Horse Racing at Assiniboia Downs.
Horse Racing at Assiniboia Downs.|@AssiniboiaDowns on Twitter

BI’s Disabled Jockey Fund Charity Handicapping Contest: Monday, RT picks the Assiniboia Downs 6th, Garrity picks the Tampa Bay Downs 8th

Week 1, Day 1. Garrity's race is at 4:25 pm EDT. RT's goes off at 11:05 pm.


Chris Garrity

Bettors Insider's two horse racing handicapping experts – Chris Garrity (@belmostickey) and RT and SmartCap (@RTsSpot) – have agreed to take part in a weekly handicapping contest throughout June.

For the contest, each handicapper will designate one of his race picks per weekday and two on Saturday and Sunday. Win, place, show betting only. $20 per bet. Weeks run Monday through Sunday and the first contest starts Monday, June 1.

The 'capper with the most money at the end of each week will have a donation made in his name to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. You can donate to the fund here.

Play along and in future months you may have a chance to beat the pros.

RT's Monday Pick

$10/win, $10/place on 6-Vending Machine in the 6th race at Assiniboia Downs, 11:05 pm EDT

Why: From what I have seen, this track plays with a minor closing bias and he’ll be flying (for as much as a $3.5K claimer can fly) down the stretch. See RT's SmartCap card on the race below.

RT's SmartCap card for the 6th race at Assiniboia Downs.
RT's SmartCap card for the 6th race at Assiniboia Downs.RT

Garrity's Monday Pick

$20 on 2- Economic Policy in the 8th race at Tampa Bay Downs, 4:25 pm EDT.

Why: It’s a 1 1/16 mile Maiden Special Weight on the turf, for horses 3 and up. Chad Brown has two entrants, and we like one of them, 2-Economic Policy. He’s a 3-year-old with as glittering a pedigree as you’ll see anywhere: he’s by the late Giant’s Causeway, who was arguably the top sire in the world for a stretch a few years ago, and he’s out of a Pulpit mare, Patience Drive, who was herself a pretty good runner. This is truly world-class breeding. He sold for $210,000 as a weanling in 2017, and probably is worth many, many multiples of that now.

Even better than his pedigree is the fact that Economic Policy has already run, and run well: he finished second in a mile maiden race on the Tampa Bay turf on January 29. It was an oddly run race, with a pace that was fast early, and then slowed down in the middle, but what we like from Economic Policy’s effort in that race is that he made two separate moves: he moved toward the leaders down the backstretch, when the pace slowed; and then he rallied again down the stretch, passing all the horses in front of him except for the winner. A horse making multiple moves in any race is impressive; a horse doing it in his first start is something rare and special. Economic Policy should run better today with that effort under his belt.

Look for Economic Policy to sit midpack, biding his time, to begin moving to the leaders around the far turn, and to put away the rest of the field down the stretch. Our entire stack today will be riding on him to do just that: at 5/2 odds.

Garrity's Contest Strategy: Welcome to the first day of the Bettors Insider handicapping contest. This should be fun, and we encourage any and all to play along. Leave a comment at the bottom of this post, contact us on Twitter, send an old-fashioned email, or write some curse words on a rolled-up program and throw it in the air -- whatever way you do it, please drop us a note, as participation is not only allowed but encouraged. How fun this will be is going to be directly proportional to how many people play along, so we encourage you to get involved.

There are several different ways, as far as strategy goes, that we can attack this contest. One is conservative, and involves bankroll protection: we could look for solid, short-priced favorites, and bet them to show. There may come a time when we look to do this, but for the most part, hoping for a $2.20 show payoff is a weasel move, and we are going to be more aggressive.

While we will not be hammering short-priced favorites, neither will we, at least in the beginning, be wildly aggressive. Over the long term, a 25-1 or 30-1 long shot may be an excellent bet, but no matter how good a handicapper one is, horses at these prices lose far, far more often than they win, and this contest is too short to wait for the law of averages to play out.

Our strategy, at least as we begin this contest, is going to look for solid horses that we think are excellent win candidates, and who offer good prices as well. The name of this game, when one comes right down to it, is picking winners, and winners in the 5/2 or 4-1 range are in many ways the foundation of how we play this game. They too will be too the foundation of how we play this contest.

Bettors Insider