NHC Champ Scott Coles stops by to talk about his big win in detail.
Remember JK is on Fox Sports today at 4ET to talk about NYRA and OP.
And in case you missed it, Benny Southstreet provided detailed notes on the horses running today at OP here.
May You Win All Your Photos,
Prefer to read it? See below.
***Please note this was done with AI and likely contains errors and inaccuracies. ***
You’re listening to the, in the money players podcast. Hello and welcome to the, in the money players podcast. This is show number 16, the Monday, February 19th, holiday edition, the president’s day edition of the show. This episode is sponsored by the thoroughbred retirement foundation to make a donation go to http://www.trfink.org/players.
J K, as many of you know, he’s working today, he will be on the Fox broadcast of the racing from Oaklawn happening later today. So we gave him the show off and in his stead, we have brought in. Another handicapping champion. This one he’s been in the news a lot. You’ve probably read something about him at this point, but I have to admit he’s someone that I knew literally nothing about before this year’s NHC.
Welcome to the players podcast, AirWave Scott Coles. How are you? Thank you that, uh, an amazing introduction. And I can imagine nobody really knew anything about me, but I followed you guys for a long time. And. I’ll do my best to come somewhere near the insight that the JK brings on every show. Oh, that’s very, uh, very kind of you to say, well, I’ll start off just with the simplest of questions.
Who the heck are you? Hi, I am, uh, I’ve had a, kind of a wild task, but I played, you know, horses for. A long time on a, it was, it was fun to play the triple crown growing up and kind of make guesses. I guess I thought I was, you know, I knew what I was doing, but it was only the last five years or so where I started getting really serious and playing some really volatile cash strategies.
Um, then discovered tournaments a couple of years ago and just kinda got hooked, but I’ve been such a primarily online player that I would say unless. You saw my name on leaderboards when I, when I was fortunate enough to get up there, which was mostly this year and a few caches on a horse tourneys cash tournaments.
But other than that, it’s just, yeah, I guess I’m relatively unknown in the, in the contest world, but I’ve always just been so fascinated by it, but always working full-time it’s just, it’s, it’s hard to get to a ton of live tournaments on that. I’m going to be working on that big time this year, but that’s just kind of the way it’s gone for me.
And this is all just been happening so fast and kind of a dream come true that you weren’t sure that you’d. You’d hope you’d get up there someday and meet all the people I’ve met and talked to you as an appraiser, but you know, for it to be happening all this quickly, it’s just absolutely surreal. Let’s start with a little bit more about your work background.
It does seem like a job that maybe gives you a little bit of an edge when it comes to say processing data in a chaotic environment like the NHC. Do you think that’s about right? You can. Make or lose thousands of dollars. It was a matter of seconds and we do it every day. And a lot of what we do is in short periods of time, where we’re day traders for a big firm, but we, we capture action and run programs and click trade.
And we’re simply, always the only people that probably still do that by hand. But. Yeah, we, we have to process a lot very quickly with a lot of screens in front of us. So chaotic times and times where windows are short or races are getting pushed back, kind of like the final table and another one’s coming right behind it.
I mean, all those things. I guess my clock doesn’t speed up quite as fast because we have to make decisions in like under, under a second sometimes. And I’m not nearly the fastest or the best at it at work, but it certainly helps when the clock’s not nearly as high pressure. And when you have minutes to post, it definitely played a big deal and we have to deal a lot with that every day.
So. Here’s a question for you? I think in both endeavors feel probably comes into play. I once had a gambling friend of mine, actually it was a Rob dove. One of the top 10 pro punters in the UK today told me that he believes the very best and very worst plays that a gambler might make are based on feel.
How important is feel to what you do, especially when the timeframe gets crunched. Call me crazy, but I, I get mad at people when they call it gambling. I like to call it calculated risk-taking I like it, but the it’s important. I mean, sometimes I think you have to trust your first instinct on decisions and you have to trust that maybe your decision is coming from more experience that you’re not realizing in the moment, you know?
If you’re, if you’re drawn to something or your mind is telling you something, I think when you have to make a very quick decision, you’re, you’re hoping that there’s more behind it than just, I don’t know. It’s hard to explain, but you’re, you’re hoping that all of your experience and seeing those situations, like a lot of what we do in trading is pattern recognition.
So you’re just, you’re kind of trusting whether you realize or not, why you’re making that decision when you have to make so many decisions so fast, you’re hoping that. It’s more your pattern recognition and a little bit of your subconscious mind. That’s kind of making those decisions when you don’t have time to, you know, sit there and study a race.
I mean, I’d prefer to study a race for a long time. If it was only one or like the Derby I’ll I’ll study for hours and hours and hours and watch replays and replays and replays. And I’m better when I can do all that stuff. But in the moment when things are happening so fast, I think feels important. And you’re trusting that some of those fields are for the right reasons and for a little bit more of a reason than you might even realize, just because you’ve seen.
A certain situation or a certain pattern to come up enough where that feels guiding you in the right place, based on how much you’ve played. I love that idea almost like the iceberg. There’s the one 16th above the surface, but it’s informed by the 15 16th below. In this case that subconscious, you talk about just having done preparation for other races.
You you’re looking at what you have. You’re dealing with the whatever game theories involved in the moment and you’re making the best decision you can. How much did game theory enter into your moves at the final table at this year’s NHC? Oh, it was almost all game theory. I mean, it was, I didn’t want to be arrogant or at any point, believe that I was that the final table races were something I should’ve been studying days ahead of time or whenever they came out.
