On June 25, 2008 — in the spirit of the book “My $50,000 Year at the Races” — I started off with an imaginary bankroll of $50,000 and attempted to bet my way to $100,000 by June 25, 2009.
The night before the races, I posted summaries of the merits of each prospective maiden contender, then wrote up my betting plan for the day. When the results were in, I posted them on the site with a recap of the money that I either won or lost.
For the year, I won 42 of the 133 races that I wagered on, or 31.5 percent. I bet $59,715 and collected $76,495 for a profit of $16,780. My average race bet was $448 and my average payoff on the races I won was $1,821. Over the 133 races, I made $1.28 for every $1 bet for an average yield of $126 for each race wagered on.
In 1978, Andrew Beyer published “My $50,000 Year at the Races” after experiencing, in 1977, a dizzying year that took him on the roller coaster ride of winning $10,000 one day, while being so frustrated on another day that he bashed a hole in the Gulfstream Park press box wall.
When the ride stopped, Beyer had won $50,664 from a beginning bankroll of just $8,000.
On Maiden King, I didn’t reach my goal of $100,000, but I believe even billionaire Warren Buffett would be happy with a 28 percent annual return on his money pile. At one frustrating point — when it seemed like a every maiden sprint for the next decade was going to be won by a 3-to-5 shot — I almost punched a hole in the wall, too. But I sort of need my hands, so I didn’t.
However, that got me wondering…when the stock market crashed in 2008, did Buffett bash a hole in the wall of his Berkshire Hathaway office in Omaha? You know he probably wanted to.
Anyway, after taking several months off to catch up on things, I am back for Del Mar. My theme for the 37-day meeting is to try to make $10,000 by closing day, which is Sept. 8, by betting $1,000 a day on maiden races.
This goal is quite realistic because 27 percent of $37,000 is $10,000. My only problem is that my strongest races are maiden claiming sprints and Del Mar may not have any of these on some days. Again, I will start with $50K and see where it goes.
I expect to do well, but if you see me walking around Las Vegas with a cast on my right hand, you’ll know that things may not have gone according to plan.