Archives for March 13, 2018

Interview with Garett Skiba, Elite Contest Player and OptixEQ User

Meet Garett Skiba, an elite handicapper and contest player with the most six-figure cashes in handicapping contests over the last two-plus years. He most recently took home third place in the 2018 National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) tournament in Las Vegas, netting $125,000. We asked him to discuss OptixEQ and how he incorporates its products into his own handicapping process. 

 

Optix (O): When did you first start following horseracing? And what is your proudest achievement as a horseplayer?

Garett Skiba (GS): I started playing the races with my dad, going to simulcasting outlets at Balmoral Park and to live racing at Sportsman’s Park and Hawthorne. As a horseplayer, my proudest achievement is having won more than $650,000 in contests.

 

O: What kind of player are you and how often do you play? For example, do you follow just one circuit? Do you just play tournaments, etc.?

GS: I will focus primarily on Kentucky Downs, Belmont, Saratoga, Keeneland, and Gulfstream. I will typically play intensively one to two days a week, and then, for three or four days a week, I will look for spot plays.

 

O: What kind of handicapper are you, and which types of bets favor your style?

GS: Historically, I have been a handicapper who has looked for hot pace scenarios that would favor horses with perceived “weak form” who would benefit from a pace collapse. Optix has been a valuable tool in broadening my approach to the overall pace picture.

 

O: How long have you been using OptixEQ and what brought you to try our handicapping platform?

GS: I have been on Optix for about two years. My interest was brought on by a willingness to try new products and always tweaking my style/approach in order to better understand the game. 

 

O: Describe how OptixEQ has enhanced (or added to) your game?

GS: As mentioned previously, the product has improved my understanding of the pace picture. Additionally, OptixNOTES have been a fantastic way to explain away poor races by horses who are being overlooked on the board.

 

O: Over the past two years, OptixEQ users have been finishing very well in tournaments. What advice do you have for users who are new to the platform?

GS: I would highly recommend learning about all aspects of Optix and also take the time to review historical races. I wouldn’t recommend playing either OptixPLOT or OptixNOTES alone, but rather use them as tools to support/contract your entire picture/opinion of the race. It is not meant to be a prediction engine!

 

O: What would you like to see integrated into the platform to further enhance the product?

GS: Personally, I would like more control as it relates to the pace lines driving the OptixPLOT, or at the very least, visibility as to which line is driving what we are seeing.

“Off the Charts” Horses to Watch – 3/13/2018

track announcer with binocularsWe’re back with a few horses to watch for the AGOS visitors.  Put these runners in your Stable Alert or Stable Mail service.

 

PARX

DO A LEGGER (Parx, race 6, 3/12/18) – this longshot was loaded for bear on the far turn but had no where to run.  It didn’t get any better when they turned for home as he was stuck behind a wall of horses.  It was about 3/8ths of a mile before he got in the clear and when that happened he finished willingly for show.  Absolutely horrible trip.

 

Tampa Bay Downs

DYNASHE (Tampa Bay Downs, race 6, 2/14/18) – Likely winner raced off the pace, made winning move at the top of the stretch but was blocked inside. Lost momentum while winner came clear on the outside. Finished well up the rail for clear 2nd. It was her first start over the Tampa dirt and she should be tough next time out.

 

BOSTON BREEZE (Tampa Bay Downs, race 2, 3/10/18) – maiden ran into a buzzsaw with a $1M Pletcher first time starter and future stakes horse named Ruler Of The Nile.  This lightly raced runner finished strong for trainer Chad Stewart and can move forward in his next outing.

 

QUIP (Tampa Bay Downs, race 11, 3/10/18) – great ride from Flo Geroux and an impressive early turn of foot from this rising star on the Kentucky Derby trail.  The son of Distorted Humor overcame a tough outside post with a short run into the first turn.  Quickly cleared six of the horses to his inside to get into a stalking position behind one of the co-favorites.  Showed a lot of grit to out-game that rival in the lane. He is trained by Rodolphe Brisset, only a 10% trainer, but he is a former assistant to Hall of Famer Bill Mott.