After modest success in my first full year of participating in thoroughbred handicapping contests, and failing to take inventory of 2010's peaks and valleys in a bid to win 1 of 300 coveted seats to the NHC Championship in Las Vegas this January, it seemed an appropriate time to chronicle my journey to win a berth in the 2012 tournament next January at Red Rock Casino, expanded to 500 seats and a $2 million purse.
As a casual horseplayer based a few miles from resplendent Monmouth Park, by no means would I profess to be a "serious" handicapper on the order of professionals that travel from track to track participating for one of a handful of spots in the NHC Championship. However, since late-2010, I have competed in 5-6 live-money contests at Monmouth, finishing in the Top 10 on two occasions (a winter simulcast contest and the Memorial Day Horse Player World Series Tournament), and placed 16th out of 800+ contestants in the NHC Tour Kentucky Derby contest, so I'm not a total hack...just not good enough to quit my day job, so to speak.
The content will blend my passion for handicapping and competition and shed positive light on the reportedly downtrodden Sport of Kings (certainly Governor Christie is no advocate), while also serving as a cost-free reflective and therapeutic venue...Festivus-style Airing of Grievances sans Frank Costanza, if you will. Otherwise, I hope this will prove a worthwhile venue for other horseplayers and hobbyists to engage in discussion about handicapping, share knowledge about lesser-known free online contests (i.e., a deep roster of contests on Del Mar's website, including a feature race of the day and free past performances), and poke some fun at my handicapping tendencies, philosophies and foibles, as well as contest outcomes.
I hope you will enjoy, and I'll next chime in with a recap and some observations from my season-opening 263rd-place (out of 1,526 contestants) finish in the NHC Tour Online Kickoff Challenge on Sunday, January 2...and to share a slightly different perspective than my venerable colleague at Red Rock or Bust about the value of online contests.