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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

I’m only trying to Showvive

The first rule of Showvivor is that there are no rules. Well, that’s not exactly true, there are a few rules, but the basics of the game could not be much simpler. Select one horse each day from the entire card at Santa Anita Park that you believe is the most likely horse to finish in the top three. If that horse does in fact finish first, second, or third, you move on to the next day. If not, you go home. Seems pretty simple, right? Not so fast, my friends. Plenty can go wrong in any given race, on any given day, so to showvive day after day is not nearly as easy as it sounds.
 

Showvivor is a free contest run by the good folks at Santa Anita, and offers $5,000 in prize money, with $3,000 to first, $1,500 to second, and $500 to third. It’s nice of Santa Anita to pony up the five grand for the players, but on the other hand, it is also a stroke of marketing genius. So far in the first seven days, I have never been so tuned in to every single race at any single track. It almost seems a little silly I know, as the prize money will not make me rich, and my odds of winning began at 4,388-1, but you know how it is; when the competitive juices start to flow, you cannot help but to go all in. Well done, Santa Anita.
 
 
 
 
So here I am, all in. After seven days, my daily selections have managed four wins, and three seconds, and I find myself agonizing over the wait of three off days before I get the chance to showvive again when racing resumes on Thursday. Using a simple strategy of not trying to get cute, not worrying about odds, or what others may be selecting, and only picking the single horse that I consider most likely to be there at the finish, I have done only one thing, and that is showvived. There have been a few days where each of the final few horses I considered made the top three, and there have been a couple days where one of the last horses I considered finished off the board, but in the end, I showvived. And that, my friends, is all that matters.
 
 
The good news is that due to attrition, my odds of winning have dwindled down tenfold from where they began. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a gigantic long shot at odds of 385-1, and I'm obviously in against some serious competition, (three players have picked seven straight winners) but at the very least, I’m enjoying the ride!
 
 
 

 

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Older Comments about I’m only trying to Showvive...

Disappointed not to be part of the final 50, due to a tough Showvivor beat last night ... I went back and forth between Lady of Fifty and Book Review, I feared the winner, and then just missed getting up for 3rd in the La Canada ... At least I enjoyed the ride!
Dang... so close
I cannot pick Eblouissante in the Showvivor because, as a field that only drew five horses, her race will not be eligible.
Pick Eblouissante on Thursday!
Saratoga used to offer a SHOWdown for an entry fee of $10 that paid the top 10 finishers. In one of its last years I survived for many many days and I spent hours handicapping to make each day's decision. Finally there were 11 people left and I narrowed my choice that day down to 2 horses. It turned out I made the wrong choice and got knocked out on the bubble. That SHOWdown was great fun and a big test of skills, but I still get annoyed by my final mistake. If anyone can win the Santa Anita contest it is Brian. In the mean time you can find me frequently playing the daily Survivor tournaments at DerbyWars.com.

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing since birth. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. 

Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 
  
As Managing Editor of Horse Racing Nation, Brian authors a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and adds his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Brian also consults for Derby Wars, is on the the Board of Directors of ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption and is a Vox Populi committee member. 
  
A graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.  

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