NHC1 Contest Diary – Preliminaries

This is a race-by-race account of my experiences in the NHC1 online horse race handicapping contest

For the record, we had 8 people ARV the 10 contest races.

Our intent for each ARV session was to view the photosite we’d get in feedback; for the project managers (Tom and Marty), the intent was to finish in the top 3 of the contest.

For the whole year, our intent is to win the NHC tournament in Jan. 2011 in Las Vegas, to promote ARV as a real thing.

Two of us participated in the contest as managers – Tom and Marty. We each signed up for the $100 NHC Tour option, which entitles us to participate in 5 online contests during 2010. This report is for the first of these, which took place Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010.

The contest format is that you get $2 to bet to Win and $2 to Place (1st or 2nd) on each of the 10 races. Your score is the parimutuel payoff on the horses that win or finish 2nd. There is a maximum payoff of 20-1 to Win and 10-1 to Place, to avoid someone getting “lucky” and winning the contest by hitting a single longshot.

The races were from Gulfstream Park (GP) in Florida – all races except the 7th race were contest races. 850 people participated in the contest.

We had a lot of trouble with the PRECOG10 software in the days before the race. Marty had made some changes to it to accommodate the large number of races to do at once, and we didn’t test them enough. Plus we had the 4 DLTC Contest races to do at the same time.

All-in-all, it was a major success that we did get all the sessions and judgings done on time to make predictions for the races.

Initially, Tom and Marty had exactly the same ticket, the top Targ CR as self-judged by the viewers.

Two viewers of 4 races (Mel and Teresa) had their sessions judged by Tom and Marty; we disagreed on one of Mel’s races (NHC Race 4), so our initial predictions varied for that race.

I will break this diary into several posts, Races 1-3 are next.