You aren’t likely to find Jersey-native Michael Murphy snapping his fingers to get his winner home, or whooping and hollering with his program slapping his thigh. Instead you’ll find this modest horse player studiously selecting his charges and then relying on a little luck to get them across the wire first.
Murphy admits that winning handicapping contests is “mostly luck,” but something that he has found success in – having already qualified for the NHC in Las Vegas in recent years.
“My strategy is to identify two or three horses for the day and to try to build the pot a little,” Murphy stated, “I play certain trainers.”
Murphy’s strategy served him well in Saturday’s Simulcast Series Challenge #1. Murphy bested 185 other competitors – by a nose. With $220 riding on his value play, Murphy’s horses got up in the final strides to win the nightcap at Gulfstream Park. The resulting payout vaulted Murphy to the top of the leaderboard with $1,698 in winnings and earned him the 1st place prize of $9,300.
“I enjoy the format and the unlimited wagers.”
The Simulcast Series Challenge is a Win, Place, Show format where players start with a tournament bankroll of $100. Each player must bet a minimum of ten races, minimum $10 per race, and one horse per race. Contest wagering was permitted on Aqueduct, Tampa Bay Downs and Gulfstream Park.
Murphy and fourteen others advance to the Simulcast Series Challenge Invitational on April 9. There they will compete for two spots to the 2012 DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas.
The contest was the first under a new set of rules set forth by the NTRA. As of January 1, 2011 all players wishing to be eligible for the NHC must be registered for the NHC Tour. Players noted with an * are non-tour members and competed for prize money only.
OFFICIAL Results for Simulcast Series Challenge #1 - January 15, 2011