New Shooters Welcome!

“Newbies” are the fresh faces that came to the track and wanted to play. Initially, they were drawn in with free music, cheap food, and beer. Now, how do we keep them? – Many tracks were stopped in their tracks as they didn’t have a plan beyond that part. – That’s fine. We’ll help you get your bet-on right now.

 

Free Handicapping Seminars

If you are new or would like to sharpen up your game. Head out for a free handicapping seminar. – Yes, they are free and usually have free food, programs, or a drawing at the conclusion. – This is a great way to keep your game sharp and feel confident in making wagers. – I’ve had the opportunity to introduce many players to the sport with free seminars. – This isn’t a place where you get every winner for all of the races, you’ll get some fresh perspective on runners who look good and why. There is a complete explanation on how to understand betting materials, and many times I have conducted a 101, 202, and Graduate seminars. – You can learn about the game on your time and not feel intimidated. – The idea is to get you selecting your own runners. But in the meantime, we’ll help you get started!

 

Casinos do it

Many gamblers wanted to stand at the packed craps table and cheer with the winners. The only thing holding them back was not understanding the game. – Casinos offer up free training sessions and usually, there is some type of drawing or bonus to get you started. – What better than to learn something new at your own pace? – The action awaits, and “you can’t win it unless you get in it!”

 

How-to-videos

I have seen plenty on YouTube and many racing websites. – Steer clear of sites that offer you a GREAT deal if you just sign up for a package deal. You want to use handicapping materials when you want. After all, it’s your money and your entertainment.

 

Find Your Data Source

There are many types of handicapping materials and you need to find which one you like. – Use ones that are priced to your budget, allow you to use them when you want and have offered up something extra for you the player. – Winning Ponies is a great source of info for the new player to the hardcore gambler. The color-coded tier levels are easy to read and have a complete explanation. There is NO pointing toward one horse and tell you who to bet. WP wants you to see how the race takes shape with handy icons and complete data. From there you can choose who you like. – You like the odds-on runners? See where they fit in the race and make your decision. – Longshots more your style? – Winning Ponies shows what makes runners eligible to win and why. – Take a look if you have not pulled the trigger. – Winning Ponies is a complete site that offers free selections, blogs, stories, and the Winning Ponies Internet Radio Show with host John Engelhardt. – We have the biggest names in racing and focus on the big races for the weekend. – Can’t make it for 8pm EDT? – No problem. The podcast allows you to enjoy the latest episode or go back and peruse the library of shows. – Winning Ponies wants to take your game to the next level and we offer something for all horseplayers.

 

Going to the races was an event. It was a day or evening out to watch and wager on the action! – It still offers beauty and pageantry whether you play from the comfort of home or make the trek to your local track. – Watching and wagering on the races is a one-of-a-kind experience. – If you’re new to the game find the beginners window where new players can take their time. If you prefer betting from home, do what is easy for you. Just make a trip or two a month to the races. Walking down to the paddock for the sights and sounds will be lost sitting behind your computer terminal.

If you’re a long time player. Be sure and take someone new to the races. – After all, this is how we all learned long ago. – Be sure and stop by to say hello to some familiar faces. – That is one of the best parts of betting the ponies. You share thoughts, make friends and cheer together. – How many times have you seen ten people standing around a slot machine jumping and cheering home the outcome? Me neither. – Take in a day at the races and be sure to keep involved by seeing what type of events, promotions, and music are on the calendar. – It’s not your grandpa’s game anymore and the track is a great place to enjoy an evening out.

Be sure to bet more when your winning and less when your not doing well. – As my good friend John Engelhardt says; “Bet with your head and not over it.”

 

 

 

Early Look for the Breeders’ Cup

With each passing day, the biggest stage of racing readies for the action. – It is never too early to get a jump on your handicapping, and starting right here is the perfect beginning! – Best of luck from Winning Ponies!

 

 

Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint = 5 1/2f on the turf

Stormy Liberal = Winner of last years’ race at 30-1. – He is three-in-a-row and looking to keep his score rolling. – 3/3 with wins at the distance.

World of Trouble = Ever since switching to the sod he is 2/2 for the Jason Servis barn. – This is going to be a great test and if the last two races are an indication. He is a player.

