Friday, February 25, 2011

Gettin' prepped for the SSC Round 2

The change in handicapping strategy from my normal day-to-day routine is welcome and a little intimidating at the same time.  I am trying to turn my normal handicapping upside as I prepare for the Saturday Round 2 qualifer at Monmouth Park!  This will be my first in-person live contest event, the balance of my contest experience has been online with mandatory races or via the great website (who really does a great job - it has been amazing to watch how that site has flourished over the last several years).

I guess being a fireman in my former life helps me with my day-to-day handicapping... sort of a 'rapid triage' of the entrants and races... if I see nothing I like, I move on and try to find something that raises a flag.  Faced with a minimum of 10 bets, thinking I will probably need to make at least 15, out of 32 races this Saturday.  Aqueduct (inner) is really the only NYRA track I have historically done well at, Tampa Bay has always been a good place for spot plays for me (granted hit or miss on what I find that day), and historically Gulfstream has never been too kind to me.

So what is the strategy?  Aside from my conventional approach looking for spot plays, I am bringing back my old software and over-analyzing pace (early thanks to Fraser for some insight on this one!)  Besides pounding horses I know should win, or have a high probability of winning, I see the need to look for some value late in the cards since I think most entrants will be finding themselves 'swinging for the fences' at some point.  Knowing that the first round was won with a bankroll of of $1,698; with the 15th place (last qualifier) in the range of more than $500; I think I will need the percentages on my side tomorrow.

We'll see if I can 'break my maiden' tomorrow... it has certainly been an interesting couple of days preparing for this contest!  Good, bad, or indifferent, I will learn a lot from this experience tomorrow, and hopefully secure a seat in the April 9th finals!

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