02/27/2004 1:00AM

$83.40 leads Turf-Vivor


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - William Connery Jr. held a narrow lead Friday after the first day of Gulfstream Park's Turf-Vivor III handicapping contest.

Connery built his bankroll to $83.40, just ahead of John DeVincenzo's $80. Robert Gianquitti was next with $79.60.

As the leader after the first day, Connery won $2,000. DeVincenzo earned $1,500 while Gianquitti banked $1,000. There are 125 handicappers vying for a first-place prize of $100,000.

The contest requires handicappers to make mythical $2 win-place-show bets on five selected Gulfstream races on both Friday and Saturday. The top 16 bankrolls advance to Sunday's final.

A total of $132,000 in prize money will be paid out.