Three Ways to Tear Down Your Race Track

by Ed Meyer

posted on September 23, 2016 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

You got it, and let’s get rid of it. – Nothing like an old eyesore in the days of ADW madness and phone betting.  Let’s blow up the joint and build another shopping mall that will be empty in two years. Nothing like the smell of demolition in the morning.

But if you’d like to have your iconic oval around for the near future, here are a couple of things you’ll want to keep in mind when you venture out next time. – Trust me, the demo men are just a call away and we’ll have turn this place to mountain of rubble in no time flat.

 

#1 – How many times have you seen players sitting in the carrel seats at the track and they’ll pick up their phones or iPad to make an online wager? I’m guilty as sin on this little problem, and let me tell you what’s going on. – When you wager with an ADW the track does not get as much money. That percentage of money the track gets and what goes into purses shrinks. – This helps the horsemen run for better money; the racing office to write bigger purse races; and the bigger purses attract better horses and bigger fields. – Bet you didn’t think that little phone call could cause all this trouble, but it surely does. – If you bet from your computer four times a month, go out and support you local track with two of those four visits. They make money to keep the game alive, and the better product may allow growth and bigger field sizes. – The little convenient phone call costs the track money all the while your sitting in your free seats.  – Think about the next time you reach for your device to wager. Your cutting your track out of the profits. – Not a good idea….

 

#2 – Patrons sneak in coffee, lunch, and one gent used to bring in a large cooler with lunch, snacks and dinner. – Food options at most tracks have gotten better over the years. – No longer do you have to choose from an old hot dog spinning for hours or a hamburger that cost a second mortgage. –  Tracks have become savvy and present a whole new menu. Some have a light sports bar fare and others have an upgraded version of the tried and true. – Long story short – when you sneak in your goodies, you cost the track a great deal of money. Food and beverage accounts for many of the profits and sometimes can be the difference of keeping the doors open. – If you use the four visit formula, sneak in your coffee and donuts once, and the other three times purchase from the stands. – They make money and you don’t have to stash your donuts in your jacket pocket. – F&B has kept tracks alive in many districts and it is an important source of revenue.

 

#3 – Let’s meet at the track! – That was the mantra for years before ADW’s and off-track betting parlors. We need to replenish the track with fresh players, and why not ask the guys from the next cubicle to meet you this Friday night to have a couple beers, bet a few races, and catch the local popular band? – The track has plenty of folks looking for a cheap date night and the tracks have honed in on the idea quickly. Use the track as the meeting place and enjoy all it has to offer. By the time your done, it was time to go out and hit the town anyway. – Tracks have become entertainment destinations and it is our responsibility to take part. – What’s the rub? Your going out so why not meet at the place where many are starting their evenings. – Who knows, you may have a real good time and it will become part of your weekly plans to meet friends.

 

I won’t cry a river, but keeping money away from the tracks and not supporting your local oval is a sure-fire way to watch the place turn into a another Bed Bath and Beyond.  – Go on out and you may be surprised what you see. Nothing like the hubbub of humanity swirling around and your night is off to a great start. – Just like the signage that begs you to shop local. The same goes for the track. If you don’t come, they will sell it and tear it down. – Give it the old college try. I think you’ll fall in love all over again.

Problem Ponies – Horses to Watch – 9/19/16

There is nothing like watching a race where a runner didn’t have the best of days, and even better if you’re able to document the horse and follow them back to the windows next out. – Keep an eye on these runners, and be sure to check them against the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms to see where they fit against the competition next time to the races. – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies !

 

9/17/16

 

Churchill Downs

 

Race #2 – #6 – Magnum Force – 6 1/2f

Was forced to steady leaving the gate and made a strong rally to be 5th this day.

 

Race #3 – #4 – Sweetgrass – 1 1/16 on the main track

In tight at the start and was bumped around soundly causing her to alter course.

 

Race #4 – #9 – Pocket of Aces – 6f

Shipping in from Ellis and put in a mild bid showing good promise for the next time out.

 

Race #7 – #10 – Entertainer – 6f

 

Saratoga shipper forced 6 wide and finished up with a strong late kick to be 2nd this day.

 

Race #8 – #1 – Lookin at Lee – 1 1/16

 

Finished a fast closing second in the (G-3) Iroquois, and this is a 2-year-old we need to keep a watch.

 

 

Gulfstream Park

 

Race #1 – #4 – Lay it Down -= 7 1/2f on the turf

Carried out 4 wide on the second turn still had a late kick to be third.

 

Race #2 – #1 – Curlin’s Gem- 1 mile on the main track

In tight at the start and bumped against the rail. He still managed to show a good late kick for 3rd.

 

Race #11 – #5 – Bay Point Count – 7 1/2 f on the turf

Didn’t break too well and still showed good interest down the lane to be 5th this day.

 

Race #12 – #2 – Kitten’s Star – 6f

Bumped soundly at the break, and was forced five wide on the final turn. She’ll show much better next out.

 

 

 

 

Attitude Cashes Tickets

by Ed Meyer

posted on September 14, 2016 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

You can have the best data in the world, and even have your lucky hat on straight. But if you don’t think you can win, chances are you won’t. – Over the years, I have been treated to some of the most unique sights in the sport. There are the screamers from the back row who have every horse leading around the far turn. If they start to fade you’ll hear them start up on another who was set up perfectly by the fast pace. – Then you have the “clams” of gambling. They never say a word and if they have all the pearls, you’ll never know as they are as quiet as church mouse. – Then there are the big mouth sour-puss Joe’s who act the part but are as fragile as rice paper. – It’s fair to say I’ve seen about every type of gambler at one point or another in my years of working at the track.

 

Attitude is everything. – In the words of Muhammad Ali; “It ain’t bragging if you can back it up.” – I have watched gamblers who make a bet and sometimes its a large one. They start talking the talk about how they really don’t think they have a chance and they probably should have let this go. – There are two things going on here; The first is setting up an escape if it loses and they can talk about how they should have skipped the race, the second school of thought is if they say it can’t happen, it has a good shot of coming true. – I have watched this for years and sometimes it gets down right funny. – The other day at work my friend asked me after I made my wager; “do you really think he can win ?” – The answer was simple, “I haven’t ever made a bet where I planned on losing.”

We all go through good times and bad, but it’s the positive players who stay alive and reap the rewards. – It’s not just wishful thinking, it is believing you have put your best foot forward. – Now, there are more losing tickets than winners if we play long enough. – If you don’t believe you can win, do you think anyone else ever will ? Horse players use to travel in packs and hang out with others. That was the best part of pari-mutuel gambling. It is something you’ll never see at the quarter slots as people play with a feverish stare and wouldn’t hear a bomb go off if it were in their pocket. – Racing offered up a chance to banter back-and-forth and talk the lingo. – “ You couldn’t win a place bet in a match race. – If your horse was on top by ten with 70 feet to go, it would jump the rail and head back to the barn.” – Race trackers have a lingo and a talk all their own. You won’t see this at the blackjack table, and how many times have you and your crew yacked the night away playing roulette ? – Never. -Racing use to offer up a time and a place where folks could meet and talk about the ponies. It still does to a small degree, but nothing like it was as more players sit in front of computer screens at home.  No lines, making last second bets, and sitting in your shorts and t-shirt when there is 8 inches of snow outside. – That is where racing is losing, and it will never regain traction. When the last of the real race trackers move on to Pearly Gate Downs, the place will be filled with younger crowds swilling dollar beers waiting for the band to play. You won’t have to get there early to get a seat as the place is empty, and the one-of-a-kind wafting cigar smoke will vanish in mid-air. – Your grandpa wouldn’t recognize the place today.

 

Something you can change other than your underwear is your attitude. – Just like your old baseball coach use to preach and every teacher you liked. They knew the power of positive reinforcement and it applies to gambling as well. – I knew an older gent who would come in dressed as if he was going on a job interview. He had table reserved and he would meticulously have all of his programs, pens, and note pads all in their place. ” Ed, I worked like this for over 30 years. My office was well-kept and everything had a place. It makes me feel prepared, and just like a day at the office. My make-shift office is ready to accept business.” – At the time I just smiled and never caught the drift, but as I started playing more confidently I know what he’s talking about. Being prepared was more than half his battle and if he wasn’t ready mentally, it wasn’t getting down at the windows. – Staying away from the trash-talking was Bob’s strong suit. You never heard him once talk about a bad ride, horrible trip, or track bias. He kept copious notes and went along as nothing had gone wrong. His words still stay in my head when I want to bitch about a bad ride, etc. “ I have won on bad rides from others so why would I complain when the shoe is on the other foot ?” – Right as rain.  – Cheering is welcome, but complaining, bragging, and bitching was not allowed at his table.

 

I was standing in the door with my races handicapped and my race-by-race notes ready. – The track had a horrible wind storm and the power lines were downed; the marquee day was going to be scrapped. I was mad because I was ready to handicap for the in-house TV, and now I’ll have to wait. – At that time a young rider walked in the door to say goodbye to her sister who worked in the office. – When I asked her if she was mad about the big day getting put off she smiled and gave me the best answer. “ I’m going to work out, eat a healthy dinner, and get a good night’s sleep. I’m going to be ready in the morning, and I’m going to bring my “A” game.” – She won three races the next day, and I’m still tankful for the words of wisdom from Donna Barton Brothers. – “In my travels, positive energy attracts good vibes and winning. I don’t recall many who cried and complained and took home the gold.”

Problem Ponies – Horses to Watch – 9/13/16

Labor Day is in the books and the heat and humidity of summer are starting to subside a bit. It won’t be long until the autumn scenes of Keeneland fill my head, and Breeders’ Cup will be on every racing page in the land. – Oh what a great time to be a handicapper, but rest assured. There is still plenty of top-notch racing to watch and wager ! – Here are some runners you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled the next time they take the track.

 

9/10/16

 

Arlington Park

 

 

Race #1 – #2 – Scitech – 6f on the AW

In tight at the start and finished a strong rally for 2nd money.

 

Race #2 -#2 – Badger Bay – 7f on the AW

Steadied in the stretch and blocked badly down the lane.

 

Race #7 – #4 – Sister Kan – 7f on the AW

Off very slowly from the break and was forced 4-5 wide on the final turn in the Arlington-Washington Lassie.

 

 

Belmont Park

 

 

Race #1 – #5 – Boomerang Bay – 6f on the main

Broke through the gate prior and was the beaten favorite to finish 3rd.

 

Race #3 – #3 – Baccelo – 1 1/16 on the dirt

Led all the way and was bested right in the shadow of the wire under hot fractions.

 

Race #4 – #2 – Adirondack Dancer – 1 mile on the turf

Tracked nicely and took over the lead. Was beaten right at the wire as the beaten favorite.

 

Race #5 – #6 – Afleet Martini – 6 1/2f on the dirt

Heavily bet and steadied at the start. Finished a solid second place on this day.

 

Race #6 – #2 – Moonlit Garden – 1 mile on the main

First timer for Pletcher who was in tight from the start, and 3-4 wide on the final turn to finish up a very game 3rd.

 

 

The next time they hit the track be sure to check them against the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Selections to see where they fit into the race. – There is nothing better than seeing a compromised trip to follow up with next time out. – Always check in to see where they fit in the level of competition and hopefully you’ll be one step closer to a sweet payday ! – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies !

 

 

 

 

Finding the Answer Maybe Easier Than You Thought !

I’ve been going through a rut of three outta’ four in the pick-four for quite awhile. I know, we’ve all fallen prey to the beast of gambling and we can’t stop this train wreck. – But for this gambler, here’s a little snapshot of me pulling my self out of the abyss.

 

I started at Belmont Park. Known to the faithful as “Big Sandy,” I was going to conquer the day with a little pick-four wager. – This time I wasn’t going to even handicap the race with my hours of pouring over material. I was going to the E-Z Win Forms and utilize the data. It has served me well in the past, and from time-to-time I fall off the wagon.

 

I was going to use the top three selections in races 1-4, and make two 50-cent tickets:

 

Race #2 – #7 Firestarter won and was the third top tier selection to pay a sweet $13.20

 

Race #3 – #2 – Comfort won and paid $2.90 as the top three selections were 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.

 

Race #4 – #4 – Orino was the second tier selection and it won and paid $14.00

 

Race #5 - #5 – Shoot from the Hip won and paid $5.80 as the third tier selection

 

My tickets came out to be 3 X 3 X 3 X 3 = $40.50 for a 50-cent ticket and I punched it out twice. – It came back to pay = $311.00. – That was for a $230 profit. – Not a bad start to the day if I say so myself.

