Thoughts About the Weekend/The Super Flu

Everyone has had a little taste of the nasty. You know, the yuk that has your body aching, and your only desire is to stay in bed. Well, that may take place today as I am getting ready for the big weekend. The races are starting to heat up, and I hear there is a little football game on Sunday. I can see myself sitting in front of the tube on Saturday charting races, and get my place on the couch ready for the big super match-up. But the world of racing is still spinning,  and here are a couple of observations to chew on for the weekend.

Roman Chapa is an embarrassment to the hard working folks who represent the sport in a positive light. After further review, there should be a “one and done” rule in place. If you carry a buzzer, machine, electrical device, or a Chinese massage unit while in the saddle. You’re done, and you can pick up your tack on your way out to meet the police. You have defrauded the betting public, cheated others, and given racing another black-eye. One and done, Mr. Chapa. I wish you the best in the legal process, and you can bet PETA is going to bust your butt. This is your third time to the plate, and I hope they toss the book at your noggin.

I read the interview with John Gosden, and I love him more than ever before. I’m one of the players who gets up early to glance over PP’s looking for a Gosden runner across the pond. The Thoroughbred Racing Commentary did the piece very well, and it started me thinking about my favorite Euro-trainer. Here are a couple of pieces of the interview that perked my interest:

“So the development of championship races in the autumn is positive. It also makes the sport properly international. It’s getting a little difficult to call the Breeders’ Cup the world championships because horses don’t really come from all over the world. Some come from Europe, the odd one from Japan, and that’s about it. Conversely, the development of racing in Australia, Hong Kong, and Japan, which is increasingly opening up, is a highly international thing. I welcome that.

“As for the scene in Europe, at the moment we have Irish Champions Weekend, French champions weekend, which is the Arc meeting, and British Champions weekend, which closes the sequence in the third week of October. In my opinion, timing-wise, that is beginning to hurt the Breeders’ Cup.”

“Well, they have just built two tracks in China, so we’ll probably be including them before too long. We have to be aware that in the Far East, gambling is part of their nature. Consequently you get massive crowds and a lot of interest. Secondly, there is massive wealth in that part of the world that wants to get involved with buying and breeding racehorses. A lot of farms are popping up all over the place. They were racing horses in China 6,000 years ago. It’s a major sport in Australia; the population is not huge but racing is in the news all the time, not just in Melbourne Cup week. In Japan, the Agriculture and Fisheries Department is responsible for racing. It is under the government’s wing and it is very big, as is racing in Hong Kong.”

The “Big Game” is on the clock, and the crazy countdown has begun. Here is an off the wall idea that maybe Governor Chris Christie may support because it may makes sense. Why not open betting on games? Last year was the first time over $100 million was wagered on the Super Bowl. Four states (Nevada, Delaware, Montana, and Oregon) can take some form of wagering action on sporting events. According to the Dallas Morning News, this represents about 1.5% of the total monies that will be wagered. There will be another $8.2 billion wagered illegally. Now, sit back and think about it. – If the wagering is monitored, controlled, and taxed, the idea starts moving the needle. If you are looking for a simple answer to who could accept the wagers. How about the state lottery corporations, race tracks, OTB’s, and casinos? Before you think it may not be worth the trouble, did you read the $8.2 billion dollar figure. Now take it out of the back rooms talking to shady characters and expose it to the light of regulation. States get a cut of the pie in the form of taxes, and gambling facilities get a slice that be the difference of shuttering the doors or building for the future. Think about it. The facilities already handle betting monies and why look for new handlers? I would love to see the betting windows wide open and raking in the money. I can see players having a loyalty card where we track wagers, players, the influx of wagers, and keep underage players on the sideline. The bookies will hate me, but let’s get it from behind the curtain. They’ll still get action from players betting on the cuff who don’t have the money to hit the “Betting Emporiums.”

According to Casinocity.com, there are 46 states who offer forms of gambling. This excludes Hawaii, Tennessee, Utah, and Vermont. Come on, think about it. How much money is left on the table? Let’s move it out of the backroom and put it on Main Street, America. I can’t think of why we won’t expand this form of accepting a wager. It’s going on, so why not regulate the process?  Picture yourself going to the stadium an hour early to get a beer and make a wager on a lottery terminal. I’ll be willing to bet the worst team in the league will be a sellout on game day, or at least the windows will be packed. This has nothing to do with overall expansion of gambling, but more about regulating something that is going on all around us.

Well, back to bed. My dose of Nyquil is making me drowsy, and sleep is calling my name. But not to worry, this cowboy will be up and ready for two days of action that is sure to keep me on the edge of my couch. I wonder what the “E-Z Win Sports Selections” would look like. I’m sure if the day arrives, they’ll be locked and loaded bringing you the best information to make informed wagers instead of you picking your favorite mascot. – Good luck this weekend with the ponies, and enjoy the game. Tampa Bay Downs and Santa Anita should have some great racing on tap. Oh, and it wouldn’t be right to leave you on the edge of your seat trying to figure out who to “toss out” as your team without knowing my rooting interest. Take a look at the betting line in Vegas. It began at Seattle -1, and drifts to New England -1. All week the line was hanging around NE -2, but the late money is arriving. I’m doing something I hardly ever do, and hopefully I’ll be happy. If you wait too long , it may be a pick at this rate. But, I’m taking Seattle plus whatever, and hopefully we’ll see a repeat. Enjoy the weekend from your friends at Winning Ponies!

