I’ve Got a Horse Right Here

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 18, 2018 in Blogroll, Free Picks and Tips, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

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We all get the golden question ” who do you like today?” – I have a good friend who loves to bet but doesn’t have time to sit down and handicap. – ” So, Ed who do you like at Gulfstream on Saturday?” – I looked over the card and gave him who I liked. – They didn’t do poorly, but I did have a bad case of seconditis. – If I only turned him onto the Winning Ponies this day he may be sending me a fine bottle of wine for the holidays.

Gulfstream is going to get better by the weekend and as January creeps around the weekend stakes will be super. – That’s the best part of racing I enjoy as the stakes start the official road to the Derby. – My friend is in the holiday spirit as he received his bonus a little early and wanted to play some ponies this weekend. – My picks were good, but not up to snuff with the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms.

He bets $20 to win on my top pick and I make him a nice three horse exacta box. – Now, if I would have used the top three selections from Winning Ponies. His day may have turned out a little different.

 

Race #1 – #7 – She Loves Me = $5.80 to win would have brought him $58.00 – It was their top selection. 

Race #2 – #8 – Erasmo’s Dream = $5.00 to win would have yielded a crisp $50 bill. – Top Selection.

Race #5 – #6 – Sir Anthony was the top pick and paid a whopping $53.80 to win, and the exacta paid $210 with the top two selections. – He would have won $748 !

Race #6 – #1 – Blue Sky Venezuela = $6.60 to win for a sweet $66 payoff.

Race #9 – #8 Capala Temptress paid $10.00 and the exacta with the top two selections paid $48.80 – This would have cashed for $148.80

Race #10 – #7 – Dream Pauline = Paid $5.40 for an additional $54.

 

At the end of the day, he would have been a much happier camper – My picks hit the board and didn’t do bad. –  But there is nothing like cashing your voucher at the end of the day for some real cash! – I sent along the www.winningponies.com website and told him if he really liked money to check in with what the E-Z Win Forms had to say. – We’re all decent ‘cappers but when you find a source that will make your day a winner why not use that handicapping tool? – He is signing up today after I forwarded him the payoffs for Winning Ponies and I don’t think I’ll be getting his call as much. – That’s ok. I want him to win and they have shown a profit for years with easy-to-use E-Z Win Forms. – He could have paid for Christmas in one day following the E-Z Win Forms.

 

Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies, and a Happy Holiday Season to you and yours!

 

Race Track Time Machine

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 12, 2018 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

I was sitting in my office looking out the window. – We are six floors up and the flurries were whizzing past like a snow globe.  It was a winter-wonderland rolling through my mind. – It took me back to days gone by and memories they held. – Just staring out the windows overlooking the track had me thinking about the incredible adventures I spent there. With 21 minutes to post the memories came flooding back. – Kinda’ wish there was a time machine of sorts that could take me back to days of yesteryear.

 

I wish I could climb in the time machine one more time for a night out with my dad and papaw. – Oh, how I loved tagging along in the backseat hoping to get to make a $2 place bet. – It was these trips that grew my love of racing.

I can remember with laser precision my grandpa walking across the parking lot where I was working just to say “hello.” – I was his first grandson and my last memory of seeing him at the races.

How I would love to see my Uncle Don come out to the races to watch my horse run. – He was a man of few words but his affection could be felt just in his presence. – He would travel out with my dad and both had as much fun as I did owning this cheap claimer.

All of my first dates were at the races. – I figured if they could stand the ponies we had a pretty good shot. – Thanks for sharing your time. – I think about them often.

The big winners over the years meant more than money. –  Just getting to go back and celebrate again would be a gift.

To the many fans who became friends. – When you work at the track you get to know people. I had the distinct honor of really getting to know many. – I walked through the racebook the other day and those faces are a memory. – I can remember everyone, and would love to go back when race tracks were packed. The swirl of humanity and energy of the track was wild. People coming and going and lines at every teller station. It was the place to be. – I would love to go back on a busy Saturday and see some folks that have been gone a long time. – Great memories I’ll cherish forever.

My treks with my dad have slowed. Partly because I work at two tracks within our driving range. – We would talk horses and he would play speed horses with cheap jockeys. – He wasn’t a big bettor and was looking for a price. – ” I’m going to be on the lead and they’ll have to catch me if they can.” – I heard that so many times and would love to hear them more. – We drove down to the Keeneland contest a few weeks ago and enjoyed my time playing the races with him. – For the many photo finishes and close calls, we enjoyed the time spent together. – Thanks, dad. I love you.

