The Happy Horseplayer

by Ed Meyer

posted on July 11, 2018 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>

As we break into the month of July the heat and humidity have taken the place of the cool crisp air. – Some of my favorite summer tracks are getting ready to open. – How can you not enjoy the historic Saratoga races? You’ll see the biggest outfits in the sport descend on the oldest race track in the country. – Or, if the Spa isn’t your cup of tea how about the one-of-a-kind place where the surf meets the turf? – Incredible racing at both and I know summer is in full bloom when they arrive. – I love to see the red and white canopies in New York and the sound of Bing Crosby at the end of the day at Del Mar singing ” Where the surf meets the turf.”


Summer brings turf into full swing. – I would rather bet the greensward than anything else. I’m pretty sure it began when I watched my first Arlington Million years ago at River Downs. – The simulcast explosion had not taken place, and what a treat it was to have one race being shown at our local track. – Teleprompter was ridden by Tony St. Ives in the “Miracle Million” where temporary stands were in place for the 35,000 in attendance. -A fire had ravaged the grandstand and clubhouse and the meet was moved to Hawthorne Race Course, but the first million-dollar race was still held at Arlington. – I guess if you cash a nice winner it’s a day you’ll always remember.

I enjoy all the seasons watching horse racing. But there’s something special about having the sun on your face watching them thunder for home. – It takes me back and reminds me of the days when I first fell in love with racing. Jogging from the parking lot with my dad and racing to the gates. I would walk to the paddock, and he would eventually allow me to make the trek alone when I became old enough.  I watched with baited breath seeing small-time claiming trainers saddle their runners. For me, it was better than having a front row seat on Derby Day. – Eventually, this is where I was allowed to make one or two place bets. I couldn’t wait until my dad would ask me who I liked. Once you get the call it means you are now a part of the club. – Nothing like summer racing and for me it holds many special memories.

As always I am still the grateful fan. Having a few bucks on a race gives you a thrill that is still hard to explain. It’s even better when then they win. – I get to see old faces and meet new ones.  Working at the track is a neat experience. There’s never been a day when my car pulled into the parking lot that I’ve regretted working there. – Oh, I won’t be a millionaire but my memories and experiences are worth more than money. – This year I’ve had many things to be grateful, and walking into the track is the cherry on my sundae. – As always, I ask you to take someone new to the races. It’s the best way to introduce someone to the greatest sport to watch and wager. Also, take someone who hasn’t been in awhile. Let the races be the greatest trip you’ll make all year. – Nothing like a day watching the ponies. The stories, the pre-race chatter, and the after race excuses. Nothing like spending some time with those you enjoy making a bet or two. – Until next month, this is the Happy Horseplayer wishing you the best of luck!