She only began handicapping and playing the game about a year ago, but this victory adds to Bowley's already impressive resume! Known as "Sophia" in the game, she won her first $5,000 game in June and placed second in the August $10K six weeks later.
During the Del Mar meet, she played her way to victory in $1,000 contests and Head-to-Head games using her knowledge of the local SoCal jockey colony. She regularly tops the monthly DerbyWars leadboard after less than a year of tournament play!
Barbara's impressive DerbyWars resume:
- - Won $5,000 Game - June 2013
- - 2nd $10,000 Game - Aug 2013
- - Won $10,000 Game - Dec 2013
"I really liked the intellectual challenge of analyzing data -- it's what I do for a living -- and that you could make a profit from a hobby," Bowley said.
In the Dec. 14 $10,000 game, she started off setting a fast pace, scoring $15.00 in race one with The Big Deluxe in an Allowance Optional Claiming event at Aqueduct. She hit again in the 4th race, a Maiden Special Weight at Gulfstream, for $16.00 when My Storm Trooper ran second to $50 capper Our Caravan.
"My philosophy on playing contests is to look for winners - whether they are logical longshots or shorter priced horses," said Bowley. "Sometimes you find the longshots by uncovering a piece of information about the horse that may be overlooked by others, or you see a horse, especially in maiden races, who looks super fit and professional and ready to win despite a poor record or even being a first time starter."
That strategy paid off as the game went on - she scored $16.00 again with Tribal Dress in contest race 6, then added $2.80 to her score with Temeraine in contest race 8.
"My strategy in larger contests is to look for logical longshots whenever possible and always have a plan for the endgame. In Saturday's $10K contest I planned for two horses to use in the final leg at Hollywood depending on where I stood in the contest. I needed a horse to come in at a certain price, and I liked As Rulers Go, who I also thought would not be a common choice among the tournament players."
As Rulers Go blew up the toteboard and paid $50 to DerbyWars players, securing Bowley's victory.
Her final score of $100.40 was just 40 cents more than runner-up Stephen Curlin, "Urug", whose sole scoring horses were the two $50 longshot winners!