I finished with a $21.40 bankroll in Saturday's NHCQualify.com contest, good for 185th place in a field of 300. This is a material improvement from my $12.40/236th result from the April contest, but it's still a long ways off from cracking the top 30 (which cut off at $62.50). I started the day well, hitting the second (Scibelli, $4.40 $3.20) and third (Munnings, $9.00 $4.80) contest races, but I put up a freaking goose egg the rest of the way, going 0-fer the last seven races.
I have a couple things to second-guess.
First, sticking with Interpatation was probably a dumb bet given the 20-1 odds cap. I didn't love him, but I did think he was a decent speculative play at boxcar odds. However, he went off at 38-1, so as a contest play, his odds appeal was essentially halved. I could have found another horse at around 15- or 20-1 that had a better chance to crack the exacta without being subject to the odds cap.
Second, sticking with Western Connection at 5-1 in the last contest race was definitely dumb, because given how much ground ($41) I needed to make up heading into that race, a win would have done nothing for me. My only chance would have been to side with a horse like Johnny Be Angry ($17.50-1), Globemaster ($16.40-1), or Monastir ($13.90-1)....THANKFULLY, the winner Brave Soul ($22.40, $9.90) would not have put me in the top 30, because I did like him a bit, and the self-flagellation would be severe if he had paid enough to advance me.
At any rate, 'twas a disappointing day to be sure, but if I like to think I'm learning from these experiences and becoming a better contest player.