- Aqueduct: Wadi Suki @ 6-1 in Race 1, Crepe Au Sucre in Race 5 @ 5-1 and Wild About Sonny @ 12-1 in Race 9
- Tampa: L.D.'s Galaxy @ 10-1 in Race 5, Natalicat @ 4-1 in Race 7 and Vanquisher @ 12-1 in Race 9; I am almost sure to play L.D., considering the early speed in this $16k claimer going 1-mile on the turf, but the few who visit here can attest that I often change at the window
- Gulfstream: Broken Sound @ 8-1 in Race 1 and Refugio @ 8-1 in Race 2; otherwise, races 3-6 appear wide open, though I see some nice price plays
Patience is a virtue in any live-money contest where it is up to the handicapper to budget the bankroll. In these events, players start with $100 and are limited to win, place, show or any combination thereof and must wagers on at least 10 races (i.e., think 10 win bets of $10 each, though players can make their first wager the full $100 on a single horse) in order to qualify for prize money and a shot at the NHC; the Top 10 finishers win prize money, while the Top 15 advance to the April 9 play-in for 2 NHC seats.
Saturday, I expect to have a good idea about how good my homework was, considering I anticipate being active in three races early in the card (before 1:30 p.m.) before keeping my powder dry until the Tampa mid-card. I need to remember this Saturday as the contest progresses, rather than taking flyers in races where I have less conviction about a particular horse, which cost me in SSC#1 when some of my "accurate" picks later in the card proved their merit and won.
If anyone participating at Monmouth on Saturday wants to stop by and say "hello," you'll find me in the restaurant near the window facing the track, seated across from Terry from RedRockOrBust, who no doubt will be looking at my selections desperate for a winner and wishes he had my good looks. I hope to blog during Saturday's event, and wish everyone involved the best of luck with their handicapping.
And I'm hoping that my form from the Santa Anita "for fun" contest will extend to Saturday, after picking 16-1 and 10-1 winners in two of the last three days (Preamble in Sunday's contest race and Major Art in Friday's 1-mile event on the Del Mar turf), which got me closer to break-even after a horrific February.