Breeders’ Cup 2017 – Juvenile Filly Turf / Distaff

Here is a glimpse of some runners who could make a big splash on Breeders’ Cup weekend. – Use them as an appetizer to whet your appetite and be sure to check in with the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms before making your final decision. The E-Z Win Forms are always ready to make your day at the races a winner! - Best of luck from your friends from Winning Ponies! 

 

Juvenile Filly Turf

 

Happily

Ryan Moore has the assignment for Aidan O’Brien

Galileo = Sire

6 starts / 4 wins / 1 place

 

Clemmie

Ryan Moore in the saddle for Aidan O’Brien

Galileo = Sire

5 starts / 3 wins / 1 show

 

Significant Form

Irad Ortiz in the irons for Chad Brown

Creative Cause = Sire

2 starts / 1win

 

Capla Temptress

Joel Rosario for Marco Botti

Lope de Vega = Sire

4 starts / 3 wins / 1 show

 

 

Distaff

 

Stellar Wind

Victor Espinoza / John Sadler

Curlin = Sire

 

Elate

Jose Ortiz / Bill Mott

Medaglia d’Oro = Sire

9 starts / 4 wins / 3 place / 1 show

 

Forever Unbridled

Joel Rosario / Dallas Stewart

Unbridled’s Song = Sire

16 starts / 7 wins / 3 place / 4 shows

 

Abel Tasman

Mike Smith for Bob Baffert

Quality Road = Sire

10 starts / 6 wins / 3 place

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breeders’ Cup 2017 – F&M Sprint / Turf Sprint

Nothing like a little bit of pre-homework to get the inner-handicapper moving. – Take a look at these runners and be sure to see where they match against the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms. With over $10,934,952 in exotic payouts, you’ll definitely want to download the most effective weapon for Breeders’ Cup weekend. – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies! 

 

Filly and Mare Sprint

 

Unique Bella

Mike Smith aboard for Jerry Hollendorfer

Tapit = Sire

6 starts / 5 wins / 1 place

 

Skye Diamonds

Tiago Pereira in the irons for William Spawr

First Dude = Sire

16 starts / 9 wins / 3 place

 

Finley’sluckycharm

Brian Hernadez for W. Calhoun

Twirling Candy = Sire

12 starts / 9 wins / 2 place

 

Paulassilverlining

Jose Ortiz in the saddle for Chad Brown

Ghostzapper = Sire

22 starts / 11 wins / 4 place / 3 show

 

 

Turf Sprint

 

Lady Aurelia

Frankie Dettori for Wesley Ward

Scat Daddy = Sire

7 starts / 5 wins / 1 place / 1 show

 

Marsha

Luke Morris aboard for Sir Mark Prescott

Acclamation = Sire

17 starts / 7 wins / 5 place / 3 show

 

Disco Partner

Irad Ortiz in the irons for Christophe Clement

Disco Rico = Sire

20 starts / 9 wins / 4 place / 2 show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breeders’ Cup 2017 – Juvenile Turf / Dirt Mile

The greatest stage of racing is about to take place and there is never too early of a time to begin. – Here are some runners who need a good hard look while you are starting your lists. – Once you whittle your runners down be sure to check them against the E-Z Win Forms. Winning Ponies is always locked and loaded, and on the marquee days they always seem to rise to the occasion. Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies !

 

Friday

 

Juvenile Turf

 

Roaring Lion

Oisin Murphy aboard for trainer John Gosden

Kitten’s Joy = Sire

3 starts / 3 wins

 

 

James Garfield

Frankie Dettori in the irons for G.O. Scott

Exceed and Excel = Sire

6 starts / 2 wins / 1 place / 2 shows

 

 

Untamed Domain

Joe Bravo aboard for Graham Motion

Animal Kingdom = Sire

4 starts / 2 wins / 1 show

 

 

Dirt Mile

 

Accelerate

 

Victor Espinoza for John Sadler

Lookin At Lucky = Sire

13 starts / 4 wins / 3 place / 5 show

 

