03/20/2017 10:17AM

Kinchen bangs out a double


Double your pleasure, double your fun. On March 11, it was Sam DeCicco who had a banner Saturday on DRF Tournaments, using his multi-tabling skills to take down seats to both Keeneland’s Grade One Gamble and the Wynn Challenge. On Sunday, 2015 National Handicapping Tour champion Jonathon Kinchen pulled off a double. He had a five-figure day on DRFT, landing seats to the Wynn and the Del Mar Betting Challenge, currently the biggest prize the site has to offer.

Kinchen ran one-two in the Del Mar contest, with his second ticket at $80.80 outfinishing his primary ticket, which finished with $57.80. He overcame a slow start on the winning entry (just $3.60 through the first quarter of the contest). From there, he chipped away with six further collections, none more than $17.60 win-place combined he got for Taketothestreets in Oaklawn’s seventh.

In his tour-winning year, Kinchen had a disappointing Del Mar contest. He was near the top of the leaderboard on day one but bet himself out of position on day two. This time around he’ll look to carry his success over the two days.

Unlike DeCicco last weekend, Kinchen played different picks across his winning entries. In the Wynn contest, he ended up with $94, once again on his second card. He started stronger, with $17.40 winner Senor Grits in Oaklawn’s fourth, and made eight more collections from there.

For completing his own exacta in the Del Mar contest, Kinchen wins a $7,000 Del Mar seat, $500 in travel, and an additional $1,000 in breakage credits for his second-place finish. For the Wynn triumph, he gets a $2,000 entry plus $500 in travel, a total of $11,000 for his Sunday haul.

Also on Sunday, four players won their way into the upcoming Horse Player World Series at the Orleans in Las Vegas, which takes place March 30-April 1: Eric Wing ($77.20), Ken McMahan ($76), Bruce Dagostini ($69.20), Jay Wiggs ($68.60).

Wing is well known in the contest world as the emcee of the NHC – and thus ineligible to play in the tourney. The HPWS represents another chance for him to compete for his share of a seven-figure purse in a Vegas handicapping contest. In Sunday’s qualifier, he had just three collections, but one of them was Valedictorian ($48.60) in Gulfstream’s 11th, the most points available in a single race.

McMahan and Wiggs chipped away without the benefit of Valedictorian, but Dagostini’s card was notable. He caught a flyer with Senor Grits, added nothing until Valedictorian in the third-to-last race, and then needed the $3.20 in place points he got from Bow Town Cat to avoid getting bubbled.

On Saturday, the featured events were for Keeneland and Monmouth’s Pick Your Prize event, with four players winning their way in.

The Monmouth tournament, which utilized the all-in format, drew 69 entries and the qualifiers were Bernard Reilly ($157), Jason Alonzo ($124), and Bob Gilbert ($114). All three had back-to-back scores in Santa Anita’s fourth with Prime Attraction ($56.40) and Oaklawn’s seventh with Streamline ($35.60) in the fourth and fifth contest events.

Reilly had an amazing day to reach his mark. He had seven collections in total. After the aforementioned mid-card double, he added two more winners later in the $20 range but only needed one to win outright. In the end he was clear of second by $33.

In the Keeneland contest, Anthony Laurino won his $3,000 entry plus $500 in travel. He tallied $122.40 on the day, on the strength of five collections. His best price was also Prime Attraction. Laurino was consistent throughout the contest. He didn’t go more than two races in a row without hitting and his four other scores were for at least $14.40.

Action returns to DRFT on Wednesday with feeders, credit builders, match-ups, and winner-take-all contests. Players should take special note of the Triple Play feeders, where they can start the journey to win in to all three major spring contests in one shot: Keeneland, Santa Anita Preakness, and Monmouth. For more information on the Triple Play contest, check out http://www.drf.com/news/drft-offers-3-1-qualifier-plus-bonus [link].

For more on what’s happening at DRF Tournaments, go to tournaments.drf.com.