07/13/2017 11:06AM

DRFT offers Saratoga live-bank qualifiers


Daily Racing Form and Saratoga are two of the most storied brand names in the history of horse racing. On Thursday, the New York Racing Association, which runs Saratoga, and DRF announced that DRF Tournaments will be running qualifiers for Saratoga’s live-bankroll contests this summer.

Historically, Saratoga’s contest had long been a two-day mythical-money event, but that changed in 2016. Instead, there were two separate $1,000 live-bankroll events, and they proved very popular. The partnership with DRF Tournaments allows players to win into this year’s $1,000 buy-in events for as little as $12. The Saratoga tournaments take place Wednesday, Aug. 9, and Thursday, Aug. 10.

There are many live-bankroll contests with larger prizes, but the fact that these are taking place at the Spa makes them special. A cast of characters from around North America always descends upon Saratoga for contest week, which coincides with sales week, making it a particularly exciting time to visit.

The first Saratoga qualifiers will happen this weekend. Players put up $290, and one in 10 will win two $1,000 seats plus $500 in travel (a $2,500 value). There will be Saratoga qualifiers on Saturday and Sunday.

:: Get PPs, clocker reports, and more for the Saratoga and Del Mar meets

There is also an all-in Saratoga qualifier on July 30 that will cost $108, and one in 27 will win grand prizes worth $2,500 (two seats and $500 in travel). Feeders for this event are up already and will continue every operating day through July 29. Feeder entries are just $12, and one in 10 (the top 10 percent of entries) will win into the July 30 contest.

Also this weekend, there will be qualifiers for the Wynn Challenge with similar terms as the Saratoga qualifiers: Entries are $290, and one in 10 will win their $2,000 entries plus $500 in travel.

Other upcoming contests on DRFT include a July 22 Del Mar Handicapping Challenge qualifier, a July 23 Wynn Challenge qualifier, and a Grade 1 qualifier for the World Championship of Handicapping on Saturday, July 29. There are first-round contests every operating day to win into the July 29 event. Players put up $95, and one in seven advance.

Also this weekend, there are feeders for all the other upcoming qualifiers plus matchup contests, winner-takes-all events, and credit-builders. For the contest slate, go to tournaments.drf.com.

Bobby V’s grand opening

On Friday, there is a grand-opening celebration for the new Bobby V’s teletheater in Stamford, Conn., and contests are going to be a part of it. On Friday from noon to 2 p.m. Eastern, noted tournament player Jonathon Kinchen will be on hand to discuss the races and talk tournaments, and I’ll be joining in the fun from 5-7 p.m. Signed copies of “The Winning Contest Player” will be available.

Then on Saturday, Mike Beer and Dan Illman will be on hand from noon to 1:30 p.m. to discuss the day’s races. Saturday is Family Day at Bobby V’s, so all are welcome. For more information, go to www.bobbyvsrestaurant.com/stamford-grandopening.