Can You Remember the First Time ??

by Ed Meyer

posted on September 27, 2016 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, Uncategorized, | No Comments >>

The best part was when they handed you the dirty dollar bills. If you were lucky, there were a few coins you’d grab up and shove into your pocket. – There was no sweeter feeling in the world. You were the big winner.  The gambling bug had bitten, and my love affair began.

I recall with vivid detail my first on many occasions. – My first win at the track was on a horse called One Lucky Devil. Marie Robertson rode this gal and it seemed every Saturday she would be entered. She would win or finish second. It was “The Devil” or Snappy Macree ridden by Marty Steigmeyer. – They made those cold afternoons  exciting by turning Latonia race course into the Kentucky Derby for this young man.

My first exotic was a daily double. – Carl Falconer a jockey / fireman / EMT rode both halves and it paid $12. – I know this for true fact as they cancelled the races. There was a small storm called the “Blizzard of 1978” rolling into the area. – The track cancelled for weeks, and the money was burning a hole in my pocket. – This year I met Carl face-to-face. He stopped up to my announcer’s booth with trainer Eric Reed and I met the man who rode my first double. I told him the story and he chuckled and laughed about my first big win. Eric is a great guy, and Carl a class act. – It was a good day at the races that day.

Everyone has heard about betting with a bookie and we all get that mental picture of some big guy with a square jaw. – My first time betting with a “bookie” was with two old men my grandpa and my dad used to call. They took small bets on horses before the days of simulcasting was ever a thought. You would be cut on your odds if your horse paid XXX above a certain limit and no big time exotic bets. – My first winning wager was on Lt. Bert at Oaklawn Park. No program, Form, or anything. Just picking names from the paper with jockeys. – It paid a whopping $20 to win and I had $2 to win and place. My dad left the newspaper on the table for me to read when I was leaving for school.  – As I graduated up the ladder, I was put on a $20 week limit. My dad had arranged the deal and all I had to do was do good in school and not get in trouble. Pretty good deal for a kid who loved the horses. – I used to call and make a $2 win bet on the race on the radio from River Downs, Keeneland, Churchill, and Latonia. I can still recall all of the am radio stations to pick up the stretch call. These were the best of times and the beginning of a love affair that would last to this day.

Good days, bad days, and everything in between. – The races were always there for me, and never let me down. Kinda’ like that first love you’ll always remember no matter how it ended. The races put me through college, and gave me one of my first jobs in the parking lot. When I couldn’t find a job teaching school, the track allowed me to move up the ladder and do what my heart loved. The races were my first love, and to this day they still hold my heart. They employ me, excite, and never grow old. – When I pull in the parking lot I am excited for the day and when I pull out to go home I think about the next time I’ll be there. – It’s fair to say I’ll always remember my first.