Handicapping weekend in review, and a look to Belmont

How to do a post-mortem after all that took place on the weekend? There’s a lot to get to…and we’ll start with the Enlightened Derby Trail at Emerald Downs:
My selections of 5-3-1, Trackattacker to lead, was figuring to be solid. He took so much money that the show pools were a joke. If you had any other horse for show, you cleaned up!   The result was 1-6-2…so it would have been nice if I could involve more than my top selection for the contest. In real life, if I was wagering, I certainly would have used 1 undearneath, but I normally don’t wager place and show in real life….except for possible parlays, for results like 29.80 to show. Is that amazing or what?  Trackattacker proved mortal and scores 0 for the Trail.  Instead, Prime Engine gets 100, Private Boss 50, Val de Saire 25, Bolshoi’s Bluff 10.
On the final Emerald Downs weekend of the meet I was already tanking…had a rank of 24th I think, and was 34th by Sunday. I knew before this weekend that my goal of being in the top 3 and cashing was just about hopeless.  I never wavered from my system, the same one that got me to cash $1000 last year in ThoroEnduro at Remington, and briefly at the #1 position in this year’s Emerald Downs contest.  I just can’t pinpoint what happened.   Over the 73 days, 6 races a contest card, with short fields for the most part (just about the smallest in the nation), I was averaging $33 a day, $5.50 a race.  The contest was based on what mutuels I’d collect: a mythical $2 win/place/show would determine everyone’s fate.   So if you made $36 a day, you’d break even.  But…that’s not real life.  The best players actually averaged a $6 return per race!  I hadn’t even broke $36 in a day 3 times in the last 11 days.   So I finish 50th, with $2416 in mythical earnings.  Southern Solution won me 11.80 on Saturday; that was the best payoff in the last 3 days.
As reported, I’ll be living near Emerald Downs shortly, tho the timing is not good, as the season doesn’t pick up until April.  Don’t know how I’ll be there but I hope for the long-term.
On Saturday, the 7th leg of the Maryland Handicapping Series was in focus, with 11 total races between Belmont and Laurel. I had to pick my one leading horse for mythical win/place wagers.   Of course, you know I like to focus on my top 3 for the blog.  My results? Top picks managed 2 win, along with 4 shows. 3 of my picks became beaten favorites.    At least I have about 7 entries to the grand prize drawing. I scored an extra one after a top-5 finish back in leg 1. I still contend that the track analyst should not be eligible to win outright.  Grand prize is a VIP experience at Maryland Millions Day at Pimlico, while 2 runners up receive $50 wagering vouchers. That big day is the 18th.  The crazy thing is, I’m pretty sure I have to be at the track to receive the prize, and my absolute drop dead date to stay in my apartment is the 19th.    The date for the drawing hasn’t been announced yet.     I’ve already planned to leave Philly via Greyhound, tho I do not know just what date because I have a bunch of boxes here and I am seeking a good deal on shipping them cross country.  I might go broke in the process and I can’t afford to do that. Best case would be to somehow win one of the vouchers and score pretty well on the 18th, and be able to get a good ticket cross country that evening.  Yes, it’s crazy, but such is my karma.
But how did I really do with those selections I provided?   Laurel race 3:  shut out.  Race 4: top pick finished 3rd. Race 5: 2nd pick finished 2nd. Race 6: top pick finished 3rd, 2nd pick finished 3rd. Race 7: shut out.  Race 8 was a good hit tho I totally missed on the winner in the Jameela Stakes; 2nd and 3rd picks were on the mark (Monster Sleeping, Tizgale). But it doesn’t count in the contest.  Race 9: Nasa, my top pick, won. Race 10, the Laurel Turf Cup, was another hit… Top pick St. Albans Boy was 3rd, and 3rd pick Manchurian High won.  Race 11 I had to be lucky as I didn’t have past performances for it. I did indeed enjoy some luck. Once again, my 3rd pick won out,  and my 2nd pick finished 3rd.  The Jockey Club Gold Cup was a minor hit as Tonalist did win out.   The Joe Hirsch Turf Classic was another hit of sorts..as my 1st and 3rd selections finished 3rd and 1st.   So I managed streaks of 3 and 5 races.  Makes me want to consider place and show parlays at least.
Remington Park’s ThoroEnduro contest continues to build. I’m still in it, and survived through the 28th, which means I have 2 lives now. With $206 I’m just in the lower 25%, which is not at all where I want to be.  There have been 66 races..3 a day, plus 6 for OK Derby Day yesterday, so I’m averaging $3.12 per race. The top handicappers have over $500, which is about $8+ per race.  My best day was on 9/25 with $54 (thank you Ocean Ahumin and Hollywood Ice) over 3 races. I’m shocked that I managed just $13.20 over 6 races yesterday.  The only hit I had was the one lock I figured, Shannon Nicole.  December 14th is the final contest date..so, yes there’s plenty of time to catch up but I oughta score some longshot hits considering there are only 3 races per day normally.  I wasn’t all that terrible yesterday, tho. In the OK Derby, my 2nd choice and top overlay, Tonito M won the race as an upset. Hardly an upset to me if you had read my analysis.
Random thought: Wouldn’t it be fun if handicapping contests allowed 2 selections per race, and scored by exactas?  Someone has to put that together.
Here’s how the Enlightened Derby Trails look now
Briefly ahead to the big races at Belmont this weekend,    Here are the horses with points from prior EDT races who are nominated to the Champagne Stakes:
American Pharoah 250. Winner of the Del Mar Futurity
I Spent It  100. 2nd in the Hopeful Stakes.
Lucky Player 50. 2nd in the Prairie Meadows Juvenile Mile.
Pride of Stride  25  3rd in the Sapling Stakes.
Requite  25   4th in the Hopeful.
Angela Renee 50  3rd in the Spinaway
By The Moon 100 2nd in the Spinaway
Condo Commando 250 Winner of the Spinaway
Darling Sky   25   4th in the Spinaway






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