 

 

Happy as a clam and overcoming the dreaded three outta’ four dance, I decided on making a pick-five and a pick-four at Gulfstream. – College football was playing in the background, and I was calling races. There was very little time to handicap and I was happy with my early success. – I chose to follow the E-Z Win Forms with the top two selections in each race, and was in the dark for the final race. – I seldomnly use the “all button” but I was in the dark and it looked like anything could win. So, I hit the all button in the final race making two 50-cent tickets. One for the impossible pick-five and the other for the pick four.

 

Gulfstream Park

 

Race #7 – #8 – Dave Hoeght won and paid $5.00 as the top tier selection

 

Race #8 – #7 – Dixie Doll was the 2nd tier selection and won and paid $9.20

 

Race #9 – #10 – Maid on a Mission was the 2nd choice and paid $8.60

 

Race #10 – #1 – Peace Militant was the top selection and paid $12.80.

 

Now comes the moment of truth. I had an all ticket in the last to land both 50-cent wagers. – I had a total of $80 in the pick-five and $40 into the pick-four wager. – In the past I usually end up with the big chalk hitting, hence not using the all button.

 

Race #11 – #10 – Fallen Leaf was the 10th overall selection and paid $4.00 / I was mad as hell at myself and started kicking the wall until I saw the payouts:

The 50-cent pick-five = $830.80, and the 50-cent pick four paid $486.15. - For an investment of $120, I received $1,316.95 for a profit of $1,196.95 for the final two wagers ! – On the day I was up $1,426.95 and all I did was drop back and use what’s been profitable for me in the past. – I told a couple buddies and they just looked at me like I was crazy, but then asked how to use the E-Z Forms. – They have called me twice looking forward to the races this week. They like Florida racing and I love New York. – I’ll keep you up-to-speed on how we do !

 

Take it from this handicapper who had very little time between catching glimpses of football and calling the races. – The Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms were solid and dependable. They are easy to use and were pretty darn profitable for me. – I wouldn’t start your handicapping without them, and who knows maybe you’ll have a good story or two for next week ! - Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies !

The End of Summer

Right about now you’re hearing Don Henley in your head. – No worries, it will disappear once you finish reading. But if not, the “Boys of Summer” are on You Tube to use as your personal handicapping music. – All of the complaining and crying about the humidity will be on the short list as the cool crisp autumn air will begin to through the trees. As the leaves turn golden-brown, we’ll be treated to some of the best racing of the year. – Thoroughbred racing moves in a cycle. We begin the year with promise and questions, the spring brings hope and answers. The summer shows the maturity taking place and the fall season allows the runners to square off one final time before heading out to pasture for the winter. – “I can tell you my love for you will be strong, after the boys of summer are gone.”

 

There are things I look forward as the seasons change. – Going to Keeneland for a real handicapper is a day-pass in horse racing heaven. – This will be their 80th year of opening the doors to the masses and I’ll plan a trip or three. There is something that renews the spirit of a horse player when they walk through the doors. Maybe it’s the historic Sycamore tree in the paddock, or could it be the intoxicating aroma of Kentucky Burgoo ? – If you listen closely you’ll hear the sounds of history’s hoof beats as they round the  turn and straighten away for the stretch drive.

Keeneland is a magical place and I liken it to “Brigadoon” where a mystic village magically appears once every hundred years for one day. – Well, Keeneland actually runs about 15 days twice a year but you get the picture. – Something magical appears and puts on the best show in racing and vanishes back into the fog for five months. – If that’s not magic you better check your pulse.

Breeders’ Cup is a time when you see the best-of-the-best square off for a final round at the end of the year. The weather is perfect and the host tracks are pristine and ready. – I start weeks in advance looking over replays and read about the connections from all over the world. – As the weekend approaches I begin a system of eliminating runners. – You can’t bet them all and no matter how big your bankroll is in your wallet you’ll need to have a system. – You can bet prices or look for a square price on the unbeatable chalk you love. Once the weekend is over and the winners are crowned, I usually take a small break. I put so much time into the big weekend that I need a break win or lose. – That part keeps me sharp and ready for the next round of racing.

