...approximately 36 hours until I'm up an' at 'em for the Simulcast Series Challenge #2 at Monmouth Park this Saturday. I'm quite looking forward to it, especially as it's been six weeks since the last contest, more than the typical four weeks between winter contests.
A few musings:
1. As far as preparation, I'm pretty much gonna be winging it. As I have said before, I am 100% convinced there is real value in really being prepared for a race card; however, being really prepared entails stuff like following the track(s) on at least a semi-regular basis, watching lots of replays, and having a few watch-listed horses entered to run. So being that I haven't been following the races much at all, I have no chance of being really prepared for Saturday; my only chance is to reach a half-assed level of preparation, which involves scanning the PPs on the trains to and from work and maybe watching a few select replays. From my experience, half-assed preparation is only marginally better than no preparation, so I'm thinking why bother.
It's like the SATs -- if it's the Thursday night before your Saturday exam and you haven't methodically studied for a period of several months, or at least weeks, is cramming gonna help you much? Not bloody likely.
Plus, the printer at work is busted so I cannot use company ink for gambling purposes, always a fun pre-contest ritual of mine.
2. Eff Tampa. The contest tracks are Gulfstream, Aqueduct, and Tampa; I plan on focusing on GP, dabbling in Aqueduct, and maybe playing at most a race or two at Tampa. I'm aiming to bet just the minimum 10 races over the course of the day, 11-12 at most if I'm still in contention late. There will be plenty of GP and Aqu races to look at, so following Tampa too would just spread my brainpower too thin (and plus flipping between three channels all afternoon rather than two is a pain in the ass).
3. I'll try to stick with my strategy of playing the role of an NBA team going up against a tough opponent on the road: stay in the game long enough so you have with a chance to make some shots, get some stops and win in the final two minutes. For contest purposes, this means be patient, bet mostly minimum-size type bets and hope I have a couple winners and a bankroll of maybe ~$150 (up from starting bankroll of $100) at 4:30 p.m. At that point, think about where I'm gonna take some real shots to give me a chance to hit the board.
At any rate, it should be fun one way or the other.
Patching Together a Belmont Ticket
1 month ago