04/20/2017 10:56AM

Fornatale: Contests spice up weekend at Keeneland


Much of the contest world will be descending on Keeneland for Saturday’s $400 Spring Challenge and Sunday’s Grade One Gamble. There will be plenty of multitabling going on with players participating in DRF Tournaments’s online events as well.

The biggest contest this weekend is Saturday’s qualifier for Del Mar’s Handicapping Challenge, a two-day live-bankroll contest held July 29-30 at the historic seaside oval. One can buy in directly to the Del Mar contest for $7,000. Saturday’s qualifier offers the opportunity to win that entry fee plus an additional $500 in travel for an entry fee of $400. One in 19 entrants will win the grand prize.

Saturday’s other featured event is a just-announced Round 1 qualifier for the Belmont Stakes Challenge, a live-bankroll contest held over Belmont weekend. Round 1 requires a $90 buy-in, and the top 20 percent of finishers will advance to Round 2 on Sunday, April 30. Players can also buy in directly to Round 2 for $410.

On Sunday, a qualifier for the Monmouth Park Pick Your Prize contest takes center stage. Pick Your Prize debuted last year to rave reviews. This year’s event takes place June 3. It uses a live-bankroll format from a starting buy-in of $2,000.

The event is named Pick Your Prize because winners are able to choose whether they want major tournament seats or cash. Sunday’s qualifier costs $126 to play, and one in 22 entries will receive a $2,000 buy-in plus $500 in travel.

In addition, DRF Tournaments offers a full slate of credit builders, matchups, and feeders every day from Wednesday through Sunday. For more information, check out tournaments.drf.com.