though the rules allowed him to. He ended up with three winners, but made them count. He caught Flipcup ($12.20) in Arlington's sixth and Mass Approval ($14.20) in Gulfstream's ninth. The horse that put in him over the top, however, was Baronet ($53.50) in Belmont's 10th, the contest's anchor leg.

"I knew [Baronet] would have [high] odds and was thinking maybe she was lone speed and could hang on," Kahlden explained.  "She was moving up in class but his numbers were not much different than the favorites . . . her odds were way above the others in a weak field."

When the Gary Sciacca-trained filly made the top, Kahlden was excited. "When the chalk came after her and then backed up I felt I had it," he said. "You have to love it when it works out like you envisioned it would."

Indeed, Baronet was the key for all six BCBC qualifers on an otherwise chalky day. The second-place finisher was Larry David ($84.60). No, not that Larry David, the one with the tattoo of the Daily Racing Form logo between his shoulders.

Shadron Walton ($79.40) was third. For most of the contest, he was close but kept zigging when he needed to zag. "I was down to two contenders in the middle of the contest a couple of times and went with the wrong one, so that was a little frustrating," he said.

But given the low scores, Walton knew he still had every chance so he kept plugging away. In the end, an unusual late double got him where he needed to be. "I just had to get a little scrappy and pair up a 3-1 in How Unusual with a 25-1 in Baronet," he said.

Jill Himes ($78.40) finished just a dollar behind Walton despite being 0 for 11 on the win heading to the last. Still, the critical place points she received on Captain Moss ($6.40) and One Mean Man ($8) were enough to keep her in position over the five other players who hit Baronet and fell short of the mark.

Fifth-place finisher Mike Ferrozzo ($78.20) summed up the contest well when he said, "I only had two winners but I had the right one!" referring to Baronet. Ferrozzo has been seen on a lot of leaderboards the last few years. He's qualified for the National Handicapping Championship eight times, including the last seven. And he's cashed in the last two NHCs, including a 10th-place finish in 2015 for $50,000.

He's played in the BCBC twice but has higher expectations for 2016. "I didn't make too much of an impact in 2013 and 2014, but was mostly there for the experience," he said. "I plan on playing much more aggressively this year since I'm playing on house money."

The sixth and final qualifier was Steve Dittmann, who also had just two cashes, a win and a place, heading to the last. "I was in bad shape, there were only 3 or 4 horses I could use to give me a chance," he said, noting Baronet's potential to wire the field. "She went to the lead and then re-broke and never stopped. That horse pulled several people out of the fire."

Also this weekend, five players won in to the NHC through the Daily Racing Form universe. Brett Wiener and Bill Downes won in via DRF Bets on Monday. Incredibly, Wiener won a second NHC seat on the same day in another online NHC qualifier.

On Sunday, Jean-Christophe Huttepain, Alan Levitt, and Peter Strauss won seats in an NHCQ event on tournaments.drf.com. Also through the DRF platform this weekend, George Chute won his buy-in for the Santa Anita Gold Cup contest and Chute and NHC Tour contender Joe Pettit won the final berths to the June 4 Monmouth contest


Entries for the Belmont Betting Challenge, to be held the Friday and Saturday of Belmont week, will be closing very soon. With a guaranteed prize pool of $125,000, it's a great opportunity for contest players. Players looking to win their $10,000 buy-ins to the Belmont contest can play in DRF Tournaments feeders this Thursday and Friday for just $36. The top 10 percent of entrants will win their $325 entries into Saturday's qualifier. You can also buy into the qualifier directly.


All feeders utuilize the All-In format, all picks must be in before the scheduled post time of the first contest event.

For all feeders, the top 10 percent of feeder entries advance to the qualifier.


BCBC Feeder

$21 buy-in to win $190 entry to Sunday, June 5, one-day BCBC qualifier.

Santa Anita Gold Cup feeder

$25 buy-in to win $225 entry to the Sunday, June 5, Santa Anita qualifier.


BCBC Feeder

$21 buy-in to win $190 entry to Sunday, June 5, one-day BCBC qualifier.

Belmont Stakes Challenge Feeder

$36 buy-in to win $325 entry to Saturday, June 4, one-day Belmont qualfiier.

NHC Feeder

$18 buy-in to win $162 entry to Saturday, June 4, NHC one-day qualifier.

Santa Anita Gold Cup feeder

$25 buy-in to win $225 entry to the Sunday, June 5, Santa Anita qualifier.