Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hats off to Red Rock or Bust

Kudos to handicapping contest partner-in-crime Red Rock or Bust for finishing sixth in yesterday's 240-player contest on HorsePlayersQualify.com and scoring a $1k prize package to the Treasure Island Last Chance Contest on January 25 and one last shot at winning one of 500 coveted seats in the 2012 National Handicapping Championship (NHC) on January 27-28.

In finishing tied with two other players for 40th-place, I realize in hindsight my misstep was discounting American Blend in the fifth at Santa Anita, a $56k maiden special weight at 6.5 furlongs.  This was the eighth of ten races on the tournament card.

On to Vegas!
Terrence F. was wise enough to play his trainer recency angle -- Carla Gaines (a 22% trainer in 2011 and one of the best in California) won a race earlier in the card and entered American Blend off a six-month layoff and nondescript debut in late May.  As the race replay portrays, Victor Espinoza rode Blend masterfully for a 10-to-1 score.

The 324-point payout (HorsePlayersQualify.com gives contest players 10 points for each win and place dollar paid at the window; $23 to win plus $9.40 to place equals 324 points) proved the difference, for me, between winning a spot in the Treasure Island Last Chance and nailing the final stake in my 2012 NHC coffin.  I hit for 346 points on 12-to-1 Growl in contest race 8 (the 11th from Gulfstream) to give me a puncher's chance in the finale (6th from Santa Anita), but Rainbow Goose (18-to-1) stumbled out of the gate to end my hopes.

Still, the HorsePlayersQualify.com contest was a ton of fun for $50 on a relaxing December 26 afternoon, and I could not be happier for my friend to have one last shot at NHC glory.  In the weeks ahead I'll dabble in "for fun" contests (i.e. Santa Anita winter meet contest and Derby Wars, plus Public Handicapper's Winter of Discontent Challenge) and look forward to the release of the 2012 NHC Tour schedule.  I am especially eager to see whether Monmouth Park continues with its Simulcast Series Challenge.  We'll see.


  1. Thanks for the shout out, but note only one R in Terence. I wouldn't want you to misidentify me on future contest leader boards.

  2. I'll just stick w/Red Rock then. Much easier for the spelling-impaired.

  3. Donna and I think your New Year's resolution should be to join Twitter.

  4. Yeah, maybe. If the fan base is clamoring for it, then so be it ;)