Reflections on a Career in Racing

by Ed Meyer

posted on August 17, 2019 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

I’ve been doing some reflection. There’s so much to be grateful, and so many people that helped me, taught me, and showed me there was only one job for me. – Everyday my car pulled into my parking spot I’ve never regretted a minute.

We all start off somewhere. I began at 19-years-old in the parking lot as a second job. I didn’t want to park cars, it was an excuse to be at the track and bet horses. That was my love.- I had a boss who used to ask me to help and assist with many events, programs, and ideas. He gave me a little bump and I became the parking manager. But all the while I found myself helping him do charity work as a behind the scenes fella. – He received awards and accolades and I used to get a 12-pack at the end of the night. – It took about four or five years until I stopped believing in Santa and realized he was only going to let me go so far as long as I was under his thumb. – He needed my ideas and plans. I wanted to be a part of the sport and if this was how I started so be it. He taught me many things and most weren’t good. But one thing he taught me that stays with me to this day. “Don’t hold people down because they may offer you some competition.” – My rule was to hire people who were smarter than me and look for the ones who wanted to be a part of the team. My favorite line as they moved on was “I would consider it an honor to work for you someday.” – I’ve had the best run since that time, and I look back with tear filled eyes for the many employees, interns, and friends I have helped find their way into the industry. – I wanted to share my passion, and they put in the time. – Thank you for teaching me what not to do. I sleep better at night, and it’s my face I shave when looking in the mirror. I see a happy man who enjoys helping others and it continues to this day.

After this time wasted, I worked for a hard-ass boss who taught me more than anyone. – He loved to intimidate, but did it to keep order. – After my time being the lap dog for another boss, I never wanted to do that again. This time it was going to be different. In the words of Fast Eddie Felson from the Hustler; “Fast and loose. I’m gonna’ play fast and loose.” – He was the kind of boss who respected someone who would stand up than roll over. – He taught me to believe in myself and to not be afraid to make my ideas come to fruition. – The rope he gave me was incredible, and I was on my way to doing some really cool things in racing. On-air handicapping, radio shows, interviews, player seminars, player events, and handling every big player who came in the door. He gave me plenty of slack and I ran like a jail break prisoner. – He taught me many things and is one of the key cogs at a huge racetrack. – Thanks for believing in me and taking the time.

I had a friend who was one of the best race callers in the business. – No, he didn’t teach me how to call races as so many people claim happened for them. That is how many race callers start a conversation about what they do. They act as if the person could teach them for hours everyday. Bullshit. – They may have met and known them for a little bit, and worked like hell to overcome the fear and sweat rolling down their back. They may have had a few good tips, but they didn’t move in with them and write it down in stone. – This man was a VP in a racing related business and left the microphone after being stabbed in the back by one of the voices that still calls today. But, I digress.

In the TV studio there was a large desk and I would go in an hour prior just to handicap the races and get my words together. – That was until “The Speaker of the House” came in and gave me some great advice. – “I know you love handicapping and you’re good. You look just a little nervous.” – He couldn’t have been more right and I was all ears. – ” They don’t want to sleep with you. They think you have the secret sauce and you need to impart your wisdom. Loosen up a bit and you’ll be great.” – I lit up a cigar and we yacked as friends until it was time to go on. After I walked out for the first race he was standing outside the door watching patrons gaze at a new face on TV talking horses. – “Hollywood. Your new name is Hollywood. Great job my friend. You’re going to be just fine.” – This was coming from a man who called races at 18-years-old at Rockingham, New York, Louisville, Kentucky, and his final job before being hanging up the mic was “The Voice of Chicago Racing” following the late-great Phil Georgeff. – I was hooked and it was his short chat with me that changed my attitude. – We became friends, and he left us way too early. I still think of him often to this day. – When I received my first announcing job I was in the booth thinking to myself. “Man, you wouldn’t believe what I have the opportunity to do. Wait, yes you would. You were the one who taught me to believe in myself.” – Thank you my friend. I’ve had one helluva a run.

With the good Lord willing I’m not done yet. – I love the game and can’t wait to go back to work calling races, handicapping, and chatting with the people. The last part believe it or not can be the best part. – I’m a lucky man. I’ve got to do what I wanted and there hasn’t been a moment I’ve regretted. I may not have a new car and a mansion, but to live the life you wanted is more than you can ask for. – Thank you to the many who have shown me the way and opened doors that were closed.

Free Selections – Saturday – Del Mar – 8/17/19

The summer is just flying right past and it won’t be long until we’ll be talking about our favorite fall ovals opening. – But, that is around the corner and we’re going to enjoy every single race going to post. – Here are some free selections to get your inner-handicapper brewing. Be sure to download your Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms for the definitive look at how the race will take shape!

 

Del Mar

 

Race #3 – The G3 – Green Flash – 5f on the turf – 6:06 pm EDT

#5 – Eddie Haskell = hails from the Mark Glatt barn with Kent Desormeaux in the saddle. He is 7/7 ITM at Del Mar and seeks his 4th straight win. He should get a perfect stalking trip.

 

Race #7 – The G2 Del Mar Hcp – 1 3/8 on the turf – 8:10 pm EDT

#5 – United = is a gelded son of Giant’s Causeway for trainer Richard Mandella. Flavien Prat wins 26% on the turf and will come calling late in the lane.

 

Race #8 – The G3 Torrey Pines – 1 mile – 8:40 pm EDT

#3 – Classic Fit = is a daughter of Bernardini for trainer Michael Stidham and Florent Geroux in the driver’s seat. She’s been off for 49 days and drops down a notch in class today.

 

Race #9 – The G1 Del Mar Oaks – 1 1/8 on the turf – 9:10 pm EDT

#14 – Hidden Message = is a daughter of Scat Daddy shipping over from Sandown Park in (GB) for trainer Simon Callaghan. First time Lasix with Flavien Prat in the driver’s seat.

 

Race #10 – The G1 Pacific Classic – 1 1/4 – 9:43 pm EDT

#2 – Quip = hails from the Rodolphe Brisset barn with Florent Geroux in the irons. They ship in from CD and the Kentucky horses have been doing great on the left coast. Look for a close up trip where Geroux wins 21% with early speed types.

 

 

 

 

Three Things That Made Me a Better Gambler

by Ed Meyer

posted on August 14, 2019 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

Everyone likes to dream about the big winner and crowds carrying you out the doors to the heroes tune. Throngs of gamblers patting you on the back as you light the winner’s cigar. – That’s all fine and dandy except one thing. Not one single word is true.

I have come up with my own speed figures and numerical magic at least a hundred times. There is not one single stand alone number that can sum up the outcome of a race. It may help and even give you an edge. But one number will not do the trick. – I had to find my way. – Most just want the end result cashing the ticket at the window. But the truth is putting in the hard work that brings about the big payday.

 

1. – You have to put in the time

There is no substitute for taking copious notes and watching race replays. – For me, this was a good start until the “free” stable mail systems came about. “I once was blind where now I see.” – The hard work resides in taking notes about what really happened and not an excuse for a losing bet. Go back and watch a few times. Funny what you’ll see when a bet is not on the table. – Keeping notes on a stable mail system is golden. They are everywhere and the best part they’re free. They will notify you 48 hours when they’re going to run, when they worked out, and if there’s a big carryover that needs your attention.

 

2. Stick to your knitting

These were the words of my best friend’s Mother. – It means stick to what you know and do it. – Don’t grasp at tracks or have a bet just for action. – Think of making wagering decisions like a Wall Street investment. You’ll start seeing the bottom line show a profit sooner rather than later. – When your hard work starts paying off you’ll find yourself more dedicated to the process.

 

3. Take a break

We take a vacation from work to keep us fresh don’t we? – Why wouldn’t you treat gambling the same? -There is action 24/7/365. You’ll always find a big weekend or some races that need to be played. – Skip it. Take a break sometimes and come back fresh as a daisy. – My breaks take place after the Triple Crown, and for about a month after the Breeders’ Cup. – You’ll find it keeps you fresh and ready to come back swinging. Once upon a time there use to be downtime in between meets and long before simulcast. – Gamblers could recoup a bankroll and come back hungry after a month or so on the bench.