 

Super Sunday Is Coming Your Way!

by Ed Meyer

posted on January 28, 2015 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

What if I told you no matter what is said or done that one of you’re favorite sports would begin to tarnish? Before you start rolling thoughts around your noggin, could it be the NFL with the myriad of issues it has faced in a year? Sexual battery, misconduct, bullying, intentional harm intended to defenseless players, or the white elephant in the room of drugs and PED’s? Or, could it be the college version of the same sport? Student misconduct, theft, sexual harassment, or the issue of players being paid for playing? It’s all so consuming, and I see why many are tired of hearing the woes. As we close in on the “Big Game” this Sunday, here are a few figures to keep in mind: 2014′s matchup set a record for total viewers and produced the second-highest household rating on record at 46.4, meaning just under half of all households tuned into the game. About 7 out of 10 households that were watching TV tuned into the Super Bowl, according to television ratings service Nielsen. Take all of that, and toss it in a blender. Serve in a chilled glass with a fruit garnish, and sit back and ruminate on how this all goes down and we’re still on board?

Before the football police take me away, I’m a die hard fan to the bitter end. I watch and listen to the weekly events as they unfold and shake my head in disgust. But, you can bet dollars to donuts I’ll be watching college games on Saturday, and the NFL on Sunday. How can this be? Is it selective hearing that allows us to magically tune out what we don’t want, or we are desensitized from watching a 24-hr violent video game?  Nope. In my humble opinion, we can take in the bad news and hope corrective action gets the train back on track. We’re still optimistic and believe things can be fixed. No matter how bad, how ugly, or how wrong. We’re not going to toss out the game from a handful of wrong doings. As I sit back with drink in hand, I wonder where has racing gone wrong wear other sports continue to flourish?

Start up your time machine and travel to a land forgotten. Remember how Hollywood Park had the flash of the day ? It was in style and sexy to be at the track. You’ll see mental images of Bing, Bob Hope, Sinatra, Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable, Mickey Rooney, Telly Savalas, Carol Burnett, Elizabeth Montgomery, Burt Bacharach, John Forsythe, and the one-of-a-kind Bo Derek. From the 1940′s to the 1970′s, it was hot to be around the track. You were in the scene and beauty and pageantry just dazzled around you like a diamond necklace. What happened? How come it’s not cool to be at the track anymore ? Where is the star power of today? Oh, they’re still around, but it is like trying to light up a cigarette in a fancy restaurant, it’s just not as cool as it once was. Queen Elizabeth, M.C. Hammer, Drew Brees, Elizabeth Hurley, Steven Spielberg, Rick Pitino, Bode Miller, Bobby Flay, Jim Rome, Alex Trebeck, Joe Torre, Wes Welker, Paul Lo Duca, Rex Chapman to name a few. But you’ll only see them on marquee days as the media scours the planet to find the beautiful people. So, Mr. Wizard. What’s the answer?

In about ten days, the racing world has been served up more news. The kind of’ stuff that makes people wonder what’s going on and when will it stop. The Kentucky Racing Commission has exonerated Steve Asmussen from any wrong doing in the mistreatment of animals in his care. It seemed that PETA was on a which hunt and with the help of some hidden (edited) video. His coffin was all but nailed shut. For the record, good or bad, I have always been a fan of Asmussen racing. I started watching his brother Cash tear apart Europe, and it led me to the mega-barn of the red-hot Asmussen. To read the entire report from the KHRC, you can find it right here http://www.khrc.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx.

Sam Houston Park is now under fire for one of it’s longtime riders carrying an electrical device to stimulate horses to run. Twice caught in the past, the world of racing has Roman Chapa on the hot seat. I read about this unsettling news first from the Paulick Report, and at first glance it doesn’t sound good. For the complete story you can go to http://www.paulickreport.com/news/ray-s-paddock/chapa-charged-with-felony-for-alleged-buzzer-use/ for a better understanding complete with close up pictures. This has been recent and is not forgotten news to the world of racing. But the million dollar question is how does the game put this aside and enjoy a continued growth spurt? Plain and simple, I am starting to feel it won’t. If you look at any racing article these days you’ll hear someone tearing down CDI or Stronach. Add in the under belly happenings, and the ever present PETA folks trying to pull back the curtain to expose ugly deeds. It starts looking like racing is against the ropes, and the standing eight count has begun. The media has all but abandoned racing coverage, and the sport is likened to a red-headed step-child. Can the Sport of Kings rebound? Is there a fairy tale ending as in many sports where a short memory is your best friend? I’m not too sure these days, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be tuned into the Super Bowl come Sunday night no matter what issues are on-going.

Going For The Gold!

by Ed Meyer

posted on January 22, 2015 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

“Money won is twice as sweet as money earned” – Fast Eddie Felson. These words echo in every pool hall, race track, OTB, and anywhere a bet is made. It is the credo of gamblers since dice were thrown by Roman soldiers. - This weekend in Las Vegas, the 16th annual National Handicapping Championship. The Treasure Isle plays host to 601 of the best handicappers in the world, and with $2.3 million in purse monies and $800,000 going to the winner. You can imagine this is a life changing event.

I’ve been lucky enough to qualify for the NHC. It seems like five minutes ago, but I ventured out in 2005 to do battle. The first day was an average posting for me, and the second day had me watching from the cheap seats. If it were easy, everybody would do it. It was a time I wouldn’t trade for anything. Walking down the corridor to signup, talking to other players, the cocktail party. You could say I was pretty excited to be a part of the action. I was lucky enough to win my very first contest I ever played, and maybe I should’ve stopped after that. How many people do you know would have hung up their contest belt? Me neither, and I still play in some small satellite tournaments. I’ll get back into it in a big way in a few years. Right about the time my son graduates, and I’ll have more time on my hands than I know what to do. But for right now, just talking about the National Handicapping Championship is enough to get my blood pumping.

It has changed so much over the years, and the format is as follows:  On each of the first two days of the tournament, players must make 15 $2 win-place bets. Eight of those races each day will be chosen by a selection committee and designated as mandatory. The mandatory races were scheduled to be announced Wednesday night. The other seven bets each day will be optional and can be placed on any race held at one of seven tracks: Aqueduct, Fair Grounds, Golden Gate Fields, Gulfstream Park, Oaklawn Park, Santa Anita, and Tampa Bay Downs.

