Keeping my real powder dry until perhaps Simulcast Series Challenge 2 at Monmouth Park next Saturday, for some giggles I entered two online Kentucky Derby fantasy contests - the 2011 Run for the Roses and the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby Starters. There is nothing really scientific, in my view, about these types of contests, but it is a good way for me to keep track of some horses of interest ahead of the Derby on May 7.
One "under-the-radar" horse I've got in both contests is Rustler Hustler, whose last race (G1 Cash Call Futurity at Hollywood back in December) is a total throwout; RH finished 6th on the synthetic in a monsoon-like rainstorm. Otherwise, I'm a huge fan of Soldat and Pluck, though the latter was not an available selection for my 10-horse stable in the Run for the Roses contest. No loss there.
Meanwhile, registration is open for the NHC Tour Free Online Challenge on Sunday, March 6. The first of these free online challenges drew some 1,500 contestants, if I recall, though I'm sure headcount will be a lot higher with more people presumably forking over the $45 annual NHC membership. Four sets will be up for grabs, though winning these is akin to throwing darts to pick successful stocks.
Interesting reading, too, on Alex Waldrop's NTRA blog. Last week, he pointed to a great ESPN.com piece, dispelling the myth that racing is in demise. And tying into the aforementioned Kentucky Derby theme, check out this week's blog from Mr. Waldrop. By the way, I would be curious if anyone is a fan of the Derby futures wagers. I understand the concept, but isn't it hard enough to get the horse in one piece to Churchill Downs (see Tapizar) without plucking some cash down on it?
Tomorrow I'll post some selections on the Fair Grounds races that comprise 3 of the 4 in this week's Public Handicapper, plus perhaps lament about how bad my selections have been in the Santa Anita online contest.