Bruce Pratt and Tony Martin Lead the Way After Day 1 of The BIG One

Bolstered mightily by Cirque’s 64-1 victory in the day’s final mandatory race, Bruce Pratt of Las Vegas and Tony Martin of Lexington, Ky., are the leaders in a field of 54 after the first day of competition at The BIG One, hosted by Laurel Park.

The BIG One is a two-day, live bankroll contest that requires players to make 12 $2 win and place selections each day–seven of their own choosing from available contest tracks and five on mandatory races selected by tournament officials. Today’s contest tracks were Laurel Park, Belmont Park, Gulfstream Park and Parx. The top 10 finishers win NHC seats plus either a $10,000 entry to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge or an entry to next January’s Pegasus World Cup Betting Challenge at Gulfstream Park. The top 15 finishers also share a prize pool of $75,000.

Ken Seeman, Ed Wright and Steve Arrison had taken turns holding the Day 1 lead until the 11th race at Belmont Park, one of the day’s five mandatory races. Only Pratt and Martin chose Cirque and the Bob Dunham-trained New York bred opened up a lead turning for home and held off all late challenges to leapfrog Pratt and Martin to the top of the Day 1 leaderboard. With no price caps in effect at the live-bankroll event, Pratt’s and Martin’s totals received the full benefit of the $131.50 and $34.20 that Cirque returned to win and place, respectively.

The tournament resumes tomorrow with Laurel, Belmont, Gulfstream and Woodbine serving as the day’s four contest tracks.

Here are the top 25 on the leaderboard as of the conclusion of Day 1: