The Happy Horseplayer

Another month passes, and racing action is beginning to heat up. There’s nothing like Thoroughbreds thundering home in the summer sun. – The Triple Crown is upon and my excitement is at a fever pitch. But when a Triple Crown hopeful is on the line, the joy of watching the historic event is that much sweeter. – What makes your inner-racing fan happy? Is it the beauty of the majestic horses? Could it be the history that weighs in the balance? Or maybe you’re looking for a big score at the windows. Any of the above would be just fine, but for me, it reminds me of the many years of standing in the summer sun with my dad. The ride to the track and the post-race trek home. There was nobody more in the world I wanted to go to the races with, and this Saturday is more special than others.

 

Belmont Birthday Boy

 

My dad, August E. Meyer turns 75-years-young this Saturday. – He’s seen many races, photos, and excitement that only horse racing could provide. He was the guy who took me to my first races. We would drive the backroads to Latonia or River Downs and catch the last few races. – I would relish every moment and celebrate every win. – He taught me to read the program and understand his passion for the sport. Speed. He loves to play early runners who break from the gate and play a little game called “catch me if you can.” – You won’t see his wagers with the “Silky Sullivan” type runners. His philosophy¬†about speed could harken back to his days as an athlete, or maybe it’s just his nature to jump out and take control. – Either way, this Saturday my handicapping buddy has a birthday. He’ll be 75 and I sure hope he gets to see a Triple Crown winner. But I’m sure he won’t be cheering for the chalk as he loves to beat the favorite. – Happy birthday, Dad. We all love you…

 

Pass it on

 

I see people every day at the track, and nothing does my heart good than to see one passing to another. – I work with some people who are new to the races and they stop and ask questions. – Nothing better than to share your love of the game. – There is one young lady who has no clue about horse racing. When she sheepishly started asking me questions; I told her just relax and let the game come to you. – I’ll help along the way, and as the old saying goes “there are no silly questions.” I told her my love of the sport came through years of watching and wagering. It’s not something you can learn in a day and night school won’t help. – You have to be there. Experience the races and go from there. – I’m watching as she learns, and her questions show interest in racing. I think before long she’ll make her first trek to the races with her friends, and her plans to see Keeneland in the fall will only add to the love of the game. – “You keep asking and I’ll keep answering.” – I think she’ll be pretty excited this Saturday when she witnesses the Belmont Stakes. The chance to see history in the making with the backdrop of a packed crowd at the track will light her inner-racing fan. Good luck, kiddo!

 

It wouldn’t do the game justice if we didn’t show the 1973 Belmont. – Just watching Secretariat draw off and win by 31 lengths is still enough to give chills. – Sit back and listen to the late-great “Chic” Anderson as he paints the canvas on this historic day. It’s been 45 years to the day, and it still feels like yesterday. - Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies!

 

 

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