As winter blows in with football in full-stride, you start watching Fair Grounds, Aqueduct, and Gulfstream. – Then as you hit the first of the year, you’ll start seeing Gulfstream and California offering up some glimpses of what lays ahead. Oaklawn always offers a solid meet, and Aqueduct always produces a runner or many that will have you scratching your head. – That is Thoroughbred racing, and  a horse player can tell you what time of year it is by what meet is running. We measure time in 20 minute increments (time between races) and before you know it the process renews itself with the entrance of spring. – That’s racing. Just when you think it is coming to an end the never ending cycle renews our spirit.

Problem Ponies – Horses to Watch – 9-7-16

Labor Day has come and gone and the end of summer has officially begun. You’ll start seeing less humidity and earlier sunsets, and best of all the racing world prepares to finish strongly with a blast of races that are sure to please fans from all walks. – In the meantime, you’ll want to keep these runners on your watch list as they had an excuse or a compromised trip.

 

Del Mar

9/4/16

 

Race #1 – #3 -Lucky Doll – 5 1/2f on the dirt

She steadied at the start and was carried wide into the final turn.

Race #2 – #3 – Reflected Star – 1 1/16 on the turf

Making a strong bid and suddenly his saddle slipped. – He faded to the back of the pack.

Race #5 #5 – Faith Pacer – 6f on the dirt

Squeezed back at the start and steadied in the stretch

Race #8 – #13 – Ralis – 1 1/8 on the turf

Was flying late in the lane and was carried out 6 wide. This race gives plenty to look forward to seeing

 

Monmouth

9/4/16

 

Race #5 – #6 – Kingdom’s Crown – 1 1/16 on the turf

She was gaining ground and was forced to steady at the 1/8th pole

Race #6 – #2 – Single Broad – 5 1/2f on the dirt

Filly was steadied leaving the gate and made a strong bid only to be forced to take down the lane multiple times.

Race #7 – #7 – Blue Bahia – 5 1/2f on the turf

She won by two and is a playback. – She overcame a horrible trip to strut her stuff

 

 

Saratoga

9/4/16

 

Race #4 – #9 – Lenstar – 6f on the dirt

Broke inward and bobbled at the start

Race #7 – #8 Par – 1 1/16 on the turf

Hit the gate briskly and made a solid closing bid to be 4th.

Race #8 – #3 – Bid List – 7f

Stumbled and pinched back at the start

Race #10 – #9 – Kitzy’s Rocket – 1 1/16 on the turf

She had a good late kick but was forced 4-5 wide at the top of the lane

Race #12 – #1 – My Fair Lily – 5 1/2f on the turf

Steadied at the 1/8th pole and still managed a strong 4th place effort

 

 

Be sure to check the runners against the E-Z Win Form selections to see where they fit. – They are the best gauge at determining at how the race will take shape and where the compromised runner would fit in. – Keep your eyes peeled and before you know it your bankroll will be in a state of growth as the fall season approaches. – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies !

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Days, Bad Days, and Everything in Between

by Ed Meyer

posted on August 29, 2016 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

We’ve all had them and if you’ve ever made a wager on an horse race I’m sure you have a phone book full of stories of the bad beats, big wins, and the “if-only” wagers. – The last one fits under the heading of bets I would have won if only I would made the bet. For years we have all yacked on and on about these days and when the video world caught us up with proof of the past the memories come flooding back. – Sit back, grab a cool drink and take a peek at a few races that are on my list of “I surely won’t forget that one.”

 

 

Storming Home

 

The year was 2003, and I went to the Arlington Million. – I had never been, and heard great things about the track. – The stories are all true, and I fell in love with the place from minute one. – I made the trek and went up the night before. I checked-in and caught the last three races at AP. I was up $300 before studying for the next day ! I stopped over to the OTB parlor and had some dinner. – Great food, and the place was packed. – I was betting Mountaineer and I have to say I normally don’t play the signal. After three races I was up $500 ! – This was incredible and I couldn’t wait until the big day of turf racing. I was rolling, and I wasn’t going to make any wagers except the Arlington card. – Then as I walking in I looked up and saw the Saratoga signal, and there was a horse I had been waiting for since the Belmont meet. – I made one good bet, and PRESTO ! – I was up $1,400 ! – This day was going to be one for the ages. – I had enjoyed winners all day long and had multi-race wagers, big win and place money, and every exacta and tri covered with my (9-2) shot. He had my favorite rider aboard, and I couldn’t have asked for anything better. – The race set up in the best way possible and I stood to make the biggest score of my life. – When I looked up the race on You Tube, there is a version set to music right at the wire.

