At the races, I have had the pleasure of knowing many great father/son tandems. They handicapped together, and were friends. Sometimes you would overhear otherwise, and swear they were mortal enemies. That is, until post time the next day. Here are some good men that I have known who were introduced by dear old dad, or by a person near and dear to their heart.
He would go every Tuesday afternoon with his grandfather. He was a butcher, and this was his day off. They would walk in and play races at a small Ohio oval, and this is where he fell in love. The part he liked even better than the racing, was the idea that a person could get paid for announcing the races. From that point, he was hooked. – Jon McDulin / DRF – Equibase
We could only call them the “Twins.” The father was 90, and his little boy was 70. They would be two of the first guys in the building. They ate, sat, cheered, and enjoyed racing. They would sometimes have words about a race, but when a 90-year-old man stands up with his withered 100 – pound frame and throws a pop in the face of his son… Well, that took at least two days to pass. But, they were back at it, and loved every race. It was a perfect example of how one man passes it on to his child.
I grew up in a small town that had a bar on every corner. It was typical of the time and what a time it was. I came to know about gambling by standing in a backroom full of men reading DRF’s and making bets with a bookie operation. He was a two-dollar bettor, and million dollar kind of dad. He took me everywhere, and he became my best friend early.
I would save my lunch money all week long, and run home and eat a sandwich as I lived close to school. He would give me $20, and I was allowed to go to the races on Saturday if I could keep my grades up, didn’t fool with alcohol, and didn’t get in trouble with the law. He made it too easy, and he knew it. We would head out and play the races. When Sunday racing came to Kentucky in the 80’s, I thought many must have been praying for this.
I have worked in racing, and he has always been around. He came to the track to talk, and we would make some road trips to play in contests and see other venues. It was the best intro in my life. He showed me a game to be loved and respected, and how much fun a day at the races could be. To this day it continues. I hope it goes on for years to come, and we have some fantastic finishes. So, if you are lucky enough to have your dad, or if you know of someone who fits the bill, pick up the phone, and give them a call. I just got off after two hours with my dad… - Ed Meyer / Winning Ponies, handicapper, son, and best of all a father.
Happy Father’s Day!