Last Call for Wagers

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 17, 2015 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>

As I hung up the phone, I knew this was the last time I would talk to my friend. – He had an illness he kept from his circle of friends, and “didn’t want to bring anyone down.” – Little did he know that’s what friends are for. We’re there to listen, pick-you-up, or help in anyway we can. But he tried his best to keep on keeping on. He said life is for living, and he has done more than his share. – “Eddie, sometimes we bet on the wrong horse. You just stick it out and hope for the best. – But when you bet on the winner, life is so sweet.”


It’s not about the big score, or how I had a big weekend. This is about a longtime horse player who was a man among men. – He loved the competition and never was a big bettor. But he loved the action. – He started long ago going with family, and it carried over to his kids. He loved taking them to the races, and if you saw him, they were not far away. – How many of us learned the ropes the same way ? – I asked him once if he loved to handicap or he just enjoyed the action ? – ” Action. If you have a deuce on a 10-1 in the last, you’re not out yet.” – Those are the words of a gambler.

He and I talked, and his gentle voice sounded weak on the phone. There were times I thought we would end, and he would bring up another story. – For most, stories can be tough to listen to, but for me they have always captured my attention. – This was his life, and he wanted to share a little of his time with me. Horse players know time is  important. A fast pace means anything can happen, and slow fractions favor the front runners for the most part. His life was a fine mix of quick quarters and slow middle fractions to put the field to sleep. – He worked for the city most of his adult life and enjoyed the camaraderie of the other guys in the office. He could slip away for the daily double as he got his boss hooked on making a wager or two. These were the good times. He would make “book” on some football and basketball wagers, and then started taking horse racing wagers. He kept his small 8-10 friends / clients, and was not interested in getting bigger. – ” Too much trouble. If you get too big, you’ll attract the wrong kind of players, and it only gets worse from there.” – “I pay on time, and get paid on time. We have a limit to how much can be wagered, and what can be lost or won. This way I won’t lose my house, and I’ll know you’ll have a car to drive to work.” – He never had too many bad weeks, and would be at the track every weekend.

He once told me the secret of a good life is “having a good partner.” – “Eddie, find yourself the right gal, and you’ll be a winner everyday.” – He told me he was finally selling his house and moving to Florida. – ” My wife passed away after a long battle with her illness. She wanted to be in the area for the kids and grandkids. She loved them, and wouldn’t move for a million dollars.- I respected her wishes, and we stayed. But I’m getting out of here. – I’m trading the snow for the sun, and I’m heading to Tampa Bay. – Baseball, football, horse racing, dog racing, and plenty of visits from the grandkids will keep me busy.” – That was over three years ago, and he made a trip up this summer. He looked much slimmer, and gave me a compliment about my race calls. – “Hey, last year you were terrible, but you have gotten much better. Keep up the good work my man !” – That was the last time I saw him, and he told me to dig him up on Facebook and we’ll stay in touch. – He wasn’t much of a computer guy, but he would send me messages about horses at Belterra Park, and ones he really liked elsewhere. – I knew him since I was a parking lot kid, and he used to bust me up by saying out loud; ” I think you should go back to the parking lot if you can’t pick any better than that !”

“Eddie, I’m getting pretty tired and want to take a nap. – Hey, I really nailed them at the Breeders’ Cup this year. – I had a hunk on Nyquist, Runhappy, Found, and had Florent Geroux’s winners. – That kid can ride.” – I gave some money to my son and they bought a new car, and my baby girl was able to save for her son’s college as he’ll be going next year. – I wanted to thank you for all the nice things you did for me. You always had a table for me on big days, and gave me invites to special parties. She and I really appreciated all you did for us.” – My pleasure. I was more than glad to have you as my friend these many years. If there is anything I can do, just let me know. – “I’m ok, Eddie. Just wanted to gab with you and catch up. – Take care of you and your son.” – That was the last time I heard his voice. – I saw on Facebook his daughter posted about his death, and how he wished to have his ashes scattered at the track. He had two adult children and three grandchildren, and left behind a lifetime of good memories and friends. – She said his last wish was not for anyone to send flowers, as that was a waste of money! – Go to the track for lunch, and bet the ponies. That’s what he would’ve done, and wanted everyone to start their day with a $5 daily double of 2 and 3. – Two was for his two greatest loves (his children), and three was for his even bigger loves ( his grandchildren). – “Dad wanted to wish everyone the best of luck, and hope that you had half as good a life as he did. If so, you’ll be a winner forever.”