What Say You?

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 17, 2023 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on What Say You?

HISA is buzzing around the racing world like a nest of hornets. After the 60 Minutes piece painting everything racing as the devil; most folks took the word of the news program as gospel. The last time I heard anything like this was Greyhound Racing in Florida. – After damning it to the lowest levels, it has disappeared after 50+ years in the Sunshine State forever. I wonder what effect it will have on horse racing?

HISA is actually a good idea if properly massaged. Racing, like all professional sports, needs a fair governing body that will keep out the bad and grow the good parts of the sport. – Are there problems? Yes. Can they be fixed? Yes. – Takes money, time, and commitment. Make the punishments only after due diligence swift and harsh. Reward the good members of the racing community with the spoils of what the sport brings to the table. After all, it was racing that went to Congress like Mr. Smith going to Washington asking for help making the game transparent and fair.

The group swung in quickly and shot first and didn’t ask questions later. Take Saffie Joseph. They all but damned him to the eternal fires. How much do you think it hurt his business for months on end while they gave him a colonoscopy with a rake and tore him open to the core. – Falsely accused, his owners gave away horses to other outfits, and his business was left in tatters. Then, after they finished, they informed him he was fine and able to return to training. – How many owners left the game? How many horses are in the new barns? Just like that, his world turned inside out. – Would you pay $2,000 a month to keep your horse in a barn that was not allowed to race, and the outcome was up in the air. – Nope, and neither did they.

Just slow down. Take your time and ask first before the in-depth investigation begins. Racing wants to be around for decades to come, but if you believed everything you heard on 60 Minutes; I’m sure you want this to go away right now. – There are hundreds that I know personally that are second and third-generation horsemen. They love the game and treat the horses better than some treat each other. They are dedicated to doing the right things and couldn’t imagine hurting a horse for the sake of money. But, I’m sure 60 minutes left that part of the story out. As well as they usually get there at 5:00 am and work until 7:00 pm. – No days off, and a vacation is something someone else takes.

HISA is not all wrong. They are trying, but just too hard. – Guilty until they feel you are innocent. Racing needs to rid the game of performance-enhancing drugs, punish the guilty, and leave the innocent to showcase the “Sport of Kings.” – There are so many hard-working folks who are hanging their heads to the court of public opinion. Time will either help or eradicate the sport in years to come. Nobody is off the hook. They are going after everyone and maybe asking questions later. – Just slow your roll and try and keep the game healthy and on the right path. Like all sports, it has big problems and needs help. Not an executioner on every backside to take away the sport. In the words of Winston Churchill; “There is nothing better for the inside of a man than the outside of a horse.” 


Friday Breeders’ Cup – Spot Plays

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 3, 2023 in Blogroll, Breeders Cup, Free Picks and Tips, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on Friday Breeders’ Cup – Spot Plays

Halloween is over, and the cold winds have started blowing to signal the arrival of the two greatest days of the year to be racing fans. Well, that is in my neck of the woods for sure. Having the two-day extravaganza in California is a blessing this year in the Kentucky area. It could be 68 degrees and sunny or 28 and blustery in the Bluegrass State. Without further delay, here are some spot plays on the Friday Breeders’ Cup card. – Best of luck and be sure and download your Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms for the most comprehensive look at how the races take shape.


Race #1 – #6 – Mo Fox Given = Making her second start off the layoff and ran two incredible races at Colonial and Churchill Downs. The daughter of Mo Town has a sparkling late work and the barn wins 28% with non-graded stakes races. Flavien Prat takes the call and he should have a good weekend in store. She sports a fine turn of late foot and will be calling late in the lane.


Race #5 – The BC Turf Sprint – #2 – No Nay Mets = Son of No Nay Never and has the services of Irad Ortiz for George Weaver. He has blistering speed and should be the major pace player from the gate break. Comes off a 55-day break and is 3/4 ITM lifetime. Cuts back from 5 1/2 furlongs and makes the rider switch to Ortiz who wins 22% with early speed types on the turf. Catch him if you can!


