Three things recently happened that served to remind me that this NHC Tour thing is a humbling game:
1. I recorded a Nowheresville finish in the August 4 Suffolk contest (though it was a fun road trip, as NJHorseplayer recounted);
2. I slipped to No. 99 in the NHC Tour standings, presaging an inevitable drop outta the top 100 (and the NHC spot that a year-end top 100 finish would bring) unless I earn more points; and
3. On a cash basis, I've fallen back to about even for the period 2011 plus year-to-date 2012. Now overall that's not bad, but it's decidedly the wrong direction given that I had been well in the black for a while thanks largely to a $6k score from finishing 2nd in a Monmouth contest last March. Dropping back to even/towards red means I've essentially given all of that $6k back, dashing my dream (at least temporarily) of making my hobby a self-funding one.
Anyway, that's all spilt milk, there's still plenty of action left this year and opportunities to get to Vegas in January.
I expect I'll do two more live contests, Monmouth on Sept. 16 and Aqueduct on Nov. 17-18. Aside from that I'll allow myself one sub-$200 online contest per month, August through December (and possibly January), probably starting with the Aug. 19 HorseTourneys contest.
That's 7-8 qualifying opportunities right there -- if after all that I don't make it to the NHC, I don't deserve to be there.