Other than being an annoying character for the NY Lottery commercials, I could have really used a "Little Bit O' Luck" on Saturday at the 2nd Round of the SSC at Monmouth Park.
It was really a decent set up by Monmouth, I was able to grab a table to myself in the Terrace Dining Room where they had complimentary soda and water set up. Included in the contest package was a $10 dining voucher which covered all but a few bucks of lunch from the menu they had available. Registration did get a little backed up, but all in all, I was impressed by the effort they put forward in my live debut in a NHC qualifying event.
Things I would have done differently... Knowing now that there was actually a place to set up, I would probably bring my laptop next time so I could make changes to some of my sheets when scratches were announced... finding a table near an outlet would just be an added bonus (good thing I have a spare battery!).
How did I do? Well, started off 0-fer-6 (a bad start, losing an inquiry and objection, and then a race featuring my horse dumping the jock and taking out a good portion of the temporary rail on the turf course didn't help). Finally, I 'broke my maiden' and scored a winner. At that point, I was falling far behind the leader board and starting having to take a couple of shots with a price, which didn't pan out too well. Ended the day exhausting my bankroll on 1-fer-13. I did find that a number of the other contestants were very friendly and willing to swap strategies and stories. I walked away with a number of lessons learned. I had made an effort to look at all three race cards, when I should have focused more on one or two, and scanned Gulfstream. If the contest had included my bread-and-butter tracks (Finger Lakes, Turf Paradise, Hawthorne, etc.) I would have felt more comfortable with the connections and track biases (and cheap claimer sprints). I probably should have stuck to sprints, claimers, and maiden races where I do my best (instead of thinking about who that day would have a shot in the Kentucky Derby). I should have made my selections and sent my wife to bet... I can pick 'em, but she is the one that can really play 'em.
Well, time to quickly lick my wounds, rebound, make some changes in strategy, and get ready for the NHC freebie online tourney on March 6th. Maybe the 'mandatory' style and set wager amounts will be more comforting than pick the races you want and the value and wager you want.
Maybe Sunday will be different... win that head bob, clean starts out of the gate, keeping the jockey in the irons for the entire race, have my ML 6-1 horse go off at 10-1 instead of 9-5... Sometimes all you need is just a "Little Bit o' Luck"!