I met two of my best friends at the races, good friends to this day, and many professional acquaintances. – I wouldn’t trade any of these memories for the world. – I can recall every hot tip, bad beat, and great time. – I’ve had the opportunity to work at five tracks. Two of which could be the same under a new name. – I loved every second and still do. There’s a magic that goes along with working at the track. The energy from the old days has declined due to players betting from home and increased competition. – If you’re lucky, you can still hear the roar of the crowd and thunder of hooves. That will never go away for real fans who love the game.

As the horses are nearing the starting gate, I get in position to watch the race and relish the opportunity. It never gets old. – If you haven’t been for awhile take the time and head out for some races. Take someone new or hangout with some old friends. Fall in love all over again and enjoy the ride. – Trust me, the memories last forever.

 

 

How to Play Turfway Park

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 5, 2018 in Uncategorized | No Comments >>

All tracks have their own little nuances. – Speed on the rail, closers from the back, and middle stalkers rule. – The Polytrack is a whole new animal versus what you’ve been playing all year on dirt.  – If you follow a few rules and keep your eyes peeled for the connections. You may find a winter wonderland as the temperatures take a nose dive.

According to Martin Collins Enterprises;

Approved by the BHA and developed specifically for fast work, Polytrack is scientifically proven to minimize the risk of injury and provide a consistent, secure surface for horses to perform to the best of their ability.

Its unique capability of providing consistent going, in even the most extreme temperature variations, makes it a winning choice for racetracks and training gallops all over the world. In fact, Polytrack is used at over 20 racetracks and on 250km of training tracks across the globe. Each Polytrack surface is bespoke and designed for the climate and level of use it is to withstand. But every single mix is manufactured to the same specification, ensuring the material is consistent throughout, for a world-leading racing and training surface that supports optimum performance.

That being said, the surface is very safe. – The times can vary quite a bit. – At Turfway Park, you’ll see the temperature drop 15+ degrees in hours as the sun goes down. Night racing can be a bit chilly and the windchill plays a big part in being forced to cancel. – You have to take the safety of both equine and human athletes into consideration at all times.

If the weather is under normal conditions look at the color. If it is darker there is a good chance of the water trucks making a few rounds to keep down any dust or fluffy kickback. – This is when the track may play quicker as it is tight. Horses seem to grab a hold of the surface and can dig down to run quicker. – If it is a lighter grey and the temperatures are cold. It may be loose and speed will hold up better. – Before making your first wager check in with the weather report for Florence, Kentucky. It is a mile away from Greater Cincinnati Airport and you’ll get a good report.

If there are horses running at Woodbine, Arlington, Presque Isle, or coming off the turf. Give them a good look before betting. – Synthetic runners who enjoy the surface take to Turfway as it is manicured and kept up throughout the day and night. Turf runners seem to glide over it smoothly.

Pay close attention to the charts on how the races have been playing. – After four days of live racing. There have been 32 races. The top number of winners have come from –  13 from Churchill / 5 from Indiana Grand / 4 from Keeneland. – Riders to watch  / John McKee, Euclyn Prentice, Rafael Mojica Jr., Rodney Prescott and the new rider from Brazil Luan Machado. – Trainers to keep an eye peeled on / Mike Maker, Wesley Ward, Jack Sisterson, Kim Hammond, Genaro Garcia, and Jeff Greenhill.

The races have been won by runners who were no more than 3 to 4 lengths off the pace and making a move about the 3/8th’s pole. Go ahead and play a runner on the stretch out in the distance as speed and stamina seem to carry further. – Be vigilant and watch how the track has been playing. Keep tabs on the weather and look for hot connections. – It may be one of your best weapons at the windows.

Watch as the TV crew picks up runners working out strong prior to the race or ones who get away from the pony and settle out. By going back and watching the charts closely you’ll start picking up runners to watch and connections to play. – It may be cold outside during the meet, but the action will be red hot. Just pay close attention and be on the lookout for big outfits who ship into Turfway. They’re coming here for a reason and it may help you find a few more winners! – Best of luck from Winning Ponies!

