Besides my own selections for the Breeders Crown races, PTP has offered his own thoughts on the BC card. You will see two different styles of picks. As a rule, I try to pick the horse I think will win, only sometimes chucking my top pick for value while PTP looks for value before he makes a race. Quite honestly, PTP probably plays the races the right way if you are a gambler; I am more of a handicapper. Hence, if you are looking at my selections, you may very well want to consider value in your wagers; otherwise, if you are a $2 player, you could win seven of the races and still lose for the night. I have always said I am a good handicapper, but a lousy gambler, that is why I play more for entertainment purposes than making money (though I try); otherwise, what little hair I have remaining would be gone. Money Management is key for long term success whether it is the Breeders Crown or a night of mediocre racing at your local racetrack.
The bottom line is know your strengths, know your weaknesses and play accordingly. The day I was at Monticello Raceway and had all three trifectas picked and didn't play any of them was the day I knew I was not in this game to make a living but to have fun. Did I mention all three trifectas were IRS numbers? Good thing I made a couple of hundred dollars that day, otherwise I may have run my car off the road. Now I can laugh about it, saying if I won all three triples, I probably would have had an interview with the NYSRWB and the New York State Police, but trust me I was not laughing that Sunday.
This is not to say I don't want to make money, but I realized what kind of horseplayer I am. Since then, I don't bet Triples (or Superfectas); it isn't worth the aggravation. Sure, there are times I would hit, but knowing I don't bet them, the Triples I don't play don't hurt, but more importantly, the triples I would have missed (the overwhelming majority) don't hurt me financially. Where I am good at is in betting Exactas; there I can manage my money well. Knowing you are going to lose more Exactas than you are going to hit, I don't bother playing Exactas that will pay less than $30. Once I find an Exacta I like which will pay more than $30, then I will play. I may only play a few Exactas each night, but I know I'm not going to go broke chasing exactas which pay less than $10. Do I miss some Exactas this way? Sure. But these days with small pools you need to maximize your bankroll. Is this the best way to play exactas? Who knows? All I know is it works for me.
For win wagers, it is a little more straight forward for me. The key is to know if a horse 4-5 is an overlay or underlay. Sometimes a 4-5 shot is a gift. You need to know when to play these horses or let them go. There are times long shots are worth a shot and other times you leave them alone. The key to playing win wagers is to come up with a way to evaluate your selections and don't deviate; if nothing else, your sanity remains intact.
What works for some people may not work for you. Just remember your strengths and maximize them to your advantage.
Rosecroft Exceeding Their Expectations - Penn National Gaming is somewhat pleased with their handle so far at Rosecroft. After the first week of racing, they are averaging $28,674 in live handle while their plan filed with the MRC anticipated a $20,000 a night live handle. Of course that was the first weekend, but remember the second night of racing consisted of only eight races. As for their simulcasting action on standardbreds and quarter horses at Rosecroft, they have a daily handle of $51,500 where the plan filed with the racing commission anticipated a simulcast handle of $33,000. No, I doubt the heavy hitters are playing Rosecroft, and I am sure the numbers provided to the MRC were not overly ambitious, but considering the quality of the racing, they are doing okay. Once they get the right to simulcast the runners, the track may be able to offer better quality racing and improve their handle. Who knows? There may still be a local market for harness racing in the Beltway.