After two days, the field will be down to a final 50. Unlike last year, this year players may advance two entries to the final 50. At the start of the day Sunday, the top 50 entries, whose scores will carry over, will play 10 optional races, concluding at approximately 3:30 p.m. Pacific. At that point, the top 10 players will advance to the final table, with scores once again carrying over. Players are allowed only one entry at the final table. In the unlikely event that a player gets two entries to the final table, the second entry will receive 11th-place money. Last year’s NHC saw the debut of the final-table format. There will be two tweaks at this year’s final table. Instead of five mandatory races, the final table will consist of seven mandatory races, allowing for more movement and drama. Also, the picks of the final-table contestants will not be revealed this year until after the gates have opened, according to the Daily Racing Form.

There will be a new wager on offer at the 16th Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship, the richest horse-racing tournament of the year. For the first time, horseplayers will be able to bet on who will be the 2015 NHC champion thanks to a new bet offered at the Treasure Island Race & Sports Book, which is hosting the NHC for the fourth consecutive year. As of now, 365 players are listed, with most NHC participants available at odds of 100-1. The market is open now, and players are encouraged to bet on themselves. Bets must be made in person at Treasure Island in Las Vegas. The maximum payout on the wager is $5,000. – If the purse money wasn’t enough, you could make a wager on your favorite betting interest to take down the whole enchilada. It wouldn’t be me, if I didn’t swing for the fences and toss out my mind bet. I’ve looked over the field, and with great respect to all participants. Here are my four shots at handicapping the winner:

1. – Rich Nilsen = He is a 12 time qualifier to the contest and one helluva’ handicapper. His skill to break down the race for value is unmatched. His odds read +10,000, and if you get those, bet early and often! – Good luck, Richard!

2. Eric Moomey = He is double qualified, and that means he is eligible for the $2 million dollar bonus. I love to bet “fresh runners,” and he has come out of nowhere to be at the big dance. – If you need more convincing, you can listen, or go back to the Winning Ponies Internet Show podcast and hear how he plans to take it down! – Best of luck, Eric!

3. - Sally Goodall = She and her husband Rich know how to get to the winner’s circle. It’s time for a lady to wear the crown again, and who better than a seasoned player who won’t go away easily. – Good luck, Sally!

4. – Brian Troop = Winner of the 11th edition of the NHC/DRF Championship, this Canadian handicapper can put out your lights early if you don’t come prepared! – Good luck, Brian!

The contest world is one-of-a-kind. You’ll meet friends for life, and have a shot at a life changing score. You can follow DRF Live as they will be broadcasting each day, or catch updates on HRTV. For the players who like to put their money where their mouth is, you can join in and play on NHCQualify.com. You can download the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms and kick off the handicapping year in fine fashion. Either way, this is a big weekend for racing and the eyes of handicappers far and wide will be locked on Las Vegas this weekend.

Las Vegas Update

by Ed Meyer

posted on January 20, 2015 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | 1 Comment >>

As the plane glided over the beautiful mountains, I noticed the energy level inside the plane grew by 200%. If you were tired or sleepy eyed, once the strip came into focus everyone started unbuckling their seats. I know this to be true as I was one of the first. People began whispering and some laughing as plans were being made. As the plane touched the ground you felt your holy pilgrimage was ready to begin.

My gal is a player. Slots, video poker, and anything you can wager. She took me along as her guest, valet, masseuse, and all-around betting partner. We entered our room and I started hanging up my clothes, she tossed her luggage in a corner. “I ‘ll come down to the race book in a couple of hours, and we’ll grab some lunch.” No sweeter words could ever be spoken. I had my data in hand with a bevy of football and basketball bets. This was going to be a small wagering weekend and I better turn a profit to stay alive. I once read that gamblers hell is being in a casino with no money. I didn’t even want to think about this , and after securing my seats for the weekend I was ready. In the words of Fast Eddie Feltson from The Hustler; “Money won is twice as sweet as money won.”

Oaklawn Park was my ticket for the day, and Winning Ponies served me up two-to-back solid scores in races 5 and 6. In race #5 I nailed the top tier runner #5 Sportbook, as he paid $9.40 and $5.20 to place. Race #6 sealed my day by boxing the top three tier selections,  and betting the 2nd selection to win and place because he had a sweet price. I caught #6 – Yucca who paid $25.40 and $9.80. Add in a $2 exacta that paid $131.20 and the day was a going to be a winner. The day was winding down and just remembering to eat was the hardest part of the day. I met some neat everyday players, and we traded stories and talked horses. The average age of the racing side of the book was 60 +, and I felt like a kid. There was a good fella from New York who sat right next to me as he spun stories of the “Big A, Big Sandy, and Saratoga.” I could have listened to the tales for years talking bookies, OTB’s, and how he started betting when he was 5-years-old pitching pennies. I told him about a neat site to visit and he started laughing. I was a insulted at first, but after a little more talk I had a different view.

