Monday, January 17, 2011

At least my Jets won

Outside of an 8-1 score on The Lady Waffles in an 8.5f turf race at Tampa, I came up empty in Saturday's first of three winter Simulcast Series Challenges (SSC) at Monmouth Park, cashing out $1 from my original $100 bankroll. One possible "game changer" I missed - and where I probably got greedy in making a win, rather than a place, wager - was missing with 27-1 shot My Pal Chrisy in the Gasparilla at Tampa, who finished a well-beaten second to huge favorite Devilish Lady. However, my philosophy - whether right or wrong - is that you have to pick longshot winners, not place or show runners - to have a shot in live-money contests, and based on the $360 final bankroll for the contest's 15th-place finisher (the Top 15 advance to April's 45-player invitational for 2 NHC seats next January in Vegas), that logic stands.

Otherwise, I have no major regrets in a tournament won by a contestant sitting behind me who scored by a nose in the Gulfstream (and contest) finale with a $120W/$100P wager on first-timer Slews Answer, which netted this contestant the roughly $1,700 bankroll necessary to claim first-place in Saturday's event of 186 participants and the $9,300 prize money. Not a bad day, walking away with $11,000. 

Meanwhile, on a whim I participated in Sunday's online contest and finished 84th of the 300 contestants, with a $44.40 bankroll on 2-out-of-10 winners and a place finisher. Other than being subjected to watching half the races on HRTV, which does a horrendous job of getting around to its various tracks on times and pales in comparison to TVG in terms of adding value to the horseplayer at home, it was a good experience for me. The killer ended up being another Calder horse that I ignored (see my post on Calder last week); Gator Tracks won the 5th at Gulfstream and netted $41.80 to a handful of contestants. Again, it is important to nail a big longshot in these online contests where everyone makes a notional $2W/$2P bet, but I just couldn't find it. There was a big one in Marquet Madness in the 7th at Gulfstream, but I was pretty bearish on this horse, which excelled on the turf at Monmouth in fall 2010; I should have paid more attention, I suppose, to this filly being 2-for-2 at the distance, but was not a fan of her front-running style, which held up very well in this particular contest race and is evidently a trend at GP of late.

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