Racing in the Time of COVID-19

by Ed Meyer

posted on August 2, 2020 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on Racing in the Time of COVID-19

Long ago, my son asked me a question. “How do you learn, Daddy?” – For a 5-year-old that was a good one. – Would I go into a litany of logical reasons for how the learning process works? Or, about how life lessons play for future learning. – After further review, I picked up my little boy and spoke from the heart. “Son, sometimes we learn by what we have, and sometimes for what we do without.” He looked with confused eyes and went back to playing. That was good enough for now. I knew he’d learn more in time, and appreciate the wonderful things he would be blessed with in life, and ultimately the things he was forced to do without.

For me, 2020 has been a year of learning. I try and learn something from everything, even if it’s not what to do. Just as important, but not as much fun. – This year has been tough, and ultimately tougher on so many others. I still count myself and my family lucky. We’re all still here and have so far dodged the plague of the century. I’d call that pretty lucky as many more have not.  But all-in-all, I’ve learned some things this year. Sit back and take a look and see if any rings home for you.

 

1 – Don’t take anything for granted

Life was going on, and I was working at Turfway Park this March. We had been hearing about the virus in other parts of the world and thought our country was bulletproof to the illness. After all, we are the most powerful nation in the world. – As we watched the maps showing the plague we could see it coming closer and still held steadfast to our beliefs. As numbers grew there was nothing we could do but watch and worry as panic set in. – When the remainder of the racing season had been canceled, the reality of not only the pandemic, but the loss of employment faced us all. I was all but sure it would be a short-lived problem and we would move forward. I wasn’t alone in these thoughts.

As it became more and more evident we were in real trouble. The sport of racing was an afterthought. No more worry about running the remainder of the meet, but survival was the topic on everyone’s mind.

If you’ve ever doubted the caring nature of horsemen, please take a deep breath. They fed, cared, and stood by the horses. Many would eat only after the horses were fed and long hours were the daily routine. A couple of tracks were running and that gave us all a little glimpse of normal. – As days turned to weeks other tracks opened giving an opportunity to many. I didn’t live through the 1918 Spanish Flu or the Great Depression, but this was as close as my generation has come.

We took it for granted that all would be well and life would resume. – Since that time, I have seen a great change in the attitude for racing. The people who compete tenaciously on the track; were helping each other survive and live for better days. I’ve always said the backside is a ‘world within the world,’ and no time more than now.

 

2. – Little by little change would come

Each passing day was media coverage and talk about getting back to racing. The horses needed it as well as the horsemen. – As tracks began to open a little at a time, hope was taking the place of fear. It was still a long road as many meets were being canceled or postponed.

With open dialogue and extensive planning, many tracks were able to open without fans. – Wagering is a 95% off-track venture, and maybe 5% counted from on-track. Racing without fans didn’t seem a bad idea as laid-off workers were receiving needed unemployment to survive, and the horsemen were able to save their sport. There was a glimmer of light where there once was darkness.

Racing was the only sport taking place as professional, college, and high school sports had been canceled due to COVID. It was good to be racing and hope was on the horizon.

 

3. – The only game in town

In your grandpa’s time, the big three sports were baseball, horse racing, and boxing. – Baseball has tried to get back off the ground with a shorter season but is facing closure due to players contracting the illness as teams are forced to travel. Boxing and MMA are fought on a limited basis and without fans. You won’t be seeing any of the marquee events fighting for the belts anytime soon. There are limited sports from time-to-time – But, Thoroughbred racing is up and running. Some areas have been forced to race without fans, and others have been racing as usual with many safeguards in place.

When you see the hot-walkers bring the horses up the stretch, they will all be wearing masks. The personnel in the paddock all have facial gear in place the entire day. Jockeys have masks when leaving the room, and wear them in the rider’s quarters all day long. There is constant disinfecting and cleaning in sensitive high-traffic areas, and the fans are given a mask to wear at the gate if they don’t have one. Signage, program ads, and constant announcements of the Governor’s mandates for patronage at the races are repeated throughout the day. – Security walks the premises asking guests to kindly social distance as the races take place daily. – The entire property is closed for hours in the middle of the night for a “deep cleaning” of the entire property.