Carl ventured out to California after his time in Vietnam. His parents had passed away, and he wanted to start clean and enjoy the sunshine. His job was not on the front line, as he worked on the communications and data transfer systems. In brief, he was a techno-nerd before the word was invented. He retire in the 80′s when the techno ride was still hot, and was set to live a comfortable life doing what he loved. He told me he was injured in the war when his jeep hit a mine. He was on his way to HQ to help a high ranking ass fix a radio unit. “Nerve damage. Not a blemish on this pretty face, but massive nerve damage. Kids were not going to be in the plans, and he’s been a bachelor all of his life.” Why were you laughing, Carl? I was trying to show you a neat site for grabbing solid info. – He pulled back his overnight sheets, and had five races printed down. They were the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms. “I’ve been spot playing with these for years! I like to read the stories and have even caught the Internet Show.” I smiled and told him I was part of the team, and some of the racing stories come from my keyboard. He laughed and couldn’t believe it. “I love reading about the old time days, and what it was once like going to the track. It takes me back to Aqueduct and some of my biggest scores.” We talked horses, life and everything in between. Carl signaled the waitress, and said ” I’ll have lunch now.” She knew his order, and it was the same thing everyday. “How about a bite, Ed? This stuff  makes winners happen!” I regretfully passed as we had a dinner reservation in an hour and it had been hours since I had a candy bar for breakfast. “Thanks, Carl. I’ll have to take a rain-check for tomorrow.” – ” I’m leaving in the morning, but I’ll be back next week. Will you be in town?” –  ”Naaah, just a short jaunt this time, but I’ll be in action next time around as I plan to come back and play in the Horse Player World Series. I’ll be sure to stop by for an evening of wagering if you’ll stand my company. Anytime, Ed. Here is my card, and just call or email me. I’ll be here if the good Lord is willing!”

Day two was hit and miss, and finally I cashed a day maker. Gulfstream made my day, and I can recall the three races that took me to the promise land. – Race#2 – #10 Chica Chipina was top tier selection, and scored to pay $15.00 to win and $6.40 to place. – Race #8, I boxed the top three tier selections in an exacta box. They rolled in 1-2-3, and it paid $186.60. I should have bet the trifecta as it only paid $267.70 for $1 ticket. Then as I was getting ready to meet my gal at the poker slots, the waitress brought me a nice lunch served on a large tray. “I didn’t order anything little lady. – No worries, Carl said to bring you the lunch of champions.” As I was enjoying my steak sandwich and fries, I thought about making a bet to have a little action. In Race #11, I bet the top tier selection without getting into the race. Lunch was good, and it was a little bet to have some action. The runner was #13 Caicos Express, and he scored to pay a smoking $64.60 to win and $$27.00 to place. You could call that the walk off homer to end the day. I left my server a nice tip, and emailed Carl a thank you note immediately. I made a nice bet on the Packer’s plus the points, and a bigger bet on the Patriots. If they won, my friend was coming out next week to play in the NTRA / DRF Handicapping Championship, and he always stays at the Bellagio. I called him this morning, and he’ll be glad to cash my bets. I guess you could call the trip a success, and I met a pretty interesting fella. We hit it off, and betting with a friend makes the trip better. Oh, that trip to the poker slots cost me most of my winnings as she was not doing too well. I guess it could have been worse, and I can’t wait to play in the contest next year. I’ve always done pretty well, and it’s time to toss my hat back in the ring. Thanks to Winning Ponies for helping me find a few key scores, and to my new friend Carl for his hospitality. I hope when he reads this he’ll be cashing some bets and looking forward to meeting up with his Kentucky friend next year.

Viva Las Vegas

by Ed Meyer

posted on January 12, 2015 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

I have been watching football, and scratching my head for what is taking place. “I’ve been following for quite sometime, and there are things happening that baffle my instincts.” This is not about the bowl season or the big weekend of racing. It is about staying ahead of the curve. Yes, you read it right here. Staying ahead of the curve is what separates the good from the great, the winners from the losers, and the players who bet the chalk. What am I doing wrong? I have been following my data and sometimes it would have been better to toss a dart at the wall. Thoroughbred racing is a cerebral game and one that takes intense concentration. Am I distracted? Have I lost my drive? Is there an outside force with a voodoo doll stalking me? The answer is simple, no. We clean out our hard drives, schedule a disk clean, and run our anti-virus. Have I been doing this? Do I need a cleansing of my hard drives? The answer is simple, yes…

For years I have been telling you about Winning Ponies. Not because I am privileged to write, handicap, and talk about racing. I believe in what I’m seeing. Handicappers stumble across a data service on the advice from a friend. Who has time to examine all of the systems in place? Well, I did. It was my job, and I loved it. From the time I logged on to the hitting the shut down button. I spent my hours in an office pouring over data sites, ADW sites, and handicapping authors. This was a dream come true for a handicapper. Not someone who kinda’ likes the ponies and walks around talking about making a bet. But someone who inhales the game. I wanted to bring the player the best tools to work with. I would still be with the these one-of-a-kind innovators if it weren’t for the paranoid feelings of an older boss who was complacent in his job. His cushy existence gave him a comfortable living and he sure didn’t need that new guy bringing things to the table. I guess membership has it’s privileges.

But I digress. It’s not about me crying over spilt milk. I’ve loved racing from the first time I travelled out with my Dad. He was a speed player, and I tried to follow his footsteps, but I felt you must take everything into consideration. Now this was 20+ years ago, and going to the track was nine races and limited betting opportunities. Being able to handicap card was a little easier as we had more time. As with everything, we need to change with the times or become part of the past. Kind of like cleaning our system to allow new knowledge to take over.

Winning Ponies is the latest. I have looked at every big name writer, handicapper, and site. Some are good, and others are sadly locked in the past. Take your game to the next level if you want to survive in anything you do. How many years will Gary Stevens be able to ride? Is Mike Smith the best money rider dollar-for-dollar? Who is the next up and coming bug rider ? – There are so many tracks and only a limited amount of time. Unless you are the guy taking that “magic” pill from the movie Limitless, you’ll find fatigue will set in and your handicapping will be a guess in the dark.

When I told you I looked at everything, I mean everything. There are handicappers who try and hide behind numbers. They can’t test their data to give you what they’re looking for, but someday they will. That someday is now. How about having a site that posts good or bad how they are doing? Having information at the speed of light is what keeps you ahead, and Winning Ponies brings you everything in real time. There are tier level numbers which allow you to examine the runner against the field, and not guess if they fit. There is a major name out there who proclaims to give you everything you’ll need. I downloaded the entire 60 page section on how to use it in 2008, and to this day I am closer to finding the “Lost City of Gold.” WP brings you real time data combined with a numerical system that is tried and proven. If there are any doubters, just take some time and look over the results section. You can get a feel at a glance, and you don’t need a PhD to understand line one. How many systems can be used by the hard core handicapper and the first time player? – One.