I think the last one is the hardest. – I remember my Grandpa sitting in his garage cleaning his tools and collecting scrap metal from his jobs. – He would cash in the scrap and be ready when the horses came back. He would go fishing, do odd jobs for the family, and take his dogs to the field trials. He always stayed busy until the final months of his life. – We can take a page from his book, but only if you want to sharpen your game.

 

You can follow the game by reading and even make “mind bets” of what you would do if you had a bankroll in play. You’ll be amazed at what a little  down time will do for your game. - Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies and we’ll see you in the winner’s circle!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Happy Horseplayer

The “Dog Days of Summer” are upon and summer racing is in full flight. – I’ve taken my time off and enjoyed the little things. You know, going to the races on a Saturday afternoon, swimming in the middle of the day, reading, and just having that fleeting feeling I haven’t had since my college days. – Take the time and smell the roses was the old saying we’ve heard since childhood. But only as we age do we really understand the meaning.

 

Saratoga

 

I’ve watched and moreover enjoyed the races. They’re fun to watch but even more so to wager. – Over the years I’ve learned to embrace the chalk. It’s ok to make that $10 win bet on a 4-5 shot. If it wins you have a “free spot” to wager on the next race. – You put up $10 and get back $18. That’s just fine with me. – You can’t make this your go-to wager because if you lose it will take two winners at the same price to be $6 to the good.

Don’t be afraid. If you find the lock of the day and they offer up short odds. Take em.’ – I love to play the pick four wagers on weekends at The Spa. – But only if they have a sweet guarantee pot. Most just pass and swear I’ve left my betting sense at home. – But this past weekend was a doozy.

I had two small tickets in play. It was a “short stack” day just enjoying time with friends making small wagers. – I parlayed a couple 5-1 winners into a couple P4 tickets. – I got past the first three with two singles in the wager. (Pretty good shooting if I say so myself). – My buddy was all excited and dialed up his computer in between an online contest he was playing. – ” Ed, you come back to; $187, $127, and $603. Let’s root for the big one and have a beer.” – I couldn’t agree more and have to admit the payoffs seemed healthy.

As they turned for home my 7-1 big payoff rolled around the field like they were stuck in the mud. – After “hi-fives” and asking what kind of beer they wanted I made my way to the window. – I slid my ticket across the desk and when the clerk slid it into the machine it showed a $79 payoff. – Needless to say, I didn’t believe it and asked for a result print out.  Yep, he was right. I had a little less than I thought rolling my way. – As I made my way back to the table my buddy immediately apologized. – “Ed, I’m so sorry. I was looking at Monmouth on my screen for payoffs.” – You could cry, bitch, or blame. I opted for a laugh and enjoyed a few more races with friends that are hard to come by in this world.

 

Clear the Watch List

I used to enjoy watching the races and keeping notes. – There are plenty of free places to keep your notes. They send you an email 48 hours in advance of the race, let you know when they work, and inform you of sizeable carryovers. All good stuff and you can’t beat the price. – I decided it was time to purge my list and start with Saratoga with horses that had a troubled trip, bad start, or were compromised. – I would like to share one I have running on Wednesday, 8/7/19 – Race #6 – #6 Mount Travers (12-1) – He scratched last out as it was a yielding soft turf on opening day. He cuts back in distance for Linda Rice and his only effort on the sod was soft going. – It is a $100k race, and the price may be worth the effort at the windows. I would have liked to see a nice allowance race, but I’ll make a small bet as the price will be right. Thursday – Saratoga – Race #3 – 1a – Mo Gee = Claimed last out and jumps up in class as part of an entry. Irad Ortiz replaces Luis Saez and this son of Uncle Mo is a strong closer.

Go ahead and give this a try. Trip handicapping is a lost art and it is well worth the time. – Until next month, best of luck from The Happy Horseplayer and Winning Ponies!

 

 

 

The Ironman Takes Some Time Off

by Ed Meyer

posted on August 7, 2019 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

Image may contain: Perry Ouzts, smiling, outdoor

 

Perry Wayne Ouzts is a fixture on the Ohio scene and a legend in the history books. On July 7th, he turned 65-years-young doing what he loves. – He had a spill at Belterra Park on July 28th. – For the 51,218 mounts in his career, you can bet this isn’t his first injury.

