08/08/2016 12:18PM

Low totals enough in NHC qualifier


John Farrar and Jose Raphael won seats to the National Handicapping Championship on Sunday via an NHCQualify contest on DRF Tournaments. It was a low-scoring event, with Farrar’s $72.50 being enough to finish atop the field of 118 entries, which cost $190 each.

Farrar, who only collected NHC Tour points in one event in the first half of the season, got the second half started right through his consistency. He collected in six of the 12 contest races with his longest price being the $19.10 he got win-place combined on Royal Posse, who upset odds-on Far From Over in the Alydar at Saratoga.

This year, the Tour is offering $10,000 bonuses to the top five players who accrue the most points between Aug. 1 and Jan. 1. Points come from finishing in the top 10 percent of sanctioned NHC qualifying contests. The top four scores will be used, with at least one having to come from an on-site event.

Also on Sunday, the NTRA and DRF Tournaments ran a free qualifier for the NHC that utilized the all-in format, where all picks must be in before the scheduled post time of the first contest race. Four players advanced to the NHC Finals, also picking up valuable Tour points in the process. They were Doug Massie, Mark Gluckstern, Allan Sadler, and Joseph Foulke.

As one might expect from the fact that there were over 2,100 entries, the scores were significantly higher in the free contest. Massie cashed in seven races for a total of $93.10. In the contest’s second half, he nearly ran the table, going five for six and closing things out with $23 win-place combined on Union Vow in Gulfstream’s 11th.

Finally on Sunday, Thomas Labordo won a prize package worth $3,500 for the Gulfstream Park Conquer the Crown contest. That event will take place in conjunction with the Claiming Crown races on opening day of Gulfstream’s championship meet in December. Look for more qualifiers and feeders for Conquer the Crown this week and beyond on DRF Tournaments.

The co-featured events on Saturday were qualifiers for the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge and this week’s Battle of Saratoga. In the BCQ event, horse owner James Connors won the day, amassing $117.40 via five collections, the longest priced of which was a cap horse, 55-1 shot Paola Queen. Connors gets his full $10,000 BCBC entry for his efforts.

Michael Tomatz receives his $2,500 BCBC buy-in for rounding out the exacta (he’ll have to put up the $7,500 to compete or has the option of transferring his entry to another player). Third place and the accompanying $1,000 in credit went to former BCBC champ Robert Traynor, who qualified for the BCBC back in June at Santa Anita’s Gold Cup contest.

Two players secured two entries each for the Saratoga contests this week: Trey Stiles and Frank Foss. Both men used Paola Queen and padded their totals elsewhere. Foss had already won a package for Saratoga, so he heads to the Spa this week loaded for bear.

For a look at all the results from this weekend’s contests, as well as full details about who-played-what, check out the DRF Tournaments site under the tab that reads “Leaderboards.” Leaderboard examination can be a great learning tool for contest players new and old.

A full slate of action returns to DRF Tournaments on Wednesday, with credit builders, feeders for the BCBC, NHC, and upcoming major cash tourneys at Gulfstream and Santa Anita.