08/24/2017 10:10AM

Fornatale: Travers Day offers opportunity to qualify for World Championship of Handicapping


There is a Grade 1 qualifier Saturday at DRF Tournaments on the Travers card at Saratoga for the $1 million, no-takeout World Championship of Handicapping. 

The WCH is an online handicapping championship event that happens early next year and normally costs $5,000 to play.

Saturday’s qualifier costs $580 and will send one in 10 players to the WCH. With only one week between Grade 1 qualifiers, the field size won’t be huge. This gives players a favorable ratio of prizes to entries, and it magnifies the impact of longshots.

The other featured event for Saturday is a Keeneland Challenge one-day qualifier. The event costs $410 to play, and one in 10 will win a seat to the Keeneland Challenge. The Keeneland Challenge will be held at Keeneland on Oct. 15, and is a $3,000 entry-fee live-bankroll event. Players winning seats Saturday will also get $500 in travel.

Sunday’s featured event will be a qualifier for Santa Anita’s Autumn Challenge, two separate live-bank contests taking place Oct. 7-8 there. Players put up $230, and one in 26 win a prize worth more than $5,000. Winners will receive entries for Oct. 7 (worth $3,000) and Oct. 8 ($2,000), plus two nights of hotel accommodations near Santa Anita.

Also this weekend, players should be on the lookout for feeders for the upcoming Woodbine Mile Day qualifier, which takes place Sept. 3. The actual Woodbine contest is Sept. 16 and is poised to become one of the key live-bank events of the fall. Players can make their way into the qualifier through direct purchase for $320, a Round 1 event for $37, or a first-level feeder for $9.

In addition to feeders and qualifiers, players will find credit builders, winner-take-alls, and matchup contests. Matchups are a great way to start for new contest players as they are run at a variety of price points and you need to beat only one other player to win.

There is a lot of great information at the DRF Tournaments site. In addition to seeing all the available contests from 48 hours out and the complete sequences of races involved, you can also view leaderboards past and present to see what others are playing. By viewing successful players’ picks, you can help build your own strategies for various contest formats.

To check it all out, go to: tournaments.drf.com [link].