Race #6 – The BC Juvenile Filles – #7 – Tamara = She is a perfect two-for-two for Dick Mandella and Mike Smith who win 30% as a team. She comes off a 55-day rest and shows four solid works over the track. Smith has a perfect stalker who can turn up the heat when he asks for more run. This may be one of the singles for your exotic wagers for the weekend.


Race #7 – The BC Juvenile Filly Turf – #6 – Porta Fortuna = A daughter of Caravaggio who is 6/6 ITM lifetime for Donnacha O’Brien with Oisin Murphy in the irons. A perfect stalker who can turn up the heat when asked by the world-class rider. Her (Gr1) sealed the deal for me and I’m looking for an up-close stalker who is poised to pounce. The Euros are incredible in California this time of year, and I’m using her over a few big-priced players to get the bankroll moving.


Race #8 – The BC Juvenile – #6 – Locked = A son of Gun Runner who is in the hands of Jose Ortiz for Todd Pletcher coming off a solid Keeneland meeting. Pletcher wins 23% with his shippers coming in, and it looks like he loves the distance which should be no problem. Ortiz is a patient rider and he is only getting better with each additional trip to the races. I like his last work which shows all systems are a go!


Race #9 – The BC Juvenile Turf – #7 – Agate Road = A son of Quality Road and sports the strongest late punch down the lane in the field. As luck would have it, Irad Ortiz is one of the best finishing riders in the game, especially for Todd Pletcher. Lightly raced and only seemed to get better with every effort. I’m using him over #2 – River Tiber, and #5 – My Boy Prince.


Winning Ponies always has their “A” game in place for the marquee weekends. Be sure and download the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms to give you the advantage of seeing how the race will take shape with color-coded tiers and easy-to-use handicapping tools. – I’ve been using them since 2008, and they never let me down when the biggest day of racing takes center stage. – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies!



Keeneland – Top Picks for Saturday 10/21/23

by Ed Meyer

posted on October 17, 2023 in Blogroll, Breeders Cup, Free Picks and Tips, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on Keeneland – Top Picks for Saturday 10/21/23

The weather will be good during the week with some showers on Friday. The track drains better than any I’ve seen, and by Saturday you should have the best oval to wager during the meet. Dry at first, water from the sky, and a drainage that will keep the track perfect for a fair non-biased oval. Turf should be perfect with enough “cut” to please our Euro visitors and provide sweet turf with enough bounce to yield good times.


Keeneland – Saturday, 10/21/2023


Race #2 – #5 – Dancing Nancy = Two-year-old filly by Goldencents, and has been off since Saratoga. She drops in class for Chad Brown who wins 27% going from Mdn Sp Wt to Mdn Claiming. The past two weeks, Chad Brown has had eight starters 4 wins, and a place finish. Take a look at the two solid works over the Keeneland surface and Florent Geroux in the irons who wins 26% with his sprinter mounts. She may not offer great win pool value but could be used as a free spot in multi-race wagers.


Race #4 – #8 – Viareggio = There is plenty of speed that can set up a stalker in the hands of a talented rider for a top-shelf barn. This is her 2nd time off the layoff and trainer Brendan Walsh wins 22%. He does very well with Tyler Gaffalione in the saddle scoring 24% as a team and if you go back four races, you’ll see a maiden-breaking win over the Keeneland sod and stalked just off the pace. I’m looking for a repeat here and a trip to the winner’s circle.


Race #5 – #8 – Denim and Pearls = First timer for Brad Cox who wins 20% on this move. Florent Geroux is in the irons and they do very well as a team scoring at a 28% win clip. Her dam Majestic Presence has 3 starters, 2 winners, and 1 stakes winner. Her last two works sold me quickly as they are spaced 6 days apart and her last work was a bullet. She comes back six days off that work and looks ready to fire at first asking.


Race #6 – #5 – Venkman = This son of Ghostzapper is a perfect 2/2 shipping in from Del Mar for Mark Glatt. He is coming off a 49-day break and John Velasquez is in the saddle. His last work was a sparkling bullet, and Velasquez wins 26% with sprinters. He is moving up the ladder for the acid test, and off his last race Speed Figure should be a major player.