Disco Partner = 16/20 ITM on the grass and a beaten chalk the last two. – He came rolling last year to be third and looks to up his record.

 

BC Filly and Mare Sprint

Dream Tree = She is a perfect 5/5 and hails from the Baffert barn. – This daughter of Uncle Mo has the look of something very special.

Union Strike = 3rd off the layoff and has been over the CD oval. – That was an excellent prep last out.

Separation of Powers = 2nd off the layoff and I’m tossing out the last race at Parx. – She finished 4th in last year’s edition.

 

BC Dirt Mile

Catalina Cruiser = Hard to knock this son of Union Rags who is a perfect 4/4 – Been on the improve with every start – Must be respected.

Giant Expectations = Off slow in this race last year and makes the 2nd off the shelf move – Incredible morning works.

Promises Fulfilled = Speedy son of Shackleford – 2/3 ITM at CD and exits an impressive win in the G1 Jerkins.

 

BC Filly and Mare Turf

Eziyra (IRE) = Impressive filly from the Dermot Weld yard – She is 11/11 ITM on the green and has 2 wins from 3 starts this year.

Magic Wand (IRE) = From the Aiden O’Brien yard and has faced some tough Euro runners.

Sea of Class (IRE) = William Haggas trainee who is 5/5 ITM lifetime and been improving with every start – She’s gonna be a handful.

Sistercharlie (IRE) = She is 8/9 ITM on the sod and ever since getting Lasix she has been one tough gal to handle for Chad Brown.

Wild Illusion (GB) = She is 6/7 ITM on the grass for the Charlie Applebee yard – She’s been tough every time out and expect the same.

 

BC Sprint

Limousine Liberal = He is 7/8 ITM at CD and has run in this race a few times with troubled trips.

Mind Your Biscuits = Son of Posse who is 1/1 at CD and has run 3rd two straight years in this race.

Roy H = Peter Miller trainee who won this race last year – Repeat in the plans??

 

BC Mile

Almanaar (GB) = Lightly raced this year and was closing strong in the Arlington Million settling for 2nd – Chad Brown runner coming off a layoff.

Laurens (FR) = 8/9 ITM on the sod and exits a Gr1 at Leopardstown – Three-yr-old stepping up against older.

Oscar Performance = Brian Lynch runner who loves the distance going 3/3 – Dangerous son of Kitten’s Joy.

Suedois (FR) = Solid turfer who ran 4th in this race last year – Comes from the David O’Meara yard.

 

BC Distaff

Monomoy Girl = 2nd off a layoff and will turn the table on her last outing at Parx – She is 3/3 ITM at CD – She’ll be ready.

Abel Tasman = Toss out her last effort and come back with confidence – She was 2nd in this race last year and Bob Baffert won Ky. Oaks with her.

 

BC Turf

Crystal Ocean(GB) = He is 10/10 ITM on the turf and goes from the synthetic to turf again – Nice runner who deserves a good look.

Enable (GB) = Hails from the barn of John Gosden and making her 2nd start of the year coming on the Polytrack – She is 7/7 ITM on the sod.

Roaring Lion = From the Gosden barn and has been all the talk this year – Impressive son of Kitten’s Joy.

 

BC Classic 

Accelerate = Looking for 4-in-a-row in 2018 – John Sadler trainee who is looking to cap off a great year.

McKinzie = Lightly raced and has done very little wrong – Baffert looking for 4 straight for this son of Street Sense.

Roaring Lion = From the Gosden barn and has been all the talk this year – Impressive son of Kitten’s Joy.

Mind Your Biscuits = Son of Posse who is 1/1 at CD and looks to take it to the big stage.

Thunder Snow (IRE) = Just got beat at the wire in the JC Gold Cup and has been a barn talk runner who looks incredible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Early Look for Breeders’ Cup Races

The old saying is it’s never too early to start handicapping! – Here is a little sample to whet your appetite for playing the races. – Just be sure to check back with the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms for the final answers on how the races will take shape. – Best of luck from Winning Ponies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BC Juvenile

Looking At Bikinis = Son of Lookin At Lucky who is 1/1 after winning impressively at Belmont. – Chad Brown comes back to win 28% off a maiden win.

Game Winner = Son of Candy Ride who is a perfect 3/3 in California – The works have been sparkling for trainer Bob Baffert.

