Christy Moore had two important tasks last Saturday — play the Xpressbet Travers Online Challenge with the entry that she won here at HorseTourneys in a $175 qualifier…and do that while keeping an eye on her 9- and 11-year-old sons.
“I told them, “Mommy’s playing in a contest,'” said the 40-year-old insurance industry worker who lives in Fishers, Indiana, with her husband and fellow contest aficionado Tim Yohler. Still, Moore wasn’t sure that persuasion, alone, would do the trick.
“Finally, I told them that if they were good all day, I’d buy them the Nintendo Switch [game console] that they had been asking for,” laughed Moore. “That was the bribe!”
It turned out that the boys WERE good all day, but would Christy be as good in her contest? Early indications were not promising.
Starting out with a bankroll of $2,000 and required to make at least five plays of $200 each, Moore lost four $200 plays over the first eight races on the Saratoga card and found herself down to $1,200. Then she hit a $200 win bet on My Sister Nat ($6.90) in race 9. The rules dictated that Moore still had to wager another $1,000, but at least now she could do it however she liked, and she had a total of $1,690 at her disposal.
In the Travers, Moore liked Tiz the Law and runner up Caracaro, so she hooked those two up in exactas and added in eventual third-place finisher Max Player in some trifectas, and with one race to go in the contest she was up to almost $3,000. She was still about $10,000 behind leader Rich Averill, though. It was time to come up with a strategy for the 12th and final race.
“I really liked the 3 (7-2 Blitchton Lady) in the race so I singled him on top in some $100 trifectas with the 1,2,7 and 9 who I also liked, but not as much as the 3,” she recalled. “I wound up putting in two trifecta tickets that cost $1,200 each.”
But Moore had $3,000 in her bankroll. Why did she only bet $2,400?
“I was holding $600 back for the Nintendo Switch,” she admitted.
One of Moore’s tickets went down in flames but the other $100 part wheel included the 3-1-7 combination that returned $261.00 for a buck, thanks in large part to the 16-1 Bella Domenica running second. Moore’s return was a whopping $26,100, and victory was hers!
Christy’s husband Tim was also playing in the contest and lost his final race play of about $300. Christy, meanwhile, was keeping her plays to herself.
After the horses crossed the wire, Christy deadpanned to Tim, “I hit that.”
Yohler’s response was one only a horseplayer could appreciate.
“You hit that? How the hell could you have that 1 horse!?”
In both victory and in defeat, it seems that bragging rights are always up for grabs in the Yohler/Moore household.
“I enjoy teasing him if I beat him,” Christy said. “One year I finished second in a free qualifier right after the previous NHC had concluded, and I got to give Tim crap because I was qualified and he wasn’t.”
Believe it or not, though, it’s only been a few years since Christy even began playing contests.
“Tim and I have been together for five years, and I was actually sick of hearing about him trying to qualify for the NHC all the time, so I decided to try it. I started out just playing Survivor and Exacta games online. Eventually I started playing NHC qualifiers too.”
Today, to merely say that Moore “plays” NHC qualifiers would be a vast understatement. She finished third in the 2019 NHC Tour, earning a bonus of $27,500.
“Last year was definitely a crash course for me,” she said. “When I won that free qualifier and then won a $400 contest that spring at Keeneland, it forced me to play online more, and I certainly learned a lot.”
Now she’s certainly winning a lot. She was already double-qualified to the NHC prior to the Xpressbet Travers Online Challenge, so Moore chose a Pegasus World Cup seat as her prize for finishing first. Along with that came a winner’s bonus of $18,638 to go with her final bankroll total of $26,695.
It all means that Moore is now well funded to chase her remaining 2020 goal of winning an entry to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.
Regardless of how that quest turns out, Moore will now have happy reminders of her biggest contest win pretty much every single day — whenever she looks over and sees her boys playing with their new Nintendo Switch.