Okay, so I started off with a bad reference to former vice presidential candidate Admiral Stockdale. Really though, who am I and why am I here? Well, with the growing popularity of the NHC and increased purses and exposure, all of us weekend/part-time handicappers have the thought that we could go and win the whole thing out in Vegas some January (heck, just making it there would be an experience... granted, winning would just be the icing on the cake).
A little background on myself... I've going to the track for the last 20+ years courtesy of my late uncle who worked at Fort Monmouth and spent many of his lunch hours at Monmouth Park, who passed a lot of his knowledge and gambling skills on to myself. Being an engineer, I am fascinated by numbers, trends, streaks, and finding anomalies. Some of my friends will joke that if I saw two cockroaches running along a wall, I could probably analyze the pace and assign speed figures to them! I started touting online for a variety of different websites (all now defunct) back in the summer of 2000, covering primarily Monmouth/Meadowlands, Philly Park, and Delaware Park; and finally gave that up in 2006 so I could pursue spending more time with my growing family, focus on my career more, and shoot for my professional engineer license. The passion for racing and all of the research and data I had been collecting and analyzing never wained.
I have always done well at the track (or simulcasting), using discipline as the most important factor in my playing. I have kept countless records and databases, even down to analyzing the exact types of bets that I do my best one and limiting play accordingly, so when I was back to handicapping regularly again in 2008, I was ready to hit it hard. The lure of big money in Vegas was then staring me in the face and with a local man winning the whole thing in 2006 (Ron Rippey - Star Ledger handicapper) I was even more inspired to one day do the same thing.
So here I am... realizing my quest is not unique, but the paths we all take to get there are. I have read several other blogs here (Red Rock or Bust is one I particularly enjoy) and with my wife's urging to use this as an outlet for my frustrations and joys in the process, I decided that I would give the whole writing thing a shot (remember, I am an engineer... writing was never one of my strong points).
Already having failed miserably in the one freebie NHC online event of the year, I pointing myself towards the Feb. 26 SSC Round 2 Qualifier at Monmouth and the NHC Freebie on March 6th.
A couple quick thanks to end my first post... first and foremost - my wife, she has put up with my banter for years about this angle, that angle, ROI, this track, that bum jock, what if I did this, early speed does that.... Secondly, I would like to thank my late Uncle Dutch... who taught me everything he knew about racing and gambling in general... my late grandmother who would sit by the phone waiting to hear my Triple Crown Analysis... my friends Jake from Kentucky and Fraser from British Columbia - we have been discussing and bouncing thoughts and ideas off of each other for years.