 

BC Juvenile Fillies

Bellafina = Daughter of Quality Road who is as tough as a nickel steak – She is 4/4 ITM with three wins – She’s gonna be nasty to deal with.

Nonna Madelina = If she gets a clean trip or doesn’t act up, she could be a major factor – Daughter of Candy Ride for Todd Pletcher.

 

BC Juvenile Turf

Advertise = Comes in from The Curragh and is 4/4 ITM – He is lightly raced and should be up close in the mile distance.

Anthony Van Dyke = Aiden O’Brien trainee who is 4/5 ITM and won at a mile back in July – Son of Galileo could give them a tough time.

 

BC Juvenile Fillies Turf

Newspaperofrecord = She is 2/2 and exits a win in the G3 Miss Grillo – Chad Brown will have her cranked up for peak performance.

La Pelosa = Daughter of Dandy Man and won the G1 Natalma at Woodbine – She enjoyed the Lasix and Godolphin may have a real runner in this lady.

 

 BC Juvenile Turf Sprint

Moonlight Romance = She beat the boys at KyD for trainer Wesley Ward – She loves the states and Lasix looks to have helped.

Pakhet = She closed strongly in a maiden break and would be turning back to a sprint where she will come flying late for Todd Pletcher – She had a last minute prep running 2nd in the G2 Jessamine at Keeneland on Wednesday – She came rolling quick and should enjoy the turn back to a sprint.

Shang Shang Shang = Wesley Ward has a monster here who won at Royal Ascot – She should enjoy coming back to the states and getting Lasix again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free Selections – Saturday, October,13, 2018 – Best of Ohio

 

Good racing this weekend as Thistledown will put on The Best of Ohio series.  – There is never a bad time to build your bankroll, and with Breeders’ Cup around the corner. We need every opportunity to cash in on the big score!

 

 

Thistledown

 

 

Race #5 – The Sprint – 6f – 3:40 pm EDT

#8 – Altissimo = Cuts back in distance from 1 1/4  miles and has looked like a totally different runner all year long. He should be up close and be poised to pounce

 

Race #6 – The JW Galbreath – 1 1/16 – 4:10 pm EDT

#6 – Baby Nina = Cuts back in distance and shipping back from Saratoga. – That is a very nice bullet work to show readiness and the “Miss Ohio” was very impressive. Rider Albin Jimenez is 2/2 in Cleveland.

 

Race  #7 – The Juvenile – 1 1/16 – 4:40 pm EDT

#10 Danefield was in very tight last out and may have compromised all chances at the win. He has s solid late punch sprinting and should be much closer to the speed today. – Look for a top effort.

 

Race #8 – The Endurance – 1 1/4 – 5:10 pm EDT

#9 – Fusaichi’s Wind = Good early speed in the “Loooch lime green” and will be getting added distance to run. – If they leave this early runner on the lead by himself he may turn out the lights on this field pretty quickly. – Jockey Luis Colon wins 29% at Thistledown.

 

Race #9 – The Distaff – 1 1/8 – 5:40 pm EDT

#6 – Takechargedelilah = John McKee in the saddle for trainer Thom Drury – He didn’t know if she wanted this to go this far but if you saw the Vivacious on the turf two back and the last prep she looks to have plenty in the tank. – Drury is a trainer on the move and is winning 28% on the year and three back she faced a monster named Red Ruby. – McKee is his go-to-guy in this area and must be respected as they do very good work together.

Be sure to tune into the Winning Ponies Internet Show as Rich Ruda will be breaking down the biggest day in Ohio with host John Engelhardt at 8 pm EDT or catch it on the podcast!

 

 

 

 

Did You See That ??

by Ed Meyer

posted on October 11, 2018 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

Your horse is waiting for a spot along the rail and the pack is ready to make the turn for home. – As the leaders switch leads and horses begin to make their move, your runner dives to the rail and shoots through an opening. – That is until you see your rider take a stronghold and stand up in the irons tapping on the breaks. – He gets his momentum back and finishes 4th in an eventful race. So what’s a player to do? – Easy. Come back with both fists filled with cash next time out.

