Problem Ponies – Horses to Watch – 6/28/16

Nothing like a little weekly report to get you thinking about the races. – Winning Ponies does all of the leg work so you can spend more time using the data to maximize your bankroll. – Here’s a little added bonus if horses who had a tough trip, bad break, or deserve a good piece of your bankroll next time out. Be sure to check them against the E-Z Win Forms to make sure you have all bases covered.


Monmouth Park


6/25/16 – Race #7 –  6f on the dirt

#14 – Congrats Kid = Paco Lopez in the saddle and his runner broke from the 12 post, bumped around at the start, still made the lead and drew off by 6 3/4. – This is a play back if I have ever seen one.


6/25/16 – Race #8 – 1 1/16 on the turf

#6 – My Bucky’s Boy = Paco Lopez in the irons and stumbled badly leaving the gate and regained his composure to come flying to get beat by a head in the shadow of the wire.


6/25/16 – Race #10 – 1 1/16 on the turf

#5 – Sea Coast = Jersey Joe Bravo had the call and his mount was forced to steady between runners at the 1/4 pole and then split runners to make a good bid for 2nd money in the (G-3) Eatontown.





6/25/16 – Race #3 – 1 1/16 on the All Weather

#3 – Gray Phantom = Eurico Rosa DaSilva had the call and was boxed in rounding the far turn and had to steady. She was very game and finished an honest third after a tough trip.


6/25/16 – Race #5 – 7f on the turf

#8 – Paddy Point = Jermaine Bridgmohan had the nod and his mount was facing a field of thirteen. She was boxed in between runners and never had a good shot to shake loose and do her best running.


6/25/16 – Race #7 – 7f on the turf

#1 – San Nicola Thunder = Eurico DaSilva was the pilot and had a very tough time handling this runner. The charts had a comment I’ve never seen before; ” Had steering problems.” – At (3-1) the public thought enough of this runner and maybe there was an equipment problem or was extremely rank. Either way, I’m going to double down when he hits the track next out.



Indiana Grand


6/25/16 – Race #1 – 1 mile and 70 yards on the dirt

#4 – Guard Your Grill = Leandro Goncalves had the assignment and was bumped soundly at the break and still drew off to lead by 5 lengths. – He is an excellent speed rider and never got a breather during the race.


6/25/16 – Race #2 – One mile on the dirt

#5 – Whizbang = Rodney Prescott had the call and the public favorite broke in the air and spotted the field six lengths. He made an explosive run and was forced to settle for a minor share this day.


6/25/16 – Race #8 – 6f on the dirt

#1 – Plenty Elusive = Tommy Pompell was the reinsman, and was in tight at the 3/8th’s pole and forced to check. – He put together a nice run but was no match for the winner after a troubled trip.



A Handicapper Looks at 50

by Ed Meyer

posted on June 27, 2016 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, | 10 Comments >>

I love the people in racing. I always want to know how you’re doing and if you’re picking any winners. – I know more about most local horse players than they know about me, and that was by design. The patrons who support racing are the lifeblood and what they say is important. – But this week is different. I want readers, players, or fans of the sport who have known me for a long time to know a little about me. This is a big week as far as numbers, and I’m more grateful than words can express.

Turning 50-years-old is not a declaration of the end, but a reflection of what you have accomplished. We don’t know how much precious time we have, and as a man who is drawing in a golden birthday here are some words of thanks and gratitude.

I was raised in a small town in Ludlow, Kentucky. My parents Kay (Cooke) and Ed Meyer, and my brother Don all lived in a small cottage at 624 Linden St. – It was the best place in the world to grow up, and may be the last of the best times to be a kid. There was swimming, playing ball, and going to school when life still made sense. It was about as close to Mayberry as possible. A movie theatre, playground, ball fields, cook outs, sleepovers, and great friends.  – Most I attended school with from kindergarten to graduation. My grandparents lived there as well, and life couldn’t have been better. – This was the time I was introduced to horse racing by my Dad. We would make trips to Latonia, River Downs, Beulah, Lebanon Raceway, Louisville Downs, Churchill, Keeneland, and a few dog tracks as I got older. I am grateful my parents are still with me, and my brother is my best friend. – There couldn’t have been a better place to grow up than Ludlow.