One of the ‘big three’ sports has declined in popularity over the years. Losing out to quick and rapid-fire gaming. But, that has changed for the country during these uncertain times. Thoroughbred racing is taking place when other sports have been sidelined. You can enjoy the sport or watch and wager on the racing action. –  Could a troublesome time for the country be a reprieve for the sport?  I doubt we’ll ever see that never-ending buffet for quite some time; if ever again. But, racing is moving forward. During this time I have watched the industry pull closer together at a socially safe distance. I hope we look back on this time as a moment that we endured and supported each other. We’re resilient people and we’ll be back. – What are ya’ waiting for? It’s almost post time!

Live Sporting Action to be Enjoyed!

by Ed Meyer

posted on August 2, 2020 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, News, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on Live Sporting Action to be Enjoyed!

It’s that time of year when the “Boys of Summer” take the diamonds. We start talking about our favorite football teams gearing up for fall-time fun. Even high school sports are on the shortlist of games not being played. So, what’s a sports fan to do? How do we get our fix of action, excitement, and thrills galore? – I’ve got an idea. Let’s go to the races!

Once upon a time, it was baseball, horse racing, and boxing. These were the “big three” that were attended in mass and followed religiously on radio and TV. – Baseball is being canceled left and right due to COVID, and boxing matches are being shown in replays. So, what’s a fan to do? – I’ve got it! Let’s go to the races!

When you arrive at the races you’ll see hotwalkers coming up the track all decked out in masks. The paddock personnel is all protected by facial gear, and when the riders come out they all must have a mask when leaving the jocks room. When they’re in the room, they and everyone associated have total mask protection. Hand washing is at a premium, and the room is full of dedicated staff to disinfect and clean as people work. So far, so good.

Racing is alive and well. We began as a precaution to race without fans, and only after careful consideration have the states allowed fans to return. – Now, there are some states where fans can’t attend due to COVID numbers, but they’re getting there. – The only game in town where total precautions have become the norm is alive and well. If you doubt the sport, just grab your program and head out to the races. You’ll see dedicated men and women putting on the show for one of the greatest sports around.

Fans are back, and we’ve taken every precaution to keep the sport safe. When you hear the Kentucky Derby getting ramped up to have fans on-track, you should reconsider coming out to see the live racing action. Your grandpa did long ago, and the game continues today.

You’re greeted at the door offering you a mask if you left yours at home. There is a bevy of announcements reminding guests to wear masks and properly social distance. – We want you to enjoy the sport, and keep everyone around you safe. That’s horse racing at it’s best.

When racing was considered one of the “big three” of sporting action still holds true today.  But, now it’s one of the only sports being conducted safely. – Riders can’t jump from state-to-state picking up mounts, and this has seemed to slow the spread greatly. In Ohio, you can only ride at one of two tracks to be eligible to climb into the saddle for safety. – If you do decide to come across the nation, you have to complete quarantine and have a negative test to return. – Sounding good yet?

Thoroughbred racing has been around for centuries, and we’ve encountered many obstacles only to come back stronger. States communicate extensively, and if there’s a problem, they pull the plug on the sport until the game can be conducted safely for guests and participants alike.

For the folks who miss a day at the ballpark, we feel your pain. If you were looking forward to football season kicking off we stand optimistically. But, in the meantime. Make a trip back to one of the original “big three” sports from long ago. – You’ll see extensive safety measures, program ads reminding you to be safe, and a bevy of announcements to make your day a winner. – Go ahead, come on out and enjoy a day with the fans (at proper social distancing of course). The horses are ready, the riders are climbing into the saddle, and the only thing missing is you! – We’ll see you at the races for some one-of-a-kind heart-pounding action. What are ya’ waiting for? It’s almost post time.

Free Selections – Belterra Park – Wednesday, July 29

by Ed Meyer

posted on July 27, 2020 in Blogroll, Free Picks and Tips, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on Free Selections – Belterra Park – Wednesday, July 29

Let’s get hump day started in the right direction! – You’re only a couple of days from powerhouse racing action and there’s no better time than now to get that bankroll stuffed. – Best of luck from Winning Ponies!

 

Belterra Park

 

 

Race #1 – #4 – Heaven Sent Angel = ran 2nd last time out and faces the same competition level today. She was beaten by King Corn who has been the talk of the backside. A perfect stalker who is 3 for 5 ITM, and has the services of the 7th all-time leading rider in history, Perry Ouzts.

 

Race #2 – #5 – Gangly = comes in from Ellis Park and cleared the two-lifetime hurdle last out under Rafael Bejarano. Top rider in Mojica is a good sign as he looks to stalk and pounce the pacesetters.

