• Road To The Roses Kentucky Derby game strategy

    POSTED Mar 27, 2013
    A streamlined version of the popular Road To The Roses Kentucky Derby game begins this weekend, and with the most points available for winning the Kentucky Derby itself, the simplest strategy would be to select the six horses you feel have the best chance of winning the race.

    Unfortunately for me (and I'm guessing others) this isn't even close to optimum strategy for winning the game because multiple horses in my "top six" figure to be in the same race leading up to the Derby.

    There are 1,598 points available in this contest--170 in each of the seven Derby Championship Series races, 34 in each of the two wildcard races, and 340 in the Derby itself. I view a perfect score as 940 points: six 100-point scores in the DCS leg 2 races plus all 340 points in the Derby.

    Barring chaos, having multiple winners of DCS leg 2 races AND the Derby winner is far more important than only having the Derby winner, so even though I have Itsmyluckyday, Orb, and Shanghai Bobby all in my top five most likely winners of the Derby, I'll only use Itsmyluckyday for this contest because my best score with him and two other prep hopefuls is 620 whereas my best chance with all three in the Florida Derby is 480.

    But wait! There is not a single horse in the U.A.E. Derby that I view as a legitimate Kentucky Derby threat at this point, and that only leaves six other 170-point races. Can I really be expected to pick the winners of all six of them? Aren't I better off taking Shanghai Bobby and Orb than a stab at who will win (or even show up) in the wide open Blue Grass Stakes and/or Arkansas Derby?

    Here's who I know I have to have: Itsmyluckyday (Florida Derby), Verrazano (Wood Memorial), and Oxbow (Arkansas Derby). That leaves me three spots, and with the five-team limit I'll mix them up using the following scheme: the fourth spot will go between Flashback and Hear The Ghost in the Santa Anita Derby and the fifth and sixth spots will go among Palace Malice, Code West, Shanghai Bobby, and Orb in the Louisiana and Florida Derbys.

    Yeah, I'm giving up some 100-point expectations there by A) not including the Blue Grass Stakes at all and B) doubling up in the FL Derby, but I just can't ignore how strongly I feel about Orb and Shanghai Bobby being good horses.

    FULL DISCLOSURE: Part of my strategy is guided by having to compete against fewer people in the Churchill Downs Inc. employee league. If you're gunning for the top spot among ALL PLAYERS, then I absolutely would make at least one of my teams with obtaining the perfect score in mind.
  • 65 comments:

    Anonymous said...

    I accidentally created six stables. I tried to delte the sixth but could not. What I was left with is three functional stables with the other two shown as blank and one a duplicate. Not sure what went wrong. I tried reaching out to tech support but got nothing. I completed all of this within the allowed time frame. I cannot even access anything other then entering my E-mail and what shows is my stables. Why can't I enter anything for todays action. Can someone help? Thanks

    billmose said...

    Actually there is a much easier system to maximize points in this contest.

    After only 5 races "Mardar Farms" is in 1st place with 600 points already.

    How did he do it you ask?

    Simple. He just entered Verrazano in all six slots available in his stable...

    Let's say Verrazano wins the Derby, well it looks like he'd pick up another 1,200 points.

    Well Played, 1,800 points and only had to play one horse throughout...

    Anonymous said...

    Mardar Farms thought outside the box, no handicapping involved. Too bad for Mardar Farms. The Fantasy Challenge is a handicapping contest: The following is an internet based game of skill in handicapping horse races. Mardar handicapped nothing, played the game like a professional...con artist.

    Anonymous said...

    Mardar Farms should be disqualify. The rules clearly states, "six (6) horses". This person only selected 1 horse. What amazes me is that they put him/her on the leader board. Anyone who did not pick 6 horses should not even be on the leader board at all. I am assuming that they are being lazy and waiting to disqualifying Mardar Farms, and anyone else, until the game is over.

    billmose said...

    Don’t know much about his handicapping skills as we all had five stables to enter.
    If he used the same system with all of them he did not hit until the fifth race.
    However, I’m thinking there is at least somewhat of a chance that he skipped
    the UAE Derby and still has one more shot.
    Let’s say he hits the Lexington or Blue Grass – He’d be tied with himself for
    1st and 2nd place with so many more points than anyone else – He’d take down
    the top two prizes.

    note: Perish the thought he has two more bullets in his gun and ends up with a
    three way tie with himself, he’ll sweep the whole “gosh darn” contest…

    Again Sir: well played.

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