Sal Verderame captured the first Simulcast Series Challenge handicapping contest of the new year on Saturday, January 21. With the cancellation of Aqueduct, contest wagering was allowed on Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs.
Verderame, a Monmouth Park contest regular, was on the leaderboard through much of the day and surged at the end to take the top spot with $680.50. Robert Staudt ($658.70) and Tom Maguire ($586.70) rounded out the top three.
Verderame's winning wager was a $50 win bet placed on the maiden claimer Imperial Strike (2) in the final race at Gulfstream Park. Imperial Strike rewarded her backers with a modest $11.20 payout on the win.
Contest players started with a $100 bankroll. Contest rules required a minimum wager of $10 per race (no max), and must wager on minimum of 10 races (no max). Win, place and/or show wagering only and players were permitted to only wager on one horse per race.
Saturday's Simulcast Series Challenge attracted 134 entries despite the snow and icy conditions that prevented some players from making the trip to Oceanport. Prize money totaling $13,400 was paid to the top ten with the top fifteen advancing to the Simulcast Series Challenge Invitational on April 28. At the Invitational, 45 players will compete for two spots to the National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas.
The contest also kicked of the Player of the Year for 2012. Joe Scanio will be looking to defend his title. For Monmouth Park Player of the Year info and current standings, click here.
Official Top Fifteen Results
*Based on 134 entries
Saturday, February 18
Saturday, March 24
Saturday, April 28 (FINALS, must have previously qualified)