Initially, he was taken to the hospital for a dislocated shoulder. – Perry was heard as saying; “I’ll go and get checked and be back on Thursday.” – These were great plans, and if I had to bet a dollar he would’ve been working horses on Wednesday. – His shoulder was put back in place, and as a precaution, the doctors wanted to have an MRI. It came back showing three cracks in his rotator cuff; according to OTBO Executive Director, John C. Engelhardt.  This changed his plans for returning the following Thursday.

Of his 51,218 mounts, he has 7,065 career wins that started with Rablu at Beulah Park in 1973. Perry is the 7th all-time leading rider in Thoroughbred history. He still works horses on a daily basis where most younger riders won’t do the early morning shift. But that’s his work ethic from a storied family of riders who grew up doing it the right way. – If you call that “old school” it would make Perry Ouzts the Headmaster.

He is 8 wins ahead of Angel Cordero and 34 wins ahead of Edgar Prado. – If you’ve ever had the pleasure of watching him ride a winner he jogs back slowly to the winner’s circle. You could liken it to enjoying a fine cigar or a vintage glass of wine. – He knows the way and enjoys every moment like it was his first win.

He is going to be on the shelf for eight to nine months. – He’ll miss the remainder of the meet but plans on returning to Belterra Park next spring. “I’m not gonna let this end my career. I’ll be the one who makes that call and go out on my terms.”

I’ve been watching for a number of years and have enjoyed every milestone in his storied career. – I’m already counting the days until I see him take the track in the summer sun at Belterra Park. – Get some rest, Perry. We wish you the very best taking time to heal and look forward to seeing you at the races.

 

Free Selections / 50 – Cent Cross Country Pick 5

Saturday offers up the special Cross Country wager combining some of the best races from NYRA and around the country. Pick 4’s and Pick 5’s will be offered letting you bet multiple tracks in one bet! – The last one was on July 27th and it paid off a sweet $1,855.00 for a 50-cent base wager. – Here are some ideas to get you in the mood to take a swing at a unique wager that covers: Saratoga, Monmouth, and Woodbine.

 

Leg A = Race #7 / Saratoga / Mdn Sp Wt / 1 1/16 on the turf / 4:32 pm EDT

#2 – Blanket of Roses = First timer from the Chad Brown barn who is a son of Looking At Lucky. Javier Castellano is 9/15 the past week.

#5 – Economic Policy = Another first-timer from the Chad Brown bred to relish the green. His dam Patience Drive has 2 starters, 2 winners, and 2 turf winners to her credit.

#6 – Are You Kitten Me = First timer from the Mike Maker barn sired by the red-hot Kitten’s Joy. He’s been working lights out.

 

Leg B = Race #11 / Monmouth / O.C. $16,000 / 1 1/16 on the turf / 5:26 EDT

#1 – Curluck = Daughter of Curlin second off the layoff and was beaten chalk last out. Drops in class for the hot Jason Servis barn winning 29%.

#7 – Clockstrikestwelve = She’s a late closer and should come rolling for Timothy Hills.

#8 – Outoftrouble = Brad Cox trainee making a 2nd off the layoff move where he wins 29%. Look for a solid turn of foot sporting early speed.

 

Leg C = Race #10 / Woodbine / O.C. $40,000 / 1 1/16 synthetic / 5:56 pm EDT

#9 – Glittering Snow = Goes from sprinting to a route and has a bullet work under her belt.

#3 – Silent Tango = She broke her maiden last out and made a strong 4 wide bid to win.

#4 – Snippy = 3rd off the layoff and should sport some good early foot under Alan Garcia.

 

Leg D = Race #10 / Saratoga / The G2 Bowling Green / 1 3/8 on turf / 6:18 EDT

#3 – Ya Primo = Chilean-bred been off 4 months starting for the Chad Brown barn. He won the Gr1 Latinoamericano and is 6/9 ITM on the turf.

#1 – Arklow = Florent Geroux teams up with Brad Cox and cuts back in distance getting bested at the wire last out.

#8 – Zulu Alpha = Ships over from the G1 United Nations and was beat in the shadow of the wire.

 

Leg E = Race #12 / Saratoga / Claiming $30,000 2L / 1 mile on the turf / 7:23 EDT

#4 – My Macho = Laurel shipper second off the layoff for Graham Motion. He takes a drop-in class.

