Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday Breeders Cup Picks

As I'm not a public handicapper, but want to air out my picks so that when I cash for stacks I can point to this and say "a ha!"

Anyway, consistent with history, I'm sticking to a $50 bankroll on Friday.  Stellar Wind is my top selection among the four races and I think she can take the Distaff as she got a brutal trip in the Oaks back in May and, in my view, is clearly talented and a great value at a 12-to-1 morning line.  

Otherwise, I like Valid in the Dirt Mile and think Liam's Map is a "play against."

Race 6: $2 double 7 with 9, 10 = $4
Race 6: $1 exacta box 7, 8, 9 = $6
Race 6: $0.50 Pick 3: 7, 8, 9, 12 with 3, 9, 10 with 4, 10 = $12
Race 6: $0.50 Pick 4: same as above but with 9 as a single in final leg = $12
Race 7: $5 exacta box 9, 10 = $10
Race 9: $1 exacta box 1, 7, 9 = $6

Good luck to all, and I will blog my Saturday picks tomorrow. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

NHC Qualifying Season Winding Down, But Del Mar's Fall Freebie Worth A Try

NHC Tour players like myself still looking to qualify for the $2.5 million National Handicapping Championship or simply pick up NHC Tour points are running out of opportunities to make it to Las Vegas in January 2016, but there's a great no-cost online tournament about to set sail this Thursday.

In conjunction with the 2015 Bing Crosby Meet at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club from October 29 through November 29, the track is offering 2 slots to the 2016 NHC through an online handicapping tournament that's akin to its summer tournament that attracted nearly 5,000 players.

Whereas most of the NHC Tour world is focused on this weekend's Breeders Cup Championship, players need to remember to sign up for the Del Mar fall contest by Thursday in order to be eligible for the top prizes in addition to NHC Tour points that will be awarded.  No late sign-ups.

Only 1,260 players have registered to this point, but I anticipate the final number of entrants will at least approach 2014's of nearly 3,500 players.  Hey, for me, the fewer the merrier in my bid to qualify through a Del Mar online contest for a second-straight season. 

In my view, Del Mar is providing a unique and great service for Tour and non-Tour players alike in offering two expenses-paid trips to the 2016 NHC in Vegas.

The contest format is unique, too, in that players are required to make at least 10 (of 22 possible) mythical bets of $100 each on 20 races (1 per day) run at Del Mar and 2 at this weekend's Breeders Cup (the Distaff on Friday and the Classic on Saturday). 

Win, place and show (or any combination thereof) are the only "wagers" offered, and there are no restrictions on the number of horse per race that can be "bet."  

For instance, if you are torn between American Pharoah and Beholder but are intrigued by 30-to-1 longshot Effinex in the Classic, you can split your $100 bankroll on Saturday between the three in any combination of win-place-show. 

A running bankroll is kept throughout the Del Mar season and updated daily.  

In short, you start at zero dollars and rise or fall in the standings based on your daily outcome.  If you hit a $10 winner (4-to-1 odds) on Day 1 on a $100 win bet you'd be at +$400 ($500 minus $100); lose your first bet and you start Day 2 at -$100.  Go 0-for-22 and finish tied for last at -$2,200. 

There is no exacta, trifecta, superfecta or any other kinds of "exotics" wagering; the emphasis, really, is to pick winners.  From past experience, I find that you'll need at least a handful of long-shots to have a shot at winning, so roll those dice. 

For more information or to register, visit the contest website or contact contest coordinator Chris Bahr at  Good luck to everyone that enters!