Wow, I haven't blogged in almost two months, time sure does fly. My excuses are, in no particular order, (1) busy with work and work travel; (2) twitter has been cannibalizing some thoughts that would have previously shown up here; and (3) general lameness and laziness.
Anyhow, I'm still around fighting the good fight to try to make it to NHC, and ultimately win the NHC (yeah. RIGHT). In fact, just this past Saturday I played the $195 HorseTourneys.com event, which qualified the top three for Vegas and refunded antes back to the top 10% of finishers (I was this in this latter group in an April 1 HorseTourneys event, so I used my chit from that for this recent event). My 12 bets went as follows:
1. CD5. Lost a brutal photo when 10-1 Colonel Bill got out-bobbed by the chalk. $8.60 to place wasn't a horrible booby prize, but I knew this wasn't a good way to start the day.
2. CD6. In retrospect, not a very good bet on 3-1 Trubs, who I kind of liked but there was ample reason to switch off given the modest price. He finished last, but there was no harm done as my alternate selection, 7-1 Attractive Ride, finished next-to-last.
3. Bel7. Went with Quartermain, who showed some late interest but was fanned wide and finished mid-pack at 9-1.
4. AP5. I believe 7-1 Annette's Guy would have won the race with even a seam of room in the stretch, but the horse was bottled up until the final strides when it was too late. This and the aforementioned CD5 were my two toughest-luck races of the day...this one was made worse by the fact the winner was 10-1.
5. CD8. Rung up another $8.60 when Smarty's Emperoress placed at about 10-1. Was no threat to the winner.
6. Bel8. Fulton Street didn't do much at about 6-1.
At this point, halfway through the 12 contest races, I was right around midpack in the field of 140 -- not hopelessly out of it, but needing a very good second half to land in the top 16 and a huge second half to finish in the top 3.
7. Bel9. I liked Street Life a bunch at 10-1, and he did make a big late run, but disappointingly only managed third. There was no touching the chalky winner Mark Valeski on this day, but damn Street Life should have at least got 2nd.
Kudos to NJ Horseplayer, who had the place bomber who held off Street Life for 2nd, which put him in 5th place in the contest. Unfortunately he faded late and missed finishing in the top 16 by a few spots.
8. CD10. Made Up finished off the board and the chalk won.
At this point it was getting late in the game, 3rd place wasn't gonna happen. I was pretty much playing for 16th place, and with each subsequent 0-fer race my path to the top 16 was becoming exponentially more improbable.
9. BHP4. went with Satchmo's Muse at low double-digit odds, didn't really have much of a feeling one way or the other but I needed a price. He didn't run a lick and not only did the winner J Louie pay $33, but he was playable in retrospect.
I was pretty much cooked at this point, as I needed to win probably two of the final three races at least, with decent prices, to have any chance. I went with Life is a Rock in Hol5 ($6.80 Clearance Clarence was a logical winner), Clyde Bank in AP9 (same for $5.60 Little Michael), and Incentivize in Hol6, each of whom finished off the board.
Equinometry pointed out in a recent post, early speed is important in these events.
Next up: Preakness Day live contest at Monmouth Park, where NJ Horseplayer and I have made a pact that one of us must finish in the top 10.
Patching Together a Belmont Ticket
2 weeks ago