#5 – Surge Pricing = Chad Brown runner adding blinkers and dropping down the class ladder with Javier Castellano.

 

Leg A = 3

Leg B = 3

Leg C = 3

Leg D = 3

Leg E = 2

3X3X3X3X2 = $81 for a 50-cent ticket

 

 

 

The Happy Horseplayer

by Ed Meyer

posted on July 26, 2019 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing | No Comments >>

Another summer month is rolling by and it got me to reflect on the game we love. – Saratoga is in full swing, and this past weekend brought blistering heat to most of the nation. Add in the problems facing racing and you have one player with many things to ponder. But rest assured, we have been here before many times.

Saratoga

Are than any sweeter words in the language of a horseplayer? Nope. – Watching the big-name outfits converge on a sleepy little town that turns into Hollywood is incredible. – The Ortiz brothers, Javier Castellano, Jose Lezcano, Luis Saez, Joel Rosario, Flavien Prat, and a host of others stay or ship to give us the best. – Pletcher, Baffert, Brown, Asmussen, Casse, Mott and Cox will lead over some of the best runners in the nation if not the world. – Yeah, to say it’s magical may be an understatement.

I’ve been enjoying each day, and even if I don’t have a wager I still love to watch the beauty and pageantry. – Saratoga is one-of-a-kind and will entertain the stars to the hardcore fans. – Marylou Whitney has passed and many times I read with anticipation of her parties and events. She created programs and charities to help many, and by the way. She raced horses with the best. It still seems like yesterday when Birdstone blew past Smarty Jones to win the Belmont. – When interviewed after the race, there was a true sense of sorrow that history was denied that day. That my friends is true sportsmanship. She will be missed by many. The people who read with anticipation, the many she helped through her endeavors, and the racing world will shed a tear.

Hotter than Georgia asphalt

The past weekend had tracks all around the nation canceling races. – The safety of the horse is paramount as well as human athletes. Fans from all walks understood and got behind the idea. – Some tracks tried to run and took extra measures to ensure safety for horses and fans. But, even “Ma Nature” can’t be halted. She had her wrath, and as an industry, we learned a great deal. – Monmouth Park took it on the chin being down 35% on Haskell Day.

Take a closer look

The world of racing is under a microscope. – It’s not just California, it’s everywhere. – The public outcry as with any sports is starting to gain momentum. Thoroughbred racing has been conducted since the 1700s, and in the states since settlements were established. – The “watchers from outside the fences” will cry foul and stop the madness. – But are they willing to add-in: Football, Baseball, Basketball, Rugby, Soccer, NASCAR, Boxing, MMA, Hockey, and pee-wee sports for children? – Probably not. – But racing is under the watchful eyes of many who don’t know the game. – When I read the chat rooms and some non-fans offer up a poll to end horse racing it hurts my heart. – If anyone would spend a day watching how the men and women tirelessly devote their lives to caring for the horses and putting them first at all costs. How tracks spend millions of dollars and countless hours in meeting rooms deciding how to have the safest racing surfaces. – I’m sure the naysayers would not believe it takes place. – Does racing need to address issues and plan for the future? Yes. – But the elimination of the sport is long-range damaging. Thoroughbred horses are not romping on the plains running free. They have been bred over hundreds of years to be the type of horse they are. How about the countless jobs lost? – Trainers who tend to the horses, riders who have been born into the sport. The van and transport companies who ensure our runners arrive safely. Where will the feed companies go, or the ones who bale and bring the hay and straw? How about the vets, mutuel clerks, track employees, farriers, valets, starters, tractor drivers, and countless others who are employed in roles that serve racing off the track?

Before you vote in social media chat rooms to end a sport. Doesn’t it make more sense to ensure safety, eliminate performance-enhancing drugs, and create the safest racing surface for horses to run? Yes. – It is our duty to make this sport as safe as possible with no costs spared. – I guess watching one race a year gives you a voice to get rid of something you don’t understand. Beware football season you are next up with a bevy of professional and college games. These same voices will ramp up to eliminate your sport and so on.

