Breeders' Cup Ltd. and the Thoroughbred leadership group Vision 2020 are launching the second season of a collaborative free-to-play online fantasy game centered around 13 North American races that are key preps for the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
Fantasy 'Capping is designed to spur competition by allowing participants to play against friends in a private league setting. Those who want to take on outsiders also have the option to join public leagues. While individual league prizes will be determined by league members, a global leaderboard will keep track of the top Fantasy 'Cappers in the country and reward them with prizes including cash, iPads, and Breeders' Cup merchandise. The game is designed to help attract new fans to the sport by providing them with a fun, simple, and engaging way to follow the biggest races in North America on a weekly basis.
The game concludes with the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park.
This year's version of the game features a more streamlined registration and allows for an unlimited number of teams in private leagues. A special double-header weekend has also been added for Week 4 (August 24-25), which features the Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course and the TVG Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar.
"Vision 2020 and the Breeders' Cup were both exceptionally pleased with the first-year results for Fantasy 'Capping, and we believe the changes brought forth in year two will only make it better," said Bret Jones, a Breeders' Cup director and a steering committee member of Vision 2020. "Our shared goal has always been to attract new fans to horse racing, and Fantasy 'Capping is the right mix of simplicity and weekly excitement to provide a great introduction to those that we've missed out on in the past."
Jones added that the game has been equally appealing to racing veterans.
"Breeders' Cup is at the pinnacle of Thoroughbred racing and Fantasy Capping is a great way to use digital media to drive fans to the excitement of horse racing and the Breeders' Cup on a weekly basis," said Chris Russo, president of CR Media Ventures and adviser to Breeders' Cup.
Each week, Fantasy 'Capping players are provided information to handicap that week's race, including a write-up of contenders, a history of the track and race, past performances, and links to outside articles pertaining to the race. Using that information, contestants place one of four "Fantasy Wagers" on the featured race: $20 to win, $20 to place, $20 to show or a $10 exacta box ($20 total). Total "Fantasy Earnings" within the game are determined by the actual race results and payouts. Following the conclusion of each week's race, participants will receive an e-mail link to watch the race replay in case they were unable to view it live. League standings and the global leaderboard will be updated immediately once the race is pronounced official.
Registration, at fantasycapping.com, will remain open up until the start of the Breeders' Cup Nov. 1. The Fantasy 'Capping season officially starts with the Whitney Handicap at Saratoga on Aug. 3, but fans can create or join a league at any time before registration closes.
2013 Fantasy 'Capping Schedule
Week 1 *Whitney Invitational Handicap (gr. I) Aug. 3 Saratoga Race Course
Week 2 Fourstardave Handicap (gr. II) Aug. 10 Saratoga Race Course
Week 3 Alabama Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 17 Saratoga Race Course
Week 4 Travers Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 24 Saratoga Race Course
TVG Pacific Classic (gr. I) Aug. 25 Del Mar Race Track
Week 5 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 31 Saratoga Race Course
Week 6 Super Derby (gr. II) Sept. 7 Louisiana Downs
Week 7 Summer Stakes (Can-II) Sept. 15 Woodbine
Week 8 Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) Sept. 21 Parx
Week 9 *Awesome Again Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 28 Santa Anita Park
Week 10 *Dixiana Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) Oct. 5 Keeneland
Week 11 QE II Challenge Cup (gr. I) Oct. 12 Keeneland
Week 12 Lexus Raven Run Stakes (gr. II) Oct. 19 Keeneland
Week 13 BYE WEEK Oct. 26
Playoffs Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (gr. I) Nov. 1 Santa Anita Park
Playoffs Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) Nov. 2 Santa Anita Park
* Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" races