Andy Warhol said everybody will be famous for 15 minutes. I exceeded that by 21 minutes yesterday, so I guess I can't be too depressed about my off-the-board finish at yesterday's SSC #3 at Monmouth Park.
You see, I snuck onto the leaderboard after the Florida Derby (12GP), which went off at 6:24, and stayed there until after 13GP, which went off at 7:00. I was 25th on the 25-person board.
How did it all happen?
Well I lost my first 5 bets and my $100 starting bankroll was down to $50 when I put $10W on 8-1 Regalo Mia in GP9. That win -- my first in three contests this year, mind you -- put me at about $140 and back in the game.
I then lost a couple bets before slapping down $50W on Orb in the Florida Derby. He won nicely at almost 3-1, so I was living large with $252 and on the board with one race left. That's all I ask of these contests, to be in it with a shot late.
Alas, it wasn't to be. In the Gulfstream finale I liked 1 Transgression and 9 Town Flirt (in that order) going into the day, but I switched to 9, largely because trainer George Weaver won a race earlier on the card. I went pretty much all in, $200W and $52P.
But my (oftentimes) trusty trainer-recency angle didn't come through for me yesterday, as while Town Flirt ran well, she could only manage 2nd to -- who else -- Transgression.
I cashed out $140.40 on the day thanks to the place bet, better than $0 of course, but it was still a very empty fold of 20s. I 'woulda' probably landed in the top 5 if Town Flirt won at 9-2, also 'woulda' been way up there had I went with Transgression.
It's tempting to lament and beat myself up over switching from 1 to 9, but I'm not gonna go there. I made the best decision I could using all the information I had available at the time of the race. Every handicapper marks up PPs the night before, but I don't think anyone can argue that early picks should be set in stone.
Overall yesterday was pretty good for me in terms of what I could control -- process, strategy and risk management. This is in sharp contrast to SSCs #1 and #2, when I was pretty much abysmal in those areas. It's unfortunate that good process, strategy and risk management didn't produce a good end result, but c'est la vie. Happens sometimes.
So that's a wrap. This is the second year in a row I didn't qualify for the SSC invitational, after doing so in '10 and '11. Poor job me, but great job Monmouth park in pulling off the series with record numbers.
I will offer a bit of advice to the 58 non-NJHorseplayer entrants in the 60-entrant invitational. You cannot stop NJHorseplayer. You can only hope to contain him.