 

 

 

The Happy Horseplayer

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 5, 2018 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

The cold winds are blowing and snow replaces the rain. A sign that racing is shifting towards winter is in full effect. That’s just fine as horseplayers don’t need a calendar as we tell what time of year by which tracks are open. – Fair Grounds, Aqueduct, Gulfstream, Turfway Park, Tampa Bay, and Oaklawn. – Fall flew past quickly as it went from 78 to 28 overnight. But with the winter ovals comes the time of hope. – The entire seasonal shift brings about stakes races, new runners, and the run for the roses. By the way, there are only 152 days until Derby.

Breeders’ Cup is a memory, and the talks of who will be the horse of the year are taking place. – There are sales that take place around the globe as the movers and shakers gather to spend millions of dollars hoping for the future. – Right after Thanksgiving, the racing world seems to take a little nap. Well needed so we come back strong and prepared for the future. – The breeding sheds will be packed as the future runners will come to life. – What a game. – Just as we complete the cycle it takes a breath and comes back again.

I finished up my season at Belterra Park watching spring and summer racing. – Calling the races and creating the morning line is the most exciting job I’ve ever had. My personal countdown to April is underway as I await the first group of runners heading to post. – I am working at Turfway Park in the racing office and a placing judge at night now. – I enjoy seeing the familiar faces in the morning and watching them run at night. – The Polytrack is a softer gentler surface and must be studied as such. – When it is warmer there will be plenty of moisture on the surface and the times may be quick. When the cold takes over the surface and plays a bit slower but safe none the less. – There is something special about night time racing. – The glowing light illuminates the oval and keeps the action red hot.

For me, this year is special as I’m working in racing again. – Last year I was on the shelf mending. – I watched races from my phone and computer, but there’s nothing like being there in person. Friends and fans enjoying the action and working with longtime faces is a joy I’m glad to have back. – I’m very grateful for the opportunity, and you can bet dollars to donuts there will be more good days than bad. – Come to think of it, there’s no such thing as a bad day at the races for a true fan.

I’ll mix my races with the end of the football season. Call it my version of “pigskins and ponies.” – I’m ready for the next season of action and await the races that will kick off the action. – The preps we watched last year return with new runners holding the promise for the future. – Racing fans have a mental countdown for big races that will start after the holidays. It seems that January has always been a sprint to the first Saturday in May. – Until next month, The Happy Horseplayer wishes you and yours a safe and beautiful holiday season.

Free Selections – Saturday, 11/24/18 – Aqueduct and Churchill

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 24, 2018 in Blogroll, Free Picks and Tips, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

The holiday season is upon and there’s never a bad time to build a bankroll. – Here are some free selections to get your weekend started in the right direction. – Be sure to check back with the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms for the final decisions on how the races will take shape. – Best of luck from Winning Ponies! 

 

Aqueduct

Race #2 – #4 – No Deal = Making a plunge down the class ladder and been off for two months. – She may fire fresh off the layoff.

Race #6 – Gronkowski = Comes in off a two-month layoff and takes a drop down in class – He came flying after Justify in the Belmont three back and should give a good account of himself.

Race #7 – #9 – Disco Partner = 3rd off a layoff and exits the BC Turf Sprint – Huge drop in class and he is 8/9 ITM at the distance.

Race #9 – #10 – Lady Paname = Her 2nd start of 2018 and was impressive winning at 1 1/4 getting first Lasix.

 

Churchill Downs

Race#2 – #2 – Naughty Joker = 2-year-old filly who looks to be begging out for more ground – She drops from stakes company and should get her diploma today.

Race #5 – #9 – Meadow Dance = Speedy filly who exits the G1 Alcibiades into OC $75,000 – She’s faced some tough gals and today looks like a trip to the winner’s circle.

Race #7 – #3 – Love My Honey = Ships in from Laurel and stumbled badly at the start – She should love the class relief and do well for the Maker barn.

Race#9 – #5 – Restless Rider = She is going to be a monster as she progresses and McPeek thinks a great deal of her. – She is 3/3 ITM at CD and exits the BC Juvenile Fillies. – This may be a free spot in multi-race wagers.

 

Sometimes you can take small price runners and find some great value with the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms. – If you haven’t tried the E-Z Win Forms, now is a great time as there’s an incredible BONUS for purchasing Winning Credits. Check out www.winningponies.com for a 30% BONUS that lasts until Monday! – Never a bad time to build a bankroll, and there some incredible races this weekend!

