Just a few races into last Saturday’s featured $10,000 Tournament, the mood of the room had turned cold. Longshots had taken four of the first five races and the chance to take home the game’s top prize seemed to be slipping away with haste. Colorful language decorated the game’s chat log and players began to flood into the day’s many other contests in search of greener pastures.
Oblivious to the goings on was Ariel Diaz. With plans to spend the day with his family, Diaz entered all of his contest selections before 1pm – hours ahead of the start of game play – and headed out for the day, hoping for the best.
“I never checked in. Family comes first,” Diaz wisely noted. “I got home around 9:30pm and started checking the results race by race.”
It didn’t take long for Diaz to realize he almost certainly had come away with the lucrative top prize.
“After a few races I realized I had done well,” recalled Diaz. “I didn’t win any in the last seven races but the early races were enough to win.”
They were more than enough.
Diaz had accumulated a bankroll of $122.20 after five contest races, a sum typically sufficient to win any tournament of a twelve-race duration. And he had done so with just three horses – one at each of the three racetracks that made up the tournament.
Diaz was quick to credit his favorite handicapper software for his good fortunes. He is a loyal user of Handicapping Technology & Research software, commonly referred to as HTR.
“The software identifies two or three horses with longshot potential,” explained Diaz. “So the horses I used were flagged by the software as potentials. It was my job to handicap the software.”
Diaz has been using HTR for quite some time now in his handicapping endeavors and credits it with his recent success.
“HTR gives me an edge because I am looking at something that other people aren’t looking at,” Diaz noted. “I have really been getting better the last eight or nine months as I understand the software better and learn how to use it better.”
A passionate fan of horse racing since the age of 14, Diaz has been playing in handicapping contests for the past three or four years now, and has been using handicapping software to aid his wagering since 2007.
“I play in contests up to five days a week,” said Diaz, a native of Puerto Rico. “And I play almost exclusively on DerbyWars. I don’t have the time to travel to big tournaments. My family comes first.”
For his winning effort, Diaz was awarded $4,525 cash and a $475 Token good for entry into an upcoming $5,000 High Stakes Tournament. Diaz has chosen to compete in the Santa Anita Opening Day edition of the high roller game, and could be a live contender with that contest featuring full fields and top-tier racing action.