Americans across the country looked forward to taking off
work last Thursday, July 4, to celebrate our nation’s independence and spend
the day doing something enjoyable. For Mark McGuire of Newbury Park,
California, it was an opportunity to close down the sports bar he owns and
focus on taking down DerbyWars’ $20,000 4th of July Tournament.
“A bunch of my friends were going to Hollywood Park for
the day,” said McGuire. “I probably could have gone with them and still played,
but I would have been distracted. So I stayed at my sports bar and really
focused on the tournament.”
McGuire defeated 129 other DerbyWars players to secure
the $10,000 first-place kitty in a blanket finish. It took a bankroll of $150.60
to clinch the victory over runner-up Michael Elsass ($137.50) and tied third
place finishers Brent Sumja ($120.60) and Eric Pineiro ($120.60)
It was certainly a tournament that required focus. With
the top bankrolls having not achieved significant separation from each other,
it was a contentious affair all the way to the last race of the contest. After
the gates open and selections were revealed, McGuire knew that the 9-1 shot Uno
Pecador was a potential trouble-maker for his tournament chances. Uno Pecador
would go on to inherit an uncontested lead in the five furlong affair and it
would take the length of the stretch for McGuire’s horse, Jost Van Dyke, to run
him down to secure the victory.
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While McGuire was quick to attribute his uninterrupted
focus as the key to his victory, he was similarly quick to give kudos to
contest players who had to divide their attention between the online contest
and alternative holiday rituals.
“I’m really good friends with the player who led the
contest early on and for most of the way, and he may have been a little
distracted,” McGuire chuckled mischievously. “He was having a 4th of July
barbeque and kept sending me pictures. He was playing DerbyWars from the pool!”
A longtime racing fan, McGuire was first introduced to
the sport at the age of 12 when his parents took him to Los Alamitos and he
placed a bet on a 60-1 winner. While he hasn’t continued to play quarter
horses, he has very much continued to pick good longshots, which may be a
contributing factor to his savvy tournament strategy.
McGuire has been playing in horse racing tournaments for
over a dozen years and has qualified to play in the Daily Racing Form/ NTRA
National Handicapping Championship (NHC) each of the last six years. He was an
active member of the NHC Tour last year, finishing third on the Leaderboard and
qualifying for the NHC ‘probably five times over.’
Adopting a different tournament strategy this year,
McGuire has yet to secure a qualifying spot to next year’s NHC but has a busy
upcoming schedule aimed at changing that situation. Over the next few weeks,
McGuire plans to hit up big money tournaments in Las Vegas, Saratoga and
Canterbury in search of both an NHC seat and financial spoils, but also in
search of good times.
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“I enjoy the brick and mortar tournaments because I
really like the camaraderie. I have never met a better group of people,”
McGuire warmly noted. “They are the friendliest, nicest, best bunch of people I
have ever met in my entire life. Nowhere else are your competitors constantly
cheering you on. Even to their own detriment, they always cheer you on.”
With the $10,000 winner’s share of DerbyWars’ $20,000 4th
of July Tournament, one can be sure that plenty of good times lie ahead for
McGuire at each of those contest venues, and for all horseplayers lucky enough
to cross paths with the propitious prognosticator.
Players can register for DerbyWars at www.DerbyWars.com. First time depositors can receive a cash bonus. For more details on DerbyWars NHC Qualifiers or any DerbyWars related inquiries, please email the DerbyWars support staff at email@example.com.