Oceanport, NJ – The Simulcast Series Challenge Invitational on Saturday, April 9 turned into a duel between the top two finishers, Christos Apostolos and Paul Zerbst. Apostolos finished on top with a bold move in the final contest race at Aqueduct. With just over $1,200 in his bankroll going into the last race, Apostolos put a jaw dropping $1,000 place wager on the favorite.
“I got afraid that if I didn’t bet that much and the third place finisher bet his whole bankroll on a 5 -1 shot, he would pass me. So I decided the best play was to bet a $1,000 to place on the favorite. If he won, it would guarantee me the contest,” said Apostolos.
The 4-5 favorite rolled home and rolled Apostolos into the first place spot, earning him $2,500 in prize money and a coveted spot in the 2012 DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas. Paul Zerbst held a clear second ($1,414) over James Templin ($983).
The final wager was just the cherry on top for Apostolos, who played a smart and calculated game in Saturday’s contest. Apostolos hit an impressive 9 of 11 wagers to lead all players with number of winners. A contest player for less than a year, Apostolos showed the same consistency when he qualified in February’s contest to earn a spot in the Finals.
“In my last five years reviewing contest accounts, I’ve never seen such consistency and such a bold move at the end of a contest. It took guts and it made it that much more exciting,” said Monmouth Park’s contest manager Sophia Mangalee.
“There was a joke that I was going to win the tournament because I was drinking Smart Milk the whole week!” said an excited Apostolos.
Apostolos drove 5 hours from Lowell, Massachusetts to be at Monmouth Park Saturday. He left $2,500 richer and with a ticket to Las Vegas. Second place finisher, Paul Zerbst will accompany Apostolos in January 2012.
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