Watching race replays can be worth its weight in gold. – Sometimes you’ll catch a little glimpse like this and come back ready and waiting. – If you read the comment line in the DRF or program and it shows nothing special. It could have been missed or the chart caller may not have seen the race as you did. – Making notes and keeping a tab on the runner coming back is important. There are plenty of free stable watch sites and they’ll email you anytime they work, enter and run.

Many players just toss their tickets on the ground and move on. – A short memory can be a blessing in gambling. That is the case most of the time except when you see your pony get a troubled trip. – It wasn’t the fault of the rider, because if they didn’t tap on the breaks they would have run up on heels causing a spill. – You had a bad trip today but it holds the promise of a better payday next out.

 

Keeping tabs on troubled trips can pay off in the long run. – You may have witnessed a little glimpse into your betting future. – Becoming a student of the game can make you a better handicapper.

I was charting horses for quite a while. My notes were solid and they were really sharp. You need to keep your eyes tuned to what is really going on instead of what you were hoping for. – Notes were taken and bankroll waiting. – I went up to the Arlington Million with the promise to myself only to play the races in Chicago as there were some super turf races. – As I walked in I glanced up at Saratoga on the big wall of screens. – It was raining and I just took a glance as the horses were coming onto the track. As the post parade was jogging past there was a runner I had been waiting for since the first week at Belmont. He had a troubled trip over a sealed sloppy track and here he was at (6-1). – I kept walking and wanted to stick to my guns. – That was all good and well until I walked past the betting windows. – I made a large win and place wager and he drew off to win by 7 at a sweet (8-1). – I broke my rules but made my weekend. – I made my notes and waited so why not make the wager? – I’m glad I did, and dinner was on the house for a couple days. – Oh, what a weekend!

How to Play Keeneland

by Ed Meyer

posted on October 6, 2018 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

How do you begin to handicap a track that is open for 15 days twice a year? – I love the boutique meet and the beauty that’s only Keeneland. But, there are a few hints on how to maximize your bankroll for the meet. – Keep these in mind before heading to the windows. – Best of luck from Winning Ponies!

 

Maiden races can be tricky. If they are a first-time starter this late in the year tread lightly. – Many trainers target Keeneland and train in Lexington. – Look for a sparkling morning work and see how the trainer does with first-time starters.

The turf is one of the best in the country. – Closers and stalkers do very well overall; be sure to examine the pace scenario. – If the race is lacking speed, a wire-to-wire winner could be on the horizon. – Stay away from the far outside post positions and look for the middle runners 4-7. They seem to get a garden trip from the break and don’t get trapped on the rail or run the extra ground from the outside.

Look for top trainers and riders who have done well in the past. – Many riders come in to ride for the meet for an outfit. – BTW, keep an eye on the Ortiz brothers in New York this weekend as they are not at Keeneland.

There are two finish lines. – One is used for 1 1/16 races only – The finish line can be found by looking for the red “stop sign” right at the post. – The turf has one finish line.

Speed and stalkers do very well overall. – Pay close attention to wet tracks and fast tracks. – Sometimes a little extra moisture helps the runners dig in and make late runs. – When Keeneland switched back to dirt from synthetic. It was a national holiday for horseplayers!

The value is incredible! – Pricing on win, place and show wagers will decrease from 17.5 percent to 16 percent and from 22 percent to 19.5 percent on exactas. Takeout for the Pick Five will be 15 percent. Takeout for all other exotic wagers will remain at 22 percent; according to a Paulick Report article on Keeneland value.

The TV coverage is incredible and levels the playing field for off-track bettors. – They show runners working on the track, and have a free live racing feed to watch all of the action in real-time.

Keep a lookout for long time layoff runners who have shown a love for the oval. – If they sport a red-hot work, you may want to “dig in the jeans and pull out some greens!”

Be sure to look over the trainer info. You may find some hidden gems on who has an edge with babies, turf runners or horses fresh off the claim.

 

Where can you find all of this in one place? – Right here on Winning Ponies! – You’ll get color-coded tier levels and handy icons to keep you up-to-speed on the how the race will take shape. – Winning Ponies is your one-stop-shop for your handicapping needs. – As we kick off the Keeneland meet and beyond, be sure and check-in with the E-Z Win Forms for a clear view on how the race takes shape.

