Emerald Downs: Closing Day Handicapping Tournament

The final day of the 2012 Emerald Downs meet features the Gottstein Futurity and a live money handicapping tournament.

I'm heading out to Emerald Downs today for the final day of their 2012 meet which features $100 live cash handicapping tournament. The winner heads to Vegas for the NHC and the rest of the top five get cash prizes. I haven't played in a tournament in quite a while but am looking forward to taking a shot today.

The tournament format is a $100 live bankroll and a minimum of ten wagers, five of which must be on Emerald Downs. The other five wagers can be on EMD, Fairplex or Arlington Park. (I've never played Fairplex before so... yeah, we'll see how that goes.) Each wager must be a minimum of $10 on Win, Place and/or Show. There is no maximum bet amount or number of races you can play.

I've typically played $2 Win/Place tournaments in the past so this will be an entirely new experience. It remains to be seen how this works out for me.

Emerald Downs Closing Day Handicapping Tournament

I have a great (I think) episode of the Final Furlongs Podcast that I'm working on where JP and I discuss all things handicapping tournaments (philosophy, strategy, formats, etc.). The audio file for the phone call is a bit rough since I'm still struggling with the levels for phone calls. I've been working on editing the file for a couple of days now in order to try and "soften" it up but I'm not sure I'm going to be able to get it done. So, I'm going to give it another whirl this evening and try to get it sounding better but by tomorrow I'm just going to go with whatever I got with a promise to work on the quality of phone call recordings in the future.

Some other quick notes on this Sunday morning:

  • The Beyer for the Penn Derby came back at 93, a very, very soft number.
  • My Miss Aurelia's win in the Cotillion came back at 96; while that number "seems" soft, remember that it was just a four-horse field and Questing walked through the opening fractions and the final time was never going to be very fast for that race. But let's take a little bit closer look at the factions and the internal splits from the race:

    The race really picked up in the fourth quarter when the top two threw down a 23.80 split, but while it looked like a fierce and swift battle down the stretch that ultimately went to My Miss Aurelia, the final sixteenth of a mile went in a very pedestrian 16.02. Still, it was a great race between two quality fillies.
  • A nice win by Optimizer in the Kent Stakes on the lawn makes me wonder: if this horse had been geared towards the grass instead of being cannon fodder in the spring dirt stakes races, could he have been a major factor in a race like the Secretariat Stakes on the Million undercard? He certainly couldn't have done worse and there's a good chance he would have been a whole lot better.
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