 

Race #4 – #5 – Scorsese = is a 1st timer for the James Chapman barn who has been red-hot winning 32% at the meet teaming up with John McKee to score 29% together. His mare Pomaria scores 15% with her progeny. – Use with the #1 – Lonesome Sound and #6 – Voyant. 

 

Race #5 – #2 – Solo Drink = takes a huge plunge in class for trainer Ron Kahles. He is 7 for 10 ITM lifetime and drops down two class levels.

 

Race #8 – #4 – City Front = is a speedy gelding who is 3 for 5 ITM on a soft track. If you look in his past you’ll see good works and the drop in class makes him the major danger.

 

Free Selections – Belterra Park – Tuesday, July 28

by Ed Meyer

posted on July 27, 2020 in Blogroll, Free Picks and Tips, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on Free Selections – Belterra Park – Tuesday, July 28

As a player, you have the option of playing horses anywhere. That’s where Winning Ponies can make your day a winner. We cover action big and small to give you the inside view on how the race will take shape. – So, to get your week started in high gear. Here are some free selections to whet your appetite before downloading your E-Z Win Forms.

 

Belterra Park

At the time of this writing on Monday, there was heavy rain in the area and the turf rail still needed to be adjusted. Heavy rain is predicted for Tuesday as well. – I doubt very greatly there will turf racing Tuesday or Wednesday.

Race #1 – #1 – Miss Vicky = is a daughter of Bellamy Road and sports a 2 for 2 ITM record at BtP. She will have plenty of speed and the rail post is winning at a 23% clip. This is her 3rd off the layoff move and should be a major factor today.

Race #2 – #6 – East Code = takes a big plunge in class shipping in from GP. This is his 1st start for Michelle Elliot barn, and that yields a 21% win rate. He’s been knocking on the door at higher levels and should enjoy the class relief today.

Race #4 – #3 – Kissinger = is a 1st-time starter by Tapiture who wins 18% with his first-timers to the races. Trainer Robert Gorham wins 14% with 1st timers and rider Christian Pilares notches a 23% win clip with new runners.

Race #6 – #2 – Plea = hails from the Tom Drury barn and has the services of his go-to-rider John McKee. If they run on the grass she is bred to relish the sod. Her dam has 11 starters, 8 winners, and 2 have come on the green. Drury is red-hot this year notching a win in the Bluegrass at Keeneland a few weeks ago.

Race #7 – #1 – True to Dixie = is fresh off the claim for Oscar Barrera III who is winning 38%. He is 4 for 4 ITM and the trainer comes from a long line of trainers and his runners always look good taking the track.

Free Selections – Belterra Park – Weds, July 22

by Ed Meyer

posted on July 20, 2020 in Blogroll, Free Picks and Tips, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on Free Selections – Belterra Park – Weds, July 22

Most tracks get fast when they get wet. For Belterra Park, right outside of Cincinnati, it really gets quick. This is something you’ll want to remember when making a wager on the card. – When it gets wet they protect the turf and races come off the greensward. So, if Mother Nature is predicting rain, you can forget about seeing turf racing for the day. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some races at Belterra Park.

 

Race #1 – #3 – Tiz Stella = She is 4/4 ITM on off tracks and has been a bridesmaid the last two efforts over fast tracks. – John McKee is the reinsman and he is winning 18% at the meet.

 

Race #2 – #3 – Christians City = 3rd off the layoff for this son of Temple City and is a FTG off a beaten chalk effort where they win 33%. He had a tough trip last out and is 2/2 ITM at BtP. Perry Ouzts the 7th all-time leading rider aboard for a long time client Susan Anderson.

 

Race #5 – #6 – Scape = She is 2nd off the layoff and scored by 10 widening lengths over the track. They came off the turf last out and she ran like a wild beast. The rider McKee is 12/19 the past week ITM and wins 17% for Tom Drury. Her style is versatile and Team Drury is hitting on all cylinders.

 

Race #7 – #8 – Little Matilda = 2nd off the layoff and was closing stoutly last out. – This daughter of Birdstone drops in class and is eligible to improve making her 2nd start. Look for her late in the lane.

Free Selections / Belterra Park – Tuesday, July 21

by Ed Meyer

posted on July 20, 2020 in Blogroll, Free Picks and Tips, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on Free Selections / Belterra Park – Tuesday, July 21

Most tracks get fast when they get wet. For Belterra Park, right outside of Cincinnati, it really gets quick. This is something you’ll want to remember when making a wager on the card. – When it gets wet they protect the turf and races come off the greensward. So, if Mother Nature is predicting rain, you can forget about seeing turf racing for the day. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some races at Belterra Park.

