Archive for the Tales Category

Sep 24 2018

Collaborative Handicapping – A Travers Stakes Story

Nancy Meyers

Introduction (by Neal Benoit): The following is a story about a 2018 Travers Stakes score by our guest author, Nancy Meyers. FYI, the order of finish was Catholic Boy (7-1), Mendelssohn (13-1), Bravazo (10-1), King Zachary (28-1). The $1 exacta paid $145, 50-cent triple paid $744, and 10-cent Superfecta paid $1,796.

By Guest Author: Nancy Meyers

Neal has asked that I take on the topic of “collaborative handicapping”, in response to my recent success wagering on the 2018 Travers.

My definition of “collaborative handicapping” means that you draw information from multiple sources and other people’s opinions which exceed personal review of the PPs and other statistical data. When I look back at my process I found I initially used a lot of the techniques listed in my prior article, The Casual Handicapper.

First, I got the PPs from Equibase and spent some time Friday evening perusing the card and trying to plan wagers over the course of about 10 races so that I was sure to have some cash available to wager on the Travers.

In my initial review, I identified 3 horses of interest: Tenfold, Mendelssohn and Catholic Boy.

Tenfold was intriguing because of the effort he displayed in the Preakness. Asmussen and Santana have had a pretty strong Saratoga meet and I hated to have them knock me out of a big score.


Mar 11 2014

Horseplayer Stories – Deep Sixed Pick Six

The following story was contributed by my horseplayer friend, Vince The Volcano.


A regular horseplayer has many ups and downs in this game and each person’s individual personality determines which of these swings you remember the most.  For me, it’s the losing stories that I remember fondly.  Seriously, who wants to hear a person tell you they’re winning all the time?  I love hearing the stories that we horseplayers can relate to.  It makes us feel better about ourselves because as you listen to another’s tale you can’t help but think, “I’m not the only one.”

One of my favorite stories occurred in my early years of horse playing and I remember it like it was yesterday.  It was October of 1989 and I was fresh out of college. It was the days of no wives, kids or any responsibilities.  On this particular Saturday in October there was a group of eight of us hunkered down in someone’s living room with cases of beer and multiple TV’s setup to enjoy a day of college football (ah to be young again).  What the group didn’t know was that I was about to sell them on the ride of a lifetime, by making a serious run at a Pick-6, the most elusive bet in horse racing.


Sep 12 2013

An $8 Season Saving Saver Ticket

In a prior article we introduced the idea of a “Saver Ticket” and included a story of the author involving just such a ticket on July 27, 2013 at Saratoga.  Click here for a review of that article.  In that article we mentioned the story of a Saver Ticket that saved the entire season for our handicapper friend (Vince) at Saratoga in 2011.  Today we recap the story, in Vince’s own words.

Aug 12 2013

Saver Tickets Can Save Your Day, Meet, or Year!

Saver Ticket

Saver Ticket

Spend enough time with horseplayers, and you’re bound to hear, “Had that one on a Saver ticket.”  Saver tickets are often last minute, “I’m not getting beat by this horse, trainer,  or jockey again.”  In simple terms, it involves making wagers on horses that are not your top picks, or even your second best picks.  Sometimes it’s throwing horses in the mix that seem like they have no chance at all.

Most of the time you end up crumpling these tickets up, but at least with some peace of mind that you covered the bases.  With a race coming at you every twenty minutes, there’s something to be said for keeping your “peace of mind.”

And for the times you do cash one of these saver tickets, it’s usually a windfall return … because chances are the majority of the betting public didn’t have these horses on their radar either.

So, two Saver Ticket stories come to mind.  One last summer at Saratoga, relating to an article about a race involving a 2-5 favorite that I thought was beatable.  Click here for a full recap of that story.  The other a couple of years ago, that is not my story, but one of my horseplayer friends, Vince.


Jun 12 2013

Lessons from a Pick-4 Score on Belmont Day 2013

In a prior article I introduced one of my horseplayer friends, Vince “the Volcano.”  I explained that Vince is predominantly a Pick-3 and Pick-4 player.  He prefers to focus on multiple contenders in successive races rather than single out individual horses for a Win bet.  He explains it like this:

“The benefit in these is my 3rd choice can win the first three legs and my 6th choice wins the last, and I win $2,000.  If I bet those four races solo, I lose all of them.  This works for me.”

On Belmont Stakes day Vince sent me a text message: “Do you think Point of Entry loses? Other three legs are awesome races.  I see a (3 x 7 x 1 x 6) Pick4 play in here.” Read More >>

Apr 15 2013

Tournament Results

What a wild ride!

This past weekend I participated in the annual Xpressbet Showdown tournament.  I’ve been a horseplayer for 35 years, but only recently have I begun dabbling in tournaments.  And, what a wild ride it turned out to be.