 

 

The Happy Horseplayer

Another month in the books, and racing marches on to the next stop. – Fall time racing is a signal for the Breeders’ Cup. – As Keeneland opens you can feel the breeze turning cooler and leaves starting to change. The Happy Horseplayer looks forward to some special times this month. Last year I found myself “on the shelf” taking care of me and missed my treks to Lexington, Kentucky. – If you’ve never been, please keep it on your bucket list. You’ll remember the trip forever. – In addition, there were plenty of special memories that I enjoyed. I know that I’m not alone and if you were on hand you’ll have 7,000 reasons to remember September.

 

Mr. 7,000

The week started off as many, and the buzz was all around. – ” When do you think he’ll hit the milestone?” – Fans would stop and share stories, and players would ask how many more? – Perry Wayne Ouzts is 64-years-young. Leading up to the big milestone he was scheduled to ride 22 out of the 24 races for three days. – That was until he picked up a mount and made it 23 out of 24. – Emmy’s Candy was the lucky one for Perry. – He grabbed the lead in “Scoot n Boot” style and never looked back. – It couldn’t have been scripted any better than for Perry Ouzts to jump out and make every pole a winner. – His family was on hand, riders past and present, and HOF legend Pat Day came up to celebrate his victory. Every manager from both properties was on hand, colorful signage, and a trophy that was almost as tall as Perry. – An incredible day for one of the hardest working riders in the game. Few on words as Perry would rather do his talking on the track. – I spoke to him after the big win and asked what his plans were going to be. “I’m gonna come in tomorrow and go back to work.” – Winning races still feels the same as it did in 1973 aboard Rablue at Beulah Park. – Congrats, Perry! – Long may you ride.

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, shoes and outdoor

 

 

Image may contain: Perry Ouzts, smiling, standing and outdoor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Brigadoon of Racing

Keeneland is a magical place. – “If Heaven has a race track, I’m sure it looks like Keeneland.” – You walk through groves of trees and feel the energy in the air. You’ll see fans dressed for the occasion and ready to watch some of the best Thoroughbreds in training. It appears like the magical town of Brigadoon for 15 days each April and October.- When you hear the bugler call them onto the track. You know what awaits. – I’ve always loved Keeneland, and each time I walk past the Sycamore tree in the paddock I feel energized. – I sure did miss seeing the beauty and pageantry last year, and like a kid waiting for Christmas, I’m ready!

 

 

7,000 Reasons to Love Racing

by Ed Meyer

posted on September 25, 2018 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

The week started out as many, but last week had some special magic. – Perry Ouzts was three wins away from 7,000 career wins. If it sounds like a great number, that’s because it is. – He is now the 9th rider in the history of racing to reach this milestone. To say this is rarified air is an understatement. – I’ve had the pleasure of watching him for years now, and he still brings the heat. – I’ve surely enjoyed the summer, but last week was very special for this racing fan.

I was being asked, “when do you think he’ll hit the number?” – That’s about as easy as picking the Powerball. Perry could hang on the number or just reel them off in a day. – It was Thursday, and I said he’ll get in on Friday. I create the morning line and I get to see what his mounts look like as soon as they draw the races. – After he reeled off three wins on Thursday; Friday looked pretty possible as he had 6 mounts from 8 races.

 

Image may contain: 2 people, people riding on horses, cloud, sky, horse, outdoor and nature

Photo Credit: Mike Howard

Perry started the day on Friday and was getting close but no cigar. – The gent you see in the purple shirt is the owner/trainer Gary Patrick. He was riding his daughter Cheyanna and they had blazing speed. – He was (2-1) on the morning line and Cheyanna gave up the mount and Perry had a “pick up” mount. A common practice in racing as the owner has to pay a double jock’s mount fee. – When I got the call for a rider change I immediately called the management to get things ready. – This is the one.

 

Emmy’s Candy grabbed the lead and led from flag fall to that’s all. – She drew away by 12 1/2 and Perry rode this one like his first win back in 1973 aboard Rablue for W.J. Danner at Beulah.

Image may contain: one or more people, text and outdoor

 

As I said, I’ve been watching since I was a young lad. – He has always had a quiet way that didn’t brag or read his own press clippings. – Perry prefers to let his horses do the talking. – I guess that’s why he’s always been one of my favorites.

Management was ready to celebrate and if you notice in the picture you’ll see HOF rider Pat day with over 8,000 wins. – He’s the ambassador of racing and one of the best guys to grace the saddle. He wanted to be there to celebrate Perry’s special moment.

