The Sun, The Rain, and the Love of a Game.

by Ed Meyer

posted on January 20, 2017 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

The sun shone down with clouds of white fluffy puffs on a background of deep azul. Wind blew swiftly through the car windows as my hand was cutting imaginary paths through the air. – There was a feeling of quiet in the car, as the radio played a George Jones song in the background. It could’ve been any day at any time but it was a beautiful afternoon following a soaking rain. The fresh smell washed away the old, and the day was a start of something new. – It was the start of a love affair that would last a lifetime.

It seems like yesterday when my Mom was packing and crying. The day was still early and the skies opened up watering the earth. – I was normally in bed but something made me get up. It was the sound of bustling and movement in the house and even a teenager could feel the energy. She was leaving my Dad this morning. They never seemed to fit, but our family was intact. She was asking my brother and I if we wanted to go with her. We were going to live with my grandparents and it was only going to be temporary. – He was three years younger, and agreed to go with his voice quivering. – The door swung open and a large burly construction worker walked in the house as it was pouring rain this morning. Funny how the things come together as he would have been working long hours in the elements. – He asked in a calming voice for her to slow and talk, but her mind was made up. As she was packing and crying he was trying to be the voice of reason. – In a little over a half an hour I spoke five words that would change my life. – I said “I’ll stay here with Dad.” – He was my hero and I wasn’t going anywhere. – As I watched my Mother leave with my brother, we stood there for a few minutes until he broke the deafening silence. ” You wanna’ go to River Downs today ? – Go grab a shower, we’ll get something to eat and head over.”

That was my official start of falling in love. – When I was sad I would head to the track. If I made some extra money cutting grass, it was off to catch the Harness races at night. Most of my first dates were at the races, as I figured if they could enjoy the evening we had a real shot together. – The races were my first love and one that would always be there for me good or bad. – I’m not sure what took me back so long ago; maybe it was the pouring rain as I was getting my son ready for school, or possibly the lack of sleep. Either way I was transported to the time when I fell in love.

Seldom is something everything for every need. But racing filled the shoes. It was time well spent with my Dad, the place I was allowed to drive when I was 16-years-old on my own, and the beauty and pageantry that would captivate my soul. – It was a place where I made a few bucks as a parking lot kid; a job that helped me through college, and eventually the work that would call me in many capacities over the years. – It’s fair to say my love has never let me down, and even on the bad days they left with me with eternal optimism to return and experience the joy.

I used to go to the paddock as a kid watching every move of the trainers and owners. To me they were giants and captains of industry. There could have been no higher job in the world. – I dreamed of owning a horse, but that would never come true for a young man with no connections to the game. That was for the people in the know and I couldn’t have been farther away if I tried. – When I met folks over the years who would become lifelong friends, we ventured in and claimed a few cheap geldings. – The first was a beauty who couldn’t run a lick, but that chestnut was the beginning of a new chapter. The next cost a bit more and when we traveled to Churchill Downs to drop in a claim, I was walking on cloud nine. – As I pulled all of my money to buy into 1/3rd, and borrowed every dime I could get my hands on. I was now in the business of being a horse owner. – As I plunked down my borrowed money and watched as State Budget drew off down the lane. I found a new level of love. – As the nasty gelding was bucking and kicking back to the test barn; My Old Kentucky Home played in the background at the conclusion of the day. I was as close to heaven on earth as a young man could get.

I’ve had the greatest opportunities in the world. – It started as a job in the parking lot from the kind words of a family friend who would get me started. I made my way slowly up the ladder, and with no connections to the sport, that is the blue-collar way to finding yourself in the game. – Radio shows, on-air handicapping, and writing about the game have brought joy to my life. To date my favorite job is calling the races and setting the morning line at Belterra Park as I ready to start my fourth year. – Just reading the words made me smile.

Looking back I’ve had one heck of a good time. I won’t be rich and there won’t be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But that was never part of the dream for this kid driving in that car with his Dad many years ago. – I was supposed to meet a girl that rainy day so long ago, but the events of the morning would forever change my life. – I did meet my muse and she and I have had a love affair for many years. It’s the kind of love that lasts a lifetime and only the lucky will ever know.

