05/22/2017 7:11AM

Three win World Championship of Handicapping entries


Preakness weekend was a winning one for a lot of players on DRF Tournaments, and Leo Vukmanovich was among the happiest.

On Saturday, Vukmanovich was one of three players to win a $5,000 entry into the $1 million, no-takeout finals of the World Championship of Handicapping, and he consolidated his gains through multi-tabling, also winning a seat to the Wynn Betting Challenge on DRF Tournaments. He managed all of this while also playing in the Santa Anita Preakness Challenge.

The overall winner in the World Championship of Handicapping Grade 1 contest was Edwin Spaunhurst, with a total of $125. Spaunhurst, who played two tickets in the Grade 1, was struggling as the contest field of 33 turned for home. Through nine races, his best entry only had $33.60. Then he caught fire, catching a cold pick three on one of his entries. First up was Some in Tieme ($39 win-place combined ) in Churchill’s 11th race; then he connected with Cloud Computing ($37.40) in the Preakness; and he closed things out with Ransom the Moon ($15) in the Kona Gold at Santa Anita.

Vukmanovich ($121) took a different path. He had eight collections overall, including hitting in seven of the first eight races. But the real key was also Cloud Computing. He played a very similar card in the Wynn contest, ending up at $118.20, just ahead of Steven Meier at $114.40.

Meier had success in his own right in the World Championship of Handicapping, where he finished with $120.60. He finished in third in the Grade 1, good enough to win his $5,000 seat. He had zero heading to the fourth contest race when he connected with No Mo Dough ($28.20) in the Sir Barton. He also had Some in Tieme and Cloud Computing, and got home with place points on Moe Candy ($10.40) in the Kona Gold.

In other World Championship of Handicapping qualifying action on Saturday, Gustavo Alcoba put up $95 to win his way into the next Grade 1 qualifier (a $580 value), which will take place on Belmont Day. On Sunday, Rob Henie and Gregory Raab won their ways in to the same event. Raab wasn’t done yet. He was the beneficiary of a couple of longshots late at Belmont on Sunday that turned DRF Tournaments contest leaderboards on their heads.

Raab also won a $7,000 seat to the Del Mar Handicapping Challenge (plus $500 in travel). Raab was much the best, $30 clear of second, with four collections, the longest of which were Wicked Freud ($45.40) in Belmont’s eighth, and Flying Point ($59.40) in the nightcap.

In the Belmont Stakes Challenge qualifier, Tom Maloof was best with a tally of $111 as a result of a similar furious late rally. He had just $6.20 through seven races of the 10-race event. He, too, hit Wicked Freud, and he brought the prize home with Flying Point. In pure monetary terms, he was the biggest winner of the weekend with a $10,000 Belmont seat plus $500 in travel.

Contest action returns to DRF Tournaments on Wednesday with a full slate of feeders, credit builders, and matchups, as well as Round 1 contests for the World Championship of Handicapping. In the latter events, players put up $95, and 1 in 7 will advance to the next Grade 1 qualifier on Belmont Day.

Next weekend’s featured contests include qualifiers for Monmouth’s Pick Your Prize event and the Del Mar Betting Challenge. For a full list of all the tourney action this week, go to DRF Tournaments.

Monmouth contest closing soon

This weekend will be the last chance to qualify online for Monmouth’s June 3 contest, and no walkups are allowed. The final day to enter for Monmouth is Saturday. If you’re not registered by Saturday, you won’t be eligible to play. To reserve your spot, contact Brian Skirka at Monmouth.