 

Mor Spirit

Mike Smith in the saddle for Bob Baffert

Eskendreya = Sire

13 starts / 6 wins / 5 place

 

 

 

Sharp Azteca

 

Paco Lopez for Jorge Navarro

Freud = Sire

14 starts / 7 wins / 4 place / 1 show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Race Track Rounders

by Ed Meyer

posted on October 13, 2017 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

RV symbol Stock Vector - 36794702

 

 

 

There are a small group of players I see every year. It is about the same time and they always arrive with gusto. Dressed in summer finery, and caps or t-shirts bearing the track name. – They travel around the country every year and hit race tracks on a yearly bucket list. – They have been to so many, they just return to the ones they really enjoy. – This year two gents arrived at my booth and the day was made much brighter.

What do you do if you’re a retired teacher who loves the races? – Yup, you hit the road. – Long ago making a trek to the races was an exciting event. They told me how they met at a teacher’s conference in Saratoga Springs years ago, and as luck would have it they struck up a conversation about the ponies. – That’s been over 25 years ago and they have been hitting the road ever since. “The gals used to give us a month while they would make a few weekend trips to the beach, visit grandkids and old friends. Now we get as much as we want as long as we bring them home the winnings!”

“We’re not spring chickens anymore, and we limit it down to ten or so tracks. We get in some fishing, camping, hiking, and rafting in between. – We’re two old adventure hounds. We travel in luxury in Bill’s Thor Motor Coach. We usually make breakfast and dinner and dine under the canopy. – Sounds pretty tough, huh?  Dish TV and air-conditioned comfort that could make a couch potato out of anyone. – We love visiting roadside attractions and old military battlefields. – You can’t take the teacher out of two old fellas.”

The wives don’t like racing as we do and they do their thing. We’ve all been friends since the beginning of time. – After Breeders’ Cup, we start planning next year’s tour. – “I think we’re going West-Coast next year.”

Here is where we started by itinerary and made treks to the tracks we enjoy. – We have a ton of pictures, track merchandise and friends we look forward to seeing. – We try and make a night or two out on the town going to some of the top-shelf restaurants. – “No sense leaving a good meal off the list.” – In the spring of 2017, here are the tracks we visited.

We left Bloomfield, Indiana and started off for Keeneland for racing on 4/26 – 4/28/17 for some of the best racing in the world. If Heaven has a race track it probably looks like Keeneland. – Then on to Louisville for Oaks and Derby day at the world’s most historic track. Didn’t fair too well but had a great time. – The trip took us to “Sweet Home Chicago” and few days at Arlington Park. Still, a majestic beauty even though racing is struggling. – Heading East we hit Presque Isle and enjoyed a day of racing on the synthetic. We’re not much of a fan, but still a great day at the races. – Finger Lakes was next up, and it’s like going back to the days of when a track was a track. – There was a little time off for some extended fishing and camping and just taking our time. – Belmont was next up and we wanted to catch the third jewel in the Triple Crown. Great weekend and we love the sweeping turns of “Big Sandy.” – After hitting some historic battlefields we made a trek down to Laurel. A little disappointed, but still made the best of the old girl at the windows.  – Then on to Belterra Park. We sure miss old River Downs, but the small oval with the only turf course in the state is mega fun. – I really enjoyed when they came up and we talked horses for three races. – They even hit the pick-four that day for $280!

“We’re heading back home now and maybe we’ll catch an OTB or fair circuit if lucky. – Travelling in style allows us to keep up on baseball and staying in touch with everyone online. – We’ll send you our end of trip newsletter thanking all of the wonderful people for our yearly trek.” – When I saw it in my inbox this morning, there was not a better time to thank Bill and Mike for taking the time and share some stories.

Best of luck guys and hope to see you next time around. – (Bets) of luck to you both.

 

Are You Feeling Lucky ?

by Ed Meyer

posted on October 13, 2017 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

Good luck four leaf clover and horseshoe. Vintage vector color engraving illustration for info graphic, poster, web. Isolated on white background.