Problem Ponies – Horses to Watch – 1/16/17

As the passing weeks draw closer to the sweet smell of roses, horse players are starting to awaken for the long run to the first Saturday in May. – You’ll see your favorite winter time ovals beginning to start showcasing the best of what the season has to offer. – Keep your radar up as here are some runners who may not have had tier best day and could come right back and score at a square price. Remember, it’s never to early to start building your bankroll as we round the turn of winter and head to spring. – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies !

 

Gulfstream Park

1/14/17

Race #8 – #9 – Nessy – 1 1/8 on the turf

Corey Lanerie had this guy rolling down the lane after encountering a bit of traffic around the far turn.

Race #9 – #1 – Spellker – 5f on the turf

Joel Rosario had this gal rating well and was out kicked down the lane as the odds-on favorite. She’ll improve with every start and there is no better time than next out to get started.

Race #10 – #7 – Divisidero – 1 1/16 on the turf

Edgar Prado had this guy rolling from the back of the pack. He looked “washed out” in the post parade and still managed to finish third on this day.

 

Aqueduct

1/14/17

Race #2 – #1 – My Girl Annie – 6f on the inner dirt

Nice filly for the Chad Brown barn and Manny Franco seemed like he didn’t get any response early as the odds-on chalk. She’ll do better next out as the trainer is know for getting everything worked out between races.

Race #5 – #3 – Royal Posse – 1 and 70 on the inner dirt

3rd off the layoff and he delivered his 5th start in the Jazil Stakes. The New York-bred is a real gamer and I think there is plenty more in the tank.

Race #8 – #9 – Divine Interventio- 6f on the inner

Asmussen trainee with Irad Ortiz in the irons. Showed an impressive late kick going 7-8 wide into the lane, and this is a good race to build on.

Race #9 – #4 – Grassmiss – 6f on the inner dirt

Allen Garcia in the saddle and his filly was dead last most of the race. Once she was given the cue she made a strong rally to be bested by a neck at the wire.

 

Oaklawn Park

1/14/17

 

Race #1 – #2 – Wild Dreams – 6f on the dirt

Alex Birzer won easily for Jack Van Berg and looks to be cruising right through the claiming conditions.

Race #3 – #6 – Tempo Seeker – 6f on the dirt

1st timer who was sent off the post time chalk. Jose Ortiz had the call and he came rolling late with a purpose. Top of the lane he was 6 wide angling out late for the show spot. – His second race will allow him to mature and give a better showing.

Race #6 – #1 – Sightforsoreeyes – 1 mile on the dirt

CD invader checked at the 6f mark and was forced to steady at the top of the lane. Maybe a little better trip will reward his backers at the windows.

 

 

 

 

 

Four Keys to Playing Claiming Races

by Ed Meyer

posted on January 11, 2017 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

Poker is a great game and most of my horse racing friends are scared away from the tables. – I admit I enjoy the game, and like horse racing, there is a cerebral element that draws me like a moth to a flame. But the majority of good horse players keep this off their lists of things-to-do. – Horse racing has an element of combing over your data, making decisions how to use your info, and watching the beautiful horses thunder home. – They ruffle the cards, you look at your hole cards, and know right off the bat if you’re going any further. No looking around the table at players with dark glasses, or the mysterious player at the end who has watched too much TV. – Betting the ponies is about you versus the other players just like in poker, but mainly it is you doing battle with your toughest opponent. – You. – Here are some key plans on enjoying a day at the races which could translate into a profitable day.

1. – Skip the maiden claiming races = Right off the bat you are sitting out a race and that can be a great thing. Maidens are those which have not won a race and they are in for a claiming tag already. That sends me the signal the connections aren’t too happy with what they have in their barn and losing them for a tag isn’t a bad idea. – There are a few races that may have a troubled trip runner or one that is shipping in for top notch connections. – They may offer some value but remember they are there for a reason. There is nothing like nailing down a win and getting claimed. The barn and owners could “dump” a marginal horse and have a bumper payday. You’ll have some winners now and then but if you skip these you’ll be better off in the long run.