 

 

Free Weekend Selections – 11/17/18

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 16, 2018 in Blogroll, Free Picks and Tips, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

 

 

 

 

 

As the weather turns and the final leaves fall from the trees. We find ourselves getting into gear of betting more at home than making our way to the races. – It’s ok, but just don’t make a habit of this. There is nothing like spending a day at the track playing races from around the country. – With that mind, here are some free selections to get you thinking about the weekend. Use them as an appetizer and rely on the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms before heading to the windows.

 

 

Aqueduct

 

Race #4 – #9 – Le General = 2nd-time starter for Michelle Lovell and wins 12% on this move – Look for a speedy start from the break.

Race #6 – #3 – Okeamo = Been off since Saratoga, cuts back to a sprint and drops down in class.

Race #8 – #3 – Zulu Alpha = Exits a big win in the G2 Sycamore at Keeneland and looks for three-in-a-row.

 

 

Churchill Downs

 

Race #1 – #4 – Irma Bling = 2nd start off a long layoff and will look to wire the field at Louisville.

Race #6 – #7 – Troy Ounce = 2nd timer for the Steve Asmussen barn and he wins 17% on this move – His go-to rider in the saddle with Ricardo Santana.

Race #7 – #4 – Harvey Wallbanger = Beaten favorite the last two starts looks to seal the deal and break his maiden.

 

 

Fair Grounds

 

Race #1 – #9 – Crooked as Can Be = 2nd start off the layoff for the red-hot Carl Broberg barn.

Race #8 – #3 – Saints Girl = Speedy filly shipping in from CD for the Dallas Stewart barn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gambler’s Curse

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 14, 2018 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

We can remember with incredible detail about bad beats. – Can you say the same about your big score? – Oh, you remember how it went down and the crisp cash you held in your hand. But the loss is like a color photo in your noggin. – For me, I could tell you about some scores that were sweet and how the win was needed. – The loss is remembered in date, horse name, and how much invested. – Is this a bad dream or the “Gambler’s Curse.”

Last year I was watching races on my phone. Small screen with big action. – I made a $100 pick-four and watched as it finished out paying $8,000. – I couldn’t begin to tell you the name of the runners, races, or date. Why? – But with the detail of an oil painting, I can tell you how I was standing at River Downs as a young man. I took off work a little early and wanted to start my weekend. A couple of beers and some live racing action. What more could a young man ask for? – I made a sweet three horse box exacta and had two 25-1 shots coupled with an 8-1. – The 25-1’s ran 1st and 2nd and the bet was going to pay nice. – Up popped the inquiry sign, and after what seemed an eternity the numbers went blank and my runner was taken down. – A bad beat found me as I tossed my beer in the trash and walked to the car. Not the way to start a long weekend.

I was trying to do some big money wagering long ago. – I kept a watch list for runners and decided to make a handful of place wagers each week at New York, Florida or California. I had time to study and watch these three tracks and was making 2-3 big wagers per week. – I was off and running, and loved two runners on the same day. I made a $500 place wager on a 6-1 shot and won $1,500. – I took the money and carried it over to the next runner. – The odds weren’t as good but when he won and I had $2,750. Not a bad day at the office as I made two bets in less than an hour and won over $2,000. – I knew it was at Saratoga, but for another $2,000 I couldn’t begin to tell you the names of the horses. Why?

I have told you of the worst beat of my life many times. – But, it started so good it was hard to believe it turned bad. – I walked into Arlington and it was Million weekend. I arrived a day early and wanted to catch the 2nd half of the card, check in, and do some homework. – I won a couple hundred and made my way to the simulcast parlor for a nice dinner and watched a few simulcast races. – After winning $500 playing Mountaineer, I made my way to the room to study. What a start to the weekend.