 

Everyone has that little lucky piece or the lucky hat you wear to the races. If not, there is a secret plan or method to your madness of getting there early or finding that lucky seat to see all of the action. But what if I was to tell you there is no such thing. It’s all been in your head and all of the lucking dances you have been doing in secret have been for not.

Having a lucky day is a matter of believing. – If you wake up feeling good and eliminate the bad thoughts from your morning regimen, you are halfway there. Employ a little money management, and wager on no more than three tracks and the finish line is in full view. – Sound simple? It really can be if you just take the time.

Many cultures have had many lucky charms to chase away the bad mojo:

  • Sailors: The Albatross
  • Chinese: Bamboo
  • Thai: White elephant
  • Japanese: Maneki-Neko
  • Irish: Four-leaf clover
  • English: Horseshoe
  • Native Americans: Dreamcatcher
  • Germans, Italians, Russians, Turks: Ladybug
  • Americans: Rabbit’s foot

 

1. – Pay attention to what is going on around you. – You don’t like smoking? Don’t sit in that area. – Simple things can take away your focus and you’ll find yourself looking around for that stinky cheap cigar instead of handicapping.

2. – Plan ahead. – Do some checking on weather reports, track conditions and recent biases. – Start your handicapping the night before by watching some race replays from trouble line horses. – This will enable you to start off fresh and ready.

3. – Lucky people seek knowledge and experiences and make the best use of their insight. – No more guesswork and don’t start making impulse plays right from the start.

4. – Be flexible in your daily approach. – If a track comes up sloppy and you handicapped for fast. – Drop that one and move on. – I have heard many stories of the great handicapper Andy Beyer walking into the track watching the rainfall by the bucket full. He would toss his Daily Racing Form and purchase another for the next day. – By keeping flexible you’ll find yourself not forcing the issue.

5. – Be an optimist. – That negative mindset is a quick walk to the car. – Don’t worry, be happy.

6. – Thomas Edison once said; ” I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that do not work.” – By keeping your mind open you’ll be ready to learn every day. – A handicapper once asked me how long it takes them to learn how to handicap. – My answer was simple. I learn something new every single day. – When you stop learning you are on your way out.

 

Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies!

The Happy Horseplayer – Reflective Thoughts of Summer

by Ed Meyer

posted on October 6, 2017 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

As the cool crisp breezes blow through the trees, it takes me back to an introspective time. – The heat of the summer sun, the racing ovals that open the doors to the bright morning sunshine and the bevy of racing action that has to last another fall-winter-spring. Just think, there are only 241 days until June 1. – As a racing fan, I’ve always set my internal clock to what ovals are open. I doubt I’m alone, and before we know it that sweltering summer heat will be seen on our brows.

I loved watching and wagering on the New York signal. All the way from the inner-track racing at Aqueduct to the main track. Then Belmont offered a glimpse of turf racing and late spring hopefuls. Saratoga is the Brigadoon that has magically appeared since 1864. Something about seeing the historic oval bring the hope and promise and the making of history at every turn.

Image result for Saratoga pics

Fall racing brings me Keeneland. Another track that magically appears from the mist twice a year for 15 days. Those two months in April and October just grab your soul and eternally make you feel like a kid. – There is something about the bucolic setting of Keeneland that soothes what ails you. – It heals your inner-horse player and before you know you’re ready for the Breeders’ Cup. The magic of walking through the gates as everyone is dressed to the nines greeting you and making you feel genuinely welcome. As you make the walk past the 70-foot tall Sycamore tree that has been growing since 1936, there is the sense that you’ve arrived. If Heaven has a race track it would most definitely look like Keeneland.

Image may contain: 1 person, sky, cloud, tree, plant, grass, outdoor and nature

 

Just about the time you are passing out candy and enjoying hot apple cider. – The Breeders’ Cup arrives and allows us the opportunity to watch the worlds best do battle on the big stage. – Two days of the very best racing makes us appreciate what the world has prepared for us. A show of shows that makes everyone a fan if even for a short weekend. – The house that Bing built will be a wonderful showcase where the turf meets the surf.

