The Old Soft Shoe

by Ed Meyer

posted on August 17, 2012 in General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>

Tap dancing has been a term I have been using since Clinton was in office. Some have been offended, others have denied, and there are some who would never dare this feat. I like to listen to players and then I watch for things to bring to my game. A long time ago a gent by the nickname of “Fox” once told me that the dollar could only stretch so far. He was watching as I was betting $20 to win and place and said that I would never be able to keep up that pace if I had a few losing nights. That was the most painful truth that I have ever purchased.

I make reference to my Dad many times in my writing. He gets the nod because I have spent the most time with him. An avid player of speed and one who does better with cheap runners. His favorite line is “If that horse is over 2-5, you get scared to make a wager.”  Now, I do look for any advantage I can get, and taking even money is not a bad deal. You cannot bet every race this way, but skipping that 100% return on a runner who looks like a lock is plain silly. I made my one of my largest bets at Lebanon Raceway when I was about 16-years-old. I wagered $75 to win on a trotter by the name of Coaltown Express. This field of five runners had a 2-1, a 3-1, and my 6-5 shot. When they were behind the starting gate there was a break to the right of my runner. This caused him to get a little nervous and allowed the entire remaining field of three to roll right past while he dropped back to the end. This being a 1/2 mile oval made closing next to impossible, as the stretch was shorter than the walk to the men’s room. Well, old Alvin Long spun three-wide as they hit the half and at the top of the lane they were four across the track. Coaltown Express got up by a whisker at the wire, and this gave me my first grey hair betting chalk heavily.

Onward we go, as he loves to play the ponies. I have tried to help him narrow his focus by wagering on 2-3 tracks.  He wins a $23 exacta. Then he hits $4 to win on a 5-1 shot… Now, you didn’t hear me tout or discount his selections. Sometimes he will hit one, and lose three. Hit two, and go on a losing streak of six.  The old man is lucky, and not a bad handicapper. Just a little rough on the money mangement side of the game.

I have talked til’ I am blue, and he claims he just likes to play. There is nothing wrong with that as long as you have money. I have asked him to find his best 20 races on a Saturday. Now, pick out ten of those which are your best bets. I know it takes away from the action factor but I’ll bet dollars to donuts that he’ll be a happy camper. I love to see others win, and especially my Dad. He taught me how to read the Form and learn to play the races. He instilled my love of the game, and to this day he has always been my biggest supporter. So, I guess I’ll give him a pass. But that doesn’t mean we can let this little dance carry us right into the poor house. Be selective and if you want to play the tracks you are not following just dial up your E-Z Win Forms and follow proven advice. This should be a great weekend, as some of the best racing action of the summer will take place.

“May your winners be many, and your photos be few.” – Good luck !!