I mean, I. Most, I knew what they were the night, the day before, but I mean, I, all I was focused on was getting there. So I used, I didn’t know, a whole lot of what was going on. So I wasn’t going to be like, I did some deep dive into the handicap thing and watched three plays. I mean, and I fell into ninth place after the first race, the one, the horse, the one was actually my alternate and my buddy at my table actually really wanted me to plan.
I’m glad it worked out exactly how it did, but at the time it didn’t feel good because I dropped and I was almost $40 behind it in ninth place with six races to go. And you know, the last one. Has five horses at that time we scratched found before. So I mean, games are, and knowing when you have to make your move, same reason when I had to make that move when I did with one race, love to go, which I’m sure we’ll get to.
But game three was a huge part of it because he was, you had to play the situation a lot more than you had to play the horses you wanted the most there’s any way in which not having that first winner helped you, even though it was your alternate. Talk us through your decision making process, heading into that second race at the final table.
I mean, I think a few people had it and you, I mean, I think it kind of wakes you up. Sometimes you need to get punched in the face and be like, it was cool, but you can’t just be happy to get here. You just gotta, you just got smoked on the first race and you almost played that horse, so it’s kind of frustrating.
And then it just kind of wakes you up. But we also talked about. The fact that you just, you still got to split out to just accumulate points. You don’t have to get it all back in one race, then you still gotta not be afraid to take shorter prices. It’s the same reason. I same way I played the whole day and the whole weekend.
Really? So, but you knew you only had a certain amount of races to make your move. So luckily I was able to get points I at a place and then a win and then another just place in the next three races. But hadn’t been, had a knockout that, I mean, then you. You only have a couple of races left to get a longer price.
So, I mean, we just talked about kind of sticking to the game plan that I had, and I just had one, my one buddy, Mike, that was just kind of like, just talking to me, talking to me off situations and just kind of keeping me calm. You know, it’s always good to have someone there because, uh, I love my girlfriend and my friend, Ricky, but neither one of them had any idea what to say other than.
Cheer for me. So it was just, it was nice having him there to talk about those situations. And we just kind of decided that, you know, stick to what you have, but you’re gonna have to turn up the prices pretty quickly. If you, if you don’t hit in the next couple, because you can’t fall much more behind this, cause you might be down only $40 and that’s one cap horse, but with eight people in front of you, what I kept telling him, I was like, I have to find a way to keep moving.
Yeah. The board, because there’s some short field left and right. So you can’t be blocked. You can’t just have a bee drawing dead because you might get the right horse, but for people in front of you have them, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter at all. So we just kept trying to talk to those situations, trying to jump people slowly, if you can.
I mean, you could play sometimes you can get five or $10 and jumped five people. I mean, it was that tight. I mean, so it was just kind of jockeying your position and getting yourself in a position where. We had a couple prices down the line that we’re looking at and hoping that we, if we needed them, they would come through.
And luckily I was able to hit a combination of short prices in two long price at the final table. I mean, it was just, it was a crazy, crazy final table. We’ve never seen anything like it there’s been so much Stacey Russ at the final table in its existence and to have four different leaders, it was great.
This was the kind of. Drama. They envisioned when they conceived the thing a few years ago. And it was great to watch it play out. How much did you like the price horses you hit at the final table and how much were you playing them? Because of the number they were. I liked both horses. I played had I been on the lead.
I probably don’t play other of them to be honest. Right. I would say the five horse I had early to Oaklawn was as good as anywhere as I could have played. I was kind of playing the board, but I couldn’t decide between a few of them. I knew I wasn’t going to play CZ rocket, who I believe was in that race and like the headliner and taking a good amount of money.
And so it was another horse. So I knew that. It looked like to me that there was a lot of pace and a lot of unknowns as far as who’s going to want to leave. But there, it looked like to me, if I remember correctly, there’s three or four of them and I can picture going for the lead. And if I was hoping for some sort of meltdowns, I was looking at two different closers.
Um, ultimately decided on the one. When I went up there who was double the price of the other, because they didn’t look that much different to me. And I believe his name was heavy roller. Was coming off of a win, um, you know, a good surface, Oklahoma was a mess that day. It was second start off of the layoffs.
I was hoping that he would, he would improve and it just looked like a horse that might have a shot if it broke down. And he, and then he even surprised me. I mean, when he got the lead, he won by a ton. It was just insane. So. But it was basically price and the situation, I wanted a longer price closer in that situation because I thought the race could fall apart.
And between the two at the time I went up there and got a lot closer between I think him and the two, but at the time he was double the odds. So it was like a no brainer for me because I had a chance to make a big move. If not a lot of people played on, um, I think it was just Steve and I played them. So we both jumped way up after that one.
Um, it just happened to be. Situation, you know, where I just loved the price and the fit and the type of race where I thought it was going to unfold. How much interaction did you have with the other players at the final table? What was the experience like for you as a younger player slash more inexperienced tournament?
Yeah. I didn’t know what to expect. And they just said that we had to go up there before every race. And then they explained to me the bedding process, which I was learning all weekend. I mean, I, didn’t not a bit on the machines and started fraternity. Men did not have, but on the machines at the end of the tournament, it was just, so that was kind of a crazy experience.
And then just we’d all talk because we’d all be up there about, and we’d most people would just say, well, they play it. He couldn’t change it down. I mean, you had to get it in between with three minutes left to post. And we all went up on stage. We’d kind of just talk about, talk it out, but everybody was really nice that they’re congratulatory.
