This free online contest (any free contest warms my heart) is not only a great practice venue for NHC Tour members, but also offers one seat in the 2013 HPWS in Las Vegas, plus cash prizes for the second- through fifth-place finishers. I will participate from time to time in any HPWS-based contests at Monmouth Park, but otherwise do not go out of my way to play non-NHC focused tournaments, though Colonial's has appeal.
|Bracing for Colonial's
2012 online contest...
and lots of turf
Interestingly, unless this year's rules have changed, the four contest race wagers progress from a win bet in Race 1 to a superfecta by Race 4. Past leaderboards (I have competed, albeit irregularly, the past two seasons) can get egregiously high, especially for players using bombers who actually hit the board in their exotics selections. As the contest lets players pick four horses as part of their three-horse trifecta, for example, there's a big shot at a big hit.
For me, this kind of contest is less valuable in terms of practicing my win-place-show handicapping or experimenting with different theories than with, say, the free upcoming Del Mar Handicapping Contest (NHC seats to the top two finishers this year), which focuses as well on bankroll management, but it presents an interesting way to get into some past performances and take a shot at a worthwhile prize.
Kudos to Colonial Downs for running with this contest again, and good luck to all those who participate!