07/14/2009 12:00AM

BC handicapping tournament has $10k buy-in


Breeders' Cup Ltd. and the Oak Tree Racing Association will sponsor a handicapping tournament with a $10,000 buy-in and $150,000 first-place prize in conjunction with the Breeders' Cup year-end event on Nov. 6-7 at Santa Anita, the organizations announced on Tuesday.

The contest will be limited to the first 100 players who enter, the organization said. In addition to prize money, the first six places in the tournament will also qualify for the 2010 Daily Racing Form/National Thoroughbred Racing Association National Handicapping Championship in January and receive a $1,000 allowance for travel expenses to the Las Vegas tournament.

The tournament will be the first of its kind to be offered in conjunction with the Breeders' Cup. Last week, officials of the Breeders' Cup said that they would attempt to focus more of their efforts on horseplayers and racing fans as part of a new strategic plan.

Of the $10,000 buy-in, $2,500 will go to the prize pool, and the remaining $7,500 will form the player's bankroll. All money remaining in the player's bankroll at the end of the tournament reverts to the player.

According to Ken Kirchner, a wagering consultant to the Breeders' Cup, all players will have to be present at Santa Anita on Nov. 6-7 to participate. The tournament will be held in a private room on the property, Kirchner said, and entrants will receive free tickets to the two days of the event, along with complimentary food and beverage.

Eligible races will include all 14 Breeders' Cup races held on Nov. 6-7, as well as the other races on the two cards, according to the organizations. Wagers will be limited to win, place, show, exacta, and trifecta.

Although a $10,000 buy-in is steep for handicapping tournaments, several qualifying tournaments for the DRF/NTRA championship feature a large buy-in with a sizable bankroll, including a tournament at Del Mar in August requiring a $6,000 buy-in with a $5,000 bankroll, and a tournament that was held at Keeneland in April requiring a $3,000 buy-in with a $1,800 bankroll.

To address concerns about the size of the buy-in, Kirchner said that the Breeders' Cup may host several less-expensive tournaments that would qualify players to the event tournament.

Second place in the Breeders' Cup tournament will receive $50,000; third, $25,000; fourth, $15,000; fifth, $10,000; and sixth through 10th, $5,000.