It's official! The winner of the PH Challenge in 2019 is chillhound, a/k/a Mike Chilson!
Mike has qualified to the NHC in Vegas in 2020! And this is his first time qualifying. He will receive entry, hotel, and $500 for travel. He also wins a one-year, unlimited subscription to DRF PPs, in Formulator or PDF format. And a trophy, and a PH T-shirt! We asked Mike, a resident of upstate New York, a few questions about his handicapping, and here is that Q&A:
How did you get into handicapping? I started going to Belmont, Aqueduct, in my 20s. I knew nothing, I was NY Police Officer at the time, one of my partners introduced me to the Racing Form and I learned how to read it and loved the big puzzles of each race. I read all the handicapping books around at that time. I won enough to keep going back and the game, with its ups and downs, still fascinates me, although I am not a big bettor anymore. Pick threes are my bet.
What are your preferred handicapping strategies? The thing I look for is current form. I look at last race,I like to see a jock get back on a horse he has won with. I use trainer stats, since so many horses come off layoffs and such. Never bet favorites if i can avoid it, and I think the most important thing and which rarely changes is running style. Early, presser, or closer, have to know race shape, other than that it is more art than science as we all know. Some things just jump out at me.
What was your biggest score? My biggest score in betting was a $5,300 pick three: Bet with my last 6 dollars in Atlantic City at a track I never play, Golden Gate, but it was late. I had one horse in the first leg, two in the second and three in third. All were longshots, but all had a chance I thought, and I watched all three win for my biggest score!
I won a contest by a now out of business company. I think it was 15 races. I came in third and won $20,000, and it was a free contest done online, just before I got married. It helped pay for my wedding that year and then some. I got married on Kentucky Derby day to my lovely wife Lorraine, who puts up with my handicapping.
See You in December
The top 20 official PH Challenge results (if you see your name here and did not get a prize notification, please email us, as the email we have on file for you may be out of date). The next contest is the Winter of Our Discontent, and it starts December 7. Expect an email on December 5, and enjoy the break!