Jan 282019

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.


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  15 Responses to “My First Anniversary in the Sim”

  1. Nice story this game is so addicted and full of excitement we all had the same struggle, but keep up the good work and continue to breed horse. best of luck this year see you on the track.

  2. Solid freshman season Joel, glad you chose ERC, continued success !

  3. Here’s to many more JB!

  4. Good read :)

    Rest assured there will be many more years to come :)

  5. “Answering a whole lot of questions that I am positive made them wonder what the heck is this guy even doing here”

    I never wondered that at all, in fact I felt confident you were going to be alright. And look, you’re a vet now. Best of luck going forward.

  6. Great read Joel

    The bad news is that most of us oldies are still learning, many years down the track

    I can’t thank you enough for the ‘End of year Bonus’. Don was a newbie when he enhanced our contest with all the extra prizes, and another newbie took it to the next level

  7. I got sucked into this game the same way in 2015, one click of a banner ad and I was hooked.

  8. I remember having those same troubles when I first started as well. Glad to see you stuck it out! Keep finding that winners circle dude!

  9. Reminds me a lot of my 1st year a few seasons ago. Took awhile to figure out the claiming game is the key to build up stables and bp. Took awhile to not be afraid to loses those same horses to other claimers. That’s when I started getting BPS. Tremendous success for your bargin breed horse.

    And as you, I and others have said…we would of all most likely quite if not for the help of the vets here. The forums, the rezs, and specially the chat in the first weeks of the game. These vets willingness to help is what makes this the best Sim game there is.

  10. I’m glad you stuck it out. This game is super complex with many more questions than answers. The great thing about it is that you can customize it to suit your needs and interests. Thanks for all your BTB work and the end of year bonus,

  11. Thank you for joining ECR & enjoying the game. I am glad some of the horses we sent you have provided you with excitement and success. Good luck to you on your future racing.

  12. Hope you’re enjoying it! The game is daunting for new players, regardless of skill and knowledge about the sport, so keep after it & the rewards will keep coming.

  13. Great story, thanks for your thoughts