01/24/2014 5:59PM

Player experiences good luck and bad on Day 1


There is a razor-thin line between winning and losing in all handicapping contests, especially the National Handicapping Championship. Now I’m not saying it’s all luck – you have to put yourself in a position to be lucky. But there’s no doubt that the fickle hand of fate plays a major role.

Let’s look at two things that happened to our player-to-watch Eric Moomey on Day 1 at the 15th annual NHC. Moomey got his day off to a good start in race 4 at Tampa Bay Downs – but it nearly didn’t work out. Moomey was torn between two horses, switching at the last minute. They ended up running 1-2, with Moomey’s eventual selection winning at 11-1 and putting him in contention.

:: National Handicapping Championship leaderboard

But the good fortune didn’t last long. Shortly thereafter, Moomey had planned to play a 14-1 shot at Fair Grounds. But the preceding race at Oaklawn got delayed at the starting gate and he got shut out. Do I even need to tell you who won the Fair Grounds race?

It just goes to show – preparation is everything at the NHC. And a guy like Moomey – primarily an online player – really needs to be on his game to avoid making a rookie mistake like getting shut out.

Still, he is talented enough – and philosophical enough – that it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he recovers and gets right back in contention.

Chance to put faces to names

 I have spent most of the day sitting at the DRF table, chatting up readers and signing books. It has been a great thrill to meet so many people who are as excited about contests as I am, male and female, young and old.

:: Get comprehensive, real-time coverage of the NHC

The biggest thrill for  has been meeting so many of the players I interviewed for The Winning Contest Player, seeing many of them for the first time in person. They are a great, fascinating group of characters. And I can guarantee you will like the book – not for anything having to do with me, but just because you can’t help but learn something listening to people who are so smart.

Many kudos to Team DRF for doing such a nice job putting the book together – it really looks terrific.

Mandatory races for Saturday

Saturday’s eight mandatory races are, in chronological order: Gulfstream Park, Race 5 (11:36 a.m. Pacific); Tampa Bay Downs, Race 8 (12:53 p.m.); Tampa Bay, Race 9 (1:22 p.m.); Gulfstream, Race 10 (2:03 p.m.); Santa Anita, Race 7 (3 p.m.); Santa Anita, Race 8 (3:30 p.m.); Santa Anita, Race 9 (4 p.m.); and Golden Gate Fields, Race 8 (4:15 p.m.).

SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Peter It was nice meeting you today, and getting your signed book. I like 'characters' . You meet so many in the handicapping realm. So, I look forward to curling up with this book . See you around the TI :) SR Vegas
Peter Fornatale More than 1 year ago
Great meeting you too! Thanks for taking the time to comment. . .
Steve Mercieca More than 1 year ago
Peter, favor to ask? Can u ask your boys at the NHC to tell us the odds of the horses they Used for their optional plays? It would give us wannabees a window into the minds of the smart guys!!!! Thanks!
Peter Fornatale More than 1 year ago
Steve, it really depends. I would say typically that the best players are looking to play 10-1 and higher but there are instances where they might go lower depending on the specifics off the situation. Thanks for taking part in the blog!
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Steve , I'd like to add that NTRA has an audit for the players of the races they wager. and with a little bit more work, you can see them. check this out: If anyone is curious as how the qualifiers did, and how they got there, there is a link that shows the race audit history of the contestants. What races they selected, and the payoff for the WP wagers in the contest. Go to the NHC 15 content page Click on the blue 'National handicapping Championship Leaderboard' just below the video feeds. It will take you to the NTRA website for the total days and show you results. You can then click on an option to download a pdf file of the Leaderboard or the detailed race audit information. The extra work would be , you, would have to look at the odds of those races in a separate tab. Interesting stuff ! SR Vegas