Race #8 – #6 – Seisai = She exits off a win at Kentuky Downs over the undulating European course. The track played well to speed and the inside. Her dam Lillebonne (IRE) has 6 starters, 6 winners, 3 stakes winners, and 6 turf winners to her credit. She has a strong turn of late foot and should be a player at a solid price.


Race #10 – #11 – Fauci = This son of Malibu Moon is 2/2 ITM at Keeneland, and Tyler Gaffalione hangs around for the last race of the day. He comes off a 58-day break and sports a late punch that should have him in the winners’ circle today.


This will get you started, and nothing like a little freebie to get you rolling. – For the best use of the day, be sure and download your Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms to have a complete picture of how the races will take shape. I have had some of my best days at the betting windows by having my handicapping tool in hand. As we start the move to the Breeders’ Cup weekend, be sure to download your E-Z Win Forms now and start putting your final touches on your wagering bankrolls.






Bet Like You Mean It – Keeneland

by Ed Meyer

posted on October 4, 2023 in Blogroll, Breeders Cup, Free Picks and Tips, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on Bet Like You Mean It – Keeneland

As our bankroll starts dwindling or maybe it’s the flip side and you’re on fire. Now is the time to bet like a pro. – We all feel like we have a handle on our betting style and plan. But if this was true, wouldn’t you have quit your day job by now? – Don’t tell your boss “Where to go” and keep your meeting agenda intact. Betting like a pro is an ideal of who we want to be and not necessarily a character we have of someone doing this.

Betting like a pro is a plan. We want every wager to mean something and not just drop a few bucks to pass the time. No need for the cheap cigar and mobster-sounding voice. It is keeping your wagers in line. Hopefully right back in line to the cashier’s window.


  1. Don’t use over 5% of your bankroll on your first bet. Even if you are betting the minimum, that is the plan.
  2. You choose the five tracks you like running that day and trim it back to three. From there, two tracks get your main focus and the 3rd gets a spot play of the day. – Of the two main tracks you use the top three races you like on the card only and that spot play at your third track. – Not enough action? – Trust me you have eight to nine races of which you’ll bet the minimum on seven, and crank up your best bets to 10%. – If you’re winning, you can unleash the hounds if you like, but be sure to make your bankroll back to even where you started the day.
  3. Keep notes. Watch the races like a “scouting mission” and you’re looking for the best runners to wager on next out. – Trip handicapping is as old as time and the best cappers employ this daily.
  4. Do not force yourself to have action. – If you don’t bet Finger Lakes and it’s a Monday afternoon, let it slide. – You haven’t been watching them, and you dove in the deep end. Take at least two days off a week when you are not watching races and not charting the races. It will keep you fresh.
  5. At boutique meets like Keeneland. Stay away from the $150k maiden events. I know, no fun, huh? – This is about winning and the fun is at the end of the day when you have more in your pocket. – Use the big allowance races and turf races only. Trainers target and ship into Keeneland for the money and prestige of growing their barn with more winners. – Use the top four riders from last year and the top four trainers to start handicapping. There is a reason they are back and it’s not the burgoo.
  6. Keep an eye on the weather and know how the track plays from watching race replays from the day prior and even last year. Compare. – Keep an eye on the new rider who is setting the nation on fire. If they ship to try their hand at Keeneland, this has been a plan in the works with their agent for quite some time. – The big outfits didn’t come for the weather, and if a big name from another circuit targets a race. They have a reason and have some expenses shipping in from another track.
  7. Watch the cheap races. Not to play back as it is only a 15-day meet. You’ll see them drop down in class elsewhere and strike paying nicely down the road. – As far as runbacks during the same 15-day meet. Trainers have been targeting and they will take some time off after the short meeting.


Keep your head and don’t bet over it. – It can be enticing, and this week you should be betting the first weekend in Keeneland, New York, and California. Breeders’ Cup has plenty of opportunities that first weekend at Keeneland and spot-play stakes races at the other two. This Friday and Saturday offer up a great opportunity to see some making their last start before the Breeders’ Cup. Some will even draw into the starting gate with a “win and you’re in” stake.

