It figured to be a unique day at the Horse Player World Series with just three contest tracks, offering a total of 37 races, operating on Thursday. When Day 1 of the three-day competition was complete, the leaderboard made the day seem even more unusual.
There is a four-way tie for first here at The Orleans, and that tie was created by just two people: Michael Rosenthal of Las Vegas and his friend, Loyal Sprague.
Playing two entries each, Rosenthal and Sprague apparently used the exact same 15 horses on all four of their entries. When the dust settled, they held down the top four spots in the standings with a score of 1,398.
As a result, they will split the combined value of the top four day-money prizes–a total of $18,967.55, including the first-place prize of $8,621.15.
Finishing fifth on Day 1 was Michael Ellis with a score of 1,272, good for a Day 1 bonus of $2,586.60.
The 6th- through 10th-place finishers each received Day 1 bonus money of $861.35. They were: Ben Clayton (1,226.6 points), Michael Lazarus (1,192), Brett Wiener (1,168), Jon Lindo (1,126) and John Louis (1,104).
Total prize money at the 2019 Horse Player World Series is $646,650, with $258,660 to the winner. Payouts will be made down to 60th place. The event attracted 479 entries this year, up from 428 in 2018.
Play resumes tomorrow with contestants again making 15 mythical $20 win-place wagers, though on Friday, they will have a more robust menu of tracks to choose from: Aqueduct, Gulfstream, Laurel, Tampa Bay Downs, Oaklawn and Santa Anita. The tournament concludes on Saturday.