03/05/2018 2:46PM

Wissig gets the break in tiebreaker


Saturday’s World Championship of Handicapping qualifier on DRF Tournaments came down to the wire: The final scores showed a dead heat between Gary Wissig and Russ Axelrod, both of whom finished with exactly $86.40. Each player had the same number of winners, so the second tiebreaker had to be employed. In the end, Wissig had a higher total mutuel between all the win horses he selected so he wins the $5,000 seat to the big-money, no-takeout online championship event. Axelrod had to settle for $1,200 in site credit. The third and fourth finishers also get site credit, with Ken Seeman getting $1,200 and Andrew Muhlada, $600.

Wissig had six collections overall, the largest of which was Dublinthepleasure ($37 win-place combined). Those were his only points in the first six contest races. Then he hit with Classic Rock ($21.20), and finished out with three straight hits: Chanteline ($16.80), Strike Power ($6.40), and Bold Prophet ($5).

Axelrod had two collections in the first six races with Shoe Loves Shoe ($15) and place capper Just Whistle ($22). From there his card was the same as Wissig’s. The extra dollars from Dublinthepleasure’s win price made the difference in the end. Tough beat for Axelrod, who needed a mere dime win or place on Shoe Loves Shoe or Just Whistle to net out an extra $3,800 but hey, that’s horse racing.

Also on Saturday, Thomas Murphy won into the Keeneland Grade 1 Gamble with a score of $99.80 in a hard-fought event. In a contest of only 10 entries the top four were separated by just over $5. In the Gotham qualifier, Jeff Bussan won his way into next weekend’s $500 live-bank event at Aqueduct.

Anthony Trezza, aka Doczilla, was the big winner in a full slate of action on Sunday. He won a seat to next Sunday’s Stronach Group Ultimate Betting Challenge in a last-chance qualifier. The contest takes place at both Santa Anita and Gulfstream, but Trezza, a New Yorker, plans to make the journey to south Florida.

Trezza finished with $108.40 in a robust field of 36. He played three of those entries and got off to a good start in catching a cap horse in Gulfstream’s eighth, Smarter ($64), on one of them. At that point he put most of his emphasis on that card and started putting his top selections/most likely winners on it. He managed five more cashes before going cold later in the contest but it didn’t matter.

Michael Ray also won a UBC seat. Ray, a tournament vet who won the very first Horse Player World Series, had four hits, including Smarter. He ended with $93.80. Ray will compete in the UBC from Santa Anita, an easy drive from his home in Las Vegas.

Also on Sunday, Mike McIntyre won into Keeneland’s Grade 1 Gamble in a low-scoring affair with a total of $55.80. That contest was limited to 10 players. It’s interesting to note that any of the top six from the UBC contest would have won the Keeneland event had they elected to multi-table and gotten in before it filled.

Finally, the last-chance Gotham contest went to Pete Acocella, who blew the roof off in the 13-runner contest with a score of $130. He had five hits in all, including Smarter and the other big price in the sequence, Day by Day ($37.60) in Gulfstream’s ninth.

Contest action returns to DRF Tournaments of Wednesday with a free chance to start your journey to the World Championship of Handicapping. To see all the games on offer, go to tournaments.drf.com.