2. - Lower level claimers going up in class = Initially you would think this is a good thing stepping up from $4,000 claiming event to $5,000. – Mom use to say you are measured by the company you keep, and jumping up in class from the bottoms draws a flag every time. – Do you really think this is the beginning to the start of the huge turn around in class ? Or do you think they are so happy with what they are seeing in the morning they’re ready to try their hand at the next level. – Racing offices around the country “hustle” horses into races creating full fields which bettors love. Sometimes they’ll reach out to a trainer and they’ll enter using the race as a way of a work with company, and they’ll be better off when they drop back down in class. – I must admit I look for horses dropping back to where they belong. They have seen a little better, and if they are fit they may benefit from the drop back in class.

3. - Condition claimers skipping a class and going back – I love to see a runner going from a $5,000 claiming non-winners of two races lifetime and skipping that condition to try $5,000 non-winners of 3 lifetime. – Believe it or not this is a strong play against. There could be runners that just glide through the conditions with the greatest of ease. – I look for the condition skipper and toss them. You never get the value you deserve, and they are skipping for some reason you’ll never know. For the one that will score you’ll have 8 that will come up short. – The big bonus is when they drop back down to their class level. – When you see this, go ahead and toss them into your wagers.

4.- Take a double look at the rider aboard – I’ve been seeing many bigger riders take a mount in a low level claiming race and  scratch my head. – If they are dropping from Allowance company to upper level claiming races this may be a great move to watch. – But if they are taking a small time rider off in a low level claiming race to be replaced by a top three rider in the standings. You have to do some homework. – Is there a super work after that last race ? – Have they been showing speed in races with a closer’s track bias ? – Was there a troubled ride with the lower jock a few times ? – Was the past rider an apprentice ? – All have to be factored in as you may be getting a bonus. – Many times you have  a rider that is taking a mount for a trainer and later in the card they have a mount for the same trainer on a much better runner. – An agent may be asked to ride his good jockey and they do it in the name of business. – Keep your eyes peeled and be on the look.

Put It Out There

If you’ve ever picked a horse, a game, a player, or made a prediction. There is nothing more humbling than putting your name on it. But there is where the glory shines. – Last night, I posted a couple of posts on social media about the Alabama – Clemson game. Coming into the big event the game looked like a time for Bama to roll. – But when you put your name on it, be prepared to back it up. – I did, they lost, and I understand. Maybe it is from years of having my horse picks posted and there is a tally next to your name. There are good times, bad days, and times where you question what were you thinking ?

When I was a younger man, I used to have winning days and thought it was easy. We all have the “man this game is easy” thought at one time or another. It’s only when you’ve been playing a long time you realize the highs and lows of gambling. – The longer you play the more your batting average goes down a bit. But that’s still fine and dandy with this handicapper. – I’ve known people who would bat 75% or better on the card and brag a bit among their pals. – I guess we’ve all fallen into that trap, and the only thing that comes to mind is when we’re humbled a bit. – In the high times of social media we have a forum where we can post our plays and the world can see our name attached to the steamer. – Right about now you are searching your noggin for reasons not to post. ” I don’t want to hurt the odds, why give it away so easily ?” – That’s all fine and good but when you post your picks good or bad, that is the place I want to follow. I want the real information and not inflated numbers bragging about winning days only. As gamblers we  know this just doesn’t happen. – I’ll put my selections out there, and I’ll stand by them. There will be good days where I feel invincible and others where I question what the hell I’m doing ?

In 2008, I started with Winning Ponies. – Prior to that I use to follow their selections on a daily basis, and noticed they would post the results of the E-Z Win predictions. There are some days you wished you would’ve downloaded and fired away, and others where you saw the bitter beats of running third more than not. – I would rather follow the site who posts the truth. – Before anyone gets their data in an uproar, nobody is trying to mislead you. But I would rather see the hard truth, and with the good and bad days I gain more insight into the trends of playing with a data provider. 2017 is 10 days into the new year and Winning Ponies has $172,550 in exotic payoff winners. I’m sure there are plenty out there who claim they do better, but sure as silk they won’t be posting their name next to their picks. – That is the hard part for the pretenders, and for the folks who  take the stock market approach to stay in for the long haul. – This is where you’ll find yourself doing better over time. If you only follow the data that brags about a winning day or giant score, chances are they won’t post their selections on a daily basis to show the answer good or bad. Everyone wants to be a winner and I surely can’t blame them. But if you’re going to be in the game longer than a handful of days, I lean toward the data providers who are open and post their selection results good or bad.