And, and some of those guys, I mean, I, I had never met. Any of them and just how cool they were about everything. Especially after I won. And then even Steve pass me on the back and he posted that video. And then you see like little and Randy Gallo’s giving me like a giant hug. And I was like, what? I mean, these are just guys.
It’s just been Jim Meeks was talking to me for a while. I remember you so nice. I mean, all those guys up there, Marshall and I’m, I know I’m leaving people out, but it just seemed like everybody that I talked to up there. And then you see Chris a little more up there and you’re just like, I I’ve watched you on this, you know, on the internet last year, when this was like, how did you do this again?
It was pretty crazy on down the line. I mean, I mean, everybody seemed like. They just had such a good story and just had so much information. I just, at times I was like listening to some of them talk. I was like, uh, sometimes don’t even feel like you belong on, on a stage like that. I was going to ask, I figured you knew little more from last year.
I figured you’d mentioned that you’ve listened to this show a time or two. I figured you knew Marshall from how often we talk about him on here. I wasn’t sure how much you knew about the legend of players. Like Meek’s a horseplayer world series champion, like Gallo with everything that. That he’s accomplished.
I was curious if you had any feeling of intimidation. I don’t know it was more admiration than intimidation. I mean, I had made it through that far and I’ve competed in so many, any different things in my life that just high levels and what won and loss and it different sporting events and big tournaments than in big poker events, all that stuff.
It intimidation. It was, it was just kind of more surreal and just admiration, just like, wow. Um, I’m meeting so many people in a short period of time that I’ve only read about or seen on the internet or, you know, a wash like in Chris’s case, like watched when last year. We’re seeing their, all their names on like leaderboards in front of me and online tournaments.
I mean, it was just putting, trying to process so many, so many different names and faces and figure out where I’d seen them before and just meeting them all at once. It was just, it was just absolutely nuts and it just kept getting obviously crazier as the night went on. And all of a sudden I’m sitting with a microphone.
And a trophy and I’m with you and Steve Beck. And I was just like, I don’t even know what to say right now. This is just an absolute, incredible experience, right. Collecting now, not quite a week as we record this, have what new thoughts have come into your mind as you reflect on the experience of winning such a big tournament, especially so early in your, uh, your tournament playing career?
Um, I mean, honestly, the first thing is you, you hope that you don’t, uh, You hope that you can have the effect if they really want the, the youth movement, which I still think is funny because I just don’t find myself to be that young anymore. But it is. Yeah. So you’re not a new thing, which is fantastic, which is fantastic.
I mean, that makes me want to play more. Right. And then. Um, I guess you want to have like, uh, we were talking because my buddy is a professional poker player and then my other buddy had plays whenever he can too. And he was there and did really well in Vegas this weekend. And I used to play very seriously and we all grew up with that.
So you, you talk about like guys, like Chris moneymaker, um, you want to have, I was thinking like, if you can have that effect on the game and draw more young people, that’d be fantastic. I haven’t really thought about how to do that other than just go into as much as I can and being present and just helping promote.
But. You also think, man, it turned out that guy kind of wasn’t that great at poker, in my opinion afterwards, you just hope that you’re not, you’re not going to fizzle out and obviously this could easily be the peak of your career. I don’t see how there’s a more than great chance that it will be, but. Just continue to have success and other events.
And like Dave was talking about the other three majors can, you know, have a chance or have a chance to be the first person to win a second one at some someday, or defend this title someday. And just, there’s so many great opportunities that getting this one so young, but you also have to keep working because.
Anybody. I mean, there’s so many different ways that turn wicked on folded this weekend where I don’t win. I mean, so many things had to go, right. But I’m never going to take that for granted. I mean, I had just had a good game plan, but there. My handicapping has to improve tenfold to continue to have success in this game.
And I think every year you move on, you realize how little you knew the year before. And I think that’s an important attitude to continue. I mean, I’ll look back at how many mistakes I made in this tournament alone. As I continue to reflect on it. Just never being here and just the inexperienced and some of the things I probably did wrong with two entries.
I mean, There’s just so much to learn and so much to grow in this game. I just hope that I can stay relevant and just continue to have a chance at big events and promote as much as I can. But I mean, that’s just kind of the reflection I’ve had at what an opportunity I have. And it’s just, it’s still a little surreal.
And part most of this week I knew something great had happened because I was on two hours of sleep for most of the days, I would still wake up with a huge smile on my face. I was like, that really happens. It’s not a dream. So, I mean, it’s just been, it’s still surreal. It’s still surreal. And I’m even talking to you right now, but it’s just.
I have a huge opportunity and I want to do everything I can to take advantage of it. And you make a terrific point about how in this game, if you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind. I think it’s interesting and a really good sign for you going forward, that you’re already thinking in such intelligently.
Critical constructively critical terms about your own play in terms of looking at how you might’ve done the two entry thing differently, and also looking at improving your handicapping going forward. I’ll take each of those individually. Let’s start off with the two entries. What was your theory of two entries?
And Hey, what happened to your second entry? I never even bothered to look at my second actually. By $15, which I think was only good for one 40th or one 50th, because it was so tight. But I was, I did a couple of longer price horses to be able to and get, not only get enough to get over the line, but you couldn’t just get $15 as some such a tight pack because so many people are going to probably have the same horse.
So I was thinking I had to take a. A decent shot with the last couple. I had a couple of live shots that I’m just in favor and ended up running third, fourth, fifth. I don’t remember what it was, so I didn’t quite get there, but I think it’s finished with $167 maybe somewhere in there. Um, so there was some success on it.
