July 1, 1966

by Ed Meyer

posted on July 2, 2011 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

Birthday cakeThat was a special day for me. I was born into this world crying and hungry, and waiting until I would hold the hand of my dad going to the track.

I have seen some neat things happen over the years since I have been a fan. When I first began, it was with a 25-cent program.  I would go with my dad, and tag along . He would let me make a place bet or two if I was good. So you could imagine I was a good cowboy.

I started saving my lunch money, and jogging home for a PB&J sandwich, or a Fox de Lux pizza. Kept me in shape, and I got to pocket the $10 extra at the end of the week. Dad would give me a crisp $20 for keeping out of trouble and making decent grades. These were good times. I used to cut grass, and help him paint to get a few shekels. I never figured it out. My buddies wanted to get really drunk or goofy, and I wanted to make the double. Oh well, to each his own. I loved racing from minute one…

I was allowed to wager with the local bookie my dad and grandpa wagered with. He was old, and he only had one rule. He reserved all rights to tell everyone if you won big, or if you owed him money. I was on a $20 a week limit, and what fun it was listening to the radio with my dad to Leo Underhill on WNPO / The Jazz Ark.

College wasn’t much different, and I would ditch my last class and drive 80 mph to Keeneland. My pal would be waiting at my car, and away we would go…..Watching greats like Brumfield, Day, and Woods filled those crisp spring days, and gave us heat for the autumn race cards.

If you haven’t guessed, it is my birthday! – I just wanted to share a little horse wisdom with anyone who reads this. In 45-years, I have found a few things to be hardcore facts about the races:

*If you get into an argument with your girlfriend, don’t go to the track.

*Don’t drink and gamble… Bad mix.

* Try and devote a little extra time loving the game, and leave winning to the racing gods.

* Borrowed money never wins !

* If you saw that about every minute of my going to the track was mentioned with a guy named dad, it is because my favorite times were with him doing something we loved. He used to carry me on his shoulders as a little boy to make the double, and the first one I call if I have a big day. In 45 years, I have seen change. I have watched as simulcast exploded, and Vegas came to your local track. You can bet on many different types of wagers, and win lottery sized pots.

Overall, I have had one helluva time. I have made friends, and my best friend is still around to talk horses a few times a week. I guess no matter what, I will be a winner by that definition. Matter of fact, I’ll bet on it !!