Don’t forget to enjoy the races. After all, that’s how you started years ago. Make a plan and stick to it. Take notes and spend as much time selecting how much you’ll wager as who you’ll wager on. They seem two sides of a different coin, but they are the same in importance. – You’re already in the right place with Winning Ponies. They are tried and true and easy to use for long-time cappers and those making their first trip. Color-coded tier levels make it easy to understand and it will help guide you along to eliminating runners who don’t belong. Go ahead. Give it a try and let me know how your day goes. I’ll bet dollars to donuts we’ll be in the cashier’s line together. – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies!





The Start, Middle, and Stretch Run of 2023

by Ed Meyer

posted on October 4, 2023 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on The Start, Middle, and Stretch Run of 2023

It started in the cold of winter in Kentucky. The funny thing is it’s not Alaska, but it can get damn cold. Being on the windward side of the building you felt every blustery blow of the winds coming out of the west. For the horses, you would look to which direction the flags were blowing. From the west of the airport runways meant they would face a headwind and speed would hold up better than usual. From the east, was a closer’s dream. The speed would tire and runners with a late kick had a chance.

It was during the early part of February that conversations about Perry Ouzts would begin. Many in the placing judges stand felt he would never complete his dream of becoming the 5th all-time leading rider in history, but one voice spoke and in Babe Ruth style not only predicted the milestone but guessed the month and week. – I was only ten days off, and Perry Wayne Ouzts passed the late great David Gall to notch another page in history. – The paddock will be named in his honor and a statue of a jockey painted in the Larry Smith colors of Smith Red Gate Farm would forever hold his spot in the books. At 69 years of young age, he rides with the vim and vigor of an 18-year-old kid. He still loves to win, but this year may be his final as he informed me back in the winter this was it. “Oh, I may ride one for an old friend, and I’ll still work out horses in the morning, but I’ll just help my wife around the barn and slow down a bit.” – I think Perry will still keep riding on a much slower basis, but his drive will still be 100%. Congrats, my friend. It has been an honor watching you ply your trade.

Jockey Perry Ouzts on the cusp of 7,000 career wins; could reach ...


Picking horses to make the Derby trail off the synthetic has been a fool’s folly. A handful have made the trek, but only a couple made a big “Run for the Roses.” The last one that caught my attention on the poly at Turfway Park was Animal Kingdom back in 2011. – He made a move on the poly that horses usually make on the deep-cushioned dirt. It was spectacular to watch and at the quarter pole, I made the decision this was my Derby horse without looking elsewhere. Finally, a good choice off the Polytrack.

Twinspires.com Weekend Stakes: Where To Watch - Horse Racing News ...


I haven’t found another who caught my eye like he did; that was until this past March at the new Turfway Park owned by CDI. – The track was now Tapeta and the new track was a beacon for change. – Now the Jeff Ruby Stakes, yes, Stakes. – A lightly raced horse named Two Phil’s trained by Chicago conditioner Larry Rivelli made a storming move in the hands of Jareth Loveberry that made my second decision to stop my Derby search early. This time it wasn’t the middle move; it was the runout past the wire that caught my eye like many horsemen watch for. – His head held low like A.P. Indy back in the day and he kept pulling the rider as he wanted to keep on running at full-speed. That was proof enough for me. – On the First Saturday in May he stormed up the rail and grabbed the lead at Churchill Downs. Old-time trainers say that the last quarter mile at Churchill Downs must be uphill as they have seen horses draw off only to get caught in the final yards. – Well, my big win ticket at a sweet price became a place ticket, but I still turned a profit.

As the leaves turn golden brown and the talk of Breeders’ Cup begins. Another year is making its way into the books. I have seen a great deal and been on hand for some moments that will last a lifetime. – This is the life of a horse racing fan who just so happens to work in the industry. I wind up my ninth year as race caller and odds maker at a beautiful little oval along the banks of the mighty Ohio River; Belterra Park. I complete my final five days of the year; I will make that walk into the booth with a special spring in my step. We treat it as a fine cigar and enjoy it down to the butt before we smash it out in the ashtray and move along. Another year in the books. Can’t wait to see what the Breeders’ Cup weekend has in store, and the winter conversations that await the judge stand at Turfway Park. One thing is for certain. I will definitely let you know.