Um, I had had a cap horse, um, one day and I played both centers in the same race in two different horses. And I did that twice and I hit, I hit that, that horse on the. For free since Santa Nila, the, a mandatory on my second entry as well that everybody kind of moved up with and was screaming. And I was like, dammit, why didn’t I play that on my first century?
But I liked the horse. I played more and I think he ran third. Um, my strategy was that I don’t as much as JK always preaches. If you like a horse playing on both entries, it was like, hi, we just wanted to, especially the first day kind of, I didn’t see anything. I was absolutely in love with enterprise. So I was trying to pick spots where I either liked the pace of the race to be.
There’s only two people. I think they can make the lead. And if one of them goes that could be gone or this race is going to fall apart, and I’m going to take two horses from off the pace at prices. And I just kind of tried to approach it on that. I was doubling up on the same race and two different horses a lot, and I was attacking shorter fields.
Because I knew a lot of people weren’t willing to. And if you hit a big price in a short field, you’re way less likely to have competition and a bunch of people moving up when that happens. And I also think, um, that I was much more willing than, than most to play horses at short prices. I tried not to play too many favorites, but I played a lot of horses that were two, two to one, five to two to three, to one, four to one in that range.
And. I was more looking to pick winners and I was looking to double up on the same race. It was all about probability. My, my game plan was literally probability is like, if you’re taking two horses in a six horse field and you hit, and especially if they’re not the favorite, which is the, what I generally tried to do, do you hit very people that are going to have them.
You’re going to move up for that reason. And two horses out of the six horse field, you better be able to hit the board or, I mean that you have a 33% chance. I mean, not a real 33% chance, but by the probability of just horses in the field, all those things, rather than trying to stab in 13 horse fields, I didn’t believe that I had the skills to out handicap the field, but I.
I felt like my edge was mapped. So I was, I was trying to come at it in a completely different way. And that worked, you mean some of the best players in the tournament? We’re not even looking at those six and seven horse fields, the way that they were looking at it. And Dave Goodfriend epitomize, this is half my money’s bet to place the place.
Price is going to be lousy in a six or seven horse field. Therefore I’m not even going to look at it, but I think what you’re saying speaks more to the fantasy sports contest, daily fantasy sports specifically. Way of looking at the world where the points that you get, that others don’t get are worth more.
And obviously you think that counterbalances any money you’re losing on the place end. Yeah. I just think you’re going to hit at a higher rate. I mean, you can, and in a six horse field, I got, I’m trying to pick, you know, I’m not looking at, I’m not considering places because I’m really hoping if I’m taking two.
So in six horse field, but more times than I’m going to have the winter, you’re going to lose money on the place. But. If you have the right price on the winner that you’re looking for, or if you’re, if the favorites off the board and the six horse field, I mean, you’re still going to get decent place money.
I mean, it’s not going to be quite as good. Or if you backdoor a place worse at a bomb, I mean, yeah, you’re going to get that cap money and that’s not going to happen very often at six horse field, but I just felt like definitely, as you said, I mean, I was taking a points that less people were going to have.
I mean, And we’re willing to look at it. And just at a higher percentage. I mean, I had, I knew that I was going to have to hit a high percentage of races with that strategy. And then I don’t know if I hit quite as high as I was hoping, but I mean, I hit, I had a fair amount of winners on my main ticket overall.
It’s just a lot of them just happened to be a shorter prices or in eight horse field, seven horse fields, six horse fields, because I felt that my edge was going to be there. Um, and then there was a lot of tracks that people knew really well, like aqueduct and stuff like that. And I just don’t ever play those.
So it’s just. I was living at like fairgrounds and some of the other tracks that had shorter races that I was hoping people weren’t looking at, what will you do differently? The next time you have two entries? I didn’t hear many mistakes. It sounded more like the kind of unlock that happens when you deal with the split ticket phenomenon.
Um, I mean, I hope as I grow as a handicapper, I’ll have a better plan than I had before for horses that I really, really like. And play them on both entries so that you can move them up together. And I do believe in that strategy and I’ve done that when I’ve felt more prepared, but with so many races in so many days that I just didn’t feel like I was going to be good enough to play too many double selections.
I think, you know, I think just getting better as a handicapper in the future will allow me to. Feel more confident or have more horses jump off the page where I feel like while this is the horse, I need to play in both races. And you know, it could just be situational. Maybe if I saw a bunch of races in the tournament this weekend, then maybe a couple of those horses would come about.
Um, but just getting better at using, using both and possibly playing a few more shorter since I just, I probably started playing long horses too early on my second entry, whereas only missing by $15. Any kind of nine to two shots that I probably passed up or didn’t play on both. Would’ve got the second one there too.
And then I would’ve had, you know, double the bullets for the, for Sunday, which would have been a huge advantage as well, because that was a, I thought Sunday, I thought Sunday was kind of tough. I just thought there was, I’ve never seen more horses at less than even money when you had, I mean, you had to pick, I mean, time 10 off and all the 32.
When you’re at least when you’re mandatory, you’re pointed in the direction and you have to focus on that race. I mean, that was another thing is like, I think probably people did better than me on Sundays picking up, picking reasons on their own. It was a lot easier when I was just focused. Okay. I have to play this race in.
Okay. If people are only willing to play a lot of people or even a mandatory races were only willing to bleed into one Rover. So I’m, if I like a horse at a short price, Everybody has to play the race. And it doesn’t matter. You’re if you pick the winner of five to two, those are so points that everybody else lost out on.