I’ve had the greatest opportunities to meet some of the best people in the world. It’s not always the marquee names that mean the most, but the ones you can count on when the chips are down or a celebration is in order. – I’m one of the luckiest guys in the world and trying to name all of the incredible people who mentored me, taught me, corrected me, and stood by my side during good and bad times would fill a phone book. For those too young, that’s what we used to use to look up a number and call those we needed to speak with. – Thank you for standing by me, helping me, and spending time with me.

I attended college after working in construction, and this time taught me that hard work was more than a four letter word. – I was preparing to be a teacher and along the way had some of the neatest jobs to pay my bills. As I graduated from Northern Kentucky University, my Dad asked me if I wanted a college ring or would I like to join him and his wife Sandy to Las Vegas. – If you ever see my hand you won’t see a college ring. Going to Las Vegas that first time only perked my interest to what would lay ahead. – I looked for a teaching job and was a substitute teacher. I loved the kids, but couldn’t find a job in my area. Lucky for me those summer jobs at two different race tracks turned into incredible opportunities to do what I loved.

I’ve had the opportunity to start in the parking lot at Turfway Park and made it all the way to Player Development Manager. I did in-house handicapping, radio shows, and even called races at the track I grew up with as a kid. – At River Downs I started as kid in the parking lot. These were the greatest summers of my life. – It would be a phone call from John Engelhardt years later asking me to interview for the Director of Marketing job that led me to another sweet chapter of doing what I loved. – Thanks, John. River Downs was a great place to learn about racing and develop a friendship with you. – When River Downs was purchased by a casino interest, another door opened at Keeneland. If anyone who loves racing as much as I do has a chance to work at the greatest track in the world. Please, don’t think twice. I can only imagine what it is like to walk through the tunnel at Yankee stadium. Keeneland made me feel like a New York Yankee the day I started. – I met some of the best people in the world, and especially one in particular. He is a professional man who leads by example, shows compassion, kindness, and the patience to allow people to grow. – Thank you, Brad Lovell. – Once again my phone rang after my time with Keeneland, and it was my old friend John Engelhardt. He was calling me to ask if I would be interested in trying my hand at calling the races and setting the morning line at the new River Downs – Belterra Park. – I am still there as you read this, and to this day this is the best job I have ever had in racing.


I wanted to go to Lebanon Raceway on a Saturday night, and my cousin said he would drive. Little did I know he had other plans for me that evening. When he hit the interstate he drove south toward Lexington instead of north to Lebanon. I started screaming and complaining so bad he started crying. But he didn’t stop. – When we arrived in Lexington at a birthday party at his girlfriend’s house, he introduced me to a beautiful young lady who was her room mate. They had just graduated from college, and she was psychiatric nurse at Eastern State Hospital. – The night he tricked me into going to a party introduced me to my future wife Shonda White. – We hit it off from the start and she moved to Northern Kentucky to work and be with me. – That may have been my biggest winning day for not going to the track. – On October 1, 2000. We had a baby boy who would be named after me, my father, and his late-grandfather. August Edward Meyer IV is the greatest joy in my life. – We have had some incredible times, and others that are just too sad for words. Being a single Dad raising my son has been the greatest joy a man could ever ask. I know his Mother watches over him and is very proud of the young man he is becoming.