 

Image may contain: 14 people, people smiling, people standing

Photo Credit: Coady Photography

The day was perfect. Celebrating with riders, valets, family, and special guests. – Our management team quietly waited to celebrate Perry, and the day was one to remember.

As Perry Wayne Ouzts walked into the jocks room that day I’m sure he treated it like the other 50,000 + mounts he has ridden. He gives his all, and never makes an excuse. – For a man of few words, he does his talking on the track. – That what makes him special. To have him in my own backyard is a real bonus. – Thank you, Perry! – Long may you ride!

 

Image may contain: Perry Ouzts, smiling, standing and outdoor

Photo Credit: Mike Howard

 

 

 

 

 

 

Falling in Love

by Ed Meyer

posted on September 19, 2018 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

Sometimes you stumble across things that bring a smile to your soul. – It can be your secret love or best friend. For many, they search their entire life looking for such a thing and others find it in a blink of an eye. – For me, I was a younger man who fell head over heels. – It’s been many years later and I’m still a happy man.

What started out as a trip out with dad turned into a full-blown love. – We would make the 10-mile drive and catch the last three or four races. We would talk and plan all the way as $2 wagers awaited. My dad wasn’t a big bettor, but he had more fun than most at the track. – I started off the same. There was something about making a couple $2 bets that bit me at a young age. – The time spent with my old man was priceless. He loved the early speed runners and I always favored far back closers. That’s racing. If everyone enjoyed the same things what a boring game it would be. – This is a game where you back up your opinions with a few bucks.

As a kid who grew up in a small town, I did the usual things. I played ball, had friends, and had a lawnmower that knew the town well. – I would make my way around looking for pick-up jobs and eventually gained regular customers. I wasn’t saving for a bike, a car, or clothes of the day. I was working to make a few bucks to head out to the races with dad. – Grass in the summer, leaves in the fall, and shoveling snow in the winter. I had a source of income and that kept me in the game. For a young man of thirteen, I was allowed to take a few bucks out to the track and hang with the old man. – These were the best of times.

We all had a study hall back in school. I would get my work done and ask for a hall pass to the library. – Inside was a large selection of books, but I would head to the newspaper section. – I started with the local newspaper which had a great racing section. I kept up on past results and who was leading the pack. – I would examine the entries and hope dad would ask me to make the drive later that night. – After reading the local paper, I would peruse the New York Times and Chicago papers. I wanted to know all about the game.

A few years passed and my love grew. – I still did the things kids my age were doing, but my heart was somewhere else. – I remember playing in a football game where we were beating the tar out of the other team. They allowed the clock to roll and that meant the game would be over in half the time. – I remember one of the refs walked by and I caught a glimpse of his watch. – I wasn’t thinking about having a few warm beers with the boys. I was making plans to shower and make the 10-mile drive. By my calculations, I would be able to catch the last four races. – We won, I showered quickly, and made it for the last races. When I got back to town I caught up with the guys and had my warm beer.

I was 17-years-old and my dad knew I loved playing the races. – Nothing wrong in his book, as kids could get into other trouble. The worst thing that could happen to me was losing $10 bucks. – It was at this time he made me a deal I couldn’t refuse.” Make good grades, stay out of trouble and there would be a car to drive and a few bucks to play on the weekend.” – I felt like I’d won the Irish Sweepstakes. – It was at this time he introduced me to his bookie. – Now before you get the picture of some crooked nose gangster, it was a couple of old men my grandpa used to bet with and my dad enjoyed betting a few bucks. – I was put on a $20 per week limit, and I could call up and make a few bets on the “race of the day” on the radio. – Magically I was transported to Lexington, Louisville, and River Downs. All had the “race of the day” on the radio and I could call up and bet a couple bucks and tune in to the live call. – These were great times shared with my dad.

When I went to college I met some other racing fans who knew me from the track. I was working in the parking lot and always had my windbreaker on with great pride. – We would meet at Turfway for a few races, and over time things got even better. – My buddy Tim was an avid player. It seemed we always had the same college class times. – I would make my way out to my car at 11:00 am and drive up and grab a quick bite for lunch. – On some of the best days, there was a Daily Racing Form under my windshield wiper and had a message attached. ” Meet me here at 11:15 and we’ll drive down to Keeneland.” – If there were any sweeter words I surely don’t know them. The many treks we made over the years and the fun we enjoyed was worth a pound of gold. – I surely miss my old friend, but the fond memories will last a lifetime.