If I sound biased, maybe I am. I like what I’ve seen, and why fix something that’s not broken? When todays player needs info in hand, and time to handicap. Look no farther. How many of the big name sheets will show you how they are doing this year in dollars won? None. They promise the moon and deliver a sub-par product. We need to keep fresh and prepared. Don’t just wonder how many years Russell Baze will rule northern California. We don’t need a history lesson as it doesn’t take into considerations all factors. It is time to clean our memory banks and take in fresh data that applies today, and not what happened thirty years ago. If you are a contest player, this is your data. it allows you to decide how to utilize the information instead of spending time looking for what happened two meets ago. If you enjoy a day at the races and you don’t have time to pour over mountains of info. Look no further. Winning Ponies gives you everything you want. If you are a Daily Racing Form fan who enjoys the trainer/rider stats, or how a rider is doing going 6 1/2f today. You are in the right place. If you like to be told bet #4, and look no further. It can deliver, but I think you’ll dive deeper into why do they like him today.

I’m going to Las Vegas for a three day jaunt. I will not be toasting the town, or hanging at strip clubs. I will be the guy wearing shorts sitting in the back row with his E-Z Win Forms. I look at it as my cleanse, and spending time handicapping in the most energetic environment in the world will get me fresh. Give me plenty of time, the right environment, and the best handicapping material, and I have more than a fighters chance. Last year as my gal emptied her pockets betting slots and video poker. I had back-to-back best days of the year in 2014. If you think I’m looking forward to getting away, that may be an understatement. Winning Ponies and I are going to be sitting in the race book looking to make this weekend a winner! Wish me luck and I’ll let you know how things turned out.

Caught Red-Handed

by Ed Meyer

posted on January 11, 2015 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

 

Dad has the greatest line in the world that sums up my stupidity. “You’re too old to be that damn dumb.” Well, too soon we grow old and too late we grow wise. The big argument was there was no reason to tell the fib. Why didn’t I just tell the truth? I guess my old man in his infinite wisdom is right once again. I’m too old to be acting like that foolish kid. It didn’t work then, and it sure hasn’t changed much.

My girlfriend asked me to go out for a lovely day with some of her family. We were going to have a nice lunch and few glasses of wine. Then after some light conversation with the royal family, we would venture off to catch a holiday theatrical presentation. I guess for some this sounds like a wonderful day, but for this dummy it felt like being tied to the train tracks. Normally I’m game for a day out, but not when there is football and horse racing all wrapped into one big present. I agreed to go and she started making plans for our wonderful day. As the plans started unfolding, I remembered the games, the races, and the $300 I had hidden in my drawer. She was suppose to be out of town and I was going to run wild. Well, that was before I lost my mind, and agreed to go to jail for the day. After listening to her talk about our special day, I started sweating bullets working on a story.

“Honey, I need to speak with you. I have to drive my brother to work as his car is still in the shop. He’s doing his boss a huge favor and he can’t be late. I can’t believe I forgot, and I’m so sorry.” It sounded good in my head, and after hearing it come out of my mouth, it still sounded pretty good as he always works over-time. Now comes that moment of silence that seems to last a lifetime. “Ed, I can’t believe your going to miss out on this wonderful day. We have all been planning this for quite awhile, and my sisters are going to be upset you’re not going to be there.” After she said the first three words, I went temporarily deaf. I couldn’t hear anything but the fib screaming in my head. I was laughing and couldn’t stop, and all the while I had the saddest face looking into her pretty eyes. Man, this was easier than I ever imagined. The fib had worked and I was off the hook. I did promise to meet them after the show, and the day was all mine.

I called the bookie and made some football bets, and it was off to the track for me. I grabbed my iPad, as it keeps me from carrying around a million pieces of paper. I had all of my tracks to handicap, and the E-Z Win Forms are starting off well for 2015. She was off with the family and I was off the chain. The smile on my face was so big it looked like a clown, but nothing could bother me as it was my day. I could bet the entire card, and had a perfect seat to watch the Arizona / Carolina game. What could be better?

Aqueduct, Tampa Bay, Gulfstream Park, Laurel, and Santa Anita. – They were on my target list, and I started handicapping the night before. Just me, the E-Z Win Forms, and ice cold beer. The prep work was going to be just as much fun as the day. I had a power play up my sleeve and Winning Ponies had him as the top tier selection. Things were looking so great, and just to think I was going to catch up with my gal for some after drinks and watch the late football game. I felt like it was going to be my day!

I liked plenty of top tier selections for the day, but I was going all-in in the 8th race at Santa Anita. It was the (G-2) San Gabriel, and the top tier selection was #6 – Finnegan’s Wake (9-2). Victor Espinoza was aboard for Peter Miller, and they were both doing well together. They brought to post a son of Powerscourt who won the Arlington Million twice. Well once really, as he was disqualified when rider Jamie Spencer came over down the lane and was taken down at (5-1). But his son was a turf monster, and the E-Z Win Forms were gonna take me to the promise land.

I’m a little new to having the iPad, actually it’s my beautiful gal’s toy. She lets me take it to the track, and I don’t kill off the printer ink. I can even make a bet or two on my wagering account if the lines at the track are too long. She is just too sweet! Once I misplaced the iPad and went crazy looking for it. She looked at me and smiled. “Don’t worry, honey. We’ll find it. She took out her phone and had it located in a matter of seconds.” That was the greatest tool I learned about, and didn’t even think about it ever again. Especially  for my big day at the track. Right about now you could see me in my cushy seat firing away. Yep, that’s me with the ear-to-ear smile thinking I had pulled off the grand caper.

