Ray was one of 768 entrants in the handicapping tournament and won $384,000 for his efforts.
"The Horseplayer World Series was a tremendous success, and we believe that it will continue to be the largest horseracing contest in the nation," said Bob Gregorka, director of race operations for Coast Casinos. "We had an impressive response from horseplayers across the country, and next year we hope to reach our goal of 1,000 entrants."
The Horseplayer World Series was held at The Orleans the last weekend in January, and is scheduled to take place again next year one week before the Super Bowl.
Contest qualifiers came from racetracks, simulcast centers, qualifying sites in Canada and Mexico, and other Coast Casinos contests held throughout the year. Horseplayers then vied for their chance at the largest prize fund — $1 million — in the history of horseracing tournaments.
Gregorka also noted that the top five winners from the this year’s contest will be the first to qualify for the 2006 Horseplayer World Series.
The top 10 finishers for the 2005 World Series were:
1st Michael Ray.........$384,000
2nd Paul Kasselman..$76,800
3rd Lyle Naylor..........$61,440
4th Tim Downs...........$46,080
5th Robert O’Shea.....$30,720
6th James Henry........$15,360
7th Cheryl Kaufman...$15,360
8th Greg Tucker.........$15,360
9th Keith Shiver........$15,360
10th Mayer Kanter ...$15,360