Kilbury Hits it Big on BC Weekend

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D.S. Williamson

November 13th, 2015

.10 cents. That's a period with a 1 and a 0...and the word cents. 10 measly cents between Scott Kilbury's awesome unbelievable weekend and an unfathomable unbelievable weekend. Scott took down the $2,500 Friday Supper Tourney on Breeders' Cup Oct. 30. The prize that night was $1,250 bucks. He also took down a $6,000+ Pick 5 at Turf Paradise over that weekend.

But, it was only .10 cents that left Scott in second place in the Saturday night $2,500 Los Alamitos Tournament. A .10 cent loss to tsblb9 in the Los Al tourney on Oct. 31 accounted for a difference of $700 in prize money. Scott won $550 for finishing second in the Los Alamitos tourney. Here's the kicker, Scott lost by .10 cents because he wasn't on the fave in the last race in that Saturday night Los Alamitos tournament.

No matter. Kilbury the Killer had a better weekend than I had ever had in a 6 month period and I've been playing the horses for over 20 years. I sent Scott some questions regarding his philosophy about horse racing handicapping. I've always tried to pick the brain of winners. This is especially true since my BC weekend turned out to be a total dud.

About when did you get into horse racing?

I started when Canterbury Downs opened in 1985. I am a big sports fan and saw advertisements for the track opening, decided to attend. I was hooked after my first small win!

Do you remember a single moment when you said to yourself, “Okay, this is cool!  I’m good at this!” Was there a single race?  A single wager?

I don't recall a single wager, rather the satisfaction that I could figure a race out, how it would flow and hit the winner. I actually recall my very first big loss, where I thought I had a lock, betting $200 to win on a Turf Paradise horse, when I did not understand that track is much faster than most others (time-wise), learned my lesson quickly!

Personally, I believe that picking winners in horse races is a craft. If you agree, how many years did it take you to develop your craft?

I absolutely believe it's a craft, probably took me a couple of years to learn jockey, trainer tendencies, dirt vs turf racing, especially at my home track Canterbury Downs. I came to love Southern California racing, my game is speed, which is why I also enjoy Turf Paradise. I do think you start handicapping with the speed and take the race from there.

Could you give us an idea of how your handicapping philosophy has developed?  Has it changed now that you are able to play in contests?

My philosophy has always been speed, it determines a race, need to try to get a picture of the flow of a race. Many speeds will setup a closer. Lone speed can be dangerous. Unfortunately, I have been burned many times by a speed horse leading all the way to the end and getting caught by a stalker or closer.

How do you manage your bankroll between day to day bets and/or contest wagers?

Probably one of my weaknesses, never have had a bankroll per say, tried to limit myself to $300 per day, back in the day.

Do you have a key overarching philosophy regarding handicapping contests? How do you decide between putting one horse into the contest as opposed to another? You don’t have to give up any secrets!

I have not played in that many contests, tried a few years ago, did not fare well. I do believe it's important to get off to a fast start and try to put the pressure on the other players. If you can somehow do that then you can control things. When you have to play tourneys where you must lock in your picks, I feel it's important to spread out your picks, not many favorites, and at the end have a couple of bullets.   Unfortunately, that just bit me losing a contest by .10, not playing the fave in the last race!

Okay, I just have to ask, you took down some big scores on Breeders Cup weekend. This includes winning the Pick 5 at Turf Paradise. Do you often bet on what some consider B tracks like Turf?  Do you shy away from big races like the Triple Crown Races and Breeders’ Cup?

I like all races! I particularly have always liked Turf Paradise. Many of the Canterbury horses/trainers/jockeys go between the two circuits. Plus, Turf plays to speed, which is my game. I have been on a bit of a roll. Triple Crown this year I was able to win big on all 3 days Derby/Preakness/Belmont. Then for BC weekend I hit the Pick 5 at Turf & was lucky enough to do well in a couple of contests.