After a tournament-best Day 1 total of 1526 points, Roberto Ruiz added a more modest total of 428 points on Day 2–but that was sufficient for the North Middletown, N.J., resident to retain first place after two days of the three-day Horseplayer World Series (HPWS) at The Orleans hotel and casino in Las Vegas.
Ruiz’s lead has diminished from 363 points after Day 1 to a current 99 points over Joe Paris, who sits in second place with 1,855. Lawrence Kahlden is tied for third with 1,734, along with 2015 HPWS champ Jim Meeks, who is bidding to become the first-ever two-time HPWS winner.
Other notables among those in the top 30 of the current leaderboard include 2016 NHC Champion Paul Matties Jr. (21st place), Pete Puhich (tied for 26th place), who finished both first and second in last year’s HPWS, and Horse Tourney President and Owner McKay Smith (28th place).
Leading the parade of Day 2 scorers with a score of 1257.5 points was Laura Perry, a 30-year-old interior designer from Norwalk, Conn. Perry, who won her HPWS at a qualifier held at Bobby V.’s restaurant–a sports bar and wagering facility owned by former Major League manager Bobby Valentine–started the day off slowly, but made her big score in the 6th race at Aqueduct with 37-1 shot Prophet’s Cat. Heading into the final contest race, the 9th at Santa Anita, she sat in third-place on the Day 2 standings board, but a victory by first-time starter Lolly Express ($14.80 to win, $5.60 to place) propelled Perry to the top spot among Day 2 scorers. She earned a $7,704 daily bonus as Friday’s top scorer, and she currently sits in eighth place overall with a two-day total of 1631.50.
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. Prize money is paid down to 60th place and the top 10 scores within each day also earn daily bonus money.
The Horseplayer World Series resumes tomorrow for the final day of the three-day competition. Saturday contest tracks are Gulfstream, Aqueduct, Laurel, Oaklawn, Fair Grounds, Tampa Bay Downs and Santa Anita.