Practice Makes ???

by Ed Meyer

posted on March 21, 2010 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

I played in a handicapping contest last night. I know, you are more than aware that I love this stuff…. But, I want you to put it on your list of things to do as a horse player.

To play with your peers is great fun. I know people all around the nation, and it is better than any social networking site out there. We already know why we are there, and it gets even better to be able to talk about the day in progress or it makes for incredible dinner conversation.

What would you do? If you are a player, I would like to know your thoughts, and if not, I still want to know your feelings. All are valid, and maybe I can put them into play at a later time. Or, maybe the read will give insight into your game…

I have two entries. There are nine races to choose, and you must play any seven at Turfway Park. So, now you have the broad strokes, and to boot, there is a 20-1 cap on the win end, and 10-1 for the place value.  This equates to $42, and $22 if you were guessing… You can only play one horse, and you get the win and place, or just the place depending on where you swing…

There were two races left on the card, and I was tied for first with both entries, and there was another player joining me. It was at this time that I decided to break them apart. I wanted to have two horses to help me, and spread my chances. I played a 5-1 on one card, and chalk on another. The chalk hit, and the price ran third for no points. I now was still tied for first with my shadow, and dropped to 5th with the other card. But, that one was only $5 out of first. So, it was still good to go….

The last race came and I looked at the board. It now becomes a game of chess. Where do you put your competition? I put him on the vulnerable chalk which was 6-5, and I played a 5-1 with my best card, and a 5-1 with my fifth place entry. If the chalk lost, we would have split first and second. If the 5-1 won, I was in the chili….. If the other 5-1 won, my other entry was a winner. To me, I had to root against a weak 6-5….

Well, down the stretch they came, and the 6-5 was on the lead. My best card 5-1 was tracking, and the other was in third rolling…. Things looked good…. Well, the chalk hung on, and my fifth place card entry ran second at 5-1…. I finished 2nd and 5th….. It was good, but it all came down to a weak chalk moving up in class. The rule of thumb is to dodge the chalk, but in this case, not only did it get in my eyes, it got in my wallet…. The second to first was about $600 less, and the try was worth the stretch. I didn’t like the favorite, and I wanted to put myself in a place where I could win with either card. My worst nightmare would have been to have taken the chalk and run second to that 5-1, which could have propelled 3rd or 4th into the lead…

On the way home, I felt good about my decision…. Seldom do I feel good about not winning, but I feel it is keeping me sharp for a big contest that will be coming up in April…. Always leave yourself an out… I have seen more good players lose by making bad decision more often than choosing a wrong horse. I will keep you in the loop, and if you have any methods, I am all ears  and I await the help to better myself as a player.