Mark Smickley finds success at Portland Meadows in exclusive post-ShowVivor contest
Pennsylvania horseplayer Mark Smickley has been enjoying some success playing Portland Meadows ShowVivor game this season. While he didn’t take home the $5,000 first prize check in the big contest, Smickley has now taken down two of the weekly ShowVivor Monday Fun games since the game started several months ago. As a special bonus for people who played in the Ultimate ShowVivor Online Contest back in the fall, Portland Meadows offers a weekly Monday Fun email contest exclusively for the contestants each and every Monday. Monday Fun offers $100 winner takes all grand prize, and the objective is to have the highest mythical bankroll from making $20 in imaginary wagers for a designated contest race.
Smickley has now taken the prize down twice and also finished second in one of the contests, which weekly draws around 400 players, all people who participated in the Ultimate ShowVivor Online Contest.
“I start by eliminating from consideration any runner that doesn’t fit the race conditions and from the remaining runners select a key horse,” Said Smickley. “If I feel my key horse will be going off at low odds, I’ll construct a trifecta or superfecta ticket with it, otherwise, I’ll put together an exacta play. I keep the combinations of my exotic wagers to a minimum.”
Smickley’s strategies have already earned him a couple of free paydays, but he has also become an avid Portland Meadows player, in part he says, because of the 14% take out Pick 4 wager that Portland Meadows started a few seasons ago.
“I strongly believe that lowering track takeout rates is a win-win for all parties. Portland Meadows’ 14% takeout on the pick4 is a great example,” said Smickley. “I bet through my ADW which carries a live feed of PM races. I particularly pay attention to the pick4 sequences because of the associated 14% takeout rate.”
Smickley said he got into racing in 1988 after Winning Colors won the Kentucky Derby, but it wasn’t the brilliant filly that caught his eye.
“As great as her performance was that day, what caught my eye was a horse charging hard to get up for third. I watched the tape of that race over and over and then bet that horse, Risen Star, in the Preakness and Belmont. This game is easy I thought at the time. I was hooked.”
Smickley still follows his local track Penn National, as well as Tampa Bay Downs and many other Northeast tracks. But he is also now paying attention to another horseplayer friendly track, Portland Meadows.