 

Tuesday – 88 degrees – 60% chance of rain

 

 

Race #1 – Alw $23,000 N2L – 1 mile – 12:35 pm EDT

#3 – Flat Out Beauty = She exits the $75,000 Vivacious from the turf and hasn’t seen this level of competition since 9/5/19 where she finished 2nd by 3/4. – Her sire Flat Out bats 17% with mud runners, and if the track comes up wet as planned she should relish the surface. Use with: #5 – Yellah, and #6 – Spit’s Image.

 

Race #2 – O.C. $18,000 – 1:04 pm EDT

#7 – Sun Dress = Makes her 3rd off the layoff and is the daughter of Archarcharch. She is 3/3 with wins over the track and won last out over a good track that came off the turf wire-to-wire. 3rd off the shelf yields a 17% win clip for the barn.

 

Race #4 – O.C. $40,000 – 1 1/16 on the turf – 2:02 pm EDT

If this race comes off the turf – Don’t hesitate to use this colt

#3 – Two Eagles = has been off for 10 months for trainer Tom Drury. If that name rings a bell it’s because he trained the Bluegrass winner last weekend with Art Collector. – He has tons of speed and been working at Skylight Training Center where Drury has his runners. He is 3/3 ITM on off tracks and should be right near the front stalking #4 – Diamond Dust for trainer Tim Hamm who notched a win at Saratoga on Friday. Box with #4 and win money on Two Eagles.

 

Race #7 – Claiming 12,500 N2L – 1 1/16 on the turf – 3:29 pm EDT – If this race is off the turf he’s even more dangerous.

#7 – #5 – Our Flag = Speedster for Dan Kobiskie who is winning 43% at the meet and Crystal Conning an apprentice who is winning 34%. Together they score at a 42% clip as he drops down two class levels. His maiden win two back was taken off the turf and he rolled to win by 16 lengths.

 

 

Good News Monday

by Ed Meyer

posted on July 20, 2020 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, News and Announcements, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on Good News Monday

Nothing like a little dose of good vibes to get your week started off right. If you doubt it, just try not having a “Good News Monday.” – Pass along the positive, and watch the flow of energy pass along from one-to-another. Be kinder, be happier, and enjoy the ride!

 

Great news!

Megan Fadlovich, who has ridden 500+ winners but sidelined since an accident in February that claimed the life of her boyfriend Coty Davidson, landed her first win as a trainer when Zangarva ($17) wearing down Waterloo Sunset in Race #4. There was barely a dry eye in the house. ( From the Facebook page of announcer Peter Berry). – If you get a chance, give it a listen. It will bring a tear to your eye and a lump in your throat.

I remember every time she rode at Belterra Park. Young, and energetic to say the least, and gave it everything she had when in the saddle. Tough on the turf, and if she rode longer she would have been the “Queen of the Green.” – That’s the fun part when you see riders giving their heart and soul to the sport they love. – I called down to the jocks room my first year and asked how her last name was pronounced. She told me I was doing just fine, but just call it correct when she went to the winner’s circle.

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And just when the big night couldn’t get any better. – Megan made it a double when Rocky Diplomat, trained to two second-place finishes here by Coty late last year, sprang an $18.60 upset in the sixth. What a night to remember.

Best of luck, Megan! – I think you have a special angel on your shoulder. Can’t wait to see your name in the program!

The racing game can be topsy-turvy at best. – Good one day, and trouble the next. The care of the Thoroughbred comes first. They eat first. They get better care than most have time to take care of themselves. That’s horse racing. – Megan’s story is one of courage and selfless devotion to the sport she loves. – I can’t wait to see her make her way to the paddock to saddle her runners. “They say you never really know how strong you are until you’re forced to find out,” according to the Paulick Report. – Best of luck, my friend. We’re looking forward to what the future holds for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Things to Make Money at the Races

by Ed Meyer

posted on July 20, 2020 in Blogroll, General Discussion, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on Three Things to Make Money at the Races

Sounds easy; probably like a commercial to lose weight, get taller, or graduate from college in three days. – But, if you follow this simple plan. I think you’ll start seeing a difference in your wallet. I’m sharing the knowledge of 35 years of handicapping all for the low, low, price of just reading. Trust me, it’s only after walking to the car flat broke and getting to know the secrets of the best handicappers that will change your course and make you a better handicapper.

