The Boys’ Club

#Gambling #History - #Barbara #Stanwyck














It was one question I didn’t see coming. – ” Why do you think there are so few women playing the races?” – They play poker, blackjack, slots, video poker, and a dozen forms of games. – Why not the ponies? – For the first time in a long time, I was in a lip-locked hush.

She was a real lady. Not a pretender, but a solid player. She didn’t want free programs, dinners, or a free drink. She just wanted a moment of my time as she watched me walk the room taking the temperature of the big players. – “Look at how you’re handling the players. How many ladies did you approach? – She lost $8,000, and the older lady in the corner is good for $3,000 a day if not more. – How did you miss this? – You’re pretty good at what you do, but you missed two nice players you could have grown into bigger.

“I don’t know. What did I do wrong?” – You grew up learning the game with your dad, grandpa, or other men. No women. They went along for the ride and weren’t viewed as gamblers. – That was the old way. If you want to keep with the times you’ll have to dig a bit deeper as they float under the radar. They feel the perks you give are for the boys and you’ll look right past them. – She was right. Why did I look past the lady players? – We spoke, I was cordial, and made sure they always had the table they enjoyed. – But I missed the biggest part.

I had grown up watching men play the ponies. The place packed to the hilt with wafting smoke of cigars and loud talking. – Back in the day women were along for dinner, the evening, and just to watch. Horse racing left plenty of money on the table. – The men were there and the waves of competition hadn’t arrived. Women were just overlooked. – What a shame. Some of the best gamblers I have watched over the years at casinos are women. They are patient, no ego, and love to be overlooked. That gives them the edge that every gambler would kill for. – Did casinos see into the future or were they light years ahead of one of the oldest games around?

I started immediately. – I had ladies-only handicapping seminars with great giveaways. We had drawings for Las Vegas and betting voucher giveaways. – Start off at 101 and each month progress to the next level – Ladies started playing but we were so far in the rears it was going to take years to catch up. – This took place until competition squeezed the profits to nothing. Tracks couldn’t target market and invest in players. – This is the beginning of the end.

If I ever get the opportunity to take another shot. You can bet dollars to donuts I’ll target many segments of the player base. – No one will be left behind, but it’s going to be a long road. – But if you stand back and watch you’ll see the difference pretty quick. – In reverse of what casinos did to other venues that offered gambling, I want to look even closer. – It can pay off and not only grow new horseplayers but to build guests who will see your venue as an entertainment destination with many forms of gambling. – The playground still has room to grow and for this gaming employee, the sky is the limit.


A Song and a Smoke

by Ed Meyer

posted on March 22, 2019 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>

There’s a silence before a thought becomes a formulated idea. It smolders like a cigarette hanging from the edge of an ashtray. – You start feeling good, and before you know it’s yours. – Those were the thoughts from an older gambler I met along the way. – He’s been gone longer than I knew him, but the little thoughts he passed along the way stuck in the back of my mind for years.

He dressed like a fella’ fresh in from work. – The kinda job in a factory or on a dock. – Flannel shirt, faded work pants and two packs of Camel non-filters. – Quiet was his tone, and if he was speaking and you had to stand close to hear the wisdom. Always alone and never one to engage others. He was happy keeping to himself and smoking them one by one.

He never spoke about personal things for the first few years. – Simplicity and quiet. His exercise was going up to the windows about once every 15 minutes. Just another face in the crowd, but one who grew to be familiar. – We started with a word at a time and before I knew it we were sitting talking about things. This was the beginning of being surprised.

“Tom” was a well-traveled man. He lived in Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, and other places between. – I would have bet he was a railroader by his look but when he told me he was a studio musician I would have lost that bet for sure. “I’ve played with everyone. You name em’ and I’ve sat in. Piano, guitar, bass. – I even wrote some music over the years.” – Talk about a surprise. He was cool with a patience that was rare.

“I started playing the ponies with musicians, and various entertainers at Hialeah in Florida. Sinatra was the worst loser when it came to gambling. – Hollywood Park allowed me to rub elbows with everyone in the business, and Nashville had us taking the train to Churchill and Chicago on off days. – I met gamblers that really taught me the game, an others that showed me what not to do – Those were the days.” 

