The first day of winter was a scorcher for DerbyWars' Dec. 21 $10,000 Saturday Game winner, Frederick Cipriano of Las Vegas! Cipriano, known as "akhilleus" on the gameboards, is no stranger to horse racing tournaments - he has been competing since the 1980's - but this is his first big DerbyWars win!
Cipriano joined DerbyWars over Thanksgiving weekend and quickly got the hang of things, jumping from smaller games into the big game qualifiers within a week. He qualified for the Dec. 21 game the day before in a $35 Super Qualifier, earning 2 spots with his skillful play.
Online contests are new for Cipriano, who started playing them about a year ago and joined DerbyWars at the urging of his wife, Lisa (alongshot), herself a frequent DerbyWars player!
"Lisa has a passion for Horse Racing and Handicapping," he said of his wife. "When we moved to Vegas she was more than a willing student and introduced me to the DerbyWars website. I believe she won the very first tournament she participated in on DerbyWars. Lisa the student has surpassed the teacher (me) and has nosed me out of many tournaments this year!"
In the $10,000 Game, Cipriano took charge in the second contest race with $38.40 score from Shudaboughther in a Maiden Special Weight at Gulfstream. He added $50 to his score with capper Luz Atticus in an Allowance on Hollywood's penultimate day. He added $22 to his score with Sensationalize to win the game with a high score of $136.00!
His second ticket went scoreless until hitting back-to-back cappers in Luz Atticus and Tribal Yodeler, to finish in third place.
For the first place score, Cipriano took home the $5,000 prize, including a spot in February's $50,000 game, and the $1,250 third prize for a total payoff of $6,250! Not bad for just a $35 investment!
Michael Ryan (saulty dawg) scored $103.20 for the $1,500 second prize, including a spot in Saturday's $25,000 Game!
For Cipriano, horse racing has been a lifelong passion. "I lived less than a mile from Aqueduct Race Track and have been involved with horse racing and tournaments for 40+ years. I started playing tournaments in the early 1980's at Penn National, the Original World Series of Handicapping Contest, and at Delaware Park, at that time the tournaments were run by Charlie Eckman, Known as "The Coach."
"I have been in many tournaments with many wins, from Reno, Nevada, to Delaware Park, Penn National ... Also participated in the inaugural (first and last) tournament at Dover Downs, the Breeders' Cup Contest. Would finish 2nd that day. Moved to Vegas 3 years ago, and this year finished First in the Wynn Tournament, securing my first NTRA (NHC) attempt."