Scouting Mission Saturday

by Ed Meyer

posted on February 6, 2016 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>


It’s Saturday, and I start the day like the others. I get up early, sip some OJ, take a shower, and sit back and read. Same routine for years, and sometimes it lasts the entire daytime card. – At other times during the year I have football on the mind, and get ready to sprinkle in great gridiron action with my targeted plays of the day. – Life gets even better when racing is in session as I get to the track two hours early, take down the scratches, overweights and rider changes. I look up the latest forecast to make sure the players hear what to plan for when I announce the changes 25 minutes to post. – This allows me final prep time to make a bet or two at New York or Florida before my day gets started. – I allow myself a $500 mythical bankroll today, and play it just like it’s real money. I keep copious notes about what I play and how much, as this allows me to stay in the groove. – The mantra of every real horse player is the same. ” I’m a little short today, but not to worry. I’ll be back again.”

Best part about scouting missions, I’ll see runners in trouble and I’ll drop them into my stable mail. No biased comments as I don’t have a buck wagered, and they usually do pretty well on the return. – A good friend of mine passed away on January 8,  and he was the one credited with the “scouting mission” idea. – He was a big time high school coach and later in life was a college coach at a local university. – He would go tapped in a race or two, and would sit back with cigarette in hand and take notes on small pieces of paper.  They would look like scraps he would shove into his pocket and take them to school the next day and commit them to paper with comments. This was a coach’s method of watching the races with an open mind. – I learned over the years he would not torture himself being broke and would take his time scouting horses to watch. – I remember he had about two bad weeks. and finally he made it out of the penalty box to play again. – He went on a run that still makes me draw a breath to this day. – After his fifth straight win, he looked at me and said; ” That was another scouting mission horse.”  – He tossed me a $100 bill and told me to “get in the game.” He continued the card and was back in the game.

There is no shame if you follow the game you love with the same gusto as when you are stacked with cash. This allows you to stay informed, and for lack of a better answer. It puts you in “gambler’s jail” where you can go crazy waiting, or make use of the time getting ready for days to come. – It’s your call. The time passes the same either way, and before you know you’ll be back in the game. – Back in the day you would have some downtime in between race meets. This allowed you to recoup a bankroll and come off the shelf hungry. – In the days of full card simulcast, the races come at you like a machine gun. You don’t even have time to gab with friends as someone is running up to the windows like a marathon.

My grandpa was a lifelong horse player. His favorite line was “all horse players must die broke.” – At the time, I didn’t grasp, but now it means more to me than it ever did to him. It makes me feel close to the good old days, and he would have down times. – He was a plumber by trade and would venture out to his garage office and clean up months of busy work. He would scrap metal, get his tools oiled and greased, and would sort through his paperwork. – There was no such thing as watching replays, and the only computer was on the Twilight Zone. – He would take a break. No telling how much time, but he would work and stay busy. Keeping your mind fresh and ready is the best medicine. – He would pick up a few big jobs and back into action he would come. – Each to his own, and the time off would be his therapy.

My old man was a blue-collar type and a working machine. He always stayed busy, and after working construction all day, he would pick up a paint job to make a few bucks. – I used to tag along and scrape a little and mostly goof around. I loved being with the old man, and we would take a break about the time the race of the day would come on radio. WNOP 840 am would bring the live last race and play the stretch call of the feature race. There was nothing like sitting on the ground hovered around the small circular am radio as it was our front row seat to all the action. – Once the racing action was over, we would get back to work. He used to call painting his therapy. Only now do I understand he was taking a little time off. He would get back in the game and we would make our weekly treks to the races after he got back on track.


So as I sit here listening to European racing in the background making “mind” bets. I’ve picked two winners from three races watched. Nothing to get heated about, and it’s only for a short break. I’ll come back stronger and ready, and that you can take to the bank. I’ve learned the art of the scouting mission, and it can be a helpful tool in getting me back on track, or just allow the bad streak to pass on by quietly. – I’m starting to look over the E-Z Win Forms and observing who I can use to find maximum value. – I’ll channel surf between racing and the latest Super Bowl chatter. At the end of the day I’ll have some good runners to follow, and I’ll make some mind bets. The scouting mission Saturday has begun. If you’re going to play with real money, or just make some well thought out mind bets. Be sure to download your E-Z Win Forms to have the best advantage.