Saturday, January 4, 2014

Forging Ahead: Some Goals for 2014

Now that I’ve gone ahead and taken a look back, it’s “resolution” time.  I hate to call them resolutions because I think then I’m just setting myself up for failure.  I guess that these are more like “goals” I would like to reach and want to build a plan around them to help me get there.  Here are the top 5 for 2014:

“WORK” At My Handicapping.  I know, we all think that we work at it when we sit and break down a race card but the truth is that being successful at this game requires you to have better insight than the people you are wagering against.  Back when I was moderately successful at this, I took notes on races and horses, I kept track of my wins and losses, I broke down the results of races against the past performances to see what it is that I missed.  More often than not, I missed something and documenting that helped keep me from repeating that error.  I’d like to get back to a strike rate of 40% at average odds of 7/2 or better again.

I’m also going to re-sign up for the National Handicapping Championship this season and try and play in an event per month to try and qualify for the 2015 Championships in Las Vegas as well as utilizing my balance at Derby Wars to play in more tournaments as well.  Competition forces you to keep you skills sharp and, let’s face it; I’m a very competitive person anyhow!

Promote TURF.  A few years back we formed a loose group of bloggers with the announced goal of writing about and promoting our sport of horse racing.  Some of the best bloggers in North America became part of TURF and I’ve decided to take that on for 2014; at least try and promote members blogs on our Facebook page (Turf Bloggers) and Twitter (@turfbloggers) account.  I’ll see if I can end up doing more than that, but for now that may have to be enough.

Blog More Often.  This one seems simple enough, but it never seems to work out.  Ted needs to sit his ass down in front of the PC and get it done.  There are going to be a few things I’m going to try this year that are new, like some video pieces such as putting together a video of bringing a horse up to their first ever race that hopefully would be fun and interesting. 

Expand the Club.  Managing the Canterbury Park Racing Club was fun, interesting and rewarding.  We got some nice press through the Paulick Report in the Spring, but I have not seen this concept take off anywhere else.  That strikes me as a gig that could be developed into something nationwide.  I don’t think that Magna Group, NYRA or Churchill Downs Inc. would be interested per se (though they should be) but what about other racetracks around the US like Tampa Bay, Hawthorne, Oaklawn or Turf Paradise?  No one may be interested, but I’m going to give it a try.

Get Organized. My move this past summer left me totally discombobulated. I have files everywhere and paperwork that needs to get into them! I need to take the time it takes to get them set and maintained.  Realistically it only takes a few minutes of extra time a day once I’m set up to do it so I need to remind myself how much easier life is when I’m organized and not procrastinate when it comes to taking those five extra minutes.

Certainly not unattainable goals, I don’t think.  I also want to lose weight, exercise more, expand my partnerships, write better, get the book in my head onto paper and on, and on, and on.  However I think that these five are good and in one way shape or form, interrelated. Being organized affects all the other goals.  Being more active in writing and promoting TURF will help expand my platform and could help open doors to generating more business.  The lifeblood of our sport is the wagering and being better at that aspect can permeate all the others since it would force me to follow racetracks and horses more carefully, record my thoughts and expand the potential pool of subject matter.  It would also keep me from my embarrassing 2013 finishes this year in the Hello Race Fans expert picks!

Best of luck in all your goals for 2014.  I look forward to hearing about yours and sharing with you the progress as this stable turns into the wind and tries to take flight.



Anonymous said...

Good luck with Ellie and Bourbonology in 2014!

Hopefully Ellie is able to compete at the allowance or stakes level. Otherwise, you can look forward to the following, if 2014 is anything like 2013:
-MN bred claiming purses that are actually lower than they were in 2012.
-MN bred claiming races that fill but the racing secretary decides not to use them, time and time again.
-MN bred claiming races only being used on Thursday and Friday nights and only at 5 1/2 or 6 furlongs on the dirt. Best of luck to you if it turns out Ellie likes the turf, is a router or doesn't run well under the lights.

The good news is if this doesn't change you will be able pickup yearlings even cheaper this year than they were last year. Was anyone really surprised the sales results were so poor last year given how difficult it is to actually get your MN breds in a race that fits them? Something needs to change or there will be no more MN breds in training before we know it.There is absolutely no loyalty to MN bred owners by track management or the racing secretary.

Theodore L. Grevelis said...

See the next blog piece...