She was sitting with her sister when asked if a show was coming to town. “I’ll leave myself a reminder on my phone, and when I get home I’ll grab the iPad and look for the entire season. I’m sure Ed will want to go, and I really feel bad he couldn’t make it today. I wonder where I left my iPad?” Well, right about now you can see the clouds rolling in and the ominous music beginning to play. I couldn’t imagine nothing was going to mess up my day as Winning Ponies had me rolling. I was just about to pull the trigger for the 8th at Santa Anita when my beautiful gal walked into the track. I would like to say something macho and show you how cool I handled the situation. But as she was dragging me out the door with iPad in hand, I knew it was going to be a long night. As I awoke on the couch the next morning, I rolled off to do some reading on the computer. I didn’t dare make a sound to wake her, until I dialed up the Santa Anita results. – Race #8 at Santa Anita results read: #6 – Finnegan’s Wake = $18.00 to win, the $1 exacta paid $88.40, and the $1 trifecta paid a whopping $1,219.00. – The top tier selection rolled home, and this was going to be the best day I’ve had in awhile. That was until I was escorted out gingerly without making my power house wager. A real man would be mad as hell kicking himself, but not me. I never made a sound, I surely didn’t want to wake her too early.

 

Building Your Bankroll/Free Winning Ponies Selections/Sunday

by Ed Meyer

posted on January 4, 2015 in Blogroll, Free Picks and Tips, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | 4 Comments >>

For a few weeks now, I’ve been working on a little gift for the small time player. We find ourselves playing with a smaller pocket of cash after the holiday madness has subsided. With minimal cash to play, and the assistance of the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms, I think we have a late stocking stuffer for you!

Week one had me thinking about making money with a small investment. Sounds too good to be true, huh? – Well, maybe not if read the fine print. Do you think you can find a runner that pays $3 per day? There are a bevy of tracks to choose from, and Winning Ponies took down nearly $11 million in exotic payouts in 2014. Add all of the ingredients into the shaker. Your favorite track with E-Z Win Form selections, a small investment, and the desire to utilize to make yourself a nice bankroll in one month. Think about it. If you can find that $3 payoff win, place or show. You’ll have more money in your pocket than you thought. Here is my week one study. I wagered $20 place on the top tier selection from one of my target tracks. If the wager won, I carried the entire amount to the next day to make another place wager.

Weds 12/17 – Gulfstream Park – Race #6 – Top Tier Selection - Sweet Rocket Man

$20 to place, and he paid $3.oo exactly = $30.00

Thursday 12/18 – Fair Grounds – Race #7 – Top Tier Selection – Next Event

$30 to place, and he paid $5.80 = 87.00

Friday 12/19 – Tampa Bay Downs – Race #3 – Top Tier Selection – Pyrite Green

$87.00 to place, and it paid $4.40 = $191.40

Saturday 12/20 – Fair Grounds – Race #5 – Top Tier Selection – Shellar

$191 to place, and he scored to pay $5.00 = $477.50

Sunday 12/21 – Tampa Bay Downs – Race #8 – Top Tier Selection – Singing Monarch

$477 to place, and he came home to pay $4.60 = $1,097.10

This was for five days, and I played only the tracks I follow. I looked over every top tier selection from the E-Z Win Forms and decided on my play. My initial investment was $20, and my target was only a payoff of $3. But, with a little help from the Racing Gods. My week turned over a $1,077 profit give or take the change. This got me to thinking. If I had made my goal of ONE $3 payoff per day, it would have yielded me $151 and change for a profit of $131. Either way was a solid week, but I’ll take the original wager payout !

You start with $20, and make one play per day. Use your favorite tracks to follow, and select the top tier runner from the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms. If you cash for the day, the entire amount carries over into your next wager. Just to get you started, I have selected a few top tier selections at various tracks I follow. Remember, you only need to find a $3 payoff, but if it pays more. Who is gonna complain about more money? Best of luck, and have a great 2015!

 

Aqueduct

Race #6 – #2 – In Kelly’s Defense

Race #9 – #1 – Stickler

 

Gulfstream Park

Race #6 – #4 – St. Borealis

 

Tampa Bay Downs

Race #9 – #5 – Market Appeal

 

 

 

Be The Player

How many times have you wanted to join the group at the big table in the “Jockeys Room?” If you have ever been to a track more than just a casual bettor, you’ve seen the players. They carry themselves a little different than John Q. Racetrack. For years I watched, and for many more I became the person who made things happen for big rollers. I kept a pretty close tab on their habits, and what made them different than the other 98% of the patrons. Now, for a limited time only I’m going to give you the inner-sanctum secrets of the big whales. Sit back, put your feet up, and light up your Cuban cigar. It’s time for you to take your seat at the big table.

If you’re looking for the magic mojo or secret sauce; there is none. People come and go, and the adage of “what will make you so shall break you” holds more water than you think. Gambling to me was better than any alcoholic elixir. Where in the world could you be around something so intoxicating, and still have the bearings to walk the line? For the majority of the public who walk through the doors enjoy bringing a few bucks and having a beer or two. Then you’ll find the middle players who want action, and can always be found fist bumping and making excuses. The rare beast better known as the “Whale, Big Daddy, Big Roller, and Easy Money” don’t mingle with the rank and file. They enjoy the private room, free tickets to the marquee races, and having the track big-wigs know who they are. For the most part, they are just like you and me in every sense of the word. Most aren’t the best handicappers, and there are many that bet what others tell them. I bet right about now you’re thinking you should have that top dog seat? The major difference is having money to bet without blinking an eye. The money is the difference, and the only difference. They have no secret system and mainly buy their way. Oh, they may receive cushy seats and free tickets, but they pay for them dearly. Just not in the same lines that you and I purchase our seats.

