02/16/2017 1:45PM

Drumbeat for major tourneys begins

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The Triple Crown prep season is heating up, and with it, the action on DRF Tournaments. This weekend, there are feeders for five major upcoming tournaments, two of which are happening right around the corner in March.

DRFT has four featured events on Saturday, starting with a $162 buy-in contest where players can win their $3,000 entries to Keeneland’s Grade One Gamble, along with $500 in travel. One winning package will be awarded for every 25 entries.

Seats for Monmouth’s Pick-Your-Prize contest, which awarded approximately $150,000 in prizes in its 2016 debut, will also be available. Buy-in is $126, and one in 23 entries will receive $2,500 prize packages that include $500 in travel.

The Wynn Handicapping Challenge, a true summer staple for many contest players, has an all-in qualifier for $110. One in 26 entries will receive their $2,000 seats plus $500.

Finally, there’s a $2,500 all-in DRFT credit builder for players looking to build their contest war chests. Buy-in for the credit builder is just $50.

On Sunday, the two March contests rise to the fore. March 11 sees the return of the Ultimate Betting Challenge, a contest run at both Gulfstream and Santa Anita Park hosted by the Stronach Group. The qualifier costs $225 and one in 26 players will win their $4,500 entries to the UBC plus $500 in travel. The UBC, which debuted last year, is once again expected to have a prize pool worth over $200,000 between cash and seats to other major tournaments.

The weekend’s final featured event is a qualifier for the Horse Player World Series, which takes place March 31-April 1 at the Orleans in Las Vegas and is hosted by Boyd Gaming. It’s a $90 buy-in, all-in qualifier, where players can win their $1,500 buy-ins (no travel allowance for this one). One in 19 entries will get HPWS seats. The HPWS is expected to have a $1 million prize pool based on 750 entries.

Additionally, all weekend long, DRFT will be hosting feeders, credit builders and match-ups that will allow players to win their way into qualifiers for the six major contests currently being featured: the five listed above plus the Del Mar Handicapping Challenge.

For more information, go to tournaments.drf.com, where you’ll find a complete schedule, a list of all the races included in the various contests (once chosen), and links to old leaderboards if you want to do any research about what score it typically takes to win in various formats.