The Road to Kentucky Week 1 Recap

The first week of the Road to Kentucky contest is complete. The contest track was Tampa Bay Downs, which featured a main track that started out “good” and transitioned to “fast”. There were twelve contest races at Tampa, including the featured Sam F. Davis Stakes which was worth double points. Unfortunately, three of the originally scheduled turf races had to be moved to the main track, resulting in some short fields after scratches. There was also a double point bonus race at Aqueduct, the Withers Stakes.

I highly doubt it will ever be accomplished, but a perfect score this week was 3,344 points. In general, scoring between 50-60% of the maximum points puts you in contention for the top overall weekly prizes. That puts the top of the leader board somewhere between 1,700-2,000 points this week. The key contest horse to tab was the Sam F. Davis winner, Vinceremos, who benefitted from a good inside trip to prevail by a nose at 12-1 over Harpoon (9/5 second choice). The top two finishers were both trained by Todd Pletcher, and if you correctly selected the winner you benefitted from his odds drifting up significantly from his 6-1 ML. This may have been a popular contest selection as he was the higher odds ML horse of the two Pletcher runners. This horse was worth 780 contest points as a double point race, over 23% of the total points available.

If you correctly played the Sam F. Davis winner, and also found either the Race 12 winner Grand Elmendorf (12-1, 458 points) or Race 10 winner Guys Reward (14-1, 446 points), congratulations you have guaranteed yourself a high finish! Plenty of chalk in the other races, as five winners paid less than 2-1 odds and 120 points.

Personally, my contest day never got off the ground. I selected way too many runners with outer post positions on a day that seemed to favor inside runners on the main track. My horses were parked out in the middle of the track all day, and only two of them managed to run third. Only one winner broke from outside post 7 all day today at Tampa and several winners broke from the rail. Disappointing day for my R2K selections!

Check the Road to Kentucky contest page on Thursday afternoon for scores.

Next week the contest track is Santa Anita, featuring the running of the Robert Lewis. Hope to see you here!

The Oracle

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