Every horseplayer goes through ups and downs, hot streaks and cold streaks. One DerbyWars player who is enjoying the more favorable of the two is Patrick Gianforte (pgn401).
Gianforte’s procession of plush payouts began last Saturday, August 24, in that day’s featured $10,000 Travers Day Tournament. He didn’t just win that tournament, but dominated from start to finish en route to a $54.60 margin of victory over second play finisher taytay.
“Sometimes you get hot, you get lucky,” exclaimed Gianforte. “Things just fall into place.”
Many tournament winners that day credited their win to Capo Bastone, a longshot winner who credited the maximum of $50 to player’s mythical bankrolls if they backed him. While Gianforte did select Capo Bastone, he won by such a massive margin that he would have still be on top had he not selected that sophomore colt. He went on to illustrate how he did land on him.
“It was between three horses, including Capo Bastone,” explained Gianforte. “I didn’t like Forty Tales at all; I figured his last effort would take a lot out of him. I was looking for a value horse with a chance, and Capo Bastone had a valid excuse last time.”
Travers winner Will Take Charge was another of Gianforte’s longshot winners, and also one of the five horses he cashed in on from seven races at the Spa.
“Will Take Charge probably wasn’t ready for the Triple Crown run,” analyzed Gianforte. “But now he is really coming into his own. There was a lot of speed in the Travers so it came down to him and Orb.”
Gianforte’s powerful display of prognosticative prowess was too much for the 66 opposing entries into the contest.
“I am good friends with [third place finisher] Paul Shurman,” noted Gianforte. “At one point he just said ‘I give up!’”
For the win, Gianforte received $4,525 cash and entry into the next day’s $5,000 Pacific Classic High Stakes Tournament, where he would go onto finish second behind the always dangerous Paul Scott (ptscott), who Gianforte also counts as a friend. In fact, had Scott not selected the same horse as Gianforte in the finale of that contest, the outcome could have been reverse. But as it was, that second place effort netted Gianforte an additional $1,000 payout to cap a good weekend on DerbyWars.
But Gianforte wasn’t done yet.
In an effort to defend his title in the $10,000 featured weekend tournament, Gianforte leapt out to an enviable early lead in the $10,000 Woodward Day Tournament with a pair of longshot winners at Saratoga. Though he would eventually get passed by Pete Manzo (menace), Gianforte would finish in a tie for third place – good for another grand to add to his brimming collection of four figure payoffs.
Simultaneously, Gianforte was playing in the $5,000 Woodward Day High Stakes Tournament, which featured exclusively Saratoga races. A week after taytay finished second to Gianforte, the tables were turned as that foe got the best of his rival in this tournament. But Gianforte’s runner-up finish was enough to get him – you guessed it – another $1,000 kitty.
Despite all the success at Saratoga, Gianforte would make a slight admission.
“I’m really more of a west coast guy,” he chuckled.
Gianforte has been into horse racing since 6th grade when he was introduced to the sport by friends at a country club where he worked.
“I parlayed some small bets into $1,900,” reminisced Gianforte. “My mom told me then that that was the worst thing that could ever happen!”
Gianforte is an avid contest player and has already qualifier for next year’s NHC in Las Vegas, although he is seeking a second seat into that tournament. He has played in the championship event for the last seven or eight years, and had an improved showing last year.
When not handicapping, Gianforte can often be found playing golf, or spending time with his family which includes his wife of 35 years, three grown children, and many beloved grandchildren.
DerbyWars players might hope Gianforte chooses to spend some more time on the links. Because going up against pgn401 in the big DerbyWars tournaments has recently been a very daunting task.