My average time was in the 5-hour ballpark, which is why I equate thoroughbred marathon stakes races to bottom-level claimers, since citing my own pedigree and lack of breakaway speed one does not need to be a sprint champion of any sort to get to the marathon finish line.
Handicapping contests are similar and require a mix of guts, self-belief and patience.
Later this afternoon I will be competing as 1 of 66 entries in the NHC Qualifier on DerbyWars.com, with 2 berths to January 2016's NHC in Las Vegas up for grabs.
I earned my $295 entry with a 3rd-place of 46 in Wednesday's $22 pre-qualifier.
I am picking up experience with time, but not a proficient enough pedigree player to be extremely confident in maiden special weight races with several first-time starters and especially two-year-olds.
In Wednesday's 5th race from Belmont, however, Trappe Shot first-timer Trappe Play seemed appealing based on my nascent knowledge of pedigree. I recall her father's greatness in 1-turn races and, especially, his gutsy loss by a nose to Sean Avery in the 2011 Vanderbilt Stakes.