I have friends that asked me how “so and so” has the big paydays?  How do they nail the big winners, while we just watch from afar? Easy. It’s just money, and plenty of it. Now, there are some big players who really know the game. Some do their own speed figures and keep detailed accounts of everything. If you watch long enough, their methods appear as if they are working at a job. Make no mistake, they are at work. While many wonder how they pulled off the big hit, here are some important tips on what makes the good player different from the wanna be.

1. Discipline. – If you bet for the sake of action, stop now if you want to take your game to the next level.

2. Focus – Leave your problems in the car. If you’re distracted with family problems, work, or other people. You’re better off waiting for another day.

3. Detailed records – If you show me anyone who doesn’t keep any records, I’ll show you a loser.

4. Bankroll – You can’t play with borrowed money, and getting a marker doesn’t count. Build yours now.

5. To thy own self be true – If you feel you may be lacking the needed info to be the best. Buy it, and buy it now. You just happen to be on one of the best sites I have ever seen. Now, that doesn’t make me the smartest guy in the world. It puts me ahead of where I used to play. In every business, some of the most profitable empires purchase information to gain an edge. I have worked as a track handicapper, radio host, on-air TV host, and morning line odds-maker. Nope, I’m not the best in the world. I just have a love and passion for the game. I may lose today, but I look forward to the next race card. Know yourself, and look at your betting tools. The best craftsmen use the best tools to get the job done right.

6. Become a number cruncher – If you didn’t do well with math, you need to hone your skills or find someone who can help. I have never seen a profitable gambler who wasn’t proficient with the numbers.

7. Expect the ups and downs – In any wagering, you can expect a bad run. The players who seem to work their way out of the tail spin have focus to stay on course. Just about the time you abandon the system you employ, you’ll see your old efforts would have gotten you back on track. Good players don’t go out and buy a new boat with a big win. They know it can change on a dime, and you need to reserve capital to weather the storm.

8. Expect to put in plenty of time – If you’re not watching replays, looking over charts, identifying a track bias, or examining if your wagers worked in your in best interest. – You may not be cut out for the next level.

 

There have been many days I’ve questioned myself about putting in the time or effort. When I had my bankroll in place, would I hesitate to pull the trigger and question my work? Would I allow others to influence me? If a bad streak takes me down, would I panic? What about you? Do you have what it takes to take your game to the next level? It isn’t for the weak, and it won’t come easy. That is something you can always count on. If you’re ready, Winning Ponies can always be counted on to bring you the best to be your best. Every successful player depends on information, and it all starts here. Winning Ponies would like to wish you and yours a safe and Happy New Year!

Mending Broken Pieces

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 30, 2014 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

Everyday started looking the same. Robert used to love his life, but few bad breaks took him down another road. One that is never travelled. As his work suffered, he was dismissed with a sweetly disguised pink slip attached to a severance package. It was their way of distancing themselves from a mistake. Robert loved his gal as she was his world. When she found out he was no longer employed, there was a sudden change in her demeanor. Funny how people hit you the hardest just when you’re at the lowest. Working out always cleared his mind and helped to embrace the day. It had been 32 days of sitting in his apartment ordering takeout while his weight jumped 20 pounds. His hobby has always been the races. He loved charting, watching replays, and looking for target horses. But no more. Robert was lost in the fog, and there was no lighthouse to bring him to shore. For what seemed to be an eternity, his life was slowly swirling down the drain. That was until he ran into an old friend at the local diner. Two cups of coffee later, and an hour of conversation, he felt a surge of energy. It had been so long, he almost forgot what it felt like. As he got up and grabbed his coat, he embraced for a final time the friend from his past. He hit the door with only one thing in mind, “I was blind, but now I see.”

Thom was a husband, friend, and a damn good gambler. He used to play in the big money contests, and was always in the running. There was a light that surrounded him, and you just knew good things were on the horizon. That was until a frigid day in January four years ago. “Just about the time when life is feeling like a commercial, fate places a gun against your head.” He was coming home for spaghetti night when he was contacted by the police department. “Can you please come down to St. Charles Hospital, you’re wife has been in an accident.” He said his mind went numb and couldn’t hear a sound. His car just drove to the hospital, and he walked rapidly into a busy emergency room. The nurse on call could see the gaunt look on his face. There was no mistaking who this person could be. She escorted him into a small waiting area away from the general registration. Just for future reference, they don’t bring you in here for good news. Just hours away from his last call home, he was dealing with going home alone. There would be no spaghetti tonight. After months of feeling sorry for himself, and not leaving his home. Thom was contacted by an older priest from his parish. He really didn’t want to talk, but the older man of faith just sat back patiently and listened. Even the silence felt good as it was a break away from dealing with the now. The good Father looked up and told him a little about his life. He was in his late seventies, and how could he imagine someone else’s pain? “Father said he had immigrated from Poland over 60-years-ago. He came to America with the help of the Red Cross, and settled in New York with an aunt and uncle who came over years before the atrocities began. His family, memories, and way of life had all been eliminated.” It was the sage like wisdom of his loving aunt who gave him new hope. – “Today you can be whoever you want. It is up to you to allow your past pain destroy your future, or you can have a fresh start to become the best version of yourself.” The young boy followed her words, and began his new life.” As the priest looked at Thom, he could see a small spark in the corner of his eyes. “My son, I’m going to send over a few parishioners to help you get your home, surroundings, and life in order. The rest will be up to you.”

