All of the inside scoop on Virginia's biggest day of Steeplechase racing -- the Virginia Gold Cup. Hey, 50,000 of your closest friends can't be wrong! Do you have your tickets yet?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Eight Ways To Pick A Gold Cup Winner

(NYRA Photo)
Most Virginia Gold Cup tailgates feature a friendly “game of skill” designed to exchange small monetary amounts between the participants.  The object of the exercise is to correctly pre-determine which horse will win a particular race and to pay an entry fee to enter the game of skill in the name of the chosen horse.

Some people might call this a pool, but since we don’t want to get sideways with the authorities, we will continue to call it a “game of skill.” 

Should such a game be conducted at your parking space, tailgate or tent, how would the non-equine aficionado know which horse might win a particular race?

The answer is you wouldn’t – horses are unpredictable.  Steeplechase races are long and conducted over many large obstacles at a fairly high rate of speed. Suffice to say, things sometimes go wrong, so picking a winner is tricky.

That said, here are some tried and true systems, you can utilize come Saturday.

1. Choose your lucky number. How easy was that?

2. Clamp onto your favorite color.  Jockeys wear brightly colored shirts, called silks, provided by the horses' owners or the race organizers if the owner forgot to bring his silks. (Don’t giggle, it happens.) So choose a hue and hang on.

3. Identify an individual interest. That means look at the program and try to remember something – anything – from this same exercise at past Gold Cups you have attended.

4. Jump for the jockey you like best.  If you don’t know anything about these people, and you probably don’t, just pick a name that sounds like somebody that can bring home a winner.  Jockeys with words like “champ” or “winner” or “best” in their names are good choices.  Jockeys that go by “dude,” “loser” or “crash” aren’t so good.

5. Pick a catchy name.  Obviously, Bubble Economy has rung a bell for everybody over the past three years, so just look for names you can relate to or that seem to be speaking directly to you.  If you have a funky Aunt Betty and you see a horse named Funky Aunt Betty, that’s a sign.

6. Pick the horses pedigree.  If either the mom (dam) or dad (sire) sounds at all familiar, go for it.

7. Go with your gut. It’s not an exact science.  A bunch of horses and riders run around as fast as they can, jumping a bunch of jumps, occasionally ricocheting off one another and trying to get home first, so anything can happen and usually does.

8. Place a bet on every horse in the field.  Your friends won’t like it as it is selfish and boring and does not generate beneficial economic returns, but at least you can say you won!

Have fun!

1 comment:

@easygoer132 said...

No pari-mutuel wagering at the VAGC?