“I settled in Cincinnati as I started looking like an old man and cared for a friend who was ailing. – He said he was dying, but five years later and a hundred trips to the track he finally died in his sleep. What a way to go.- He played with the early R&B groups when Cincy was a hot spot for recording music. – That man could play the harp and every horn in the band.”

“I was married once but not for long. She took me for everything I had saved for ten years. – Never go back to the well where the alligator lives. – That was my love life in a nutshell.”

Smoking, drinking, and gambling was all I needed, and there wasn’t a town where I didn’t know a hundred faces. – Cincy was fine for me as it had a ball team and two race tracks within 20 miles from my front door. – I fiddled around and would play with a friend, but my music was limited to playing until the whiskey was gone at night. – Reading the Form and playing cards a few nights a week was like a hobo’s dream come true.

Tom started showing up less and less. – He even stopped smoking. – I assumed this quiet man was sick as his talking slowed and eventually stopped – Finally, he was gone. No note, big fanfare, or hullaballoo. He just faded like the pages of an old Daily Racing Form or music which faded away softly. – For months, I would glance out of the corner of my eye and hope to see that flannel shirt and a cigarette hanging from the corner of his mouth. – It was gone like the smoke from a final cigarette or a note from the last song. – I was glad to have made his acquaintance and enjoyed knowing this traveling man. – Thanks for stopping by this way.

Tuesday Free Selections – 3/19/19

Early in the week betting doesn’t have the bang the weekend has by any means. – There are solid claiming events and some nice allowance races. Not bad if you’re looking for some action and in horse racing, there is never a lack of thundering hooves punding for home.


Mahoning Valley

Race #2 – Flying Ghost

When high percentage trainer Richard Zielinski and Edgar Paucar team up 28% fresh off a win.


Race #3 – Wolfel Bear

As a runner who loves the surface, he has won 2 outta’ 3 starts over the oval.


Race #4 – #1 – Kim’s Krew

She is a huge longshot who may complete an exacta going 7 for 7 ITM over the oval.


Race #8 – Moreta

Her last three speed figures have been red-hot and may be worth a nice play with a top rider




Race #2 – Beyond Honor

Hot speed figures may do the trick today


Race #3 – Creative Princess

She loves the course and is a sweet 4 for 5 ITM – Gonna be tough in exotics


Race #4 – Spicy Curry

Trainer Louis Linder wins 50% off a long layoff coming back


Race #7 – #6 – Daddy’s Placer

Trainer Joe Taylor wins 33% going from a sprint to a route


Race #8 – Mach Trial

Speed ratings they say this fella is a cut above and should do well with a big rider



Nothing like an early week appetizer to get you in the mood, and just to think the weekend is only days away with marquee races. – This weekend offers up some good races from around the nation and the focus is on the “Big Easy” and Gulfstream. – So build your bankroll and be patient for the weekend. It’s only days away from here! – Best of luck from Winning Ponies! 







Three Things Gamblers Shouldn’t Do

We all have a list we keep in our back pocket. You know, the inner-sanctum rules that we quietly live our gambling lives. – But here are three more you may want to add before pulling the trigger on your next wager.


1. Don’t Play to Get Even

When you hear the words bouncing around in your brain “to just get even.” – Get up and leave. It’s just not your day and there will be others. Too many gamblers find themselves in too deep and attempt to try and bring their bankroll back to even. – If you think about it, you can see the poor thinking as a drowning man will reach for anything that looks like a life raft. – This is chasing money and there is no good end to this method. – Get up, and come back another day. It may sting a little bit but in the long run, it will save you money.


2. – Betting More When Losing

The old saying of “play with house money” has always applied. – This means when you are ahead and find your best bet go for it. After all, you are playing with house money and it’s a free try at jacking up your bankroll. – But too many horseplayers find themselves down and then reach in their jeans and pull out more greens.  This is a sure-fire recipe to going tapped.