I’ve been watching racing all of my life. My dad, grandpa, aunts and uncles, and many before them. – I guess I’m a product of racing as well when my grandparents were married on the way to the 1938 Kentucky Derby. They met at old Latonia Race Course and shortly after stopped in Gallatin County to be wed at the justice of the peace. – He had the winner that day and a family was created. – I guess I’m a little biased, but that’s because I’ve tossed hay, watched them being cared for, paid the bills to keep them healthy, and voiced for the betterment of the sport versus the elimination. – Keep an open mind and if you want to be a voice, get a little closer to truly examine whats happening. – As in all sports, there are measures to be taken that will make the game safer for all. Racing has been working overtime and give it some time. I think you’ll start hearing the changes happening.

The Happy Horseplayer wishes you the best of luck, and enjoy the races. – “May your winners be many and your photos be few.”

Hotter Than Hades

Image result for Hades

 

This weekend is gonna be hotter than the Georgia asphalt. – Horses and human athletes alike could’ve been put in great danger when the heat index started skyrocketing. – I know, we’re going to miss a weekend of racing action. But, for the good of all who make the game happen this one makes sense. – Maybe Hades is a little over the top, but after this weekend we’ll all be counting the days until fall racing.

I was reading John Cherwa’s newsletter from the Los Angeles Times. – After his interview with a pretty sharp veterinarian. I have a new outlook when the heat gets ugly.

Monmouth, which is a couple miles from the Atlantic Ocean, is instituting heat protocols that it hopes will minimize the risk to horses. There are more vets and water trucks to immediately cool down horses if needed.

I contacted Dr. Rick Arthur, equine medical director for the California Horse Racing Board, to have him explain things.

Anyway, here’s an excerpt from that story to help you to understand how heat decisions are made.

“The humidity is really the most important factor in a horse’s ability to dissipate heat, Arthur said. The heat index at Santa Anita on these high, hot summers is not a problem. Now you do see problems when the weather turns quickly. But there are more problems in February when the temperature goes from 65 to 85 than when it goes from 85 to 95 or 100 in the summer.”

“The heat index is a combination of heat and humidity. Meteorologists like to use the phrase ‘feels like [temperature]’ as a way to explain it.”

“Arthur has a simpler way of computing the danger, just add the temperature and humidity and you shouldn’t worry until it gets around 160 to 165. Even when the temperature is 90 to 100 at Santa Anita, the heat index is higher at Del Mar when it’s in the 80s,’ Arthur said. ‘That has to do with the humidity. Track vets and trainers are attuned at what to look for when horses are being affected by the heat. They become more anxious, they start to back up, throw their head back and start pawing the ground.”

“Unlike dogs, horses are like humans and they lose heat by sweating,’ Arthur said. ‘If you put water on them it takes the heat off. That’s why horses are sponged sometimes before or in the paddock and certainly after the races.”

 

Ellis Park is planning to run a July 29th card on a Monday. – Other tracks were planning extra races or maybe trying a race card on a new day as an experiment. – There’s plenty of races to get us through the next couple of days, and looking back we’ll be glad we chose safety over trying to make money with racing handle. – Sit back, grab a cool drink, and watch a few top-notch races from Monmouth and Del Mar. There are a few other tracks able to run and by this time next weekend we’ll be looking back and glad we chose the safest route. - Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies! – Stay cool!

Free Selections / Wednesday, 7/17/19

Hump Day is more than a camel telling jokes on TV. – It’s the day where you make final tweaks to your bankroll as the weekend will roll up quickly. This weekend is G1 Haskell weekend and a pair of G2’s at Del Mar. – That’s right, more action than the law allows. – But, I digress. – Wednesday’s are for building it up to knock it down in a couple days. Sit back and use the free selections as an appetizer to the main course soon to be served.

 

Indiana Grand

 

Race #8 – Ellen’s Lucky Star – 1 mile on the turf – 5:31 pm EDT

#10 – Moves Like Magic = Jeff Greenhill trainee who comes in off a huge day on June 19th where he swept both stakes. – She has tons of speed and is 2/2 ITM on a sloppy footing where the track was wet on Weds. – She breaks from the outside and Greenhill make a rider switch to the hot John McKee. This Indy-bred cuts back in distance and McKee is winning 23% with “Team Green” when they go to post.