There have been days where I’ve taken it to the limit, and others where I would be lucky to find my nose on my face. – That’s gambling. As 2017 is only days old, there is no better time to follow the E-Z Win Predictions of Winning Ponies. They are easy to use, color coded for easy perusal, and can be utilized by hard core and new players alike. – They have numbers that give you more than a quick scan. Winning Ponies allows you to see how the runners fit into the race. – They offer free contests, free selections and blogs, and the popular Internet Radio Show with host John Englehardt. – There are few sites that offer a complete overview and Winning Ponies wants the player to be better prepared. – You’ll find yourself entertained and better prepared to play the races. How many sites can say they offer the same ? – Let 2017 be the year of taking your game to the next level. You’re already here, and that is more than half the battle. Be sure to check back as Winning Ponies has great bonus offers, and this year there will be some changes to make the site even more effective in preparing for the races. - Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies !

 

Sleepless Night – Time Well Spent

by Ed Meyer

posted on January 5, 2017 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

I awoke from a dream the other night. You know, as men get older we spend more time letting the dog and ourselves out for overnight relief. But I digress from the image you have about my old dog and his middle age owner. Racing has been my passion, an outlet, a time of reflection, and the best sport where you still wager $2 and get some needed cardio chasing dreams. But on this night I was speaking with my grandpa. – Not venturing into the world of Dickens being visited by haunting images of my life, but rather a peaceful kind of visit where you wish you could go from time to time.

My grandpa was plumber by trade, and horse player by love. He had Beagle hounds he ran at trials, and was always tinkering in his garage. That’s where I pulled up in my new Sunbird and had a good chat with him on this bright sunny afternoon. – ” Hello Number 1.” That was my name as I was the first grandchild and the first boy. His number one boy. – “Hey Papaw, whatcha ya’ doing ?” – He was tinkering in his garage gathering copper fittings and pipe left over from another job, and he would venture over and sell his scrap to play some races. He wasn’t going to break the bank with this money, but it sure had his name on it for visiting the Latonia Trotters that evening.

“I’m heading over to River Downs, you want to take a ride with me? – “Naaah, Mamaw was making dinner and I want to clean up this mess.” – Dinner was served at 4:00 pm, and the only thing that rivaled his love of the ponies was eating. Well, maybe we’ll call that one a dead heat. – “You wanna make a bet or two ? I have the paper right here.” – He looked up from his glasses and grabbed it from my hand quick as lightning. – Before you know it he had written out three bets on his plumbing stationary that was as old as I was. – He said “go get em’ Number 1.” – He knew I loved the ponies just as he did, and having some daytime action was the best news of the day.

My grandparents met at the old Latonia Race Course outside of what is now the city of Latonia. – She was with her friend Virginia Kordenbrock and they were out for the day when a soft faced gentleman kindly introduced himself as they enjoyed the races as a threesome. – I think he had his eye on Virginia, but wound up taking my grandmother-to-be on another date. – They married in the Carroll County courthouse in 1938, and they had business to tend as they were heading to the Kentucky Derby on this first Saturday in May. – Lawrin was the winner, and I still have the original program in my walnut cabinet that holds the memories of a lifetime. The cabinet was theirs and my mother made sure it landed in my hands when they no longer needed such a beautiful piece. – I’ve made it my own with memories from every track I’ve worked and they are separated on three shelves. It has intricate carving and the delicate glass doors glow with a soft overhead light that shines with pride on the memories of my life as a racing fan. I even have some of the last of his Bruce Plumbing stationary along with his binoculars and a few items that remind me of him. – If you’re lucky, when you open the doors you can smell the faint aroma of his cigar lingering in the background keeping a watchful eye.

I remember years of family picnics under the old oak tree at River Downs, and later I was allowed to tag along with him and my Dad as they drove out for the last few races. – The years rolled by quicker than a warm summer day, and I always stayed in touch with my visits. – He always wanted to know what I was up to, and during my life he was my special fan. – I was the world’s worst baseball player,  but if you dared mention that. This gentle man may have reared back and taken a poke at you. He was a semi-pro player back in the old days, and from what I hear he was pretty darn good. – For some of our visits he would be sitting in the back yard listening to the Reds game on radio waiting to see if my Mamaw was going to bring him his ice cream. – We would talk for hours and pass the time with tidbits of nothing. Looking back, these made for the best conversations.