 

Image result for Del Mar breeders' cup pics

 

Seasons for horseplayers are kept by which track is open. – Time is kept is 20 minutes increments between posts and at the conclusion of the last race, we start thinking about the next day and dinner to be served shortly. – Summer was sweet and we appreciate your glory. Just as the fall turns into the opening of Fair Grounds, Tampa Bay, and soon to have Gulfstream and Oaklawn around the corner. We battle blustery winds and think of months to come. With the passing of every weekend and stakes that get bigger by the week, we find ourselves drifting off in thought to the springtime ovals that are just ahead. – That is the life of a handicapper. – This Happy Handicapper is grateful for the seasons and how we embrace the game at every turn. – Until next month may all of your photos be winners!

 

The Lost Five Commandments

by Ed Meyer

posted on October 4, 2017 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

I was perusing some racing articles on this cool morning and came across a great article in US Racing.com. It was the ten commandments of racing, and after reading them I found truth in every single one. – Great read to start the day. – But it took me back to an old movie that used to make me laugh til’ I had tears in my eyes.

 

After watching the clip you have to wonder what were on the other five. I know I sure did. – For many of my gambling friends, I think this may apply.  – Thank you, Mel Brooks…..

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With tongue-in-cheek here are the other five that may have been lost on the way down. – You may want to give it a thought if you have been a race-tracker.

 

11. – Thou shall not be jealous of thy neighbor’s winner. – Plain and simple NO bitching or complaining.

12. – Thou shall not try and get in on pick fours, three’s or other wagers once the first leg has won. – I have two good friends who asked if they could buy into my pick four after I had a $22 winner in the first leg. – Where were they when I went down and made my bet? – Oh yeah. They were telling me it was too much of a risk.

13. – Thou shall not gossip or talk crap when a player gets nailed at the wire. – No “I told you so’s, or maybe they should have backed him up.” – God hates a coward, and betting on the ponies is the place where we back up our opinions with money.

14. – Thou shall leave your small change with clerks and tellers. – They have a family and would like to go see that big movie on Saturday night. Go ahead and leave them the 40 cents. – If the 200 people they waited on did just that they could take the kids out for a bite and would be the first ones in the door to get to work.

15. – No rooting under your breath. – You know who you are. You’re the SOB that burbles under their breath ” I hope they get caught or I hope they fade down the lane.” – Now before you say there is no such person. I have a friend at work who only walks in the middle of a big race when I have a nice bet rolling. He always asks about the 1/4 pole; “who do you have?” – Right about then, my horse starts to fade and he immediately walks out of the room. – He comes back in a few minutes and asks “did you hold on ?” This kind of spineless wonder can make Secretariat lose in the Belmont at the 1/16th pole.

Plain and simple. Be kinder than necessary and maybe when you finally man-up and make a wager someone won’t come walking in and ask “who do you have?” – I doubt if there was a #16 commandment, but if there was it would have read that we are all here for the same reason. Just be a good egg and don’t try and make a tough game even tougher with antics and black magic mojo.

Old Friends

by Ed Meyer

posted on September 29, 2017 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

 

Image result for old racing fans at the Derby pics

 

 

Two men walk into a race track. – Now before you think it sounds like the start of an old joke; it’s true. – The two older fans have been walking into the races together for quite some time. – For many, it’s not an unusual trek from the car to the gates. But if you’ve been doing it for over 60 years. That’s something special.

Carl and George met shortly after the war. They were born in Cincinnati and didn’t meet until Korea. – They had both had the day away from camp and stumbled onto an ancient race track that was long over-grown. – They were walking around the old grandstand area and met by chance. – This chance meeting of looking for an old race track was the beginning of a friendship that would last a lifetime. Sinseol-dong was a track that was in operation since the early 20’s. During the war, they took a break from live racing and it didn’t take long before the track was over-grown.