3. – Scared Money Never Wins

If you think picking winners is tough, try doing it with a 1,000 lb gorilla on your shoulders. That is playing with scared money. – You are not your best and you start second-guessing yourself by the minute. You jump off the (8-1) shot and bet double on the (2-1) runner. – The second-guessing starts to beat you down and find yourself doubling down just trying to find any winner. This is a sure-fire method of losing. –  Usually, you borrow a few bucks to help you get started and that sound you hear is the handle of the toilet being pushed as the money sails down the drain. – Stop playing as soon as the feelings enter your head.


By keeping your head, employing self-control, and having patience even the worst player starts picking up their average. – Find a level of money you can afford to put in play and take your time. If you enjoy an edge, you are in the right place. Winning Ponies can give you that edge to make your day at the races a winner. With the easy-to-use Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms you’ll not only have that advantage but you’ll be the player you want to be. – ” When luck isn’t enough, use Winning Ponies to take your game to the next level.” 



Good Weekend in the Big Apple!

I stuck to my guns and followed my plans. – I guess it’s a little different than some weeks ago where I cried in my beer. But if you do the same, Winning Ponies will make your day a winner! – It’s never too late to get on board and the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms will start building that bankroll.

I loved the two big races at Aqueduct and was going to put my $100 bankroll in play. – I really didn’t want to stretch out too far and fight every race. – I loved two marquee races and wanted to make a few good bets.

Race #8 – The G3 Tom Fool – 6f

I boxed the top three selections in a $2 exacta and $10 to win and place on the top pick. – The top three E-Z Win Selections ran 1-2-3. – The exacta paid $79.50 and the top pick winner paid $12.80 and $5.60. – With $10 to win and place, there was a sweet return of $184. – The payoff was $263. 50 minus the $32 investment for a win of $ 231.50!


Race #10 – The G3 Gotham – 1 mile

It was the same bet and $10 to win and place on the top selection. – A $32 investment in the race. – The exacta was 1st and 3rd and was close but no cigar. The top selection won and paid $10.80 and $4.90 to place for $157. – The investment was $32 and the win was $125!


Two races following the Winning Ponies E-Z Forms carried me to a bigger bankroll for a two-race win of $356.50. – Kinda’ glad I got back on the bus and drove to the winner’s circle. You can climb right on as there is plenty of time and incredible races coming our way. – Best of luck and hope you followed the plan. – See you in the winner’s circle!



Happy Horseplayer / March

Another month has passed and we are starting to see the marquee races hit the weekend schedule. I’m starting to see articles on “Derby Horses to Watch” and “New Shooters Coming on the Scene.” – No matter what your belief, somewhere in Louisville there is a large hothouse with roses beginning to bloom.


Our Real Horse Has Yet to Appear

Many are zeroed in on runners who had a great two-year-old showing. – For me, I’m still on the fence. I’m looking for one who just broke his maiden and will appear on the major scene in a big way. I know all about last year’s story and it probably won’t follow right back with a Triple Crown winner with very few starts. – For this punter, I’m looking for some value. It’s something we haven’t had in some years, but this is gonna be the year of a blockbuster price. I’m looking ahead to the Belmont Stakes for my big ticket payoff.  Time will tell…..


Problems Abound

As every horse player who reads up on national racing. There have been some problems that have caught the pages of the racing rags. – Gulfstream Park had an issue with some wrong numbers being posted. – It had all the makings of a real finger-pointing session, and it was. – With my limited experience as a placing judge. There are two people calling out numbers and one pushing them into the tote box where they would be posted on the board immediately. When they hit the 1/4 pole the numbers stop and all three judges prepare by writing down each horse as they cross the wire. We then discuss who we have written down and proceed to examine the photo finish rundown. – When the top four are agreed upon and photos and dead heats are declared by all three judges. They are posted and the tote is called directly. – Things do happen, and sometimes there is the rare occasion where a mistake is made. – Baseball umpires miss calls, the NFL has missed calls that kept a team from the Super Bowl. – Nothing is perfect, and I’m not making an excuse. But for the many races run each and every day mistakes are few. Let’s move on and trust in the system. I am, and I suggest you join me.


Until next month, The Happy Horseplayer wishes you health, wealth, and your photos are winners!