His last real Derby wager was on Ferdinand. It was the 1986 Derby and one of his last. The following year his health started falling in decline and slowly he pulled away from the game that brought him joy. – When he was in the hospital he was so weak he hadn’t spoken in days. They were trying everything to make him comfortable and tried a test that was a last gift. – They injected him directly into his heart as they were looking for anything to work with. – As I made my way, I was warned by the staff he would be sitting up and talking. Matter of fact he was talking all morning and asked if he could have some ice cream. – They advised me this wouldn’t last and because of his advanced age he would regress back into his weakened state. This is where I met him for my dream visit.

As I walked in I asked ” Whatcha’ doing Papaw ?” – He had the brightest smile and said, “Hello Number 1 Boy.” – The nurses allowed me to stay in the ICU, and we talked for over an hour. He even had his ice cream. – We talked about his life as a boy playing ball and the winners he had at the races. It was as if he never declined and I kept hoping they were wrong as his voice was strong and his color good. – I was finally asked to leave, and he gave me a kiss and a hug. – “Talk to you later, Number 1.” – That was the last time I saw him alive, and I guess it’s been awhile since we’ve spoken.

The dog started barking to be let in as I stared at my cabinet all lit up and shining. I guess I had him on my mind and just missed our little talks. – No matter what I was doing in life he was always proud. – I sure wish he could have seen the many years I’ve worked at the track. Sure as silk he would have drove around talking to his old friends about his Number 1 Boy. – Here is a little secret I’ve never told anyone. I have his Zippo lighter, and his ashtray sits right next to my desk now. Anytime I’ve had an interview or a new job in racing, the lighter was in my pocket or a section of my briefcase. – I wanted him to be there, and in a way he was. I have been blessed to work at the track. – I’ve had positions at River Downs, (Latonia) which became Turfway Park, Keeneland, and Belterra Park.  I guess it’s good to know “Papaw” is still with me when I’m at the races.

 

Size Doesn’t Matter

When the ball starts to drop you can hear the inner-thoughts of gamblers from around the globe. – We can’t help it as it’s the nature of a gambler to strive toward a better day tomorrow. Thank the Wagering Gods we don’t have to actually hear the inner prayers as the final seconds tick away. – I used to start when Dick Clark began talking about crystal ball, how much it weighs, where it’s made, and how many people are in Times Square. But over time, I introspectively look over my past year and sum it up to one thing I would like to work on. – Nope, no more resolutions the size of War and Peace, and I may actually have a chance at making a change in my gambling practice. – Size doesn’t matter, and the smaller the better when it comes to finding a resolution.

I know many players who swear off casinos, toss away loyalty cards, and make plans to attend the races in person versus playing from home. – The shear size could choke a dinosaur. – I used to ask players over the years as I made my way around the race book and we would talk resolutions. You would hear everything from cutting back on mustard for their hot dog to learning a more sophisticated handicapping program. – Everyone would like some change for the better, but the size of the resolution bogs them down and by the end of the month they are back to old habits. Below are some of the words of wisdom I used to hear on my rounds.

* I’m not going to sit with the smokers (as he had a nasty Black Pete cigar in his mouth)

* I’m going to study the night before coming to the track and cut out guessing

* My wife will not be allowed to come to the races with me this year

* I’m going to find a new seat

* Don’t bring the kids –  Unless that is the only way you are allowed out of the house

* Don’t talk to people as much

 

Now about this time you are doubting the actual conversations that would take place the very next day after the ball dropped. Gamblers are a cagey sort to say the least and I always had a good chuckle on my way home. That is until I realized I was in this group of hopeful players. – It was then I tried a little something new. – If you’re on the bubble for a good resolution, here are some universal ideas that are sure to lift your game.

* Keep copious notes on what you started with, how much you bet, and the final outcome. – This is a sure fire way to be aware of what you are doing after the fact and can constantly tweak your game.

* This is the year of focus. – Play no more than three tracks, and from these only play your best bets.

* No more wagers out of boredom waiting for your race to run later in the day.