 

 

Powerscourt

 

I was never going back to Arlington after the horrible loss that cost me a hunk of winnings and I almost lost my favorite rider. That is until the next year. – I started off the same way but the winnings weren’t as large. A great day brewing and I loved a runner by the name of Powerscourt ridden by a young lad by the name of Jamie Spencer. – I had all of my winnings going on the race, and it looked a great deal like the year prior. – He was (5-1) and I couldn’t get enough bets down. When they turned for home, I started counting my money.

 

 

 

 

 

Problem Ponies – Horses to Watch – 8/29/16

The un-official days of summer are coming to an end with the Labor Day holiday. – The days will get shorter by the minute and the oppressive humid air will be replaced by cool crisp autumn breezes. – The weekend was chock-full of incredible racing action and the Travers Day card at Saratoga did not disappoint. – Here are some runners who encountered a tough trip, had a good excuse, and hopefully will offer good value next time to the races.

 

Saratoga

 

8/28/16 – Race #2 – #2 – Brianbakescookies – 1 3/8th’s on the turf

This colt was bumped soundly at the break and finished up with a strong late kick.

 

8/28/16 – Race #4 – #1 –  Penjade – 1 1/16 on the turf

Filly was bumped leaving the gate and was rank most of the race. – She put in a impressive run late nearing the wire.

 

8/28/16 – Race #6 – #1 – I’m a Chatterbox – 1 1/8 on the dirt

She showed very good speed, and the pace duel may have cost her precious gas in the tank. – She’ll come back and respond better for the Larry Jones barn.

 

8/28/16 – Race #7 – #8 – Wavell Avenue – 7f on the dirt

We all have a bad day at the office, and this is one where you can toss this race. “Wavell” can roll late and relish the distance. – This race is a toss out and I think if she comes back and shows good morning works we’ll see a new runner next time out.

 

Monmouth

 

8/28/16 – Race #2 – #1 – Valetino’s Day – 5 1/2f on the dirt

Bumped at the start was a beaten favorite. That is a solid bettors’ angle and we’ll be on the watch. A troubled trip going short can have you looking forward as they just don’t have enough time to regroup.

 

8/28/16 – Race #4 – #2 – Green Gratto – 6f on the dirt

Bobbled at the start and made a solid bid and was gunned down in the shadow of the wire. – This is a playback runner sitting on GO !

 

8/28/16 – Race  #7 – #9 – Banana Anna – 1 1/16 on the dirt

Beaten chalk who put in a super effort rallying from the back of the pack. – Next time may be the answer, but you’ll have to use in multi-race exotics to find maximum value.

 

Belterra Park

 

8/28/16 – Race #2 – #6 – Johnny Utah – 6f on the dirt

Came out unprepared and once he got his legs under him he showed a solid late kick only to tire down the lane.

 

8/28/16 – Race #3 – #8 – Spaced Out – 1 mile and 70 yards

Good speed throughout and just got a little leg weary down the lane. I’m looking for a longer distance or a shorter where he can track the speed and pounce when ready.

 

8/28/16 – Race #4 – #6 – Silver Coin Lady – 5 1/2f on the dirt

Impressive winner, and if they write a non-winners of four. She’ll give them a good spanking next out !

 

 

Free Travers Day Selections / 8-27-16

An older gent stopped me and asked; “why do you bet those crazy pick-fours with a million dollar guaranteed pool ?” – Crickets.

If you don’t understand by now, there’s a better chance you’ll want to buy a Powerball ticket. – If you do love the action, the beauty, and the pageantry. – Saratoga is the place for you this weekend.  There are six turf races, six (G-1) stakes, one (G-2) stake, and a million dollar pick-four guarantee beginning in Race #8. – If you don’t like this card, maybe you can watch a re-run of the 1988 Curling championships. But if you’re a horseplayer, you have to be chomping at the bit to get your bankroll in action this weekend.

