Lessons From a Maiden!

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Lessons From a Maiden!

by Kaye Childs

There was a tremendous uproar at my house recently. That in itself is not unusual, given the menagerie that calls my house “home.

This disturbance, however, was caused by yours truly and was loud enough to bring my husband running to see if I was being murdered or had simply lost my mind. I got “the look” for a split second when I explained with no trace of embarrassment that, far from being murdered, the jumping and shouting was because I had just won a tournament.

It was a sweet victory, not because it was my first, but because it was the first time I had successfully attempted a strategy when making my picks. In other words, I tried to figure out who the other players were likely to pick and then choose a horse at slightly longer odds, but with a chance of winning.

The tournament got off to a slow start when 6 of the 7 of us all had the same pick. The second was better. Only two of us scored. I made it, but spent a minute kicking myself, because I had settled on one horse, but changed at the last minute. My pick came in 3rd, and yes the horse I had originally decided on was the winner, but “second guessing” will be a topic for another day.

Even so, I gave myself a small pat on the back. I had advanced my position.

By UpstateNYer - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7294368During the 4th race, I learned another lesson. You can pick the winner and still not improve your position. This is where the art of strategy is needed, and it truly is an art. I was pleased with my win but have to admit to admiration for the player whose horse was 2nd. Well done! His pick had a higher payout. I had been outmaneuvered!

My breakthrough came in the 6th race with a 2 year old filly named La Coronel, who in some ways is still a rookie like myself. She was making her third start and her first on turf. She’s special to me. Not only did she end up giving me the win, but she also broke her maiden doing it. Very well done, girl! I’ll have my eye on you in 2017!

The tournament made clear to me that, while it’s one thing top understand the concept of strategizing and figuring out your fellow players, it’s a skill that will take time to develop. So, I’ve set an immediate goal for myself. So far I’ve been mostly a “weekend warrior” as far as my tournament play. The goal I’ve set is to play more during the week as well. That alone will call for some good strategy, but I feel it will be well worth the effort.

While I don’t have Las Vegas aspirations at this point, I’m anxious to go into deeper water. I have high hopes that 2017 will be a banner year for La Coronel and myself as well.

Thank you, La Coronel, not only for giving me a very sweet win but for the inspiration as well!

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