Thanks to Bob Dylan for stating the obvious... which is how I felt after Sunday's tour event and doing my post mortem this morning.
Nailed 1,158th place on Sunday and I do have a few thoughts on how the NTRA set this contest up. First off, please don't mention on your site that the contest tracks will consist of four tracks only to not have two of the mentioned tracks (Aqueduct and Santa Anita) be part of the contest (which I bought, downloaded, and printed - only not to use). Secondly, amazing advances in weather forecasting technology have been established within the last century... the weather looked lousy for the weekend in Louisiana and Florida... couldn't alternate, better weather tracks, have been selected... OR why did they have to select five races between the Fair Grounds and Gulfstream that were likely to come off of the turf and result in fields smaller than what we could have had from a fast track at Santa Anita or Aqueduct? Thanks for all the scratches and changes... chaos did not yield any huge payouts! Last time I checked, there were several other NTRA tracks running on Sunday which could have also yielded open fields with minimal changes... but what do I know?
This weekend was busy and honestly knowing that 1,816 people would be trying for four spots over two tracks I don't follow (Oaklawn and Gulfstream consisting of 60% of the race) and the weather being questionable at the Fair Grounds and Gulfstream, I figured I would need to have some considerable luck on my side. I checked the early changes on Sunday and saw that the Fair Grounds was off the turf and Gulfstream was 'good'... later to be taken off the turf which totally killed me. Oaklawn for me was a waste... a circuit I have never followed at all. Sam Houston was the bright spot I thought it would be and cashed in both races selected... but all in all, the contest yielded three winners of 5-1 and over... hard to find a lot of value and make up lost ground. Late scratches from the Gulfstream surface switch took out another play where I was stuck with the post time (losing) favorite.
My 'consolation prize' was a solid Monday at Turf Paradise doing what I do best... killing the cheap claimers at minor tracks. On a positive note, I have started working on a couple of promising new angles and am closer to getting enough data on one I have been tracking for while to add to the arsenal. I will take a few weeks off from the NHC events, enjoy a nice (and much needed) night away in Atlantic City with my wife, develop a few theories, keep trying to add to my bankroll on Public Handicapper (currently in 211th place out of 2,921, and gear up for the tentative events over the summer at Monmouth Park.
I do have a few plays I like tomorrow between Turf Paradise and Penn National... winning always makes me feel better.