* Watch replays. They can now be found on most track websites for free.

* Bet more when you’re up, less when you’re losing.

* No drinking while gambling. – Ever.

* Go to the paddock and make this a regular habit. You will see more than you ever thought.

* You’re on the Winning Ponies website and this is the beginning. – You are able to download the E-Z Win Forms to give you a feel of how the race shapes up. – Having a solid and proven data source allows you to spend more time deciding how you’re going to bet instead of who looks good. – They are easy to use, and if you have a horse racing fan in your life, you can purchase some E-Z Win Credits to be used for downloading the information. (Be sure to always check back as Winning Ponies is always offering a bonus or a special offer for these handicapping tools.)

 

There are some realistic goals for all players. – If you think you don’t fit, you may want to read over the list a few times. – We all want to take our game to the next level and there is no better time than now. – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies, and here’s to a profitable 2017 !

 

 

Holiday Cheer

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 30, 2016 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

The chatter was joyful as the holiday party settled down. I haven’t seen the old familiar faces in quite awhile. Many have retired, some to other work, and many have since passed. A day of celebration for the season of life as we ate and had drinks together. As the conversation would have a lull every now and again, I looked around the table and realized I was surrounded by six generations of racing. – The history, the stories, and the golden days of racing filled the air among old friends. I listened and chimed in on occasion, and as I was gathering my things to leave a voice from the table asked me a question. “ Don’t you still write about horse racing, Ed ? – Why don’t you let folks know how we dedicated our working life to the sport.” – D, I couldn’t agree more as we hugged and said our goodbyes.

Racing was in the high speed lane and people on board were in for a ride. – The mutuel clerks who sold you tickets as you ventured to the windows knew your name and the days you would attend. – In time they watched as your kids held your hand when you walked in the doors, and in the blink of an eye became the next generation of customers. – There was friendly banter and stories of tips from the big winners. – It was human interaction that melded into friendships. If you remember the old TV show from the 80’s Cheers; how great it was to walk into a place where everyone knew your name. That was the track for everyone at the table.

There were stories of how they would work the matinee card at River Downs, and jump in their cars and head over to Latonia to work the Harness meet. – Sometimes you could grab a quick bite, and other times you would have to wait until later as the traffic filing into the track was 100 cars deep. – You would see some of the same faces from the daytime into the evening, and right back the next day. There was an energy in the air, and at times the crowds would be standing room only. – Many would refer to them as the “good old days” but for the few at the table it was time well spent. I would bet dollars to donuts if they could go back in time they’d do it all over again.

There was an overall feeling of what we used to do wasn’t all bad. – I guess that’s the mindset as the sport is faced with stifling competition and new ownership groups that focus on slot machines and glitzy games. – They’re not all wrong and the faces at the table would be first to tell you they are great additions to the track. – “The track was there long before the new ownership’s invented the idea of having gaming. The race track was the reason they were there in the first place. The place served the needs of gamblers, and the area had a desire to wager.” – From my conversations of the table, that was the overall feeling I took from the day. – Everything that was successful long ago wasn’t all bad, and believe it or not, some of the same ideas could bring breath life back into the game. – The longtime employees had given up the fight long ago to battle the future and embraced the changes to keep the sport alive. We hear about backside employees in many of my stories, but just as important are the dedicated people who were the face of the track. They stood ready and able to serve your wagering needs, and many times they were the first communication you would have as a customer. – They gave directions, where to eat, the best place to watch the races, and did it all quickly with a smile and genuine manner. – That was something you could’t get from sitting at a Keno machine.

I think they would have liked a chance to be heard. Not that their words would have shaped the new vision, but just heeded as things that have worked. As we learned in high school history long ago, we learn the ways of the past to guide our vision for the future. – These people had plenty to offer and maybe a little more conversation would have bridged the gap from the past for the future.  -I’ve always felt there is not one department who handles customer related issues. That is the job of every employee as they pull into valet to finding the best seat in the house. Who better would have their finger on the pulse ? They’re not only hourly employees, they are a lifeblood of history that served the needs of the past 60 years.

