A Gambler’s Prayer

by Ed Meyer

posted on January 11, 2016 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | 2 Comments >>

It’s not a win, or the riches, or glory we seek. Just the pleasure of watching true beauty compete. – To entertain and exhilarate to celebrate time. The events of my days grew sweeter like wine. – We danced in the sun with stories and friends, and memories filled from beginning to end. The days flew right on by; where does time really go ? – For all questions are answered at the end of the road.

( Found on a program )


I’ve had the pleasure of watching racing for many years. It never grows old, and I can’t wait until next time. For me, it is a time of reflection and hope. I like to think back to where it all began and how it all started. I can recall when I was young and thought the people around me would be there forever. We all know the reality of life, and for this gambler life has passed in twenty minute intervals. – I found this writing on a program in the high players’ room. It was written neatly and folded to show the cover. The table was cleared, and on it sat this one single item. I suppose that’s what drew me to pick it up at the end of the day. – Lines scrawled on a racing program were the words of a gambler.

The man was all business, and I wouldn’t have thought he’d ever wasted his time writing down more than a wager. He was the biggest player, and he garnered attention from everyone.- I kept the piece of paper as I meticulously removed it from the program cover. I can’t tell you why, or what I was thinking. But I kept it in a small binder filled with ideas and plans. It’s been over 13 years since I’ve seen the binder, and today I was going through a box filled with racing memories. – It was my time at a place that began as a young kid, and eventually grew into a wonderful job. I enjoyed the action, the whirl of humanity, and being close to what I loved.

As I looked back at the date on the program, it was one week before the man passed away. He had been very ill for sometime and didn’t tell many. The kind of attention he really didn’t care for. – I used to speak with him daily and enjoyed our brief passing of time. – After reading this time faded paper, I felt it wasn’t just a note or a thought after winning a bet. This was something a little more. It had the feel of someone revealing their heart. – Rare to find such a thing, and if you ever met the man you would have doubted it came from his thoughts. – I knew it could have only come from one person, as I had watched him sign his name for comps for years. His table would be filled with a rotating group of players, and most of them hung on just to be a part of his entourage. He didn’t mind, and mainly let them do all the talking. He would sit back quietly and every so often would chime in with a nugget of wisdom.

Gamblers are a funny sort. Some are superstitious and have to sit in the same seat, others need to play certain numbers, and there are those who feel “outside forces” are at work. – I kept this program note as a reminder. It may have been sentimental, or knowing I was leaving that year had me collecting important items and memorabilia in a large sealed container. -Maybe there would come a day when I would be looking for something and stumble across something. An item that would recall a time in my life. – That day was today. After I put the faded piece of paper in a sealed folder, I thought about the words. They were not just ramblings, but a prayer of sorts. It was the words of man looking back with gratitude knowing time was growing short. – A million people could read it and you may get a million different ideas. – For me, it was a gambler’s prayer. Not asking for the big winner or right horse, but looking back with gratitude and understanding. – I’ll keep it and try my best to preserve this. I’ll look a few years and see if I feel the same, or maybe I’ll have a different perspective. Either way, I’ll keep the words of this prayer and pass it along down the road.