The Official End of Summer

by Ed Meyer

posted on October 4, 2023 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on The Official End of Summer

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Many mark the day with a family BBQ or fireworks and sparklers for the kids. For horse racing fans in the Ohio / Northern Kentucky area, there was only one place to be. River Downs.

It sat near the shores of the muddy Ohio River as the breezes blew gently through the big maple trees near the 6 furlongs chute. A giant tent with tables, seating, a grand buffet, and an open bar all day greeted lucky ticket holders with the “Official End of Summer Blowout.” Oh, and did I mention the 20 clerks who were ready and waiting to take your wagers? – Oh, what better way to bid summer adieu.

John Engelhardt was the official “Mayor of River Downs,” and would enjoy a beer or ten as he greeted loyal patrons with a hearty handshake and the ladies would get a gentle hug. Pictures with the “Regular Guy” of racing were coveted items as he smoked his Strauss Tobacconist cigar and would give out a pick or two for the day. John made the party, and many moons ago that is how I landed the greatest job in the world working with him at River Downs. But I digress.

I would usually take my dad, and we would handicap under the trees with a covered table and TVs. Drinks flowed from the first to an hour after the last. After being treated to a lavish layout of Cincinnati’s finest fare, the grill pit would fire up to bed down your gambling appetite with dogs, brats, meats, and burgers. Not the millionaire’s ball, but damn close in my book.

You hoped for sunshine as there was a bevy of turf races with riders coming in from other tracks to end the summer on a high note. The day was centered around a stake race that made the little track glow. The $200,000 Miller Lite Cradle Stakes. Over the years I saw a Derby winner with Spend a Buck, and some who would go on to greatness like Harlan’s Holiday, Coax Me Chad, Bellamy Road, and a host of others. If you forget, no problem. Just pick up one of the many mugs that showed every past winner and a painted picture of last year’s victor on your table. Yeah, it would not do it justice to say they did a great job at putting on the party. They invented how to do it right. The new owners try and give away a pen and pencil set when you walk through the doors as the rest of us remember how it was supposed to be done.

As the sun sets, the “Regular Guy” is looking for his golf cart to head back to the office. – We had a wonderful day doing what we loved. Friends, family, and fun. You saw everyone from the track bum to some of Cincinnati’s celebrities. A day where we rubbed elbows and enjoyed the day together celebrating the equine. About now, I would hear the horn of my dad’s old truck and we would drive away for a day of incredible delight. But it is only a sound I cherish in my heart wishing to go back just one more time. Just like the little Scottish village Brigadoon which would appear from the mist once every hundred years, River Downs would create a party atmosphere that was second to none every Labor Day. It once was called “America’s Day at the Races.” Now, I’m not sure how many tracks are even open today. – I still have a big smile on my face just thinking of the official end-of-summer blowout.

History in the Making

by Ed Meyer

posted on August 25, 2023 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on History in the Making


Starting off my day at work seemed about as normal as possible.  Blue skies and sunshine gleamed over the hills of Kentucky and glanced off the brilliant Ohio River. I walk into the jock’s room and the daily banter of how riders did yesterday and how many mounts await held the conversation. It was until one rider quietly came in and the room seemed to dim in volume. It was Perry Ouzts, and he was one win away from passing the late David Gall for being the 5th all-time leading rider. – Most watched like little kids at the star in the room with a wide-eyed gaze. Riding with a 69-year-old man who was knocking on the door of history was enough to make you draw a breath and glance in awe.

Perry had ridden a few days before on a beautiful Saturday and had six solid mounts. He only needed one win and had four seconds and a third-place finish. Good day at the office, but not quite what Perry Ouzts was looking for. – He was a long way from that rainy day at Beulah Park in 1973 when Rablu carried him home to be his first career win. But, for a competitor like Perry Ouzts the thrill of winning races never waned. It only grew over time; as he jogged back to the winner’s circle, he savored the win like a fine cigar or a vintage wine.