The Happy Horseplayer – February

by Ed Meyer

posted on February 13, 2019 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>

“Sometimes we get the bear and sometimes the bear gets us.” - The Big Lebowski – Over the past year I have spoken of illness, rehab, and wellness. – Well, the sweet taste of being whole has taken a detour again. – There is no winning day that could ever compare with the feeling of good health. But, as the “Happy Horseplayer” always says; this too shall pass. – In keeping up with every gambler worth their salt. I’m looking forward to the next marquee race.


Winter Time Racing

As with every passing season, you need to attack winter with a vengeance. – Just because it’s not sunny and 70 doesn’t mean there’s no brass ring to be had. – If you like Polytrack, play the synthetic ovals. They typically have a more speed favoring slant and unless you get a good and dampened oval you’ll be playing a winner who is no more than four lengths off the leader. – They kinda’ just gallop and bounce off the synthetic like turf. But unlike turf not many come from the back of the pack. – Once you start your mindset there you’ll be more effective in the long run even though there is that rare “Silky Sullivan” who comes rolling late.

I personally love Aqueduct and Gulfstream. – The “Big A” has a special charm and a longtime name of trainers who target the meet. There have been a handful of riders who hold all the cards and overall the track can play mild to closers. Speed can wire them if left alone soft and for me that offers up a wide array of betting opportunities. – Gulfstream has the lush deep greensward and with every passing race, the action just gets hotter. – GP has my heart every weekend and Aqueduct gets some power spot plays. – California is great and for me offers up some incredible turf wagering. – But with each passing weekend, the runners get tougher and showcase us the big timers who will be there the first Saturday in May.


Skip Days

Just like back in school, it’s good to have a “skip” day due to weather. – Don’t force yourself to bet just to have a wager. – Impulse never really helped any bankroll, and you’ll find yourself fighting to get it back by the end of the day. – How many players did their homework, started the day, and plotted their wagers only to try and break even? Nobody. – You don’t need the minus temps, skip a day. You really don’t care that California has a rainy muddy ooze. Skip a day – There will be plenty of others to play and this goes for Oaklawn, Fair Grounds, Aqueduct, and Gulfstream. – Just because they are running doesn’t mean we have to play. – Wait your turn to get in the game. It will pay off in the long run.


Remember this last article quote? 


After leaving money on the table I lost my desire to play any more. – I had a dream of rolling up a little bankroll and sending it flying on the New England Patriots at minus 2.5. – Go ahead and jump on board as I’m still steaming for my lack of follow through with the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms. – I’ll watch the game, but there will be no betting on the big game. – Why should I ? – I didn’t use my handicapping weapon of choice to make my day. – Just keep it in mind when you see Tom Brady hoisting the trophy there was a horseplayer who should have used the day as a bankroll builder.”

This was from my last entry where I was sent to the sidelines forced to watch after not using my Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms. – I had a couple of very nice plays but opted not to follow through with my full plans. – I was even going to make a wager on New England as you’ll see, and we all know how that turned out by now. – Just a seasoned gambler who did not follow his own plans.

But, it’s not too late to start off this new year with your E-Z Win Forms. They are incredible for spot plays, finding price payoffs, or having a solid day at the races. – If you like to “speculate” a little and bounce around a few tracks outside of your normal bounds the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms can be worth their weight in gold. – They showcase how the race will take shape and where runners really belong in the event. – If I would have had just followed through from my last entry you would be reading about a sweet weekend payout. But instead, a gambler who steams on the sideline. – It’s never too late to get right back on the train and start chugging down the tracks to prosperity. Feels good, builds your bankroll and makes playing the races more fun.


As I find myself on the mend you will be seeing more free daily selections and sweet pick four plans for the weekends ahead. – Time can be a great ally when using it to your best advantage. – You’ll be seeing them pop up and hopefully pull off a big score. – Use the free selections as an appetizer and the E-Z Win Forms as the entree. – As we push through the cold and the damp it is only 81 days and two hours until the Kentucky Derby. So what do you say? – You feel like an early start to a huge bankroll builder? – Best of luck from the Happy Horseplayer.