You’ll have some that still have a bad taste, and others that stand ready to serve and promote. – I guess it all depends on the new vision of ownership, and if they value the ideals from the past five decades. – I believe we can all learn something from the past. Not every voice holds the key, but if you listen deeply you’ll hear the rich tapestry of a dedication to service. – There are some tracks / racinos / casinos that are promoting the sport. They value the history and invest in keeping the game alive and well. They are the face of the next generations while the others will gently dissapear into the mist of time. – But that can be averted if you look at racing as a compliment to the bigger gaming picture. The buffet of gambling is wide and diverse, and the successful models have not looked down on the sport as a necessary evil. The sport of kings can show signs of revitalization, and the facility can benefit from having a unique form of gambling to create an entertainment destination. – Only time will tell as I look forward to the next party down the road. The stories, the people, and their dedication to a sport.

 

Problem Ponies – Horses to Watch – 12/23/16

Family and friends gather round the tree as seasonal eggnog is enjoyed from the traditional recipe. This is a time of reflection and rejoicing. – Nothing better than getting a little gift before the party begins and Winning Ponies wants to offer up a list of runners who may be worth a wager the next time they hit the track. – So enjoy your holiday and celebrate with those we hold dear. Find your seat by the fire place and take in the beauty of the season. – Wishing you and yours a Happy and Safe Holiday season from your friends at Winning Ponies !

 

Aqueduct

12/18/16

Race #1 – #1 – The Caretaker – 1 mile and 70 on the main track

Irad Ortiz fought gamely as the beaten favorite and by the looks of the race he’ll move forward off this effort.

Race #3 – #1 – Remstin – 6f on the inner

He bobbled at the start and finished up with good interest for show money.

Race #4 – #7 – Proud Lily – 6f on the inner

First time starter who was brushed briskly leaving the gate and was two wide on the final turn finishing 4th.

Race #7 – #8 – Cause for Surprise – 6f on the inner

Raced wide throughout and was forced to steady at the 1/8th pole.

 

Gulfstream Park

12/18/16

Race #4 – #6 – Jaunt – 1 mile on the turf

Beaten favorite who was stalking nicely and came up a little bit short. – He’ll benefit from this race.

Race #5 – #3 – Curlin’s Approval – 1 mile on the dirt

Keeneland shipper who was a beaten favorite an dueled gamely for second money.

Race #8 – #5 – Flatlined – 7 1/2f on the turf

Stalked and dueled gamely and this race may lead to a little more distance.

 

Turfway Park

12/17/16

Race #3 – #6 – Mary Falvey – 5f on the AW

She came away slow from the gate and was bumped soundly. She managed a solid fourth place effort under Tyler Pizzaro.

Race #4 – #10 – Secret Trick – 1 1/16 on the AW

Filly was a beaten favorite this day and raced gamely while being four wide.

Race #6 – #6 – Wayward Kitten – 1 1/16 on the AW

Trailed the field and made up ground around the far turn and finished a very game fourth place effort.

 

 

Letter to Santa

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 21, 2016 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

Santa,

I’ve written for many years, and I’ve always looked forward to sending my wish list. I know I’m a little too old to be writing, but the magic of Christmas has a way of bringing out the hopeful kid in all of us. – Santa, I sure hope you look over my list and spread some of the Kris Kringle magic to those who need it the most.

 

Sincerely yours,

 

Little Eddie Meyer

 

 

1. – Please watch over the good folks at the Mercury Equine Training Center in Central Kentucky. – Eric and Kay Reed lost over 23 majestic race horses in a devastating fire. They worked to get as many horses out of the barn that was ablaze, and the inclement weather that brought winds and lightning fueled the fire. – Santa, I have only heard great things about the facility, and from all accounts it could have been much worse if it were not for the brave efforts of many. – There are horses that are in need of hay and straw, blankets, halters and helping hands who know how to care for the horses. Retired jockey and Kentucky Derby winning rider Mike Manganello set up a GoFundMe account to assist in the process. This will be a long road to recovery, and they would appreciate any and all of the magic that Santa and his helpers could bring. –  https://www.gofundme.com/mercury-equine-farm-fire

2. – Lately I’ve been hearing sad news about the human athletes that amazed and brought joy to the sport of kings. All can benefit from your ever-watchful eye to keep them safe. – As in every facet of life, there are many that are battling demons of every kind. – Pound-for-pound they are the best athletes in the world and the toll it takes on their body can be devastating. Please watch over them while they are on and off the track, and have your helpers and Elves watch over them when they hang up their tack. We enjoyed watching them as they entertained fans, and when the cheers from the grandstand come to a halt. – There are many who could use some extra Santa magic to see them through the dark times.