If they’re not willing to play those horses. So like when I was more of a head of direction picks for me, I think it was easier than I, I found myself struggling a little bit on which races to pick when I was on my own, when I didn’t have those paced scenarios that I liked and really short fields when I had to pick.
You know, I’m just orders. Other tracks I was uncomfortable with, which will all come with experience, I think, and getting more familiar with some of the major tracks that I don’t generally pick the play when I’m on my own. So I just think experience hurt a little bit, but it also just coming at a purely math standpoint and willing to play short price, at least carried me through enough just to get to the point I’ll be able to, because it was such a, I thought it was a pretty Chucky.
Sunday, if I remember correctly going into the final table and your theory obviously gets an a plus, I love a lot of the ways you decided to tackle the theory of the tournament. And I think playing prices that others play prices and races that others aren’t willing to play is an excellent strategy. And we saw it pay off in a big way.
I want to talk to you about your handicapping and how that’s evolving. You mentioned it’s something you want to improve. I thought it was interesting. The variety of different tools you used. If we could do a little bit of a recap here and talk about how you use each one, where does your form study start with which product?
Because I start with pace. I pull up time for them immediately because I like to see how they view the shape of the race. And in my head, if I don’t. Fully believe where a horse is positioned. I’ll kind of adjust that around in my head. Um, I’m not sure if there’s a way where you can drag it on the screen.
That would be really cool. If you could move horses back where you think they should go, but I’ve seen them do it on TVG. I don’t think there’s any way to do with the software if there is, I’d love somebody to tell me. Um, but kind of just, so I start with the shape of the race. If you see a horse loose and it’s, uh, you know, it’s a favorite, I oftentimes will.
We’ll move on if I believe that horse is good, if he’s going to get loose, I mean, just kind of. Single, uh, skip it, whatever you have to do and just, and just kind of move on. But if I see a bunch of horses, I could go for it. I start looking at, um, late pays figures or closing ability and the figures that the speed figures that they have in general of the closers that could happen.
And that luckily came up a few times during the tournament. Um, I use. You know, the buyer speakers I used to, I used DRF from on, I was using the actual forms. I hadn’t written in a paper format a long, long time because I drank I’m normally don’t go to the tracks. I you’d have to like order order that, I guess if you’re going to have like the actual newspaper prints out.
So that was, that was cool. Having it all in one book. Cause I normally have to print it all. So I do like writing on it still. It’s weird, but I, I much prefer to write on it then to just be looking at it online and we’re highlighting it online, even if you’re using like a surface pro or something. But, so I kind of look, I started looking at that.
I used those figures. I know I’ll compare them to other figures. I see. Especially the time form figures, um, to see if there’s a huge discrepancy. Cause you can, you can often find an opportunity. I know you guys have talked about it a lot. It doesn’t always happen. There’s you guys use that rule. I think it’s about 20, a 20 point difference in general.
But if you see a big discrepancy, then you have, you have, you have an opportunity there, in my opinion, that I would like to watch the replays and like, do I like the source or going on? Which figure do I believe? Cause that when there is a discrepancy you’re going to lose, you’re going to lose one side or the other, the people that believe more.
You know, a buyer speed figure or a time for them, but you have an opportunity in a horse like that. If you believe one figure over the other, whether to play against her play with. So I kind of look at things like that. Um, if I have time, I prefer to look at the replays of at least the, the horses. I believe that I have any shot to win at all because.
I think visually seeing what happened is a lot better for me, especially not seeing as many races lives. A lot of these guys, I kind of need to look back and see what actually happened because the track diamonds can only take you so far. Sometimes the same word as very, very different as what trip they actually got.
And I think you can find a nudge there. Not everyone’s willing to do that either because it takes a lot of time. And then I found myself not being able to do it nearly as much as I want it to this weekend, because I was running out of time with so many races. Going on, but that’s something on bigger days I really prefer to do.
Um, and then I was using stats, race lens for the first time, which was really cool because their percentages that they thought the horse had, the win, the odds were updating lives, and you could look at a big discrepancy there and you can save your angles. So like I had saved a handful of angles that I liked to look for.
And then they just give you that list and show you what races have. Flags, and then you just can click on them really quick. And if with having so many races in so many days, if you have your angles saved stuff that you’d be looking for any way to find them, versus if they’re already there for you and the new set to go click, I mean, that saves so much time when you’re looking for optional races, because that’s just, if you have favorite angles and I, I need to save a lot more and save them per track and kind of get better at using the software I had just.
You know, use the subscription that they offered everybody for qualifying, which was, I thought it was awesome with them. Um, that, that, that helped tremendously. If you don’t mind share, share an angle or two that you had saved in there, that sounds like a cool concept. I had a few, I think I was trying to save stuff where it was like their second start of the three-year-old or second, third as a four-year-old or first start off a lay off with you can save and then you can add like certain trainer percentages to it.
You could have, you can save. There was some things I liked to saving to save time as like, if the jockey and the trainer are both under 5%. I mean, generally we would like to avoid that situation. You can say percentages going the other way. Um, they had a bunch of default angles in there that I w that you can go through the list and kind of edit them out.
So I left a bunch there and there that they already had that seemed, seemed to be successful for other people. Um, So there was just a, there were so many, and you can just edit the list and then create your own and create them by track and create them by certain trainers. You can just pick out a, I think you can pick any trainer that they have in their database and just have specific situations that you look for just with that trainer.
There’s just so many things that I want to do with it now, going forward that I didn’t really know about until they offered that subscription. So that was just, I thought that was really awesome. The thing that I thought was interesting was we’re all, well, I don’t know about we’re all, but a lot of the listeners are familiar with it.