If I were a betting man….

by Ed Meyer

posted on January 30, 2019 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>

Yeah, if only I made a wager of two I would’ve had a great weekend. – Not only that, I would parlay some of my winnings into a Super Bowl bet to start February off in fine fashion. – But, the crying is over and there is nothing to do except look forward. – Here are a couple of my “scared money” non-plays that took a good weekend into nothing.- As the gambling adage goes; ” God hates a coward.”


Aqueduct – Race #7 – Saturday


I had $200 to put into play and try my hand at a few power plays. – I love the #1 – Big Muddy. He switched riders from Eric Cancel to Manny Franco winning 24% and showed the dropping in class icon. – He was off for 45 days and came back to score $4.10  I was only going to bet $50 to win, and that would have been a $102.50 payoff for a $52.50 profit. – The top tier runner did not disappoint.


Gulfstream Park  – Race #7 – The Hurricane Bertie Stakes

I didn’t think the big race would offer the value I was looking for and was seeking another top tier selection a little earlier in the card. – In Race #7 / The Hurricane Bertie Stakes. The top tier selection was #2 – Dream Pauline and she sported the “Monster Workout” icon and had the services of Javier Castellano in the saddle winning at a 21% win clip. – The Last Race Rating and Composite were the field best and I loved Castellano in the irons when the big money is on the table. – It was going to be a $50 win bet and she won easily to pay $7.80. – That would have been a score for $195 and $145 profit.


After leaving money on the table I lost my desire to play any more. – I had a dream of rolling up a little bankroll and sending it flying on the New England Patriots at minus 2.5. – Go ahead and jump on board as I’m still steaming for my lack of follow through with the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms. – I’ll watch the game, but there will be no betting on the big game. – Why should I ? – I didn’t use my handicapping weapon of choice to make my day. – Just keep it in mind when you see Tom Brady hoisting the trophy there was a horseplayer who should have used the day as a bankroll builder.

It’s not too late for you! – Just dial up the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms and make yourself a few solid spot plays. – I sure hope you have better horse sense than I employed. – Just download and go to the windows. Make yourself a sweet little bankroll to start off February in fine fashion. – Best of luck!




How’s the New Year Treating You ?

Have you’ve fallen off the bandwagon or full steam ahead? – 2019 has started off slow, and I’m getting back in the swing. Each weekend I find myself getting more involved with Gulfstream, and eventually, it will extend to Tampa Bay and the left coast. – I guess the New Year resolution is still in play. – I like to handicap a card, but I’m more into spot plays. Why play a race where I don’t really like a runner? – This weekend I had a few bucks in my account and didn’t do my homework. – So, I dialed up Winning Ponies and the spot play format came rolling home.

I had $100 in my bankroll and was going to use the top selection in target races. – I can’t say that I set the house on fire, but held my own with a turn of profit:




Race #2 – F&M on the turf 

I used the top tier selections and wagered $50 to place. – Irad Ortiz picked up the mount from his brother Jose and owned the best last race turf rating. – Ortiz did not disappoint for Maker and paid $4.00 to place = + $100 / $50 profit.


Race #4 – 5f on the turf

I used the top tier selection and he owned the top turf rating and showed a monster workout icon, and being laid off for 45 days. – I wagered $50 to place and scored for $5.20 to place = + $130 / $80 profit


I was up $130 and had about an hour before I had to get busy for work. – Two more races and I’m done.


Race #5 – Claiming 6f on the main

She showed a dropping in class icon and first time Lasix – She had the top Last Race Rating and Composite Rating. – Another $50 place bet and she paid $ 6.40! - + 160 / $110 profit


Race #6 – Optional claiming – 6f main

The top tier selection had the best Last Race Rating and had a rider switch. – My last $50 place wager came home and paid $8.60 to place. – That was a sweet + $215 / $165 profit. 


There were four spot plays with the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms and my day paid out a solid $405 profit! – I used the top tier selection only and had a short time to wager. – What a day and all I had to do was download the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms. – I stuffed the $100 deep in my wallet and made a $405 profit. – Not bad if I say so my self and I still stuck to my plan about making a few spot plays versus playing the entire card. – If you don’t believe, just download the easy-to-read E-Z Win Forms and put it to work for you! – The marquee races are coming and there is no better time to get the bankroll rolling! – Best of luck from your friends at Winning!