When Perry Wayne Ouzts rode Lanalikeschoochoos to victory by 5 3/4 lengths, he had finally notched career win #7,397 over the Belterra Park oval.  – He was a long way from Lepanto, Arkansas, and his journey had brought him to his biggest milestone to date. – Greeted by throngs of fans, riders, press, and track managers. Perry Ouzts was center stage when the large infield board showed video well wishes from Pat Day, Edgar Prado, Steve Cauthen, and long-time friend and PR manager John Englehardt who covered his career for over 33 years.

The celebration slowly wore down and the business of racing was making its way back to the jock’s room to prepare for the next race. – I called to speak to Perry and congratulate him on his big day. – During our conversation he let me know “he was only three wins away from career win #7,400.” That’s Perry. The truest definition of a competitor and always looking forward. – He was grateful and informed that Pat Day had just called him.” That’s pretty cool, man. Pat Day calling me.” 

I’ve watched Perry Ouzts since I was a young lad with my dad in the summer sun of River Downs. Watching his rapid-fire crop coax his horses to the wire was a sight to behold. He was great at speed, and closers, and even held his own on the turf. Perry was a “big fish in the little pond,” and that is just the way he liked it. He was close to home, his family, and his long-time wife Toni. There was no place in the world he would have ever wanted to ride besides his own backyard.

As the pages of history etched his name among the pantheon of all-time greats, this humble man lets his riding skills do his talking instead of wasting time telling you how he did it. – He did it his way. One at a time, and savored each win like his first. I’ve never seen a rider who relishes winning like Perry Ouzts, and I don’t think I will ever see this again in my lifetime.

Thank you for the many thrills, big wins, and exciting finishes. – This fan will always remember each and every win, and how you slowly jog back to the winner’s circle savoring each step like it was your very first win in 1973.


Rough and Tough Game

by Ed Meyer

posted on July 30, 2023 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on Rough and Tough Game

For decades, Angel Cordero rode as tough as nails. You didn’t come up the rail on him, and Lord knows you didn’t ride too close to pin him in. It was part of the game and he did his fair share of days off and fines levied. Irad Ortiz is one of the strongest finishers in the sport. I know many riders who have a strong hand down the lane. But, for my money, and many of the public supporters, Ortiz is one of the best in the world.

First, watch the race again and you decide. – My only question is if this was such a bad call how come no objection was claimed? – If they both popped up on the board, it may have had more weight in the steward’s stand.

(772) Forte – 2023 – The Jim Dandy – YouTube


Ortiz will ride this way until he hangs up his tack. Some riders finesse their way through a gap and others come through with a determined sense of purpose. – The sport is being ruled by HISA in many states, and the number of times a rider may use his whip is six times during the course of the race. – No more using the stick as a steering tool to keep your horse off another. I’m glad the call was “As Is” meaning no change. It was not the trainer, jockey, or fans’ money. A decision was made by qualified stewards who go through extensive education and spend countless hours watching races with other judges to learn and share thoughts.

It may not be popular and I didn’t have a bet. But no call was my vote as well. – Somebody was going to be mad, and I have friends in some of the biggest jurisdictions who make these calls. I’ve been put up and taken down many times, but I trust the process.

Give it time. This will look clearer in time.




Be Careful What You Wish For

by Ed Meyer

posted on July 14, 2023 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on Be Careful What You Wish For

Confusion has a steep price to pay. I’ve been working in racing all of my life. No more saying it’s been mostly part of my working years; it’s been my entire life. – I’ve loved every day from the ice-cold parking lot days until I slowly climbed the ladder. The sport was my first love and to this day she is my muse. But these days it’s been hard to believe in the future. I guess I’m one of the many who just sit back and wonder what’s next.

Trainers getting sent to the showers and not allowed to enter races. I guess this would be one of the worst calls a conditioner could get in the early morning being told he’s on the shelf. No money to be made, horses sent to other trainers, and your staff that have taken years to build are given their pink slip. – Then a few weeks go by and “POOF.” They are allowed to enter and run once again after the court of Public Opinion has lost faith in you; the process of building back your business begins. Imagine how tough it is to convince folks who have been reading about you cavorting with the devil and doing wrong. It will be tough to get them to believe once again and send hundreds of thousands of dollars your way. This was a tough read from an outsider’s perspective. Can’t imagine what they were feeling.

