The Happy Horseplayer

Today has me winding back clocks and looking forward to an extra hour of sleep. Not a bad thing coming off a long Breeders’ Cup weekend where I’m tuckered out from reading and doing homework. I’ll need a day off before I start digging into the reports of how the horses came back. For The Happy Horseplayer, this has always been important. – I never like to just make a bet and read six months later how that Saturday-Superstar came up with an injury. – I did pretty well on the two-day mega-dose of the very best racing. Some was pretty much to form, and other races came up a little tougher. But that’s the sport of racing. – So wind back your clocks and sit back and listen to the insights from the previous month from this handicapper.

I finally made it back to Keeneland. – It had been two years and spent the day with mom and her husband. They’re pretty much newbies in every sense of the word and enjoyed the day. – They dined on the world-famous corned beef sandwiches and sat in the sun like racing royalty. It was one of the rare fall days where 73 degrees was nothing short of a blessing from the Racing Gods. – I had the horseplayer curse all day long running 1st and 3rd. I would rather be last than be that close every time. With a nine-race card on tap and close with no cigar, I asked if they would be ready to leave after the 8th and feature race. – They agreed and I went to work on the final wager. – BOOM ! – $20 to win on a winner that paid $33 and had a $2 exacta for me and a $1 exacta for my Mom. – As we walked to the car our day was a winner, and the time spent together was priceless. – So long to the “Brigadoon” of horse racing that appears twice a year. See you in the spring!

I was happy with the previous day and put a few bucks in my betting account. I ran it up with a couple of place wagers and dumped it into a big pick-four. – The Racing Gods had me in their favor and I luckily made a pretty nice score. It went right to bills and plans for a long cold winter. – Talk about a good couple days. – They are rare and we need to “rat hole” a few bucks so we can start that run at a later time. – It’s the silly squirrel that doesn’t stock away nuts for the winter.

After Breeders’ Cup, I usually take a month off. – I must admit, this is when my handicapping is pretty darn good. – Take away the money factor and the winners appear. – So if I knock out a weekend selection sheet, be sure and pay close attention. I’m on a handicapper’s sabbatical and I like to re-charge the batteries. – I have been doing this for years and I always come back hungry and ready to tear into the Fair Grounds cards.

For the year of racing, this is one of the last big weekends left on the table. It won’t be long until we’re talking 2018 and we’ll be ripping into the new year. – Some words of advice from the Happy Horseplayer are simple. Spend some time with those that matter, enjoy every race as we’ll never know when it may be our last call to post, and relish every gate break and charge for the wire with the enthusiasm of the younger player. – Get excited when you make your way to that races and enjoy the game more as we head into the late-fall ovals that offer up some glimpses for the next year. – Best of luck from the Happy Horseplayer!