Turfway Park / The Return of Racing

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 1, 2013 in General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | 1 Comment >>

Turfway Park has seen about everything. There have been good times and bad, but at the end of the day the old gal still stands proud since 1959.  Live Thoroughbred racing returns on Sunday, Dec. 1, with the opening of Turfway Park’s 38th consecutive holiday meet. The track will present nine races daily on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through December, as well as on the Monday and Tuesday after Christmas day.

Churchill Downs absorbed the September dates, and the starting gates have been silent since last March. Wagering on Polytrack races used to be a stumbling block for handicappers, but enough time has passed that the learning curve is over. Here are some handy points to keep in mind as we begin our winter handicapping:


Norberto Arroyo, Albin Jimenez, Ben Creed, Rodney Prescott, Amanda Tamburello, Roberto Morales, Eddie Zuniga, and Perry Outzs.


Mike Maker, Jeff Greenhill, Kellyn Gorder, Burton Sipp, Joe Woodard, Jamie Grubbs, Thomas Drury, Kim Hammond, Jose Lopez, and Doug Danner.

Track Notes

  • When the weather gets cold and frigid, the surface needs to be watched closely. Last night may have been 42 degrees, and speed ruled the roost. Tonight it is 28 degrees, and the surface may change. You’ll want to watch replays and read the charts to get a good idea. Don’t be afraid to watch a race or two before making your wager.
  • Usually the place to be on the race track is along the rail. You’ll see some runners holding to the rail, but when the horses get into the final turn they tend to stay off the rail. They tend to travel in the two and three paths.
  • The track cards 6 1/2 races, and you will want peruse the charts to see how the races shape up.
  • Use shippers from: Churchill, Mountaineer, Hawthorne, Arlington, Presque Isle. The Chicago shippers have done well in the past, and turf runners have had success at Turfway Park.
  • Look for runners dropping in class and shipping in, and those fresh off a claim coming from bigger tracks.
  • Don’t hesitate to play runners that stretch-out in distance. They may have come up a little empty going 6f, but they tend to carry speed on this kind surface.
  • Pay close attention to the rider/trainer angles. Some do very well together, and it will payoff to know the details in the stats.
  • Stay clear of runners shipping in from lesser races. Trainers know the poly surface is safe, and it allows horses to stay fit and get needed work.


You’re in the right place with Winning Ponies, and you’ll have the inside track with the E-Z Win Forms. They are easy to use, color coded, and offer a clear picture of how the race will take shape. There are Last Race Ratings, Composite Ratings, and Turf Class Ratings for races carded on the greensward. The handy icons will grab your attention and keep you focused on how horses are coming into the race. You can find all of the rider/trainer stats by toggling over their name. Be sure to check back for stories, free selections, and the best in handicapping information.