I graduated to be a teacher but they had a freeze on hiring. – I was a sub-teacher and worked at the track at night. – Over the years, I made my way up the ladder and my part-time jobs eventually became my career. There was no better job in the world than working in racing. I saw the growth, the best of times, and decline. But my love never wavered. I have always been optimistic and felt we could educate and grow the sport back to good times.

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work in some really great jobs in racing. – At Turfway, I had a few radio programs that allowed me to talk horse racing and did on-air handicapping. I was finally doing what I loved. – River Downs came calling and I became the director of marketing. In addition, I did on-air handicapping and a weekly radio show. I was one of the “Regular Guys” with John Englehardt. This was more fun than the law allowed as we educated with a twist of fun. Never taking ourselves too seriously. – When I had the opportunity to work with Keeneland, I felt like I was called up by the Yankees. This was the big leagues as I walked under the large sycamore tree in the paddock. I had to fight back the lump in my throat. I finally had a year working for the big leagues. – A few years later, I started working at Belterra Park. – I was hired to do the morning line and call the races. I worked hard at trying to improve every day and there has never been a time I wanted to be anywhere in the world as my car pulled into the parking lot. – I’ve been writing since 2011 for Winning Ponies and was the original host of the Winning Ponies internet radio show. –  I’ve been able to write about anything in racing and the love of my life. – I’m a pretty lucky guy and the future looks bright ahead. I’ll always be a fan at heart and work to educate and share the love of racing with others. – Best of luck and I’ll see you at the races!

 

 

Getting With the Times

I’m not about having a circus in the parking lot, or is that just what we’re missing? – The old days of ‘build it and they will come’ went the way of the dinosaur. If racing is going to make it to the next generation we need to loosen up and have some fun. – After all, that’s the reason we started going to the races in the first place.

 

Pick up the pace

There used to be 30 minutes in between races long ago and that was fine. It was the only game in town. – We now have professional sports, college sports, casinos, racinos, movies, and a plethora of things to do. People want to be entertained. – I know why we have 20 minutes in between races. You have to allow players to wager, and the handle is what drives the sport. – How about drawing two names for on-track players between races for concession packages, free programs for a weak, or upgraded seats. – For fans who are playing off-track allow them to enter into drawings for merchandise prizes by signing up on the website? – I went to an arena football game some years ago. –  During every time-out, they would draw for upgrade seats, dining packages, and sponsored prizes. It was a carnival and I loved it! – Constant action and the fans loved when a time-out was called. – If you want their attention, grab it.

Theme songs

We would all love to hear our own theme song as we walked into the track. – Now since it would be impossible to have everyone’s favorite tune playing. How about when a rider wins he or she is serenaded with everything from Garth Brooks to Motorhead? – Just a little fun to keep the place moving. – I’ll bet you a beer you can hum the “Brady Bunch” theme or the theme song from “Batman.” – When we hear the Allman Brothers playing; I’ll bet you’ll know exactly who is going in the winner’s circle. – Have some fun. Loosen up.

Class is in session

Every Saturday, have a free handicapping seminar. – This is for new players who would like to learn the game. You might even have a few regular players looking to pick up some handicapping tips. – As they walk give them a free program, a quick 20-30 minute “how-to” session and turn them loose. – Keep it simple and light. Make it fun as the game can be intimidating for players who would like to play. – As they arrive; they sign up and will be given an entry ticket. At the conclusion of the seminar, there will be some drawings for door prizes. Make them a winner before they make their first bet.

 

People love to play slots or video keno because they are easy to use. – They don’t make the player have to learn the entire process before plunking down a few bucks. – Make it easy and try to have some fun. – I watch from above every day and see what the players enjoy. They hate standing in line. No more upcharge to have a seat. Keep the pace moving with music and some prize drawings to keep their attention. We are in the times of staring at phones, constant video games, and a million things that keep us engaged. – When people come to the track it is our job to reach out to them. – This isn’t your grandpa’s game anymore and we need to evolve with the times.