04/17/2017 1:29PM

Livingstone nets $10.5k Triple Play prize

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Mark Livingstone was the big winner on DRF Tournaments this weekend, netting a grand prize worth $10,500. In the Triple Play finals, he won his way into the Keeneland Grade One Gamble, Santa Anita’s Preakness contest, and the Monmouth Pick Your Prize event.

Livingstone’s tally of $79.90 was more than 10 dollars clear of second in the 12-runner contest. He started off with a bang with Classic Salsa ($20) in Laurel’s sixth. Three races later he connected with Cruz Diez ($19.80) in Gulfstream’s seventh, followed immediately by $7.90 from heavy chalk Jennifer Lynnette in Woodbine’s seventh.

His biggest price came with Fellowship ($21.80) in Laurel’s eighth. That was followed by a cold spell of four misses in a row, meaning he went to the anchor leg just 10 cents ahead of Bruce Francisco in second. As it turned out, that dime alone would have been worth five figures but he ran up the score with an additional $10.40 from Madame Stripes in Santa Anita’s fourth.

Easter Sunday’s other featured contest sent two players to the Wynn Challenge, a mythical-money tournament taking place at the Wynn Las Vegas Aug. 4-5. The winners were Michael Mefford and Eugene Kroska Jr.

Mefford won the day with a total of $90.90 on the back of eight collections. He, too, began the day with Classic Salsa, but he did most of his damage in the contest’s second half, where he hit something in every race. Four of the cashes were for small place points but he also got home R Naja ($27.40) in Woodbine’s eighth and Rithm and Rap ($22.00) in Laurel’s ninth.

Kroska got to his number of $88 thanks to five horses, including Classic Salsa, Fellowship, and R Naja. He finished up nearly $20 clear of third.

On Saturday, Time Whelan ($107.80) and Christopher Dewey ($97.40) won their way into next weekend’s Keeneland contest. The key horse for both men was Inside Straight ($54.80). The 19-1 shot rolled past favored Midnight Storm in the Oaklawn Handicap and shook up the leaderboard. Seven of the 42 players in the contest had the longshot winner. Whelan added five other collections and Dewey two (including Senior Investment in the Lexington). Both men closed out in style with $10.20 from Classic Empire in the Arkansas Derby.

Also on Saturday, two players punched their tickets for Monmouth’s Pick Your Prize. The contest attracted 38 entries overall.

Paul Stath’s $125 was best. He was in great shape even before Inside Straight as he cashed in the first four races of the sequence, all with double-digit collections. John Gerneth started slowly but upped his total to $105.80 by the end, more than $18 clear of third. In addition to Inside Straight, he had five other collections including Dickinson ($18.80) in the Jenny Wiley. In the last four races, he was able to play longshots defensively to protect his position and the strategy worked perfectly.

Contest action returns to DRF Tournaments on Wednesday with a full slate of credit builders, feeders, and match-ups. This will be the first full week of DRFT running feeders for the Belmont Stakes Challenge, a big-money, live-bank contest held on Belmont Day, June 10. On Saturday, April 22, there will be a $90 round-one event, where the top 10 percent of finishers will advance to the April 30 one-day qualifier. Players can also buy into the April 30 contest for $410.

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