Formulator. And it looked like there is some functionality there similar to formulator, but where you can view by jockey. And interestingly on the breeding side by side fire, that to me looked like something that I might be able to have some fun with, especially when the new babies start hitting the ground and running to look for some angles in that direction.
I don’t imagine you had much time to play around with that yet. No, I didn’t, but, uh, th that’s a great point. And I, I used, I did use formulator a little bit for this, but since I had the forms printed out and a lot of what I use formulated were for was having everything in one place, plus the time from figures, plus being able to view the replays and see, okay.
Everything, but now, you know, you can click on it anytime from racing, see the replay you can click on. I have the buyer form already. So like I wasn’t buying as many formulator cards as I was using the DRF form, but then using the other products around it, because it seemed like I could be just as flexible and get to just about as much information with the others and combining them in the way that I was.
And formulators, I think quite a bit more expensive than the at least two, which is okay. Another, another thing about that. So it was very interesting going forward and I also love it’s breeding as well. I tried to rely on, I’m not great with pedigree. So the ratings and time form, where you can go and look at what they view the, the rating for their ability on turf, synthetic and dirt.
I used that quite a bit. I often hope it’s hope. It’s correct. Cause I don’t have a better answer for them, but yeah. It’s certainly a good view. Another way to, to look in any way and then over time, I’m sure you’re going to find your own preferences. Do you think it’s a hallmark? And I think this goes for the third place finisher, Matt veg golgi as well.
The idea that you guys are looking at many different. Past performance products at once. Does that have something to do with age the, your generation? I think it would be the stereotype of being able to process a lot of information growing up more with screens, even then, you know, the 10 year, 12 year generation gap between you and me.
Do you think your age is connected to how you’re able to use all these products simultaneously? I mean, it definitely helps because we were kind of, we grew up during when all the things were coming out and technology and even, you know, AOL instant messenger and all the things back in the day. I mean, you’re just always on a computer from once they kind of came into existence.
And I also think, I think that definitely makes you more willing to try other products. Whereas if you’ve, and it doesn’t mean the other ways are wrong, it’s just how we kind of process information. Whereas. I mean, Chris, little more has made the final two years, but just the forum. I mean, that’s incredible.
I, I couldn’t, I couldn’t do that, but I can do it. I can, I can approach it like this because this is, yeah, this is the way I grew up. And this is how I do my job also. Like we’re using all sorts of information at once for, for trading. So. I prefer to the more information. I mean, some of it gets to the overload, but if you kind of get a feel for how you like to use these products and what you’re taking for that product to formulate one number or one opinion, I prefer to do that.
I feel more comfortable having as much information as possible, but I know some people don’t and they think it’s overkill. It’s just, there’s just, that’s the great part about this game. There’s so many different ways to approach it. Did you talk to Matt? much at the final table. I mean, you guys, in a lot of ways meeting you in rapid succession over there at the table with Steve Beck and hearing your backgrounds and your approaches to racing, you reminded me of one another in a lot of ways.
Um, no, I just knew it. I knew it was a good player and had a great tournament. Um, I had some of the guys I talked to more than others. I don’t think he and I got a huge chance to talk. I’d love to someday. Cause I didn’t even know. His background. I don’t think he knew mine. I mean, I think we were complete strangers, so it was just, that is a very interesting take now that I know that he’s involved in that as well.
It’s just, um, I would assume we view things a little more similarly than you would’ve ever thought, which is it’s pretty cool. Um, it’s definitely cool to talk to everybody and get everybody’s story. But until I went back and read about who everybody was after the final day, but I didn’t really know. I mean, I was trying to meet as many people, but also stay focused on the final table.
Cause we didn’t have much time up there. So. It was just, it was one of those experiences. Everything just happened so fast. I was so blurry that I wish I would’ve had more of a chance to talk to him and some others up there, but you know, it just, it just kind of didn’t work out that way. But I think hopefully it will be, we’ll get a chance in the future.
And that is, that is really cool because his background’s very similar to mine. Just to give a little more perspective on the technology thing. I mean, I feel young when I go to the NHC, one of the reasons I enjoy going and, you know, I didn’t, I didn’t get online until I was 22 years old and didn’t use the internet every day until I was 24 years old.
And so that gives a little bit of perspective compared to you guys that’s yeah, that’s, that’s really the, I remember. Yeah, I probably started using it a little bit when I was 10. All my neighbor had prodigy. I go over there because I was running my own fantasy football league at about age 10 on the, in the neighborhood.
And I still have the same league, um, that I run to this day, but it was, uh, I had to either wait for the Sunday paper or the. The Monday paper and then the Tuesday papers for the Monday night game to score it, or else I could pray that my neighbor would let me in and use their use their prodigies. And I thought that was fascinating, but yeah, I guess 10 years old is probably when I started prodigy you’re old school in your own way.
Yeah. Seriously proud of me. I don’t even know why I still remember the, what it was called, but I do got a few more for you. I know you’ve got some other commitments, understandable being the champion, all how many live tournaments that you played in before the NHC. Which I think I mentioned in my speech that I just, I got absolutely killed in that because I wasn’t willing to play them short prices and quite a few of the men I played at hostile one twice, I believe in those $400 ones.
Wow. Pretty good. I mean, there is a winner. From the past who won in his first live tournament. But other than that, uh, that’s going to be about as few as you’re ever going to see standing up on that stage at treasure Island. Sunday night as the champion. Great stuff. I heard a rumor. You talked on air when we were on the big show together about betting on yourself.