“Imagine meeting another race fan from your same hometown. Kinda’ odd if you think about it.” – It’s a real race tracker that wants to visit an old track covered up by the jungle surroundings. – It would be the first track they visited, and have been going ever since.

“We’ve made visits to: Beulah Park, Thistledown, Ascot Park, Lebanon, Commonwealth Park, Miles Park, Keeneland, Ellis, Latonia, Dueling Grounds, Turfway, Churchill,Mountaineer, Indiana Grand, Hoosier Park, Praire Meadows, Belmont, Saratoga, Aqueduct, Arlington, Washington Park, Bowie, Arlington, Hialeah, Gulfstream Park, Tampa Bay, Birmingham, Santa Anita, Del Mar, Bay Meadows. Now, we didn’t keep track of dog tracks as it would last 100 pages. – We married, raised families, and are two old bachelors who still love the races. – There hasn’t been a venture we really didn’t enjoy except the Las Vegas Jockey Club. We did an RV trip with the wives and hit a few small fair circuits along the way. When we finally made it they had canceled after a very short run. – ” Too damn hot anyway, but we did pretty well at the Flamingo making it a good visit.”

It’s rare to have this much in common over the years. – We like to bicker and bitch about each other, but at the end of the day, we still make plans to come back the next day. – Not bad for the length of time we’ve been tolerating each other. – “Belterra Park is home now. The trips have gotten to be a memory and the little track has everything we need close to home.” – “We’re talking about making the drive down to Keeneland in a few weeks. Not too far away from home and if we win we may even stay over to go the next day. Hell, the walk from the car gets us more exercise than many old farts our age.’

As I walk in daily I see the boys hanging out early under the covered tables. Close to the action but out of the sun. – This has been a friendship that endured the years, and one as rare as finding a unicorn. – “We’ll keep coming as long as we can. But that’s years away,” chuckled Carl. – Who knows, we may even make plans to go see the Derby again.

Everything Old is What ??

by Ed Meyer

posted on September 23, 2017 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

Grandma used to tell us when we were kids that “everything old is new again” just when we thought we were inventing the wheel. – Yep, she was right then and her words echo truth now. Just to think, she was way ahead of her time. Or, was she around long enough to see things come and go and knew what worked?

I work for one track and come up with some ideas for on-track promotions for another I’ll be working in a little over a month. – We’re just in the idea phase, but that part may be just as important. I like to reach into my magic bag and draw from decades of what I’ve seen work and what has not. The rules are simple no matter what track you work. – Keep it cheap and make it fun for the players. – That my friends is the challenging part, but for an old war horse who has seen things come and go. – I just reach my hand into the hat and it always goes deeper.

 

“Beat the Man”

A contest that is not about kicking someone’s rump, but about picking winners in the last four or five races. – Free to enter and the management draws out five names. They must select the last four races and give them about 30 minutes to complete. – If they have a scratch, they get the post time win pool favorite. You always have a horse running no matter what. – They turn in their selections and are given a copy of “The Man’s” picks. – If they beat the man, they get a dinner package or tix to an upcoming event. – If they tie or lose they get some track merchandise.

For what sounds simple is a neat little event. – Let the players have a shot at winning and let’s hope they do well. That is the best tool to making loyal players. – Players from all walks love the opportunity to outsmart track handicappers. – Let’s just have some fun and hopefully, we’ll see you having dinner on the house.

 

Pigskins and Ponies

Race fans love betting sports. Well, maybe only 97% do, but you get the idea.

* Have an entry of $10 per player

* No more than three entries per player

* Give the players five bowl games on December 30 / January 1st. – They circle the team they think is going to win. – No point spreads, just pick the winner.

* Give the players two selected races each day and they MUST pick the winner. – They must select a first pick and a second backup choice. If both scratch, they get the post time favorite.

* Tab up the winners and give all of the monies back to the players. – I would like to see the pot seeded with a few hundred to get it started.

