01/03/2018 1:26PM

Costello on first in Pegasus qualifier

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Brian Costello was the biggest winner on DRF Tournaments over the extended holiday weekend, netting his $12,000 seat to the Pegasus World Cup Betting Challenge in a 27-entry event. Four other players in the tournament won site credit. Brian Herrity and James Henry won $4,000 each for running second and third, and Tony Zhou and Joseph Gillepsie got $1,000 each for finishing fourth and fifth.

Costello cut through the field decisively in Monday’s Grade 1 PWCBC qualifier, cashing in eight of the 12 contest races. Capt. Overdrive ($30.20 win-place combined) got him started in the second contest event, Gulfstream’s seventh, and was his biggest winner. He then ran off four more scores in a row including Boogalute ($20.60) in Santa Anita’s second, and Successful Native ($17.80) in Gulfstream’s ninth. Those points would have been more than enough but he ran up the score late with Finallygotabentley ($18.20) to end up with $118, more than $43 clear of Herrity in second.

The Pegasus World Cup Betting Challenge is an all-new, no-entry-fee contest Jan. 26-27 at Gulfstream Park, run in conjunction with the Pegasus World Cup. It’s a great opportunity for players. In addition to there being no entry fee for the contest beyond the buy-in, there is also an opportunity for players to earn a rebate on their non-contest wagers over the weekend. For more information about the Pegasus Challenge, go to http://www.gulfstreampark.com/racing/contests/pegasus-world-cup-betting-championship.

A field of 27 entries was also entered for Monday’s Grade 1 qualifier for the World Championship of Handicapping, DRF’s $1 million, no-takeout online contest scheduled for Feb. 3-4. Two players won their $5,000 entries: Charles Norris ($121) and Zhou ($113.60), who added to his winnings from the Pegasus Challenge.

Both men started out on fire, catching $40 horses in the first and third contest legs: Markitoff ($40.20) in Gulfstream’s sixth and Lipster ($44.60) in Santa Anita’s opener. At that point they were in amazing position with $84.80 each. As it turned out, from there they only needed another 50 cents each to get into qualifying position because eventual third-place finisher Ed Reidy ended the day at $85.20. But Norris and Zhou kept on hitting. In the end, Norris cashed in three more races and Zhou in five more.

As for this week, qualifying will continue for both of these major contests on DRFT. There will be a last-chance Pegasus Challenge qualifier for $960 on Jan. 15, with feeders every operating day. There will be another $580 Grade 1 for the WCH on Saturday, with daily $95 Round 1 feeders which will advance one in seven entries. Players should also be on the lookout for chances to win into the Horse Player World Series on DRFT, with a $94 one-day qualifier happening on Saturday. The HPWS takes place March 8-10 at the Orleans in Las Vegas.

For more information, go to tournaments.drf.com.