Horse racing can still sometimes come across as a male dominated sport, although the tides are surely shifting. After all, three of the past four Horses of the Year have been fillies, proving that it certainly pays to ‘Run like a Girl.’
“It’s the $10,000 Distaff!” exclaimed one jovial contestant in the lively game chat.
It was Barbara Bowley who got off to the quickest start as one of three players to have correctly selected Sandyinthesun from the eighth race at Saratoga, which was also the contest’s opener. That put a quick $50 into her account as the selection capped out. But Bowley knew the contest was far from over.
“You always have to look over your shoulder,” Bowley wisely noted. “You can never get complacent.”
Undeterred, Shurtleff wasn’t too worried after the opener as she had the benefit of selecting second place finisher Lure of the South, putting $17.60 into her bankroll.
“I was just a little nervous after the first race,” Shurtleff said. “But not too worried. It’s a long contest.”
“Arlington is not my strongest track,” admitted Bowley. “I’m a So. Cal girl, you know. I was waiting for Del Mar. In fact, on the drive down there, I was playing on DerbyWars Mobile…I wasn’t driving!”
Shurtleff would take advantage of those races from Arlington, adding to her bankroll with Gifted Girl in the Beverly D. and Real Solution in the Arlington Million.
“I felt lucky in the Million,” said Shurtleff, commenting on the disqualification of The Apache and the elevation of Real Solution to first place.
Luck may have been part of it, but shrewd handicapping prowess would put Shurtleff ahead of Bowley and the rest of the field as she added another $18 to her bankroll in Saratoga’s twelfth race with Jesses Giant Dunk.
The Apache & Real Solution cross the wire in the Arlington Million. Story continues below.
The final four races of the contest would take place at Del Mar and, just as predicted, Bowley hit her best stride. She would select the winners of three consecutive races at the San Diego racetrack. Unfortunately for Bowley, Shurtleff would have two of those winners as well and position herself nearly $16 ahead going into the final race of the contest.
“In Del Mar’s sixth and seventh races, the top three all picked the same horses,” recalled Shurtleff. “I knew going into the last race I couldn’t pick (8-5 race favorite) Kitten’s Dumplings. I had to use value.”
As it was, it wouldn’t matter. None of the top three selected race winner Discreet Marq, much to Bowley’s chagrin.
“I should’ve picked Julien Leparoux on the turf!” laughed Bowley in retrospect. “I could’ve won!”
Bowley, upbeat about her solid second place finish in the featured game, would go onto compliment the DerbyWars platform and community.
“It’s so exciting – I love DerbyWars!” remarked Bowley. “There are a lot of good female handicappers coming on. There’s something about the way the site is structured. It’s so easy to use. It’s not intimidating – a very female friendly environment.”
Shurtleff was similarly excited to come away as the weekend’s big winner. She has been a racing fan for over five years after attending a day at the races at Tampa Bay Downs.
“I started to love the game,” said Shurtleff. “It’s challenging and I like that.”
A member of the DerbyWars community nearly since the beginning of the site, Shurtleff is enjoying the big win and still dreaming of things to come. Last year she placed sixteenth in the Horseplayer World Series in Las Vegas. She hopes to qualify for the National Handicapping Championships next year.
“That is kind of a dream,” remarked Shurtleff, an attorney based in Trinity, Florida.
She’ll have plenty of opportunities to qualify on DerbyWars, with four seats into the championship event up for grabs over the next few weeks and chances to prequalify happening daily.
Good luck, guys.