08/15/2016 12:45PM

Zaretsky wins second BCBC seat


Daniel Zaretsky was at it again on DRF Tournaments over the weekend. Zaretsky, a 53-year-old high-tech consultant who has been a racing fan ever since watching Vigors (The White Tornado) run in the 1970s, won his second $10,000 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge seat for 2016 in a BCQualify event.

He collected in seven of the 12 contest races for a total of $102.70. He started strong with Crushing Victory ($18.60 win-place combined) in Gulfstream’s fifth and his biggest winner was In a Momentsnotice ($40) in Gulfstream’s ninth.

Three players, Kyle Fitzgerald, Stephen Diaz, and Jeffrey Ward, won their $2,500 BCBC entries in the event as well.

The Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge projects to be Zaretsky’s second ever live-bankroll contest following an educational run at Santa Anita in June. Now he will be double-barreled for the BCBC, which he plans to play live from Santa Anita. “I am super-excited for the BCBC because I love the big days,” he said. “Many times those are the days I will take time off of work to focus and enjoy that great relaxing feeling that has always been associated with the Great Race Place.”

He knows he’s facing a difficult challenge knocking heads with the best contest players in the world. “I have seen the list of players that consistently attend and win the big events,” he said. “Let’s just say I know I’ll be running with the big dogs.”

Zaretsky is currently second to Peter Dressens on the NHC Tour Rookie leaderboard as well. BCQualify scores don’t count for that yearlong contest or else Zaretsky, with two outright BCQ wins, would be ahead by a significant margin.

In the qualifier for the Santa Anita Autumn Championship, Zaretsky narrowly missed out on a $5,500 package that instead went to a familiar face: “Brooklyn Cowboy” Kevin Cox ($105.20). Cox explained on Twitter, where he can be found @brooklyncowboy1, “In the @DRFTournaments contest yesterday where I qualified for @santaanitapark , I had $3 after 5 races. . .$102 in next 7. #aintovertilitsover.”

Cox built his total on the back of In a Momentsnotice, adding an important cash on Gunnevera ($28.60) in the Saratoga Special – who also went from last to first. In the anchor leg, Cox smoked out Feldini ($20) in Del Mar’s fourth.

Saturday’s contest races were canceled – a result of the “Spa-pocalypse” midday storms that canceled the remainder of the day’s races and the first night of the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred yearling sale. DRF Tournaments rules state that a contest cannot be considered official unless 75 percent of the scheduled races are completed.

Contest action returns to DRF Tournaments this Wednesday with feeders and credit builders where you can compete for as little as $11. The headline events next weekend are the BCQualify contest on Saturday and the NHCQualify contest on Sunday. There is also a qualifier for the Gulfstream Conquer the Crown contest on Sunday. For the full schedule check out the DRF Tournaments website.

Contest seats at Hawthorne

Hawthorne sent two players to the NHC and one to the BCBC on both Saturday and Sunday in their popular “Anything Goes” live-bank format. On Saturday, John Fisher and Dan Kovalesky got the NHC seats, former NHC champ Jim Benes got his full BCBC entry, and Daniel Mustari Sr. won a seat to Canterbury’s Dog Days of Summer contest. On Sunday, Mike Mulvihill and Ken Kasowicz got the NHC seats. Stephen Strange and Jim Benes won seats to the Players Challenge in South Dakota, and Mark Odoriso won a seat for the Canterbury contest.