Roberto Ruuiz, a resident of North Middletown, N.J., took the lead midway through Day 1, and held it safe the rest of the day–finishing with a final Thursday score of 1,526 points–to earn a $7,704 daily prize in this weekend’s $577,800 Horseplayer World Series at The Orleans in Las Vegas.
The 2018 Horseplayer World Series attracted 428 entries at $1,500 per entry and requires players to make 15 mythical $20 win and place bets from among eligible contest-track races. The winner at the conclusion of the three days will earn first-prize money of $231,120.
HorseTourneys qualifier and longtime supporter Kevin Cox of Brooklyn, N.Y., staged a furious late rally to finish second with 1,163 points and earn a daily prize of $3,852. He had only 192 points after the first eight races, but registered three wins and three places from his remaining seven place to add 971 points to his meager early total.
“The cards today were so unappealing that I was saving plays,” Cox said, “but by the end of the day, I was running out of choices. So I did a hurried analysis to get my picks in before I ran out of races.
“This is my first Horseplayer World Series since I am at Gulfstream a lot during the winter,” said Cox, who was one of the last to leave the ballroom so he could file his day’s column for Saratoga Bets. “I have to say that they do a fantastic job here. I also sat at a very nice table that provided me with a lot of support.”
The Horseplayer World Series resumes tomorrow for Day 2 of the three-day competition. Saturday contest tracks are Gulfstream, Aqueduct, Laurel, Oaklawn, Tampa Bay Downs and Santa Anita.