The next day I made a mental promise in the shower not make any wagers except Arlington races. After all, that’s why I was there. – As I walked in I saw a rain-soaked Saratoga and smiled as it was sunny and perfect in Chicago. – But something caught my eye. It was a runner I had been waiting for for a month. He loved the mud and it was a sealed sloppy for New York. – Ok, ok. Just one bet. That’s all. Then back to my word. – I bet $200 to win on my horse and he splish-slashed home paying $20. I was up $2,000 before making my first Chicago bet. – I made small bets all day and was “having a very good day as Richard Dreyfus would say in Let It Ride.” – I loved a horse in the Arlington Million and he was 9-2. I rolled my pick-three’s, fours, and had him keyed in exactas, and trifectas. Win and place money, and it was time to sit back and watch. – The first three rolled right in and all paid well. It was time for my big race. The payoff was going to be a life-changer. – When he turned for home, he angled out perfectly and grabbed the lead. – This was too good to be true, and right then my horse veered out sharply at the wire and dropped the rider. The spill was horrible and looked bad for the rider. I watched for 20 minutes as they showed the replay a hundred times it seems. – Then when the numbers went dark on the board I knew this was going to be the worst beat of my gambling life. – I do remember his name. Storming Home as he was ridden by my favorite rider at the time Gary Stevens who sustained life-threatening injuries. – I made one more win bet the next race and left winning money, but nothing like the life changer that eluded me.

The “Gambler’s Curse” is one where we remember big losses more than the big wins. – Why? – That will be the eternal question for this horse player and gamblers from all walks. – We do remember some recent good winners, but for some reason, the losses stick out like a sore thumb. – I guess we’ll walk the world guessing and questioning why as we trudge onward. – Something I’ve learned is to put them behind you. Let it go, and move on the next race. – In the words of Jimmy the Greek; “ Well, that’s over. Let’s move on to tomorrow.”

A Day Well Spent

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 14, 2018 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

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Isn’t it fun to visit old haunts? – You know, the places we used to go on a regular basis. – I’ve been away from playing in handicapping contests for years.  I used to play every weekend online, and sometimes make the trip to tracks. There was nothing better than watching your 15-1 shot hang on in the shadow of the wire. You would check the leaderboard after every race with bated breath. – I have my handicapping materials and ready to enjoy the day. No worries, no stress, and just having fun for the first time in a long time.

There are contests that have one round format and others offer a qualifier to move on. – I made a trek with a friend and played in a $20 qualifying round. We were talking about having a contest on our track and I wanted him to play in a small tournament to get his feet wet. – He enjoyed the evening as we wagered on the Del Mar card. – A great evening spent just talking and explaining the process. – The contest was run by Keeneland, and they’ve always put on a good show.

As the first broke from the gate, I snagged a 3-1 shot and moved on to the 2nd race. Good start, but chalk doesn’t hold up well as one 15-1 shot that can blow you off the leaderboard. – We talked and made some plans for our version. – The smaller ones are pretty much alike and this is a nice starter. – I ran 3rd at 10-1 and time to move on.

The evening was fun and took me back to making weekly treks on Friday nights. – It used to be on the Turfway Park card and it was enjoyable. Only $20 and a nice buffet dinner. It was hard to not to go and I won around 5 times over the years. The paydays were solid and qualifying for the Tournament of Champions was super. My Dad and my girlfriend would make the trek. It was a good time for all. – I just ran 2nd at 8-1 and my tally continued for the night.

As the contest was just past midpoint I made a bold move and caught a 12-1 shot. – Now that’s a building block to the winner’s circle, and I started paying attention to the leaderboard. – It had been a long time and this small contest was just what the doctor ordered. Part work venture, part enjoyment, and getting to know a work colleague as a good friend. It was a great night. – I was tied in fourth and needed to finish in the top 10% to move onto the finals. – Funny how something so long ago comes right back. – It was time to play conservative for the last race and try and catch a little chalk to build upon. – The rest of the players would be swinging for the fences.

Caught the last chalk keeping the chasers at bay. – As the smoke cleared I ran 2nd and was beaten by 60 cents for first. – I received a nice little check and an invite to the Tournament of Champions. – It is a one entry person qualifier and it will be held on 9 of any of the 11 races at Churchill. – I’m getting stoked for a day of fun just taking my shot. – Been a long time and I’m kinda happy to be part of the action. Going back with my Dad is a bonus as we get to talk up and back, and enjoy the new environment at the Red Mile where Keeneland holds all of their contests. – The top two get to play in the Horseplayer World Series and there is a prize money payout for the top ten.

This time last year was pretty tough for me health-wise, and I’m relishing the opportunity to play again. Win, lose or draw I’m really looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. – Being with my old man making the morning drive to Lexington already has me stoked. I’m a grateful man and appreciate each and every opportunity that comes my way. – Good vibes and positive thoughts to everyone who will play, and if you haven’t tried your hand it’s a great deal of fun. Keep your eyes peeled for Belterra Park this year as I think we’re going to bring some great new events for guests to enjoy. – Wish me luck! – I can’t wait to handicap and make the trek.