As this handicapper, father, son, brother, friend, and partner looks back over the last 50 years. I reflect with joy in my heart. I am so grateful that words can’t truly explain my feelings. – As I write this entry, I would like to thank the incredible guys at Winning Ponies. We have been together since 2008, and they have kindly allowed me to be a part of their team. – Nobody knows what the future holds, and I optimistically look forward to future adventures and being the Dad of Gus Meyer. – I have been the luckiest guy you’ve ever met in your travels. When you see me walking into the track this Friday afternoon. Know you’re seeing the happiest man on the planet. I get to do what my heart desires, and go home to the greatest gift in the world. That my friends is time well spent.

Three Ways to Be a Better Gambler

Wouldn’t we all like to know the “secret sauce” of finding winners ? – The answer is pretty simple, and it would surprise you just how easy it is. For years I’ve been a believer in positive vibes and enhanced focus. You won’t find me sniffing incense or chanting, but you will find me looking for ways to evolve and elevate my game. Players who are satisfied with their current habits may win in the short game, but in gambling it’s all about the long haul.


Being a gambler is more than just plunking down money and hoping you get to have it back. The negative outlook is bad juju for punters, and your thoughts are what guide you. Maybe it’s time to take your game to the highest level. Not a place where you are drinking champagne and smoking big cigars waving your arms in the air. – This is about finding what ails you and fix it. It’s your money and it’s your time. The waste of both is a gambler’s sin, and your path to the higher level of you depends on how much you’re willing to sacrifice to find your best. You have good data, a solid bankroll and a love for the sport. But it’s time to fine tune your mind and get you into the place where winner’s live.


1.) – No more lying to yourself. – Don’t justify the bad with a plethora of excuses. Be honest, and keep notes on your gambling habits. Getting to know yourself is an important element in gambling. I have many friends who are good handicappers but bad gamblers. They have a winner or two and grab a beer. They start talking about the big score and presto ! – They have embarked on the journey of self deception. – Did you ever notice the professional athletes you admire never talk about themselves and give up their success to a higher power ? They have transcended the “me” and have evolved into an introspective thinker. – This leads to handicappers keeping a quiet place in their mind and not deviating from the plan. No matter how bad their run of luck, they continue to break down what is working and what they are doing wrong. – The many big time players I have ever encountered keep winning and losing to themselves. This minimizes the distractions.


2.) – On your way to the track, or when you fire up your computer. – Start off earlier than needed and find some time to meditate or think quietly. – Be grateful for the opportunity and start off with a positive outlook. You will not win the big score until you visualize yourself doing the work, making the plans, and executing the process. It’s not a difficult path, and one where you can easily start today. Be grateful for the opportunity, find time to focus, and stick to your plans and no second guessing. – I had a sweet (7-1) shot yesterday with a good rider at a small track. I really liked the horse and was going to make a $5 win bet to get the night rolling. When the final decision time came, I started looking at a (2-1) shot who looked good but had a small percentage rider aboard. I figured I could catch that (2-1) and build from there. The last twenty minutes handicapping for value was all for not as the (7-1) shot drew off in mid-stretch and my (2-1) couldn’t be found with a search warrant.


3.) – What’s your goal ? – Playing until you win more is a short term goal, and it usually goes south by the 4th race. – You should stick to betting no more than 5% of your bankroll on any wager. This allows you to have action and protect yourself for the later rounds. When players make an all-in run it will score from time-to-time, but the long term winners are ones who stick to their money management plans. As you win, that 5% will grow as your bankroll is swelling. – I have a rule about doubling my bankroll. If it is $20 or $2,000, anytime I double my bankroll it is time to wind up the day. What more could you ask for ? – A 100% return on your money is a good day, and you can watch a few races and make a few very small wagers to have a little fun action. You have to decide on a small amount to play and try and sharpen your skills. – Your real handicapping is done, and a $2 win wager on a runner is a good way to enjoy the game and possibly add a few bucks to your bankroll. – Allow yourself to win and don’t cut yourself short. You’re better than you think, and if you employ a little restraint there’s no telling how good your game will be.


Reflections on The First Half of 2016

We pass by the mirror in the morning and give it a glance. Yesterday was the 1/2 way mark for the year, and it’s time to take stock in what we’re doing. – Did we keep our New Year’s resolution or did we quit the gym two weeks later ? – Was this the year we were going to find our soul mate and start living, or did we just keep doing the same routine expecting a different result ? – The mirror is a cruel and heartless bastard. It reflects only what is truly there, and unless you’re in a funhouse attraction, it only shows us the truth. – Gambling is the same. Where are you on your quest. Did you qualify for the big contest ? Did you hit the big pick-six ? – Are you keeping better records to allow you better prepare ? – Did you find your handicapping data that gives you the edge above all others ? – Most probably most of us will answer no. But it’s not too late. We’re only at the half way mark in the year and we still have the best racing to come. Who cares if the report card was not up to expectations. We still have plenty of time and there is no better time than the present.


Find the data that gives you an edge. – Plain and simple this is the secret of all the big players. They all subscribe to a service that allows them to find the hidden nuggets of gold buried deep in the info. Real players don’t want to be told to bet the 1,2,8 in the 8th race. They want to have tools to allow them to fine tune their abilities. – Finding the data provider that is easy to use, rates the field with an unbiased eye, and shows you a good place to start. – This one is an easy fix. You are already right here with Winning Ponies and the E-Z Win Forms are an excellent addition to your handicapping tool box. – The best players want the best tools to work with so look no further and begin the second half of the year on a winning note. There has been $5,482,859 in exotic payouts to date and some of the best racing of the year is just ahead.


How are your horses to watch doing ? – If you haven’t started, no big deal. Every Monday I like to put out a few runners to watch. I call them “problem ponies” as they had a bad start, took up off heels, or just had a compromised trip. – Trip handicapping is one of the best tools of gamblers, and going back as far as the late-great Pittsburgh Phil.  – “Successful handicappers know every detail in regard to the horses upon which they are intending to place their money. – Watch all the horses racing closely. You may see something that will be of benefit later on.”


How are your notes coming along ? – Did you keep copious notes on the races, or did you toss it aside and try and go by memory ? – We all fall into category #2, because category #1 is where the winners live. They live and die by their notes and it is a must for all handicappers to start the day with a ledger and pen. Know how much you wagered, where you played, was there a bias ? – You can’t remember everything, and unless you have an Einstein IQ, you’re going to miss that one little detail that will make all the difference in your day. – Good players use them to the best of their ability as they don’t want to miss a single detail. Big winning is not done in bold wide strokes, it’s found in the smallest of details that elude the masses.


Problem Ponies – Horses to Watch – 6/20/16

Many moons ago I used to work with a gent who loved to bet the ponies. I was just a kid who ran the parking lot and he was in-charge of valet. When he would go broke which was more often than not, he would sit and smoke cigarettes and keep notes on horses. – This wasn’t a real technical method as he would keep them on small scraps of paper tucked into his pocket. He would keep a watchful eye for these runners and when they came back he would have some knockout scores ! – He liked to call this time his “scouting mission” as he was a legendary high school coach and one heck of a good guy. – So here are some runners from my latest scouting mission. You may want to keep these in a safe place as they may come back and light up the tote board.


Arlington Park


6/18/16 – Race #3 – 1 1/16 on the all-weather


#2 – Leon Robert = Jose Valdivia had the call, and his mount was in tight from the start and forced wide. – He made a solid effort down the lane to finish third.


6/18/16 – Race #4 – 1 1/8 on the turf

#8 – Mr. Stein = Cisco Torres was the pilot and his runner stalked all the way and took over the lead. That last 1/8th of a mile may have been his undoing. – Maybe a little shorter distance may be key, and he should bring good tidings next out.


6/18/16 – Race #7 – 1 1/16 on the turf

#4 – Peej = Murrill Mitchell was the reinsman and he did everything right but win. He tracked, waited patiently, and moved with a quick burst of speed. – He just came up short as the beaten favorite and deserves a play back next out.



Monmouth Park


6/18/16 – Race #3 – 5 1/2f on the turf

#4 – Tin Whistle = Antonio Gallardo in the irons, and his mount was bumped hard at the start and pinched back. – Once he broke free he put a nice bid showing good interest.


6/18/16 – Race #8 – 5 1/2f on turf

#1A – Hunter Grey = Paco Lopez in the irons, and he raced off the pace and rallied four wide and finished up strong.



Santa Anita


6/18/16 – Race #8 – 1 1/16 on the dirt

#2 – Bellamentary = Martin Garcia in the saddle facing an ultra-tough gal in Songbird. – Songbird galloped around in a paid workout mode well in hand for the (G-2) Summertime Oaks. “Bella” set a very salty pace and tried to run the chalk off her feet. Well, it didn’t happen this day and she was a bridesmaid to the winner. But if you catch this same trip against any others it may be lights out in a hurry.


6/18/16 – Race #9 – One mile on the turf


#11 – Starlite Style = Tyler Baze was the reinsman and was forced to steady off heels in the second turn and forced wide. Into the stretch she was three wide and finished up with an honest effort.



Confessions of a Gambler

animated praying photo: Praying cat-finds-religion.jpg


I’ve heard its good to get things off your chest. I guess it does us all a bit of good, and from time-to-time we need this purge. Think of it as defragmenting your computer. You store little blips and blurbs for a long period of time and they start taking up space in your head. – So sit back and see if any of these will help you. They may engage you as a handicapper, or just give you that little wake-up call to focus on what you’re doing. Some may be tough, and others may make you smile. Either way, take a read and think it over.

When you have that big winner there is nothing better than to share the news. You’ve finally cracked the code and a few bucks are coming your way. – You buy a round or two of drinks, take a buddy out for bite, and still there is something lurking in the corner watching. – For the many times I’ve had a nice day at the races, there is someone you tell who will want to know how, why, and what made you bet that. They aren’t looking for the secret sauce, they are bitter. No matter who your crew is, you have a quiet member off to the back not rejoicing in your small win. They are really thinking “what did I do wrong,” or ” I tried to nail the race and missed.” – These toxic people are bad for your gambling outlook. As gamblers, we try and eliminate the negative and keep that positive perspective. – I’ll wrap up my first thoughts with a few examples. I worked with a guy who would sit quietly as he knew I loved to bet a guaranteed pick-four. When the last leg would be ready to hit the track he would always ask “are you still alive, and who do you have ?” – When the race would run, he would talk incessantly about who he liked, and would cheer loudly for his imaginary mind bet to score. He wasn’t looking to win anything, he just wanted to show you who was boss and that he is a great handicapper. I watched many of my last legs go down in defeat, and I can’t say he made it happen. But his negative vibes sucked all of the positive energy out of the room like a vortex. Keep these folks off your guest list.

When you’re going to make that big multi-race wager and want to share the cost, get with a few compadres who are ready to toss in some cash and sit down and break down the races.  – There is nothing sweeter than winning with friends who are all like minded in the venture. This takes sitting down, talking strategy and making concessions for the group. Just like any project at work or something you’ve been tinkering with. It takes time, cooperation, and a sense of joint venture. No player is bigger than the other, and it is all for one and one for all. – “Money won is twice as sweet as money earned.” – “Money won with friends makes for a lifetime of stories.”

Take someone new to the races. I like to take them to Keeneland and enjoy a day in the bucolic settings of the Sycamore tree in the paddock, or sharing an over-stuffed Reuben at the deli. – Don’t worry about making this your big day to win, just relax and enjoy. Explain what is happening, show them the difference in the finish lines. Watch the horses saddled and make a trip to the winner’s circle. Make small bets and let them take part without interference. There is nothing better in the world than picking your pony and watching them romp home. – This is how many of us got our first start, and think of it as passing the torch. “We’re not here for a long time, so we might as well have a good time.”

Share some winnings. When you have that big daily double, buy lunch, grab a beer, bring back a souvenir from one of your race track visits. – Nothing is better than not putting up a dime or even knowing what was happening. – But when your ship comes in, it is good to share a couple bucks and make everyone a winner. – Think of it as riding a great roller coaster. If you ride it alone there is nobody to share the great adventure. But if you share a few bucks, you have more folks happy to see you win and moreover happy to be a part.

Eliminate the negative as they’re mad at themselves, not you. – Keep an open mind and think positively. – Share when you’ve had a nice win fall. That beer will never be colder, and the sandwich will never taste better. – There is no sure-fire way to win and this isn’t about speed figures or the secret sauce to winning. This is about keeping the game in perspective and visualize yourself winning before you can see yourself heading to the IRS window to cash that sweet winner.

Problem Ponies – Horses to Watch – 6/16/16

There’s nothing like the watchful eye of a handicapper looking for problem trips. Just like you, I enjoy combing over video replays and sometimes watching two or three times the race in question. – Think of it as someone doing the legwork, and you can spend your time reading over your E-Z Win Forms seeking the nuggets of gold only WinningPonies can deliver.


Gulfstream Park


6/11/16 – Race #4 – #2 – One mile on the dirt

#2 – Cool Ruler = Here is a playback that exits off an impressive maiden break winning by 2 1/4. – He raced in hand in cruise control from the 1/4 pole to the wire. I usually like to wait a race after a mdn win, but he can come right back depending on where they spot him.


6/11/16 – Race #5 – #3 – One mile on the dirt

#3 – Holiday Gift = Checked sharply leaving the starting gate and was forced wide as he was trying to pick up lost ground. – He finished with some interest down the lane.


6/11/16 – Race #9 – #10 – 1 1/16 on the turf

#10 – Bonita = She was forced wide and had to wait for room down the backstretch. Once she broke free she showed good late speed.



Monmouth Park


6/11/16 – Race #4 – #3 – 6f on the dirt

#3 – Belle of Bowdoin = She was knocked around at the start and forced wide when she commenced a late bid. – She was wide into the lane and finished up with good interest.


6/11/16 – Race #9 – #2 – 6f on the dirt

#2 – Isi Antonia = This filly checked at the start, down the backstretch, and around the far turn at the 3/8th’s pole. – She finished up strong running 2nd by three. – She is a very strong bet back. See what the E-Z Win’s have to say when she runs back.


Belterra Park


6/11/16 – Race #3 – #2 – 5 1/2 f on the dirt

#2 – Madre Baeza = She shipped up from GP and was bumped around soundly and still won impressively. She is a play back and she’ll be a price.


6/11/14 – Race #4 – #1 &#4 – 1 1/2 on the turf

#1 – Uncle Mitcho = Declan Cannon did an incredible job winning by 14 lengths drawing off at will. – This son of Freud loved the green and will be a tough customer right back.

#4 – Magnetic Start = He was looming boldly and looked to have dead-aim on the leader when the winner drew off like he was jet powered. – I give extra points to this effort as he finished up strong for the Doug Coyle barn.


6/11/16 – Race #6 – #6 – 5 1/2f on the dirt

#6 – Lacey the Spartan = She bobbled at the break and then was pinched back. Once she got loose her stride showed good promise for the next effort.

Where Do We Go From Here?

The Triple Crown chase is in the books and the results are in. For many casual fans you may go to sleep or head to the golf course. For handicappers that love the Sport of Kings, this may be the beginning of a great time to watch some ultra competitive races. – Sit back, grab a cool glass of iced tea and find some shade because the summer racing season is just getting ready to heat up.

