Del Mar's free Online Contest starts Wednesday. You get a mythical $100 to play each day of the...


Del Mar's free Online Contest starts Wednesday. You get a mythical $100 to play each day of the meet on one race. You can use the money to make any kind of win, place and/or show bet on any number of horses in the race. Which brings up a question I would like to discuss. What is the best strategy for approaching a tourney such as this one? I know how I like to approach handicapping contests that use the win/place format of the National Handicapping Contest, but tournaments that use live-money formats still find me shaky in my approach. You are only allowed one entry in the DMTC contest, but I am going to track a few different options. I sometimes employ what I call the 2-6-12 wager, which is based on the fact that the place and show pools are usually a third, and a sixth of the win pool. Hence, the ratios. So, on one mythical entry I am going to bet $10 to win, $30 to place, and $60 to show on one horse. On another, I am going to bet $25 to win, and $75 to show. On a third mythical entry, I plan to employ another tactic - two-horse win betting, also called dutching - in which you place wagers of $40 and $60 on two different horses with the lower wager going on the longer-odds horse of the two. And then finally, I am going to play one mythical entry in which the whole $100 will go on one 8-1 or longer horse to show. I will be intrigued to see which entry winds up ahead after the 37 races of the contest. Any thoughts on strategy, because this is something I would like to hash out enough to come to a position where I would be comfortable playing in actual live-money tournaments (which is further complicated by the fact that most of them also allow exotic wagers!)? This is necessary, because it seems the live-money format is gaining in popularity. I much prefer the NHC format.

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