I heard a rumor. You couldn’t find one of the tickets. Did it ever turn off? JK told on me, huh? Um, no, he was a huge help because I was kind of in a panic. When I, when I got into my room, um, my best friend, my best friend took a red eye and flew in, got there at midnight and then went, went back to the airport at five or six, you know, it was, I was so thankful for that.
And then he, Ricky and I, Ricky, Mike. Um, and coordinate as long as she could, then she kind of went to bed. We were up and by the time I get back, I was telling her when I got back to the room, I was like five or six in the morning, which I could barely see straight. She was like, just go to bed. They’ll turn up in the morning.
But I was panicked. I was like, I can’t find half the tickets I gave my buddy one to cash in. And then the sports book was closed. By the time we got done, I just couldn’t find him in the morning. And, um, I had seen Jacob earlier, um, He congratulated me when I was over by the cages and then saw him again the next morning and it’s going on that.
And I was like, yeah, I just, I just realized that I had the tickets, but he, you know, he told me to go over and talk to Tony and he’d probably take care of it. And Tony was awesome about it. And, uh, Got to meet him. So it actually worked out for the best. I just have to wait 30 days to get a lot, get a lot of the teachers bets on myself, but hopefully, hopefully I’m back in Vegas, possibly for the horseplayer world series or something like that.
I can just go cash them in, in person. But I was just thankful. I was just thankful that nobody cashed them in. Right. Well, that could have gone wrong by the way with them. Yeah. What do you think happened to them? And I don’t know, I had so many things in my pocket and I was trying to pay for things for us to do.
And honestly, I started collecting much receipts. I’m guessing when I pulled out my player’s card or a wallet or something, and all the chaos and drinking that went on after the tournament that I must’ve just dropped them on the floor of the casino somewhere. I can’t, I have no idea. So I was freaking out and I was also hoping that nobody would know what a.
Uh, when, when bed on Stockholm, the, when the NAC, even man. So I was hoping that if they did find that they just throw it away, I think it’s quite possible if somebody tried to cash that at this point, knowing the situation that that person would be in a world of trouble. Let’s hope. Anyway, tell us a little bit more about the celebration.
Where did you end up going that night? What happened? Yeah, I was so tired and we went to, obviously we went to the dinner, um, and that was really cool because obviously they let me have. Everybody that was with me, come to the dinner. And then we were with Chris little Morris, um, crew at the table. So it was really cool getting to know them and they were bringing champagne and I had to give another speech that I hope that wasn’t terrible after I don’t even remember talking as much as I did take all the pictures and just, well, thank you.
I hope that’s the case then. Then we went, uh, we just kinda went in all the treasure Island bars. We were going to go out farther, but then I got, my buddy was calling my girlfriends and he’s taking the red eye and he couldn’t believe it. And he was just, he was all over the country at that point. So your session and all this husband points and just leaving, leaving on a red eye and coming, and he got, cause he had just been away on a long golf trip that they take.
So he, you know, he was, it was awesome. He just, he flew out and got there at about midnight. We wanted to make sure we were still outside, around when he got there. And then we just. When Barbara bar in treasure Island and then started, uh, started playing some, some table games and just, I dunno, just drinking, having a good time.
And then eventually just, I was so tired and I apologize. I feel bad. You, you came all the way here for this. You probably were expecting some major club experience or something, but that’s just like, I have nothing left, but we played, I mean, we played some lads, some crabs, and eventually got some breakfast at five or six in the morning.
And. Apparently at some point I lost all my features set. It had a good, had a good old time. The drinks, the drinks were flowing. I just had this. I was so. On cloud nine, but also so exhausted at the same time that it was just, uh, wasn’t a celebration. I would have envisioned for something like that, but I’m sure we’ll have a party now that I’m back home in Chicago sometime real soon.
Now that now that everybody regrets not coming, that I invited to actually come to the sermon. You mentioned that your friends are not HorsePlayers. That is so wild to me. Do you think this might help them to look at it a little bit more seriously, or at least at all? I’m trying. I really am. I mean, Mike plays like that.
He was there when he can, but he’s the only one really. Um, and I had a couple of contests friends that I had met in the wind. Um, they were just so nice and helping me, Russ Carlson and Joe Jarvey, who went on to make the final table in 2016 when I couldn’t, when I didn’t quite make it to that tournament that year I tried pressed at the end of the year.
Cause I got so hooked after the winter med. So I know those two guys. And I talked to Russell once in a while, but horse racing, but he lives in Washington and Mike lives in Vegas. Like as far as, yeah, my friends that are here, fantasy football, we play a ton of DraftKings. We had fantasy football teams all over the place playing the biggest ones on the internet.
Like the national ones. I have some buddies who take it real serious, um, trading, you know, in poker as support for all of that. But yet none of them want to play horses. I mean, it is a big time commitment. A lot of them would be like, They’re behind the learning curve on that to even start now. But I think a few of them will at least come with me to these and try to learn a little bit more.
So they have some knowledge and maybe maybe get involved. You never know. They may, you know, the next player might just love it. And I click with them and we have so many comparables for what we’ve done our whole lives in play that I think if they gave it a chance that they would, and now this will hopefully.
Yeah, push them over the edge at least to get a couple of them in here. So I don’t have to be the only one out of our group. Uh, you know, all the weight I feel on Derby day. Cause everybody wants my picks. Luckily it’s a Rockaway. I like playing favorites and favorites of ones for several years in a row now.
