|Nothing fancy about
Tuesday evening I handicapped and made selections on 10 races in advance of a Wednesday contest on DerbyWars.com, adhering to strict guidelines in shadowing that tournament as if I were perched in the Monmouth Park Clubhouse restaurant across the table from Red Rock or Bust playing in SSC #3, rather than participating in an online tournament. The parameters were simple: a notional $10 show wager only on horses in fields of at least 8 and with odds greater than 5-to-1. Races 2 through 5 on the Aqueduct and Gulfstream cards comprised my "shadow" tournament.
Three races were automatically eliminated (5- and 6-horse fields), leaving me with seven hypothetical selections. I would have lost on three races but scored in four of the seven that met the standard, with horses 8-to-1, 10-to-1, 21-to-1 and 25-to-1 all cracking the top three and yielding show payments (on a $2 wager) of $4.80, $9.80, $9.40 and $6.80, respectively. The outcome would have been an $83 profit on the $100 starting bankroll -- far better than I fared in SSC #1 and #2 and decent powder for a sizable late-day wager (win bet, in all likelihood) to perhaps crack the Top 15.
One can debate the merits of such a strategy or the appeal of show betting, but citing my analysis of my performance in SSC #2 in February, in addition to the outcome of my Derby Wars test run, I would argue that I stand a much better chance of meeting my objective to advance to the SSC Invitational in April. Sure, this no guts-no glory approach is ultra-conservative, but I need to remember to convince myself on Saturday that a capital preservation strategy could pay dividends in lasting to day's end and advancing.
Of course, first I'll have to get cracking on my handicapping to identify some potential long-shots in advance, which I hope to address in print before Saturday's big contest at Monmouth Park.
Speaking of which, if you have not yet seen the piece, I was invited a few weeks back by Monmouth Park's Sophia Mangalee to guest-blog in advance of SSC #3. Similar to my blogging hobby, I had a lot of fun with that piece, and was honored to be approached, let alone published, on a "professional" website. Anyway, here's the link for interested readers: http://monmouthpark.com/blogs.aspx?blogid=28726. Enjoy!