* Payout the top five and if there is a tie, the players split monies and prizes. – Fun little way to enjoy the big games and ponies all under one roof.

* If it all goes well, there is another opportunity to roll this back out in two weeks for the NFL playoffs.

 

Think it over and let me know. – Could you see yourself taking part?

Brick and Mortar Contests ?

by Ed Meyer

posted on September 12, 2017 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

For years I made treks to Beulah, Louisville-Trackside, Churchill, Keeneland, Arlington, Turfway, and many others. The trip with friends and conversation was worth a million bucks. – As we would walk into large buildings prepared to put on the best contest possible. The top three would be going to Vegas, and the rest would be going home with a story and plan for the next one up. – That was my handicapping life for a long time. I qualified four times for the Horse Player World Series and the NTRA contest. The meeting of friends as we waited in line was like the weigh in for a heavyweight match. Plenty of trash talk with the promise of what waits ahead. – These have fallen by the wayside and they are getting harder to find. – When I think back about the drive to our favorite ovals, these were some of the best times of my life.

Last night was a drink and dial moment with a good friend. He is the kinda’ of guy who loves the sport and the people are starting to be the best part of his job. – That is a sign of great things to come. He knows the business inside and out and has always been interested in the contest scene, but his schedule kept him on the outside looking in.

For the record “Brick and Mortar” contests are held at the track themselves. Usually a large overhead with lunch and a program or a Daily Racing Form. – Players loved going and the day of activity was filled with prize giveaways and fun. Making any money was pretty tough and then came the advent of playing online. You could play from home without making travel plans, staying over night and plunking down the cash. At the end of the day, they could take a toll on your wallet. Now, think about playing on your computer from home. It was much more affordable to stay at home and still have the same shot at qualifying for Las Vegas and the life-changing payday. – The days of gathering and playing with friends were coming to a crawl and where we once would make 4-5 treks have been replaced with making one trip on the road and the rest at home.

That was until this past weekend. I was sitting in the race book with some very good handicappers. They missed the gathering at the track. There was something about making the trip and the camaraderie was one-of-a-kind. – It was an hour spent with friends that led me to think about some new ideas for reviving the old ways. – I wouldn’t want to see ten of these mega contests at a track, but two would be just fine. Just think, real horse players coming to your track again.

I picked up the phone and called a good friend of mine. – He’s involved in many behind the scenes operations and loves to get out and about with the players. When I first spoke of the idea he didn’t make much of our conversation. In the end, he could see himself running one of the best contests around. – I’m not one to blow my own horn because it’s a waste of time and breath. But, I have run some of the best contests in a 200-mile radius. I am first and foremost a player at heart, and if I can bring any ideas of having a contest or two in a calendar year, who knows? It could be a great deal of fun and a way to showcase your racing product. – I like to keep the overhead low, the takeout at zero and a contest where you have confidence in managers. – I know, sounds too good to be true. But really it’s not. – Having a contest is not about making money off of the players but rather a time to showcase your facility and gain player confidence. – Why worry about making a few bucks on fees? If players like the place, they’ll make some extra wagers and you’ll gain handle for the day. – That is my plan. Break even and allow your greatest asset to enjoy the races. – I know it doesn’t fit the business model for many tracks, but it could be a marketing tool that reaches out to real handicappers. And if all goes well, you can bet dollars to donuts players will start marking their calendars for next year. –  I told him I would help him get it off the ground and be right by his side. – ” No worries, we’ll create a contest where players trust the process and they’ll be back.” We’re not trying to make money once or twice a year, we’re investing that they’ll play the product a few more days a year and maybe grow to follow the circuit. – He likes the idea but now it’s up to you? – Would you play in a well-run contest with no take out and a prize structure? Toss in qualifying for the World Series of Handicapping and a travel voucher and let me know your thoughts. – Has this outlived its time, or would you make the trek to a track that cares about players and what they enjoy? – We’ll see what the player have to say….