 

Breeders’ Cup – The Aftermath – Time for a Long Winter Nap

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 6, 2018 in Blogroll, Breeders Cup, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

The Breeders’ Cup is in the books, and the fans have gone home. – The only reminder is piles of discarded programs and a floor full of tickets. As the big weekend lived up to the hype, I’m left with only one question. – “How do we get people involved all year round?” – The question may be one without an easy answer, or at least one that takes great dedication to the sport. – The industry as a whole goes to sleep after the Breeders’ Cup. Don’t discard this thought as it’s true. No more big races for a while, and it’s going to be a bit of time before the next round of Derby preps hit the calendar. So what’s a track to do?

The average track won’t have a million dollar race on the docket, and if there are a handful of small stakes you are lucky. – But we have to make do with what we have to offer. – The part that eludes me is there is no celebration of other tracks big races. – Think of it like this. They put up the money, the show, and all of the work. Other tracks can ride on the party wagon with free seating, a handicapping seminar, a free handicapping contest, or free program for the target track that offers up the next big races. – You aren’t going to fill the place to capacity but you’ll get 40-50 more bettors through the doors. Multiply that 100 times a year, and you have another 4,000 – 5,000 customers coming in your doors to showcase your facility.

We are all guilty of the “build it and they will come.”  – Tracks aren’t going to partner with everyone except those with the same ownership. – But there is no reason why we can’t celebrate the Thoroughbred all year long. – Simulcast times aren’t as lucrative as live racing, but there’s no harm in trying to keep the handle churning. – It is the little things that make all the difference to horseplayers.

Free seating should be in effect every day. This excludes your restaurant area of course. – You may charge for your marquee race days, the Triple Crown, and Breeders’ Cup. – The rest should be free. – Don’t be the only game in town to charge someone to make a bet and have a seat. Let them get comfy and stay awhile.

Clean and ready. – This is your race book manager’s job. They walk the race book an hour before doors. – Lights are on, the betting carrels are clean, TVs are on, and a channel lineup at every station. – Clerks should have a recap book to know what tracks are taken and what time they run. – There should be posted behind glass a monthly schedule, operation times, and future events. – Make it their home and they’ll stay.

Be available. – Simulcast time is a great time for managers to peruse the race book. – During the day each manager is to spend some time walking around and chatting with players. – This is time well spent and they feel served. – Don’t stay too long as they came to gamble not talk.

Buy a soda, bring out a couple programs, a handful of pens, caps with your track logo. – I used to walk around and pass out something a few times a week and it went miles with guests. – When they see you coming they’re more inclined to speak and let you know what’s going on.

Listen. – Sounds easy, but just spend some time before the day gets busy and listen. – Not the same customers every time and give them a person they can contact. – This makes it so much easier during live racing.

On slow days, have food service bring in a cart of hot dogs and fixings. – Let them have a little bite on the house. If you do this during the slow days, I wonder what we can do for the big ones.

 

Racetrack fans are easy to please. There will always be ones that have every answer and complain you didn’t give them a cap. But you’ll start growing a customer base and begin relations. – It has been many moons ago I worked in this capacity at Turfway Park and River Downs. But when players see me they still want to talk, and most think I still work in that capacity. – Taking the time is worth every second. Get to know your customer base and don’t assume they know you. Sit for a few, shake a few hands and be available. – It’s a little more shoe leather but well worth it.

Breeders’ Cup is the pinnacle event of racing and afterward, we start going to sleep. – A shame I say as it should be year-round communication. Grow your fan base with simple gestures and low-cost ideas. –  It’s not too late and stop thinking about sitting in your office making up for that tough live meet. – Get back out and act like your job depends on it. – In reality, it really does.

The Happy Handicapper

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 6, 2018 in Blogroll, Breeders Cup, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

Another Breeders’ Cup in the books and the stories remain. – After the hard work of handicapping and preparing for the big day, only the stories remain. They’ll live with us for years to come. – I do wish the weather would have been a bit better, but the track crew did an excellent job doing magic to get it ready. As another month goes into the books, this year was special.

