Race Track Rounders

by Ed Meyer

posted on October 13, 2017 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

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There are a small group of players I see every year. It is about the same time and they always arrive with gusto. Dressed in summer finery, and caps or t-shirts bearing the track name. – They travel around the country every year and hit race tracks on a yearly bucket list. – They have been to so many, they just return to the ones they really enjoy. – This year two gents arrived at my booth and the day was made much brighter.

What do you do if you’re a retired teacher who loves the races? – Yup, you hit the road. – Long ago making a trek to the races was an exciting event. They told me how they met at a teacher’s conference in Saratoga Springs years ago, and as luck would have it they struck up a conversation about the ponies. – That’s been over 25 years ago and they have been hitting the road ever since. “The gals used to give us a month while they would make a few weekend trips to the beach, visit grandkids and old friends. Now we get as much as we want as long as we bring them home the winnings!”

“We’re not spring chickens anymore, and we limit it down to ten or so tracks. We get in some fishing, camping, hiking, and rafting in between. – We’re two old adventure hounds. We travel in luxury in Bill’s Thor Motor Coach. We usually make breakfast and dinner and dine under the canopy. – Sounds pretty tough, huh?  Dish TV and air-conditioned comfort that could make a couch potato out of anyone. – We love visiting roadside attractions and old military battlefields. – You can’t take the teacher out of two old fellas.”

The wives don’t like racing as we do and they do their thing. We’ve all been friends since the beginning of time. – After Breeders’ Cup, we start planning next year’s tour. – “I think we’re going West-Coast next year.”

Here is where we started by itinerary and made treks to the tracks we enjoy. – We have a ton of pictures, track merchandise and friends we look forward to seeing. – We try and make a night or two out on the town going to some of the top-shelf restaurants. – “No sense leaving a good meal off the list.” – In the spring of 2017, here are the tracks we visited.

We left Bloomfield, Indiana and started off for Keeneland for racing on 4/26 – 4/28/17 for some of the best racing in the world. If Heaven has a race track it probably looks like Keeneland. – Then on to Louisville for Oaks and Derby day at the world’s most historic track. Didn’t fair too well but had a great time. – The trip took us to “Sweet Home Chicago” and few days at Arlington Park. Still, a majestic beauty even though racing is struggling. – Heading East we hit Presque Isle and enjoyed a day of racing on the synthetic. We’re not much of a fan, but still a great day at the races. – Finger Lakes was next up, and it’s like going back to the days of when a track was a track. – There was a little time off for some extended fishing and camping and just taking our time. – Belmont was next up and we wanted to catch the third jewel in the Triple Crown. Great weekend and we love the sweeping turns of “Big Sandy.” – After hitting some historic battlefields we made a trek down to Laurel. A little disappointed, but still made the best of the old girl at the windows.  – Then on to Belterra Park. We sure miss old River Downs, but the small oval with the only turf course in the state is mega fun. – I really enjoyed when they came up and we talked horses for three races. – They even hit the pick-four that day for $280!

“We’re heading back home now and maybe we’ll catch an OTB or fair circuit if lucky. – Travelling in style allows us to keep up on baseball and staying in touch with everyone online. – We’ll send you our end of trip newsletter thanking all of the wonderful people for our yearly trek.” – When I saw it in my inbox this morning, there was not a better time to thank Bill and Mike for taking the time and share some stories.

Best of luck guys and hope to see you next time around. – (Bets) of luck to you both.