3. – The good folks on the backside can always use some Kris Kringle joy. – They work tireless hours caring and tending to the horses they love. If the fans could see the hard work they put in everyday, there would be a new appreciation for the hard working men and women. – They work in all kinds of weather, and if you and your helpers could help with donations of gloves, hats and coats. I’m sure they would be greatly appreciated. – If there are any racing fans who would like to help, all you would have to do is contact the track switchboard and ask for the chaplain. They work tirelessly tending the needs of some of the best people in the world. – Even Santa can use a little extra help, and if you’re reading this make a call or drop off a donation.

 

For me, I’m doing just fine Santa. I wanted to write a Christmas list for those who needed a little extra magic in their lives. Racing is a world within a world, and the word family is not just for those who share a common relation. – Being such a great request there was only one person I wanted to send a letter. Santa, thank you for taking the time to look over my list and more than ever we are all in need of little Christmas magic in our lives.

Last Minute Shopping Ideas for the Racing Fan

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 19, 2016 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

I used to see many sons and daughters looking to get that race track gift for the racing fan in their life. They would peruse the gift shop and look over every item with a puzzled look. There is no sure fire way to please your special fan, but here are a few ideas to find a gift that keeps giving.

 

1. – If your racing fan really wants something in hand to give them an edge. Go to Winning Ponies.com and make a purchase of some E-Z Win credits for the best handicapping information around. I guarantee they’ll love the easy to use data, and if you purchase in volume you’ll get a great deal ! – There are stories, blogs, free selections, and a dedicated Internet Radio Show talking about the sport of kings. – There is no data site that provides a complete effort to educate, inform and entertain. Make this holiday season the year of the winning horse player !

2. – Nothing works better than a cash voucher. – When your gift hits the palm of your racing fan, you can rest assured they are already planning their next trip.

3. – If tracks have a great restaurant or sports bar. – A gift certificate is a perfect item. They can grab a bite and enjoy the game. They’ll thank you after a great day at the windows all the while enjoying a nice lunch or dinner.

4. – If you have a new fan, you may want to check in with your local oval to see if they offer a “behind the scenes” experience. Maybe they can head down to the paddock and watch up close their favorite runners being saddled. – How about getting to watch the track announcer call a race ? They’ll have the best seat in the house and see the race like never before. – How about a backstretch tour where they are up close and personal to see how the horses live, cared for, and meet the trainers who bring the runners to post. – Some tracks offer a breakfast with the works in the morning, and while enjoying coffee and danish they’ll meet and chat with the trainers who put on the show.

5. – There has been a great effort to get fans together to form syndicates to purchase a horse with others. – For a small investment, you can give your racing fan the opportunity of a lifetime by owning a piece of their own runner. – Tracks have a like group of investors ready to get in the game and will introduce you to trainers who are more than ready to head to the winner’s circle.

6. – If you are the boss and are looking for a night out. How about making arrangements to have a dinner or light appetizers to enjoy with a few libations of the season. Cap it all off with a special group photo in the winner’s circle named for your group and you’re sure to be the boss of the year !

7. – Check out the track’s entertainment schedule and I’ll bet dollars to donuts they have special evenings where there is great music, drink specials, and low cost wagers to get you involved and winning at a small investment. – Nothing like being the group leader who puts together the group to meet and celebrate together. – This is a winner all around !

8. – If you’re a newbie to the races, call and arrange a lunch or dinner date at the race and spend some time with your special player. – Who knows, you might be a regular in no time flat !

9. – If they love track merchandise, I’m sure you can visit the local gift shop or go on-line and order from their favorite track. – When I put on one of my many caps from other tracks, it always makes me think of the wonderful person who knows what I like.

 

Make this year a winner and by getting involved in what the player enjoys. You’ll find yourself having that common bond that can be the most exciting way to share the action. – Race fans love the sport and why not skip the robe and slippers and give the gift that they’ll be sure to enjoy. - Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies and Happy Holidays !