 

The Breeders’ Cup

January had me in the hospital recovering. It was going to be a long haul and each day was filled with anxiety. – I started thinking ahead to the Breeders’ Cup and this kept me focused. After all, which horse player doesn’t want to see the biggest day in racing. – With every passing month, I started feeling better as I watched every prep race. – As the weekends passed, the picture began to take shape. – I had targeted a date to be ready to return to work and do what my heart loves. When I met that goal, the Breeders’ Cup still waited ahead. – Each week, I felt stronger as the preps rolled by clearing the picture with winners. – I spoke to a very dear friend who was battling his own war, and we chatted about trying to get to the big weekend. – It wasn’t my biggest betting weekend by far, but the victory I celebrated was immeasurable. – Along with my good friend who received great news, you could say this may have been the best one ever. Hopefully, there will be plenty of Breeders’ Cup visits and better days ahead. – Thank you for all of the prayers and well wishes as they counted more than a pick-six any day. – This year had me feeling like the biggest winner!

 

The Long Cold Winter

Now before you get that mental image of a blustery snow-covered track, I’m talking about playing your favorite wintertime ovals. – Fair Grounds, Aqueduct, Turfway Park, eventually Gulfstream. – The California circuit is always sunny and perfect and it plays a great backdrop to the grey filled skies of the East. – There is the speedy “Big A” where we watch for the golden rail bias. – Fair Grounds brings the babies preparing for the long road to the Derby. – Turfway gives us solid night time racing on the safe Polytrack. – When Gulfstream kicks open, the real racing begins. Every weekend brings top quality turf racing and slowly builds up with incredible stakes racing. – I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Tampa Bay Downs as they have great turf racing and offer the best value with large competitive fields. – Hunker down and bundle up. Winter racing is almost here and it starts the process all over again. – I can’t wait for the action to heat up.

 

The Last Race

I’m not much of a funeral-goer. It has nothing to do with lack of respect. – I would rather spend time buying you a beer, talking horses, and enjoying the best sport in the world. – I found myself going to a service for a gent I knew as a young boy tagging along with my Dad. – They used to work together and would meet occasionally at the races. – My Dad was speaking with his son and told stories of their yearly trek to Churchill the day after Thanksgiving. They would drive down, have a few libations, and make some bets. – He told of winning days and losing rides home. – His son was surprised to hear this side of his Dad. ” I can’t believe you guys did that every year.” – There is something about that 100-mile ride to Churchill that gets your blood pumping and awaiting the action. – I watched my Dad smile and tell stories of how he relished his friendship. I was glad to just stand there smiling about their special “Man’s Day” at the races. – Rest in peace, Bob. I’m sure glad you and my pops made your special trips as friends. They are memories that will stay with him for a long time. I know it meant a great deal to him to spend time with you.

 

Holidays and Parties

As we reach the holiday season and the stress and bustle to find the perfect gift is a challenge. – Here is an alternate idea that would be a great way to enjoy a gift that keeps giving. – In that beautiful card with wintry scenes, place a $50 betting voucher inside. Make a date to go to the races and spend four to five hours playing the ponies. The winner has to pick up the lunch or dinner tab and the memories will last longer than the ugly sweater. – Call up group sales and make a reservation to have a light finger food buffet and boxed seats. The cost will be minimal and the memories will last until spring. – Head on out to the races and enjoy a special day. Silly sweaters and adult beverages, and if there is a solid handicapper in the group have them make out a tip sheet. – Have a group pool where everyone tosses in $5. If there are 20 in attendance you have a $100 bankroll. Draw names to take turns to select runners, or nominate a group handicapper. – Take the $50 bankroll and bet it to place. If the runner scores, the entire amount goes on to the next race and so on. – You can make a splitting point, or keep it rolling to the end. – There is nothing like having a $200 place bet on the feature race. – You’ll have the whole room rooting and cheering together. They’ll probably remember that more than a cheese box. – Another great gift is to purchase some Winning Ponies Credits for future trips to the races. They’ll thank you each and every time they download the E-Z Win Forms. Think of it as the gift that may really keep giving!

 

As the Happy Handicapper closes another month, I’m filled with gratitude and happiness. – I saw the 35th edition of the Breeders’ Cup and sat on my couch enjoying the action. – Nothing like it if you ask me. – We’re digging out winter clothes and getting ready to do the process all over again. – My wishes for the upcoming holiday season are ones filled with joy, happiness and the feeling of gratitude. – Share your love of racing by taking another to the track and call up that old friend to meet for a day at the races. I promise you won’t regret the time spent together. – Until next month, best of luck from the Happy Handicapper.