Here are my selections for the super-sonic-Saturday card:

 

Race #6 – The (G1) Personal Ensign – 1 1/8 – 2:23 ET

 

This may be the toughest five horse field you’ll ever see in your life. – But, there is a little gal who just might kick-off my wagering day in the right direction.  -I’m a firm believer in runners dropping back in distance may be just what the doctor ordered as they get ready for the test of their true ability.

 

#1 – I’m A Chatterbox (4-1) = 3rd off the layoff, and cuts back from a 1 1/4 win in the Delaware Handicap. – She is 2/2 ITM at The Spa, and sports three excellent works coming into the race. She won the CCA Oaks last year and was DQ’ed for interference nearing the wire. – Florent Geroux is hitting his best stride as of late, and when the money is on the table his game moves up accordingly. The rider hops off Cavorting to come back for Larry Jones, and if you get near (4-1) bet early and often.

 

Race #7 – The (G-1) Ballerina – 7f – 2:59 ET

 

#8 – Wavell Avenue (3-1) = Irad Ortiz in the irons for Chad Brown and these guys are rolling to the winner’s circle at a 33% clip. – She is 2/3 ITM at Saratoga and 4/5 ITM at the distance. – She looks the logical fit and with Ortiz in the saddle, and you know you’re going to get a well-timed ride to perfection. That was an impressive tune-up last out, and she tacked on a solid morning work to show readiness. – Be sure to box her with #4 – Sheer Drama, and #3 Paulasilverlining.

 

Race #8 – The (G-1) King’s Bishop – 7f – 3:35 ET

This race begins the $1 million guaranteed pick-four. – Here are some selections to use to nail down a bumper payday !

#1 – Economic Model (6-1) - Ortiz and Brown are 1/1 at The Spa with this guy.

#2 – Fish Trappe Road (8-1) – New York-bred been off 49 days coming in fresh for Brett Calhoun.

#3 – Summer Revolution (6-1) – Perfect 2/2 for the Rudy Rodriguez barn moving up.

#9 – Jazzy Times (8-1) – Speedster for Bejarano and Baffert who seldom come east. But when they do, it’s for a good reason.

#13 – Drefong (4-1) = Mike “Money Man” Smith for Baffert. – Need I say more ??

 

Race #9 – The (G-1) Forego – 7f – 4:12 ET

#1 – Catalina Red (8-1) – 3/3 with wins going 7f, and is second off a layoff with a bullet work.

#3 – Limousine Liberal (15-1) – Speedy sort who ran second at The Spa last year to Runhappy.

#11 – AP Indian (5-2) – Joe Bravo always gets a win on big money days. – He is 1/2 ITM at Saratoga and loves the distance 3/3 with wins. .

#12 – Marking (3-1) – Son of Bernardini off for 49 days for the red-hot McLaughlin barn. – He is a world traveler and is in very good hands with Rosario

 

Race #10 – The (G-1) Sword Dancer – 1 1/2 on the inner turf – 4:49 ET

#6 – Flintshire (1-5) - 2/2 with wins at Saratoga, and a very easy win last out. 4/4 ITM at the distance and is the only one who can beat himself. – Javier Castellano has to be having visions of Breeders’ Cup dancing in his head. – Chad Brown notched his 1,000 win earlier this week and 2,000 is his next stop.

 

Race #11 – The (G-1) Travers – 1 1/4 – 5:44 ET

This race has writers and handicappers all over the board. If my betting plan goes according to schedule, this should be a very fun race to watch or I’ll be having my third beer filled with tears. – This is a button that is never pushed by my finger very often, but I’m leaning toward a sweet price as the forecast is predicting sunshine and no rain. That is enough to get Exaggerator off his game and at the top of the lane you’ll hear Larry Collmus bellow out “it’s anybody’s race from here.” – The mid-summer’s Derby should be a solid payday if all goes to plan, and this is one handicapper who is shooting for big balloons !

**** ALL ****

 

The ticket cost = 5 X 4 X 1 X 14 = $280 for a $1 ticket, and $140 for a 50-cent version.

 

 

Be sure to check the above selections against the Winning Ponies E-Z Win predictions, as they bring the heat when marquee races fill the card. – This is an incredible race card, and be sure to download your E-Z Win Forms before starting your handicapping ! – Use this as an appetizer to get you started in thinking about the big day. – Always check and use the E-Z Win Form selections, and think of this as food for thought. - Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies !