Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Del Mar Online Contest Kicks Off

The elite portion of the 2012 thoroughbred season kicks off with the start of the Del Mar meeting this afternoon, then Saratoga's opening card on Friday.

For the handicapping contest player, with that comes a bevy of contest opportunities with National Handicapping Championship-based prizes on the line, albeit at long odds.  I'll be involved in two this afternoon: the Del Mar Online Handicapping Contest and a pre-qualifier.

Summer Racing in the Air!
The cheapskate in me loves the Del Mar contest, with a free entry and NHC seats awarded the top two finishers through the end of the meet.

In short, players are given up to a $100 daily bankroll on which to place any combination (at any increment) of win, place and show wagers, in the hopes of accruing the biggest bankroll by contest's end.

Del Mar designates a race each day, and players simply go to the online (notional) wagering tool to enter picks.  This afternoon, Race 9 -- the Oceanside Stakes -- is in play (at this point, NJ Horseplayer is leaning toward $50W/$50P on Stoney Fleece at 4-to-1 odds). 

At last check, there were some 3,500 players entered in the contest...and so some long odds of victory.

Meanwhile, I will be playing in the NHC "preliminary feeder" contest on the Ellis Park-affiliated  I opted for the running contest over the so-called "Pick and Pray" format where players are required to submit all 10 contest-race picks before first post (impossible for me to handicap, considering work obligations).  Plus, the oppressive East Coast heat this afternoon is conducive to blasting the AC and some four hours of coach-potato tournament play.  The top 10% of finishers win a $195 credit to use for one of's NHC qualifying tournaments or to spend elsewhere on other HT games, which I am doing this afternoon after having banked a $195 credit a few weeks ago.

Anyway, best of luck with your plays on this afternoon's opening Del Mar card!


  1. Bill,

    The part you didn't mention about the Del Mar contest is losing bets decrease your bankroll. This adds another level to the contest because players that stab at long shots are penalized when they lose.

    My strategy is to only make a selection in the races that I have an opinion on and to not necessarily bet it all to win on one horse.

    Depending on the race I will bet it all to Win on one horse, bet to Win and Place on one horse or bet two horses to Win.

    This strategy has worked well for me in past years. I finished in the Top 20 last year and won a consolation prize (2 Del Mar coffee mugs).

    My username is aparagon4u, what name are you playing under?


  2. Too true about the decrease in bankroll, good point. Last season I floated just above break-even about two-thirds of the way through and then started going for some steep prices in hopes of making up ground. Generally speaking, I'll make win bets where I'm confident and maybe a place or show wager when intrigued by a price horse. Today, however, I went $50W and $50P on separate horses...a new angle for me. And yesterday, BTW, Kevin Krigger totally rode my horse in a way I didn't expect (front-running). Of course he faded to 4th.

    I play under bill(y)hobo...forget whether I included the y or not in my moniker.

    2 coffee mugs...nice. Most colorful, I'm sure.

  3. Kevin Krigger couldn't ride out of a paper bag, I have no idea how he has won 12% of his races this year.

  4. Lenny, too funny...

    I did climb into the black hitting on $50P with So Tempted yesterday, and am certain that Missdealornodeal would have won (my $50W wager) without breaking poorly from the gate.

    Glad to see your on the plus side as well.