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In Masters of the Air, currently streaming on Apple TV, Masters of the Air recounts the story of the 100th Bomb Group during World War II and it follows them on dangerous missions to destroy targets inside German-occupied Europe.

The show portrays the intensity of war, but also the inner workings on 'dropping bombs.

Each crew had a 'Bombardier' who was responsible for targeting of the aerial bombs.

He would take over the plane flight for 30 seconds to a minute to identify their target and drop the bombs strategically.

Horseplayers need to think more like a bombardier and strategically play bombs rather than just carpet bombing and hope you hit the target.

Whether you are at NHC or playing daily, just dropping bombs doesn't make you a profitable horseplayer. You need to strategically find the target for your bomb.

My experience in the NHC comes from being around Michael Beychok (NHC winner 2012), Roger Cettina (twice runner up in NHC), Chris Podratz (Multiple top 20 placings), and other very successful tournament players like Tommy Massis, whom won number of live money tournaments.

For example, Michael had one bomb in his win, a first time starter, we had positive comments and 4 star work, from the Dan Hendricks barn.

In 2012, we had a few bombs for the players, one specifically, was an Oscar Barrera, $8K claimer, stretching out from 6f to a mile at Gulf.

This horse was on top on our sheet, in red, bold letters. He was 35-1 and went wire to wire as one of the bombs of the tourney.

The late Steve Davidowitz was playing in that tournament, and we were close, I told him to watch the sheet for bombs.

The 35-1 hits, and I know everyone who downloaded the sheet has it, in front of them, but you know you can lead a horseplayer to the window but you can't get him or her to bet the winner.

I get a call from Steve: "you didn't call me'', screaming into the phone. "it was right there in the sheet, in bold red letters,'' I responded, a bit annoyed.

"You didn't call me'', as if it only meant something if he heard it from me, which in my world shows the insanity that handicappers suffer from when it comes down to playing the NHC.

Some can't handle the pressure.

It was right there, but his stubbornness, which was Steve's trait, got the best of him.

If you are expecting a call and story to play a long shot, you can keep on waiting.

It's right there on the sheet.

''Well, I don't know, you could have changed your mind'', that's what novices do.

We are in print for a reason. I can't change my mind. I am already unto the next days races.

A good horseplayer stands by his thoughts, he doesn't change his mind, unless you see something on the track, in the paddock that makes you abort.

To be a good horseplayer, you need to have that bombardier mentality, take over the plane, identify your target and drop your load on that target.

I know from my experience with the aforementioned tourney players, it takes a slew of $10-$20 winners and one big bomb.

Roger Cettina told me that in both situations when he finished 2nd, he had one cap bomb.

Now, you can hit a 70-1 bomb, but they are capped at $42 and $22 to win and place. Yes, they are capped, you pick a 100-1 shot and it's only worth $42 and $22.

One other thing to keep in mind, players will come around and ask who you got, what you like, especially if you are on the leader board.

One tourney winner told me this story:

"We were a couple of dollars in front going into the last race, and this kid came around asking whom we had. We told him nothing as, the kid, was working with the 2nd place finisher chasing him. I knew he would go right to them and could bet to offset the difference"

The player won by a $1 and some change over that 2nd place finisher.

You don't tell 'em what you are thinking, it will be used against you.

"What do you know Bruno, you don't play NHC!", true I don't because I simply can't do what I do with works and handicapping sheets with players having my thoughts and plays.

You know, If I used a horse that wasn't on the sheet, I would be crucified, plus, who would be doing my segment of the work to put the sheets together daily, commenting on the works etc.

If I was there in Vegas for the NHC, how many players would walk up and want information, who's working good etc, even though I am a contestant.

Please advise on how to handle that?

If I did play I would be forced to lie, and that's not me.

I made that decision long ago, Vegas and NHC, not for me, but we have been fundamental in steering horseplayers in the right direction.

I, like Tommy Massis, like live money gambling, playing the parimutuel game.

I like being the bombardier and strategically make my plays, whether they are bombs or not.


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