America’s Best Racing: Big Race Showdown, Sam F. Davis S.

It’s time for the third week of Big Race Showdown at America’s Best Racing!: where I clash heads with six awesome handicappers (Emily GulliksonCandice HareDan TordjmanBrian ZipseEric Bialek, and Mark DiLorenzo) to see who can stay the hottest through Derby prep season.

This week, we visit one of my favourite tracks in the country: Tampa Bay Downs.  Head over to ABR, and see who we like for the Sam F. Davis!

The Tournament Edge: Equestricon’s NHC Qualifier – A Beginner’s Guide

Did you meet members of the Tournament Edge at Equestricon last week, or attend the tournament panel featuring our co-founder Michael Beychok? Are you looking for a place where you can put your newfound tournament skills to the test?

If you had a Panel Pass or a VIP Ticket, you have the perfect chance coming up on Saturday afternoon, August 26 at At stake is a seat in the biggest tournament event of the year, the 2018 NTRA National Horseplayers Championship (NHC).

Head over to The Tournament Edge, read my beginner’s guide to the Equestricon NHC qualifier, and get ready to try for that NHC seat this Saturday, even if it’s your first tournament ever!

The Tournament Edge: Finding My Foundation

My series about my first live contest concludes today at The Tournament Edge.

The first and second parts of this series were a bit heavy on the doom and gloom: anxiety about what was to come, things I screwed up during the actual contest.  But, despite my natural pessimism, not everything went poorly.  I did a few things right, and I conclude the series by discussing a few things I did that helped me build a solid foundation to move forward in live contest play.

The Tournament Edge: Lessons Learned

Monday, I published the first part of my series about my experience playing a live contest for the first time.  It covered my preparation before the tournament: Analysis Paralysis.

Today, I published part two: Lessons Learned.  As much as I hoped my first live contest would turn out a fairy tale — it didn’t.  But, I saw a few things that I could have done better, and will help me improve my game for next time.

Head to The Tournament Edge, and find out what my first live contest taught me.

The Tournament Edge: Analysis Paralysis

Last Friday, I played my first live contest.

Over at The Tournament Edge, I am publishing a three-part series about my experience playing it.  The first part of the series discusses my experience preparing for the contest.  The contest took me out of my comfort zone — and much of that was due to the voluminous preparation.

So, head over to The Tournament Edge and read my reflections on preparing for Friday’s NHC qualifier at Hawthorne.  And, stay tuned: the series will continue on Wednesday and Friday.

The Tournament Edge: Lifeline Game Strategy

In my latest blog for The Tournament Edge, I talk Lifeline strategy.

What is a Lifeline game, you may ask?  It’s one of the new kinds of games that are available to play on, The Tournament Edge’s new contest website.  If you like survivor-style games, but wish you could take a mulligan or two along the way, you will love Lifeline games.  If you come from the poker world (like I did!), and you liked playing rebuy tournaments, getting aggressive early, and taking advantage of those rebuys, then Lifeline games will be right up your alley, too.

So, head to The Tournament Edge, and read my latest blog about lifeline game strategy.

And then, sign up on to put this strategy to use!

The Tournament Edge: Heads Up!

This week at The Tournament Edge, I write about something that scared me for a long time, but became my favourite niche of horse racing contest play: head-to-head contests.

Before I got the hang of horse racing contests, they scared me.  After all, head-to-head poker was not my style at all.  As I’ve gained experience, they have become my favourite type to play.  They’re the perfect balance of knowing the races and knowing the opponent, particularly if you can focus closely on a limited scope.

Head over to The Tournament Edge, read my latest piece, and get the hang of head-to-head contest play!

The Tournament Edge: What About the Rabbit?

In my latest blog for The Tournament Edge, I discuss something that has become a hot topic after last Saturday’s Sword Dancer: rabbits.

However, much of the discussion has been around the ethics of rabbits: whether it’s okay to run them in the first place, and what they should or should not be allowed to do on the track.  On the other hand, I look at rabbits from a more practical perspective: what you, the handicapper, should be asking when there’s a rabbit in the field.

Head over to The Tournament Edge, read my latest blog, and make sure you’re ready the next time there’s a rabbit in a race you plan to play!

The Tournament Edge: Shifting Focus…For a Moment

In my latest blog at The Tournament Edge, I talk about changing focus.

No, I’m not changing focus for good.  I have no plans to make my major circuits anything other than my usuals, Chicago racing and large stakes races.  But, I needed to do something to clear my head and refresh me, just in time for Travers weekend and for the next weekend of Illinois racing.

I found it last night in an unlikely place.  Head over to The Tournament Edge, and see where.

Arlington Million Day analysis!

Tomorrow is Arlington Million Day!  I have been on site at Arlington all week watching the horses in the morning, and handicapping and writing through the afternoons.

In addition, don’t forget to listen to the Arlington Million episode of BARN, on which Jason Beem, Paul Mazur, and I talk Million.  And, I also did a series of Periscope broadcasts from morning works, which are available on The Tournament Edge’s Twitter feed.

Good luck in the Arlington Million, and enjoy Arlington’s marquee race day!

Arlington Million Week: Wednesday

Wednesday is when Million week begins to get serious.

I have been at morning workouts all week, but today was when a steady stream of festival horses came onto and out of the track.  Over at Picks and Ponderings, you can see what I saw through the day in my photo gallery.

Over at The Tournament Edge, my latest blog entry takes a look at the fields for the Arlington Million (GI), the Beverly D (GI), the Secretariat (GI), and the American St. Leger (GIII), and starts to make some sense of how they fit together.

Stay tuned for more information and updates as Million Week goes on!

The Tournament Edge: Locally Linked Arlington Million Contenders

In my latest blog for The Tournament Edge, I take a look at a few possible Arlington Million contenders who have links to Arlington.

These include the defending champion, a last-out Grade I winner, as well as two Million Preview day winners.  One may be vulnerable and underlaid.  One looks, a week and a half out, like one of our best domestic hopes.  The other two, though…could they be live price horses?  It may be early, but it is not too early to start thinking.

Head over to The Tournament Edge, read my latest blog, and start getting ready for the 2016 Arlington Million!

The Tournament Edge: Finding Condition Book Horses

In my latest piece for The Tournament Edge, I talk about one of the most useful tools in a handicapper’s arsenal: the condition book.

Some race conditions can seem complex at first, but learning to read and understand how they fit together can help you find winners.  My article starts with the basics of conditions, and then dives into a pair of recent races in which the condition book shined a clear spotlight on a live horse.

Head over to The Tournament Edge, and learn how to put the condition book to work for you.

The Tournament Edge: Once More into the Breach

Saratoga gets underway on Friday, which means the return of the Huddie contest.  In my latest piece for The Tournament Edge, I look back at my attempt in that contest last year, and look at a few things I could possibly do differently this year.

Maybe you’re playing Huddie, or curious about it.  Maybe you play another longer-duration contests such as Public Handicapper or the Rockin’ Ry contests on Facebook.  No matter what, my latest piece at The Tournament Edge has some questions to ask yourself, which may improve your play.