This is a diary of my experience qualifying for the National Handicapping Championship of horse racing.
This post is about my preparing for the contest ahead of time.
The contest took place Saturday, Apr. 3, 2010.
This contest is one of many during the year, whose object is to qualify for the annual tournament in Jan. 2011 in Las Vegas, whose first prize is an estimated $500k.
I paid $400 to enter this contest. It was limited to 200 participants (and it was full), 8 of whom qualify for the year-end tournament, including paid hotel (but not airfare). There are no cash prizes. Many of the participants are long-time veterans of these contests.
The format of the contest is that you have to bet a mythical $2 to Win and $2 to Place (which pays off if the horse finishes first or second) on one and only one horse in each of 12 designated races. The person who has the most total $2 payoffs from the 12 races is the winner. The top 8 go to Vegas in the year-end tournament.
Also, the top 20 finishers earn NHC Tour Points, with the highest totals over 5 contests for the year also qualifying for Vegas. In addition, if you are the annual NHC Tour Points contest winner, and also win the January NHC Tournament, you get a $2 million bonus. (I forgot about the NHC Tour Points until the contest was over.)
I spent considerable time during the week preceding preparing myself mentally for the contest, and I absolutely believe that was a key to my win.
I determined to shift the way I felt about horse race handicapping and betting in general. I have been a horseplayer for 40 years, but without much success at it. I came to understand that this lack of success was entirely my own doing – and I am the one who can change it, simply by focusing on the good things I can and have done about it, believing in myself, and trusting to my guidance to give me those subtle impulses, listening to that small, quiet, inner voice, to gain insights into winning selections.
Part of this involved independently blogging privately with a couple of friends about money in the month before the contest – we supported each other in raising our vibrations about this subject, a key for me in the contest not only because of the considerable entry fee, but also because I needed to shift on feeling that I deserved to win, and deserving money is a very similar vibrational shift to deserving to win – it’s all about self-worth. I did this both on my own and with my friends, for several days ahead of time, extensively.
It took me a long time to register for the contest, because of the $400 fee. In the end, I decided the hell with it, I was going to pay it and have fun! And that, I decided, was my primary intent – to have fun!
I also intended to Win (qualify), of course. I spent some time feeling how much fun that would be!
I believe that focusing on those feelings were also a key to my winning experience.
I also made it my specific intent to hit 3 longshots in the 12 races. In these contests, with so many people competing against you, it is imperative that you hit several of the longer priced horses in order to win – betting short-priced horses and favorites is not enough, because everyone else is doing that too. One 10-1 winner is roughly worth five 2-1 winners, in other words.
Logical and Intuitive Preparation
Of course there are also specific things to do to prepare for the contest.
My main focus in these contests is to combine my logical, left-brained handicapping analysis – reading the past performances, analyzing trainers, pace scenarios, clocker data, track bias stats – with my intuitive, right-brained feelings and such, meaning Associative Remote Viewing (ARV), and listening to my inner guidance about what horses are good to select.
For logical analysis, I handicap the races using the “Ultimate PP” product from Bloodstock Research Information Services (BRIS), along with clocker data from National Turf, as well as some track bias data from the Plod Boys. I focus on items that I know from experience that the general public either is not aware of or does not take advantage of. I did the logical analysis for all 12 contest races ahead of time. This takes 30-45 minutes per race. The result is each horse is assigned a contender rating: A (highest), B, C or X (non-contender).
For intuition, I did an ARV session and judging for each race, using Marty Rosenblatt’s PRECOG10 software. The result is horse being assigned a Targ Confidence Ranking, from 0-7, with 7 highest. This takes about 45 minutes per race.
Once I had done all this, I also spent time the night before and the morning of the contest just quietly listening to my guidance for each race, to feel which horse was the best selection. I started to assign a letter rating for this also, but settled on just selecting what felt best for most of the races.
I did most all of this on Thursday-Friday before the Saturday contest. Some of the logical analysis I did Saturday morning (and the last race, during the contest), and since I wanted to do that before I did the ARV judging, I did that for some of the races Saturday too. I had completed all the ARV sessions late Friday night.
I made a tentative prediction for each race (except the last) by noon Saturday, based on combining all the above factors. I considered both the horse’s logical A, B, C rating, its Targ CR, and finally how well it felt – listening to my guidance. These 3 factors rarely line up on a single horse – usually I have to make a considered judgment about which one to pick.
Next I will do a race-by-race diary of my experiences in separate posts. I will summarize in a final post.