I have never been much of a New Year’s kinda’ guy. I usually stay home and cook, and watch a bevy of bowl games. But as the final hours of 2012 make their way into the books, I get a little teary eyed of days gone by and good things to come. But all-in-all, it was a good year.
The fare for the evening will be two strip steaks, marinated in my secret rub. Sea-salt baked potatoes, and garlic mushrooms. My son and I will probably end it off with some ice cream and watch the ball drop together. I couldn’t think of a better place or a better person to spend it with. But we will download some E-Z Win Forms, and ramble out for some Thoroughbred action to kick off 2013.
Horse players are a funny bunch. We step over the cracks in the sidewalk, wear our lucky shoes, and start off the year doing what we love. I have known plenty of gamblers who wait the final days away so they can start a new streak. It doesn’s matter if you were doing poorly, or you were having the best run of the year, 2013 ushers in hope and promise. We look forward to the opening of Gulfstream, Fair Grounds, and Santa Anita. Add in Aqueduct, Tampa Bay, Oaklawn Park, and we have a circuit for runners gearing up for the first Saturday in May.
I start getting excited when Gulfstream will unveil the Holy Bull on 1/26/13. There are other races that offer up some quality action for three-year-olds, but this race has always been the starters pistol. Once you watch and wager on the first baby race with promise, the countdown officially begins. You can’t miss a weekend, and they get better as winter turns into spring. It happens every year, and I still look forward to the kickoff.
I have been looking into my crystal ball, and here are a few nuggets of joy that the Professor of Ponies has etched into stone:
- We have not seen many of the three-year-olds that will be taking the track the first Saturday in May. Keep your eyes peeled for new shooters who will be taking the route of less races.
- There will be a track casualty this year. With all of the in-fighting, and empty promises, a track that has offered excitement for many years, will become a strip mall or business park. Legislature has to be aware of the industry and the many issues they face. For a hundred years, racing has provided excitement, entertainment, revenue, jobs, and been a part of many communities. Why would you just cast this aside?
- Handicappers will no longer talk about synthetic tracks. Love em’ or hate em’, it has been too long that we have lived with them. We don’t even consider it a bad step to overcome. Matter-of-fact, I think many players have learned to dial into them for winners.
Be sure to make your resolutions, and get to the track or OTB as soon as possible. Dr’s orders… Getting away for a couple of hours of cerebral gambling can get the blood pumping. How many generations have enjoyed the beauty and pagentry of racing? We are the keeper of the flame. It is up to our generation from fan to director to make their voice heard. It is our game, and it is up to us to keep it flourishing for the next generation. So, start anew and get in the game!