But, uh, eventually my luck is gonna run out and everyone’s gonna yell at me. You sound like a man after J K’s heart there. Yeah. Yeah. So that’s why I feel bad. I let them down. I wasn’t playing enough of the same horse on two entries. You’ve already tipped your hand about the answer to this question that you don’t really have one, but it’s your homework assignment and it’s, you’re the perfect guy, since you’re trying to do it.
Not just in your own social circle, but out in the larger world, what can we do to get more people your age with your background, your demographics, whatever you want to say, what can we do to make racing more appealing to your friends and by extension the other people in that demographic? Again, I think you, you said you don’t have a lot on this one now, so, so feel free to defer the answer to another time, but, but are you willing to help me think about it and try to come up with an answer as the year goes on here?
Oh, absolutely. I feel like I, I owe that to the game for sure. I mean, this is just a huge honor and definitely, I mean, I, there are some, there are a few ideas that we’ll, we’ll talk about that I think I have, and you can tell me how, how ridiculous they are if they’re even possible, because you’ve actually been.
Part of promoting the same for so long, but, um, yeah, we definitely need to do something. Cause I mean, I just think when people realize how similar they are to a poker tournament or to addressing some or stuff like that, I mean, it’s the same thing. All these people are doing anyway. I just don’t. I just don’t think they have the confidence or even some of them don’t even know this exists.
I mean so many people, I do explain to what I was even doing this weekend. Some people I I’ve never, I can’t even tell you how many people thought I was writing. Okay. I was like, no, like I told you on air. I was like, no, it’s a real joke of it all. Is that I’m five foot seven and I’m too big. I’m too big to be a jockey.
I mean, it’s like literally even someone in my office, it was so funny. It’s like, you’re going to ride horses. You just got to hit them with the world series of poker analogy. That’s what I would always. Yeah, exactly. That’s the only thing I can do. I was like, it’s one, one time to the field. One time surprise school, but.
10 times better what I thought. Oh, that’s awesome. I’m going to start adding that line into that spiel. When people ask me what’s a horse racing tournament, at least now for a while there, my main job was covering tournaments. So I’d have to say it all the time. Now they asked me what I do and I say, Oh, I host a podcast about horse racing.
And that leads me to the last question for you. You could have knocked me over with a feather in our first conversation at TBI, when you actually credited me and this show with helping get you into tournaments. How far back do you go with the podcast and how regular of a listener are you? Uh, I said, um, I feel bad because I’ve missed a little bit time, um, over the holidays this year, but I mean, I go away, I go back to.
You J K and Mike Hogan. I mean the, the early, the early days, I, I would say I was commuting, especially from Chicago to Gray’s Lake and back for a while, and then I’ve lived in downtown now, but I mean, I’ve listened to almost every episode and every time that there was a big weekend of racing, I was for sure, kind of do as much of my handicapping as I could.
And then listen to the show recorded so that. Because I didn’t have anybody to talk to about it. I would just like to see if I’m on the same page as you guys, or if you guys came with ideas, I didn’t not try not to just rely on them, try to do the work. And then since I didn’t really have people to talk to you about it, listen to you guys afterwards.
So I’d already formed my own opinions and I could use it as a tool or as like an influence. But man, just listening to you guys twice a week for that long caught my learning curve down so much because I. Just I can’t. Thank you guys enough for how much I’ve learned along the years. And just listening to your different experiences in different takes on races, things out I’ve never thought about without growing up in this sport.
And then just getting to hear all the tournament, the terms that you cover and JK plays in. I mean, it’s just, I can’t even tell you how much this podcast is meant to me is growing in this game. Wow, that is so kind of you to say, and we appreciate it very much. And that’s the idea. And we want to extend that to all the listeners.
One of the things we got when we did that listener survey was a lot of people talking about how, whether it’s, because they don’t have that many HorsePlayers in their lives or they do, but they want. Extra time, being able to essentially sit around and talk racing. That’s the vibe we’re trying to put out there.
And you did this podcast, not just me and JK, but all the listeners proud Scott with that amazing performance out in Las Vegas last weekend. Thank you so much for coming on the show today. Oh, thank you for having me. Like I said, it’s just still on cloud nine here. So anything I can do for this show, I’ll always do it.
Well, you know, we are going to take you up. You will regret making that offer. We’ll be bringing you back on soon. We’ll make you do some handicapping next time and we’ll make sure JK is here too. All right. That’s sounds like a plan. Thank you. My friend, much appreciated. Of course, thank you. And that’s going to do it for this episode of the, in the money players podcast.
One more time. Want to thank our special guest Scott Coles reminder. This episode was sponsored by our friends at the thoroughbred retirement foundation. Definitely check them out, make a donation and use our special page as a go through. That is www dot TRF Inc org slash players. If that’s too much of a mouthful, as I suspect it will be for many of you out there, I’m going to also post that in our blog as well in the money podcast.com.
And we’ll also send it around on social media. They are doing great work at the TRF providing second chances for humans and horses alike. You’ll be interested to hear what they have to say. Thanks as well to our friends over at 10 strike racing. Most of all though, I want to thank you. The listeners, Scott Coles is one of you who will be the next to win a major handicapping tournament.
I bet you’re out there. We are here as a resource, ask us your questions. Use the hashtag ask ITM, hit us up via the blog page, whatever it is we want to stay in touch. We want to continue to create a community where HorsePlayers hang out and learn. From one another, we will be back later this week. I’m Peter Thomas foreign.
Tell me when you win all your photos .
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