11/17/2016 2:11PM

Time running out for NHC qualifiers

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With the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge in the books it’s time for contest players to turn their attention to the other major in racing’s tournament world: the National Handicapping Championship. The NHC is the only handicapping contest where you can’t simply buy your way in. You must win your way in through a qualifying tournament. With just over two months until the NHC – and its expected $2.5 million purse – unqualified players have to get busy if they want to attend the big dance.

There is a perfect opportunity this weekend online in an NHCQualify event at DRF Tournaments. Buy-in is $190 and up to three winning packages will be on offer with two guaranteed. Winning packages include a berth to the NHC, $1,000 in travel, and a four-night stay at host hotel Treasure Island.

Also on Saturday, you can try to feed into Sunday’s main event -- Gulfstream’s Conquer the Crown contest -- for $34. Feeders require a top 10 percent finish to advance to the qualifying stage.

On Sunday on DRF Tournaments, the Conquer the Crown contest takes center stage. There are only two qualifiers left for Gulfstream’s contest, which takes place Dec. 3, in conjunction with the opening of their Championship Meet and the Claiming Crown races. The Claiming Crown, with its expected large, competitive fields, should provide plenty of great betting opportunities for live-bankroll players.

For Sunday’s qualifiers, entries cost $310 and up to two winning packages will be awarded. Packages include $3,000 buy-in for Conquer the Crown and $500 in travel. This contest has a very favorable ratio for players, with one winner for every 13 entries.

There is also a super-qualifier on Sunday for next weekend’s high-price-point BCQualify event. Entries cost $110 and the top 10 percent of finishers will advance to the $1,000 buy-in Breeders’ Cup contest on Saturday, Nov. 26. That contest will award one $10,000 2017 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge seat for every 12 entries.

There are a host of other options for contest players this weekend as well, some for as little as $5. Newer players might want to try an 11-player, $50 winner-take-all credit builder, a great way to fund upcoming contest play. Another option is a five-player $250 winner-take-all, where the entry fee is $55.

Match-up contests are growing in popularity as well, where you can play one-on-one for site credit. Weekend options include match-ups at the $55 and $110 price points.

DRFT offers feeders and credit builders every Wednesday through Sunday. Check out the DRF Tournaments site for a full list of options as well as a list of races that will be part of all tournaments.