I waited with bated breath for the casinos to arrive. They were going to bring the game back to days of glory and the future looked bright ahead. But, be careful what you wish for, you may just get it. – In my neck of the woods the race track is looked upon as something they just deal with until they figure out a way to get rid of it to stash more lightning-fast slot machines to take the rent money. Funny thing, they wouldn’t have even been here unless that lucrative gaming license brought the hope of bringing the Trojan Horse to the races. They weren’t there to save anything except expand their own waistline. – Team Members come over and watch the races like they are looking at aliens. They don’t understand, and even if you took time to show them, they couldn’t give a damn about the sport. Just not fast enough.

Some casinos come in and relish the opportunity to expand the racing side by making the complex a complete entertainment destination. Great idea if you ask me, but nobody is asking. Those casino entities advertise the entire property as a place to enjoy the excitement of gaming. A little something for everyone. – But there is the flip side of that coin. Others just meander around and watch an occasional race looking for a chance to celebrate in the winner’s circle like they care.

I’ve watched friends and co-workers lose jobs and shuffle around to different ones. Leaving behind the work they did for decades. Sad to see but even more tough to watch these strong people lose hope. – But the beat goes on. Loud music around the slots, free soda, and coffee as long as you’re playing, but never once have I even seen that free soda machine or hot coffee urn make its way to the racing side. I guess they wouldn’t enjoy a cup of coffee.

I’m still trying to hang in there, but it’s getting tougher. They make it rougher with a secret plan to rip up that lush turf course and build a super high-rise of penny slots. I sometimes refer to the facility as “It’s not your grandpa’s game anymore.” – I’m sure glad he’s not here to see it. He’d just walk back to the car and head back home.


The Little Things

by Ed Meyer

posted on June 23, 2023 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on The Little Things

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On your way to your office, you see the beauty of watching horses train on the track as you hear the sounds of snorting colts being pulled up after a strong morning work. – You lean against the rail like you do every morning and you drink in the beauty of your surroundings. You could work in a huge building on Wall St. or look through the window watching humanity whirl past. But there is something about the sights and smells of walking past the race track in the morning. The workout riders exude the smell of sweat and leather as muscles gleam in the morning light. Then it hits you. There is no better way to start your morning. These little things are some of the greatest sights and smells in the world.


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You walk into the jock’s room and see young riders who speak little English nod and move quickly. They haven’t settled into finding themselves, but they are trying to find their place. They will. – The top rider walks in and you can feel the tension as thick as a morning fog. Young riders want to be them and the older riders heading back down the ladder were them for a long time. Then the oldest rider at the track strolls in slowly. Not because he has to; because he is the reason the young riders get up early and older riders still ply their trade. He is 68 years young and quietly weighs in and shakes a few hands. A man of few words and a face that shows every mile he has run. I’m greeted by a handshake and a little hug. – Perry Ouzts is a rare treasure. I’m never going to see this again in my lifetime and his record is one that stands the test of time and fortitude. On this day, he is 24 wins away from being the 5th all-time leading rider in the history of the sport of kings. Not something you see every day. Like watching Mickey Mantle take batting practice chasing his milestones…

I yack and laugh with the clerk of scales and silks man. We joke about the doings of the day and security guards chime in with a laugh and we share a light moment before starting the day. – We bid farewell and I make the walk into my office. Punch in the code and walk into the best office I have ever had.No photo description available.


Not a bad view as I begin my day. – Clean my binoculars and fire up the computer. A little music in the background and the day is underway. – In about an hour or so I’ll have the best seat in the house and get to do a job that I’d pay them to be here. Friends are always welcome to stop up and catch a race. It’s like taking friends on a roller coaster trip. Not much fun by yourself, and sharing the view with others makes the job that much sweeter. – I relish each race like a fine wine or a hand-rolled cigar. I treat every day like a gift because it truly should be cherished as one. – Yeah, the little things make all the difference in the world. Take a moment and get a good look around. You’ll be surprised at the beauty that surrounds you.