 

1. Know your limits and stick to them:

Every player walks in with a bankroll. – Visions of champagne rooms and the winner’s circle dance in their heads. Not the case.  Know your bankroll and how much your willing to plunk down to get your desired return. Forget the pick-six and giant pools. There’s plenty of money to be made with win and place bets, and my favorite place parlays.

For players, I would not wager more than 10% of your bankroll in one race. – $100 bucks = $10 in wagers. – Keep this in your noggin with each and every wager. This allows you to keep a handle on your bankroll and stay in the game. – The 10% rule will help you focus more time on handicapping versus how much you’re going to bet.

 

2. – Get to know your tracks:

I know, you can flip around and watch and wager on three tracks all at once. This is a sure-fire way to be broke before you know it. – You need to find a track or two and focus only on them. – It will give you time to handicap with fewer distractions. If you have a few minutes, you can dial over and catch a race for the sake of enjoying the game. Who knows? This may become a track you want to follow.

After finding your two tracks, do your homework before sitting down to bet. – Know the weather, track condition, and how the track has been playing. These simple steps will have you ready to make adjustments and make your day a winner.

No playing every race! – If you like 8 races on the card, find your best 4 races to play. – This is where the real work begins. Now, you have two tracks finding your best races to play. This adds up to making eight wagers. Not bad, and you’ll have all of the excitement of watching and wagering.  For the races you didn’t bet, start a “scouting report” to find a runner who needs a wager next out. That troubled trip may pay big dividends next trip.

 

3. Kick it up a notch

No chef cooking here, but you’re about to make something good for the day. – For your two tracks, make a bigger bet on your top runner. Let’s say you like the #2 in the 7th race. It’s on the turf and your favorite rider is aboard. Good works, and solid connections. – If you’re winning, kick up your base wager to 20%. – This is only for your play of the day when you are winning. – Nothing like playing with house money.

 

The do’s and don’t of gambling: 

No drinking, or playing the party boy. – This is for suckers and you’ll lose 95% of the time. But, wow! – You had a great time!

No lending money. Pretty easy.

If you aren’t at the track for live racing. Play from home, the office, or anywhere. Sitting in the Race Book will have more distractions. – I have a few favorite ADW’s and they offer good rebates. Get paid for your wagering.

If you’re looking at a new track to follow and have no real idea about it. Have yourself a proper information system that breaks down the action and gives you the insight to build on. – That one’s easy. You are already here with Winning Ponies. – Look no farther. With $3,718,535 in exotic payouts for the year. You can’t go wrong!

Best of luck and follow the rules – Let me know how you’re doing the next few trips to the windows.

 

 

 

 

 

New Rules

by Ed Meyer

posted on July 12, 2020 in Blogroll, News and Announcements, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on New Rules

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It seems they change from day-to-day, and you’ll read daily announcements about riders who tested positive for Covid-19. – There are many riders and connections who’ll make the drive, flight, or trek to race. – What happened? I was under the impression that all involved wanted to follow the rules so the game continues. – Once fans were allowed back for racing, it feels like everyone was loosening mandate practices. This may have been a mistake for the sport of racing. – Some states are on lockdown and runners cannot ship out to race. Jockeys are not allowed to go from state-to-state, and only a handful of tracks are allowed to have riders and connections make the journey. – If we adhere to the rules, there’s a good chance of racing continuing. If not, racing may be lost for quite some time.

Here’s an announcement from the overnight sheet for Belterra Park:

 

Attention Horsemen. Belterra Park will discontinue the acceptance of horses/horsemen from any state other than Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Also, note that horseman includes but not limited to; grooms, owners, trainers, exercise riders and assistant trainers, etc. 
Effective Tuesday, July 14th. – Only Jockeys currently on the grounds and who ride strictly at Belterra Park or Ohio jockeys who strictly ride at Thistledown are permitted to ride at Belterra Park. NO SHIPPING ALLOWED TO OTHER TRACKS WITHOUT PERMISSION BY RACING SECRETARY OR ASSISTANT. 
At first glance, this sounds tough. But, the Racing Secretary is doing his best to keep the track safe. All that it takes is a few positive tests and the season may be over. – If you doubt any part of the virus warnings, believe me. It is real and spreads quicker than a wildfire. – If you follow the national scene you’ll hear about the problems in Texas and some of the biggest name riders testing positive. There are no sure-fire answers except for common-sense action.
There is signage everywhere on the track about safe social distancing and the mandatory wearing of a mask. – From the booth, I try and remind patrons of staying safe and adhering to the governor’s mandate on wearing masks in public. – If we wash up good like Mom would have wanted, and wear our mask. We are making big strides. Now, add-in keeping safe distances apart from others and we have a good chance of watching live racing action for the summer.
The meet is supposed to run until October, 9th and many wonder if we’ll make the distance. – Just employ the common sense mandates and follow the rules. I think we’ve got a pretty good shot of going the distance.