 

Race #9 – The Snack – 1 mile on the turf – 5:59 pm EDT

#7 – Toss of Fate = Greenhill is loaded for the day and this Indy-bred scored huge on the 6/19 and is 2/2 with wins over the course. – If they come off the turf, there are no worries. – He is 1/1 over the soft footing. A perfect stalker for “Team Green” as the barn is winning at a 17% clip for the meet. Malcolm Franklin aboard and they do very good work as a team. – Greenhill is looking at another big day.

 

Saratoga

 

Race #6 – Clm 30,000 2L – 5 1/2f on the turf – 3:55 pm EDT

#5 – Matzo Bella = Filly by Gio Ponti for the Jason Servis barn. 2nd off the layoff move and flying late in the lane. Since getting claimed four back she’s been tough.

 

Race #9 – O.C. $62,500 – 6f – 5:45 pm EDT

#7 – Bluegrass Jamboree = 3rd off the shelf for this daughter of Bluegrass Cat. She has her hands full with Talk Veuve to Me,  but she is making the first start off a two-month layoff. – “Bluegrass” looks to be hitting on all cylinders and cutting back in distance and is 2/3 ITM at the Spa. Jose Lezcano in the irons and he has been on fire winning 22% as the meet is just getting started. She has three works since her last and 6f should fit her well.

 

Del Mar

 

Race  #2 – O.C. $62,000 – 1 1/8 on the turf – 2:33 pm PST

#6 – United = Makes his first start off a two-month layoff dropping in class from the G2 Whittingham. He is a long-range closer and cuts back from 1 1/4 in distance. He fires well off the bench and Flavien Prat is a turf master to be reckoned with. Look for Prat to kick out wide and come rolling down the lane.

 

Race #8 – The Oceanside – 1 mile on the turf – 5:44 pm PST

#5 – King of Speed = Son of Jimmy Creed for trainer Jeff Bonde with Kent Desormeaux in the saddle. 3rd off the layoff and a scorching handily work two back. He is 3/3 ITM at Del Mar and cuts back to the distance where he is 4/6 ITM. Look for a midpack closing effort.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grandstand Memories

Image result for Baby dressed as a jockey

 

 

In every sport we have them. – You can hear the arm-chair warriors carrying a torch for their team or runner. – That’s just fine. It makes the game interesting. But, over the years, I’ve noticed some pretty good imitations of a rider walking around in the grandstand. – They’re not going to make weight and pick up a call, but they’ll sure give you all they got when they have $2 on the line. – Here are some of my favorites, and others I wish would go home early.

 

1. – The program whipper = This person can reach into their pocket and draw out a rolled program. – It’s tight and bent, but it will do the trick. – They go right to the stick and cheer and scream as the horses turn for home. – They give commands as if the rider would hear them and won’t stop until they hit the line. – If it all went south. They can tell you the rider should have switched sticks, changed leads, or threw a few crosses.

 

2. – The finger snapper = This is not my favorite, and I turn my head when hearing the snap. – They can get a snapping going by twitching their fingers and you can hear it deep to the bone. – They call out “Come on Willy, Come on Will. – That’s it, Jorge, That’s it. – Make the move Eddie, shoot the rail.” – All the while this wicked snapping sound is like fingers on a chalkboard. – I’m all for rooting, but this one is rough to watch and hear.

 

3. – The smoocher = They’re not giving anyone a kiss, but you would swear it was happening right there. – Smmmmoooooch – Come on baby, smoooooccccch. – They are calling to the horse like a rider does with a whistle, chirp, or a high pitched scream.

 

4. – The stooper = When tickets hit the floor they can flip the flat ticket like a world cup soccer player. It is an art, but tracks frown down on this practice of looking for winners that got tossed on the floor.

 

4. – The Hi-Five Gang = Usually a group of young men or women, and you’ll see them jumping and giving the big five! – I love to see the energy, but sometimes they look like the cover of the program where you see people in bow ties and sunglasses having a great time.

 

5. – The Announcer = This is the guy in the far back of the racebook who roots for whoever is on top. – Funny, they have every winner and call it as they turn for home. ” Get em, James. Turn him loose. You got it, you got it, draw and hide from them.” – These folks are funny for about the first two hours but it gets old at the end of the night.