Derby Wars hosted the $30,000 Belmont Day Shootout this past Saturday, which consisted of six races from the Belmont Stakes Day card and six races from Hollywood Park. The entry fee was $175 and there were 188 entrants. As usual, the Derby Wars regulars were out in-force along with a number of hard-core tournament players entering the fray in an attempt to take down the $10,000 first prize. For the second time in four Shootouts, a man who works hard in the horse racing business on the handicapping side of things emerged victorious. Back in April, it was Chuck Kuehhas of the DRF garnering a Shootout victory and over the weekend, Ellis 'Ubercapper' Starr outgunned the competition for the biggest tournament win of his career. Starr is the National Racing Analyst for Equibase and can be followed on Twitter using the same moniker as he uses on Derby Wars, @ubercapper.
"I really love what Derby Wars does and particularly like the fact that many qualifiers are available for people to get into a big tournament, like the $30K Shootout, with minimal effort," said Starr, who parlayed wins in both $12 and $25 qualifiers that morning to earn two $175 entries to the shootout. "I also appreciate that there are so many other tournaments, some with very little buy-in, that allow players of all levels to hone their skills and win a few bucks along the way."
When asked about what propelled him to victory, 'Ubercapper' responded, "It all started to gel when I picked Desert Blanc in the Manhattan, followed by the first time starter Mr. Ornery at Hollywood Park. Marty Jones had 2 horses in the race and this one was way too high odds (40-1) to pass up given that Jones wins with 24% of his first time starters. Paynter finishing second put me in second, then I used Until You (the top pick on my Hollywood Park selection sheet), who is trained by Vann Belvoir and who was a half brother to two first out winners. It still was tough, hanging on in the 12th at Belmont and I got lucky when the favorite won and no one close to me had the longshot that ran second."
Without question, Starr has some strong ideas regarding how he approaches the game. "In my daily handicapping and producing selections as well as when I’m playing contests, my handicapping methodology is situational. I believe handicapping revolves around answering two questions, the first being is there a race from a horse’s past that if repeated today it could be competitive and the second being can that race be repeated today?"
When it comes to betting, here are 'Ubercapper's' views, "My wagering style, on the other hand whether playing contests or producing my selection reports daily, is contrarian as per my motto 'Friends Don't Let Friends Bet Chalk', so in the end I'll land on my second, third, or even fourth choice if the odds are much higher than my 'fair odds' suggest they should be."
The win also moved Starr to the Top of the Derby Wars Monthly Leaderboard.
As is often the case with contests on Derby Wars, it was very close and competitive with narrow amounts separating the field. Here is a look at the Top Ten finishers. For full results, click here:
1. Ellis 'Ubercapper' Starr - $110.40 ($10,000)
2. William 'willie' Murphy - $108.00 ($5,000)
3. Robert 'drlipp' Lipp - $106.80 ($2,500)
4. Scott 'IceIam' Pulcini - $100.50 ($1,500)
5. Patrick 'redred' Cronin - $92.80 ($1,250)
6. Scott 'Flying G racing' Bowerman - $89.60 ($1,000)
7. Steve 'ELVINjONES' Mercier - $83.90 ($900)
8. Brian 'brianh' Herrity - $81.90 ($750)
9. Brian 'brianh' Herrity - $79.40 ($600)
10. Darren 'Greytrun' Anderson - $75.20 ($500)
Derby Wars will be hosting another Monthly Shootout in July, with a date to be announced soon!