 

Happy 66th Birthday, Perry Ouzts!

by Ed Meyer

posted on July 6, 2020 in Blogroll, General Discussion, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on Happy 66th Birthday, Perry Ouzts!

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51,317 – 7,084 – 39% 

 

I guess you’re wondering how many times you’ve done anything in your life 51,317 times? Blink? Heartbeats? Smile? – Or, watched Perry Ouzts climb onto the back of a 1,200 lb Thoroughbred. – How about 7,084? The number of times he sauntered back slowly on his winning horse, enjoying every time like it was his first time to the winner’s circle. 39 is the percent from all of his mounts he has finished in the money. Not a bad career at the office, huh? – Well, on July 7th, the 7th all-time leader in Thoroughbred history has a birthday. He turns 66-years-young and has no plans to sit on the porch in a rocking chair. Who knows? He may just be getting started.

On July 7, 1954, Perry Wayne Ouzts was born in Lepanto, Arkansas. He was primarily raised in Rivervale with his cousins Earlie and Jackie Fires. Earlie is in the Hall of Fame, and Jackie’s career was cut short as his body was crushed during a race, leaving him paralyzed.  Perry took his tack to Beulah Park in Grove City, Ohio where his storied career began with his first winner aboard Rablu in 1973.  There have been many miles since that day in March, but the man has remained pretty much the same. He’s mainly ridden on the smaller circuits of Beulah, Latonia (now Turfway Park), River Downs (now Belterra Park), and occasional ventures to Mountaineer and Thistledown in Cleveland.

 

 

 

 

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I’ve had the pleasure of watching Perry ride for years. – It first started by tagging along with my dad and seeing this man ply his trade tirelessly. Then I was the marketing director at River Downs, player development manager at Turfway Park, and casual visitor to Beulah Park where I would see him venture to the winner’s circle. Every mount, he’s the first rider out of the jock’s room, and when he wins, he slowly jogs back to the winner’s circle savoring the moment like a fine wine. “Every winner means the world to me. There’s nothing that I enjoy more than winning a race”, according to Ouzts.

According to many trainers, he could have ridden anywhere in the country and competed with anyone. But he chose the smaller circuits close to where he called home in Hebron, Kentucky.  He still works eight or more horses in the morning and rides in the afternoon. Perry feels many of the younger riders don’t understand that’s the way you get your mounts. Work in the morning, ride in the afternoon.  After that, he goes back and helps his wife muck stalls and feed. After 30-plus years of marriage, something must be working. “It ain’t always in life you can find someone you can get along with that well. I’m going to keep her and do everything I can to try and help her.”

Perry Ouzts is a man of few words. He lets his riding do the talking, and with that being the case, he’s said a great deal. His enthusiasm to get up every morning and give his all is not a common effort found in racing anymore. He’s healthy, he’s happy, and can be a real motivation for the younger riders in the room.  Perry chose to stay close to the people who were loyal to him and he’s loyal to them. That has been a recipe for success he won’t regret.

Last summer he had a pretty bad injury. It had him in the hospital for multiple surgeries and he was on the sideline for last summer and winter. – Perry started walking horses in the morning to help his wife and beating the boredom of rehab. Staying fit and eventually started working horses in the morning at Turfway Park before the COVID-19 quarantine. He was ready and wanted to come back to Belterra Park. He rode a few mounts at Churchill Downs for longtime friend Barb Riley and hung his tack in Ohio.

He’s always close; and if you’re not for sure who’s on the lead. Nine outta’ ten it’s Perry. – On June 25, 65-year-old Ouzts rode five winners from eight races. For a feat that is usually mentioned with the Ortiz brothers, and some of the top dogs. Perry Ouzts came to work and rolled them off in fine fashion. He then jumped on his Harley and headed back home to be with his wife Toni. Just another day at the office.

I’m still in awe of his ability and tenacity. – He loves winning races as much as he did as a kid back in Arkansas. Best of luck my friend. Enjoy your birthday. I sure hope you have a piece of cake and put up your feet. After all, you’ll be riding races the next day.