On a snow covered day in Michigan, January 28th, 2018. While sitting at my desk at work I decided to do some early research for the Kentucky Derby online. You see I like to do a little wagering every now and then. It helps if you do some homework, of course I usually do not get around to it until late March or April after the Prep races catch my attention. So I decided to click on this link to Derby Ville just to see what it was. Having always been intrigued by the horse racing game and never going to be able to be a part of real life horse racing, I said hey lets give this a try.
I almost quit 3 days in, as I could not even figure out how to get started playing the game. They gave me a stable of 10 horses, but I could not figure out how to get them entered into a race. Frustration got the better of me and I turned to the forum and asked for HELP PLEASE!
The first response came relatively quick from “marmac”. They explained how to enter a horse into a race and gave me a few pointers about what to expect. Answering a whole lot of questions that I am positive made them wonder what the heck is this guy even doing here. Then they said they would send me a gift 2 year old to help get me started out. DA COMMISH had 1 third in her 8 races last year but was trending upwards.
The Forum became a regular stop for me after this, meeting a lot of really helpful people. For the most part everyone was willing to help a newbie out with his questions. Spinround (“Spinny”) quickly became a regular chat partner in the Forum and she also sent me a couple of gift horses, AN OBSESSION who became my first stakes winner in August had 3 wins and 2 thirds in 7 starts, and the oher was AFTERACTION REPORT with 1 win, 1 second and 1 third in 7 starts. She also made a suggestion that if I liked writing maybe I should do race previews for the BTB. awkwardandchai was another person that help me out quite a bit during my early struggles.
The next suggestion that I followed up with was joining a residency. As a newbie and not really knowing what I was doing, I researched almost all of the residencies I could find that were active. Each of them seemed to have advantages and disadvantages but I settled on ERC- The Elite Racing Club, mainly because it was smaller and I thought maybe I would not get lost in the shuffle there. I am here to tell you I found myself in with a strong group of owners. Most of my club entries have had little or no shot amongst these guys runners so far. But they are a good group to be a part of, the rez owner ehr sent me probaly a dozen gift horses which provided me the bulk of my wins for the year including; WHO DARES WIN that became my second stakes winner in September posting 3 wins and 6 ITM finishes in 8 races and 3 year old gift horse DESTINY IS CALLING who became my third and final stakes winner of the year also in September, in fact on Ky Derby Day I threw him into a G3 at Churchill just so I could say I had 1 running on Derby Day and he responded with a blistering late race charge to finish 4th posting a 98SP in his third start. Other REZ members were also willing to send help to the new guy; ric480, amir, summerset, jbcri09.
My next discovery was the EQUINICS. Man what a great event! I can hardly wait until the 2020 edition. I think I covered 3 races for the BTB and it was helpful to see how players handled their horses and how the set up their breedings for successful horses. Also I was starting to build up credits from writing race previews every week which I thought was the key thing to do since I was not earning a lot of BP’s with my group of horses.
I made a lot of acquisitions at the auction during the year, most all of them were bargain valued horses. I tried to concentrate on acquiring females that could eventually turn into breeding stock, so my focus was on their pedigree and not so much on race results. I even made a few forays into the claiming arena, with the same area of focus.
I decided to give the Bargain Bred Racing Series a full run this year. I scratch bred 12 horses specifically for these races and again for the most part the results were not what I had hoped but I did manage to have 3 winners in the group; INVISABLE STORM, ILL NAME THE DOGS who also posted a second in the BB Dirt Juvenile Sprint, and BULLY THE BEAST all captured Maiden wins in the BBRS.
The weekly tipping contest was my next find run by drhet58 and kyogle. After playing for a couple of weeks I thought, would not this contest be enhanced if there was a season total reward involved, even though each week is a stand alone contest of it’s own. So I wrote to them and asked if I put up the credits and did all the work, What would they think? Well they thought it was a great idea, so I spent most of the rest of the year tabulating the weekly results and posting the standings and of course paying out the winners which was not me.
I did not have a lot of BP’s or any Mares so my initial breeding efforts were centered around a dozen scratchbreds. As I was not using many of the top ranked horses for these as you can imagine none of them found their way to victory circle yet. Then one day I accidentally turned in 2 cards for a sire share instead of upgrading to the next level like I thought I was doing and got a share in VAN NISTLEROOY. Well I need a mare now, so I retired a 9yo Mare named THRILLING COLONY that had 1 win in 57 starts and had won a total of $66K. This union produced SPY COLONY who won in his 3rd outing and has a win and a third in 4 starts. Bolstered by this first result, I began acquiring breeding shares some with credits, some with cards and even a couple with BP’s and retiring mares producing about another 20 new 2 year olds before the end of the year. I came up with 3 more winners from this group PUTINS LIL BOY, RUFUS MAGEE and COMMISH THE FIRST.
Overall for the season my horses started 1188 races picking up 56 wins, 63 seconds and 83 thirds. So the win pct was 4.7% and the ITM pct was 17.0%. Both of these numbers are on the low side but for my first year I went for volume.
I ended my first year with 22 stables, 191 active runners, 2 inactive (gelded) and 38 retired mares.
Thnaks to Mike for this great game. Thanks to all of you that participate making the sim what it is. I will see you at the track.