The 148th running of the Belmont Stakes going official doesn’t mean Thoroughbred racing is taking a break. Matter of fact it is definitely the opposite. – Destin ran a game race as the second overall selection in the Belmont, and was gunned down in the shadow of the wire by Creator. – Without Nyquist, and Exaggerator not hitting his best stride this actually turned out to be an incredible day of racing. I usually box the top four WinningPonies selections and sit back and enjoy. Now, why in the name of the Racing Gods did I not pull the trigger ? – Was it the heat or did I fall asleep at the wheel ? – Here is a glimpse of my $2 exacta results for the 13 race card.


Race 2 = The top two tier selections ran 1st and 2nd, and the exacta paid $26.60


Race 3 – The top four tier selections ran 1-2-3-4. – The exacta paid $40.80


Race 4 – The 2nd and 3rd tier selections finished 1st and 2nd. – The exacta paid $80.00


Race 5 – The top four selections ran 1-2-3-4, and the exacta paid $49.60


Race 9 - The 2nd and 3rd tier selections ran 1-2, and the exacta paid $77.00


In addition I usually make a small wager on the top selection and they came back with prices like $6.10, $17.40, and $3.10 with Flintshire. – No crying over spilt milk, or not making your wagers in advance. I left some money on the table and you are reading the words of a player who knows better. – The race was incredible and fans didn’t get to see a Triple Crown winner this year, as it was only 37 years in between the last two. – Summer racing is just starting to heat up and before you know we’ll be right here talking Breeders’ Cup. But hold your horses! – Here are some ovals coming your way before you know it.


 – Del Mar = 7/15/16 – 9/5/16

- Saratoga = 7/22/16 – 9/5/16

- Tampa Bay Downs = 7/1/16 – 6/30/17

- Santa Rosa = 7/27/16 – 8/16/16

- Gulfstream Park = 7/1/16 – 10/1/16

- Kentucky Downs = 9/3/16 – 9/15/16

- Churchill Downs = 9/16/16 – 10/2/16

- Keeneland = 10/7/16 – 10/29/16


Many are running presently but are getting ready to end in the next 10-12 days. – There is plenty to look forward to with WinningPonies and with over $4,972,513 in exotic payouts to date, WinningPonies always has your back. – Best of luck as we enter the summer season of Thoroughbred action and be sure to check back for stories, blogs, free selections, and the Winning Ponies Internet Show.




The Gray Trifecta

by Horstradamus

posted on June 12, 2016 in Handicapping, Help/Educational Articles, Horse Racing, Other Events | No Comments >>

Destin working out.
Photo: John C. Engelhardt

Those who use the age-old handicapping method of picking by color were well rewarded in the 2016 Belmont Stakes, as the top 3 finishers Creator, Destin and Lani are all gray.  The $1 Trifecta paid a whopping $1,375.  However, don’t bet the farm on this angle just yet.  Although gray horses are all the rage now as Tapit is a top sire, this is an uncommon phenomenon (it’s also very rare in such a large field).

Since 2010 in the US and Canada, the top 3 finishers are gray (or white) at an average rate of once per 1,470 Thoroughbred races.  Many of those occurrences are in smaller fields with a high concentration of grays. The last time it happened was on May 21st at Will Rogers Downs.  Fortuitously, on May 14th it happened at both Golden Gate Fields and Lone Star Park.  Think it could ever happen twice on one card?  It did, exactly 3 years ago on June 11th, 2013 at Fort Erie. Color handicappers were rewarded that day with Triactors worth $750.30 and $23.10.

At Belmont specifically, it happens once every 2,838 races.  The last time it occurred was on June 4th, 2010 for an unimpressive $46.50 Trifecta.

When eliminating races with less than 3 gray entries (when a gray Trifecta is impossible), the rate becomes a more reasonable 1 in 42 races (1 in 72 at Belmont).