Faces in the Crowd

by Ed Meyer

posted on January 18, 2019 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>

If you don’t believe in the “spooky” stories of gamblers let me be the first. – Gamblers are the most superstitious animals in the world. The lucky hat, favorite seat, or the pen that was given to you by your friend from Vegas. – Horseplayers have always caught my curiosity over the years. Unlike poker players who wear the shades or the bingo players who have their lucky cupie dolls. The gamblers who chase the ponies are a sort all to themselves. How many can you remember?


The Black Cat

The “Cat” was the unluckiest gambler. – He could bet two horses in a two horse race and still find a way to lose. – The Cat was one of the kinds of gamblers who would walk around and ask everyone who they liked. – He would make multiple bets per race and still find a way to lose. – He used to go with his brother who was a well-known bookie. Unlike the Cat, he was super lucky. – “Fats” was the kind of guy who could reach into a sewer pipe and come out with a handful of diamonds. There couldn’t have been two people more different if you lived three lifetimes.

When Fats passed away after a lengthy illness, The Cat said he was going to the track the night they laid him to rest. – The boys all went out and had a few drinks and bet the races as Fats would have wanted. – On this night, The Cat was on-fire. He couldn’t pick a loser if his life depended on it. – He attributed his lucky streak to his late-brother watching over him. – The last I had heard of the Cat was he won a pick-six for over $100,000.



Small in stature and round as a plum. – The kind Italian gent had a name as long as your leg. Hence, the nickname “Spaghetti” from his pals. – The table in front of the dining room had six seats and they were filled every day an hour before the first race. They played simulcast, had lunch and a few drinks. If all went well, they could be seen during the live racing card which kicked off at 7:00 pm. – Benny would be the first to leave at 4:00 pm to make the last ferry home. His wife needed tending and this gentleman would pick up the tab for the table.  Angie would get drunk and his big belly laugh could make a statue smile. – Bill was the “Chairman of the Board” and offer worldly wisdom or ruffle the cards for a good game of Gin. – The guys had been lifelong friends and held court in the dining room. – The quiet Spaghetti never made much of a splash and was along for the ride. He never had many big winning moves, but one day he had his 15 minutes of fame. – He played a small pick-six at Fair Grounds and started picking them off one-by-one. The prices were solid and with each passing winner, he became the man of the hour. – Into the last race where he had two solid prices. They were coming back in the six digit range. – The guys all cheered him on and waited til’ loaded into the starting gate. – He had the lead right from the break and the other runner tracked in 6th. They rounded the far turn and he still had the lead but he was starting to toss in the towel. But not to worry. The other horse started kicking in. – As they made their way into the long stretch. All of the friends were standing and screaming at the TV. – Not as if the horses could hear them in New Orleans, but they weren’t going to let any stone go unturned. – As they neared the wire his fortunes were going to be second best. – He still took down a nice consolation score and for the rest of their days, this was still the talk of the table.


The Dream

Gamblers can remember with exact detail any dream that involves winning money. – Tommy had a bad month. He lost his grandmother, mother, and best friend. – A real tough scene to say the least, and you hurt for the man even if you didn’t know him. Tommy looked lost for the longest time. You would see him from time-to-time and he wasn’t the same guy. – I saw him at a summer track and noticed he lost weight, had a bronze tan and sported a sweet hat. – It made me wonder if this was the same guy. – He had a table in the clubhouse and always had a gal with him. Kinda’ made you wonder if he found D.B. Cooper’s money or hit the Irish sweepstakes. – But one day the truth found it’s way to my ears. – “Tommy had a dream according to the waitress. – His mother came to him in a dream and told him everything was going to be fine. This will pass.”  – I dismissed it as crap until he won our track handicapping contest and had a monster IRS ticket according to the mutuel manager. – Tommy ran into me one day and I asked him how his luck was going? – “Great, Ed. Ever since my dream I’ve had the year of my life. – My mom came to me in a dream one night and told me everything was going to be fine. It’s been gold and diamonds ever since.” – After hearing, I walked away with the biggest smile and felt good for the man who lost so much and still found happiness.