His life changed slowly, and it started making a little more sense each day. He realized his working life had come to a halt, and was dismissed from his job. He handled big money investments and was a confident machine who devoured life. He just couldn’t fit back into the old mold of himself, and was let go with velvet gloves and a generous package. He had evolved from what once was, to what’s going to be. Thom loved gambling, and used his financial background with patience. He had great days, and even his bad streaks were minimized as he had the patience of a stone. He cashed in his final golden package and investment portfolio. Thom started jogging everyday at 5 am, and his eating habits had never been better. His added weight was gone and looked ten years younger. As he worked on his body and mind, the long road of getting back into playing had begun. He had two loves when I met him. Sports wagering and horse racing were his muse, and as a punter he played more like a maestro. He continued meeting with Father, and his life started taking shape again. For the first time in months he was able to sleep, and awoke each day with vigor. If there was a place to make a wager on Thom, I sure wished I knew where it was located.

He had over $350,000 as a bankroll. The offshore books were fine for players looking for kickbacks and percentages, but it wasn’t for him. Thom had accrued more mileage points for his work that he could fly anywhere in the world about twenty times. There was only one place for him to travel. Las Vegas. When he arrived three months ago, he had the goal of staying for a week or two. But after his first week, he won over $18,000.  He made a call to a friend to watch over his house. He was going to be out of town for awhile. Two months later and $640,000 in profit, he decided it was time to come home and take care of a few things. Life needs to be tended like a garden, and he missed his talks with the good Father. Upon arrival, he called to meet Father for breakfast. It was in the same little diner we had coffee, as they had just finished talking and catching up. Just as one man left, Robert walked in with his shoulders weak from carrying the stone. Thom opened up his head again. He wasn’t talking from a far away place where everything was good, he was right there letting him know the broken pieces could be mended. They talked about the track, and his teams he was waiting to play. His gambling gave him a sense of peace. Most players have the sweats, panic attacks and worry, but not Thom. His grasp on himself was like watching a academy performance. If there was ever a man who turned on a dime, he was sitting right before me bright eyed and calm. “I couldn’t hurt anymore. I needed to channel my focus to something I loved. There was a void that could never be filled, and I had to leave the past. I’ll never forget, and from time-to-time a song or a place reminds me in vivid color of what I once had. I look at things differently now, and for the first time my focus and direction are working as a team.”

He shook Robert’s hand, and asked if he’d like to make a trip out for a couple weeks. “Naaah, I have to find my way and get back on track. But I sure could use some of your sound financial direction in the gambling arena.” he said. “No problem. Just don’t hurt the bookies too bad back here.” It’s been months since he had coffee talk. Thom has since sold his house, and moved to Las Vegas. The life he once knew is gone, and re-invented himself into something he thought was only a dream. Life turns on a dime, and in the blink of an eye everything can change. I don’t know which life would have been better, but he is a happy man once again, and that’s all that matters.

Free Selections From Winning Ponies / Friday 12-26-14

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 26, 2014 in Blogroll, Free Picks and Tips, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

The ham is carved for leftovers, and the pie a long gone memory. As we lay around and enjoy friends and family, maybe it is time to start thinking about tomorrow. Toss out Aunt Sally’s blueberry jello mold, take out the trash, and start getting the house back in order.  With all of the above, there seems to be something missing. Oh, now I remember. Dial up Winning Ponies for FREE E-Z Win Selections!

I don’t know about you, but it’s time to get capping. A few days away and I am chomping at the bit to get this weekend rolling. So without further delay, sit back and enjoy as the racing action is back in full swing.

 

Tampa Bay

Race #4 – O.C. $75,000 – 1 1/16 on the turf – 1:53 pm ET

#1 – Crittenden (4-1) = Antonio Gallardo (29%)  in the irons for Eoin Harty (27%). They have scored 2/3 ITM at the meet, and this gelded son of Distorted Humor just broke his maiden over the TB turf course. This two-year-old owns the “Should Improve and Moving Up in Class ” banners as he just broke his maiden. Take a big look at the 72+ Last Race Rating and the 72 Composite Rating, and the 15.3 Turf Class Rating are the all the best in the field. If you see anything near (4-1), you may want to dig into the tier levels to make a big score in this race.

 

Gulfstream Park

Race #6 – O.C. $16,000 – 1 1/16 on the turf – 3:00 pm ET

#9 – Grand Rappaport (2-1) = Corey Lanerie aboard for Eddie Kenneally (25%). This son of Grand Reward has been off since 11/10, and waves the “Layoff of 45 Days and Dropping in Class” banners. He owns two solid works at Palm Meadows, and cuts back to a shorter distance. His field best LRR of 66 and CR of 67 give me confidence, and the TCR of 23.5 seals the deal. He should be able to stay out of trouble, and come flying from the clouds under the guidance of Lanerie.

 

Turfway Park

Race #5 – Claiming $5,000 – 1m – 8:11 pm ET

#3 – Big Stage (5-1) = Juan Vargas in the saddle for Henry Lyons and this son of Colonial Colony is coming back second off a layoff from Churchill Downs. He should acclimate to the poly and we’ll see a better effort. His LRR of 47+ shows a big effort is on the way, and CR of 47 are very solid in this field. I am looking for a big effort as he was a beaten favorite last out bothered at the start.

Race #8 – Alw $24,000 N2L - 1m – 9:38 pm ET

#3 – Falutin (3-1) =Rodney Prescott has the nod for Thomas Drury (23%), and they’ve scored (26%) in 2014. This daughter of Tiznow exits a beaten favorite race on 12/11, this will be her second effort since shipping in from Churchill. She had the #12 post last out, and the draw today should be favorable. Her LRR of 53 and CR of 51 show good things can be found, and cutting back in distance for a tandem that knows their way to the winner’s circle. Trainer Thom Drury is a very talented, and every time he sends one out you have to take it as a good sign. She is 3/3 ITM on synthetics, and looks like a hidden gem.

 

Nothing like a little FREE action to get you thinking about the races. Winning Ponies is winding up 2014 with $10,792,743 in exotic payouts. There are a few days left in the year, and we’re not done bringing you the best in racing selections. Let’s cap the year in fine fashion, and get this weekend started off right! Best of luck from Winning Ponies!