Now the next logical question is what if you want to shoot for the moon and score a gray Superfecta?  Can that ever happen?  Well it just so happens that the last gray Trifecta at Will Rogers Downs was also a gray Superfecta.  However, there’s one fact that we forgot to mention – that entire five horse field was gray (and there was no Superfecta wagering on the race).  Remember that magical day at Fort Erie we mentioned?  In one of those two races, the fourth finisher was gray as well. Unfortunately, Superfecta wagering was not available on that race either. All in all, the top 4 finishers are gray at an average rate of once per 9,625 races.

When eliminating the impossible gray Superfecta races (races with less than 4 gray entries), the rate becomes 1 in 42 races – the same rate as a gray Trifecta with 3+ gray horses.

So what does this all tell us? You should probably stick to more proven handicapping methods – like picking by name. Or, let WinningPonies do the handicapping for you.

“Problem Ponies” – Horses to Watch – 6/7/16

As the Belmont stakes approach, there is something missing. Oh, yeah. There’s no Triple Crown hopeful. – Now we can get down to the business of handicapping instead of being torn rooting for history to be made. – The card will be incredible from Friday – Saturday, and this may be the best wagering opportunity you will have outside of Breeders’ Cup. Maybe even better. In the meantime, here are some horses you’ll want to add to your horses to watch list. They had a troubled trip last out and may offer an incredible betting opportunity next out.


Arlington Park


6/4/16 – Race #7 – One mile on the all-weather

#6 – Crusader Girl Too = Noel Vigil was the pilot and was bumped leaving the starting gate and never regained her best form. Next out and a drop from stakes company may do wonders.


6/4/16 – Race #8 – 1 1/16 on the AW track

#9 – Prince Cheval = Jose Valdivia opened up a large lead and dictated the pace. He set very quick fractions and was just beat in the shadow of the wire. – He’ll carry it from flag fall to that’s all next time out.



Monmouth Park


6/4/16 – Race #1 –  6f on the dirt

#1 – Sassy Silk = Jose Ferrer had the call, and his mount was tardy leaving the gate and had to check up sharply at the 5/8th’s pole as the beaten favorite. So many good betting angles to follow right back.


6/4/16 – Race #3 – 1 1/16 on the turf

#9 – Break Away = Victor LeBron in the irons and he was forced to race in tight company and once he broke free he made a very nice run to finish a solid fourth. Maybe he’ll get a little cleaner trip and a visit to the winner’s circle is in his future.


6/4/16 – Race #7 – 1 1/16 on the turf

#10 – Sanad = Nik Juarez was the pilot and he made a nice run with a perfect stalking trip only to forced to steady briefly in mid-stretch and continue on with a solid rally for 4th.





Santa Anita

6/4/16 – Race #1 –  5 1/2f on the dirt

#4 – Turf Club Queen = Chad Lindsey had the call, and he stalked the pace perfectly and was forced to steady and drop back in the pack. – Once he got his wits about him, he finished up strongly for a place spot.


6/4/16 – Race #3- 6f on the dirt

#4 – Prince Valiant = Santiago Gonzalez had the mount and was bumped and steadied early in the race. Once he readjusted his action, he made up a good bit of ground looking promising next up.



Keep your eyes posted on these runners and add them to your notes. – Be sure to see where they fit into the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms, and they may be the difference in a good day and great day at the windows. – Best of luck with the Belmont this weekend, and there are six stakes / two graded on the Friday card. – On Saturday, the buffet of wagering is in full effect with: six (G-1) stakes, two (G-2), and one (G-3) event.

There are some of the best guaranteed pools of the year starting on Friday with: $500,000 Guaranteed Late Pick Four, and $150,000 Guaranteed Late Pick Six wager. – On Saturday, there is the $1.5 Million Pick-Four beginning in race #8, the $1 Million Guaranteed Pick-Six staring in Race #6, and $500,000 Guaranteed Pick Five kicking up in Race #1. – That makes for one incredible weekend of racing action, and you’ll want to be tied on to Winning Ponies to find the nuggets of gold only found in the E-Z Win Forms. – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies this weekend !