A Day at the Races

by Ed Meyer

posted on July 24, 2018 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

I went into the weekend with excitement to play Saratoga and try to make a few bucks. – Trying to score is not a bad thing and keeping the bankroll growing is a great thing. – The best part of working at the track is you’ll never know what you’ll see. Maybe it’s an old friend or a favorite jockey who has a mount in your neck of the woods. Anything goes at the races, and this weekend was pretty cool.

 

Warriors of the turf

Perry Ouzts and Mario Pino had mounts on Sunday. Pino was in town to ride a stake and Ouzts was riding all day long. – The best part of the story is they’re the 9th and 10th all-time leading riders in the history of the sport. – Watching Perry stand next to Mario was worth its weight in gold. Two riders who are in the top ten riders in history standing in the winner’s circle at Belterra Park. I guess you would see this in your mind’s eye at Saratoga, Churchill or Keeneland. – But here we are watching two of the greats in our sport. – Then if it couldn’t get any better they are joined by T.D. Houghton and DeShawn Parker who are 21st and 23rd all-time. You could say it was a fun day watching two riders I’ve followed most of my life. – Perry Ouzts is nearing his 7,000th win and I think he’ll get it this meet.

 

The old and the new

I saw some familiar faces as I was leaving the track. Stopped down to the race book and saw an older gent in a wheelchair. He was sitting quietly while his son would make his bets and come right and sit close. – The father was in his late 80’s and looked small. – I remember when he would pull up to the track in his truck and stride in with a little boy around his neck. – The sun was shining and the times seemed eternal. – Seeing them still doing what they shared was good. Getting old is part of the plan but losing our passion is not. It was great to see them. – Earlier in the day, I saw another father and son duo, and the son was pushing a stroller with his wife. It was a beautiful sight seeing the generations doing what they shared. Made me smile as I saw them standing┬ánear the rail watching the ponies.

 

Old Friends

It is always good to share a little time with an old friend. Especially ones you’ve worked with at the track. – I ran into a fella who was a longtime steward. He used to be a rough and tumble rider at River Downs and Beulah and lost his wife over the winter. – He had an ear-to-ear smile. He turned in his shirt and tie for a summer shirt and golden tan. He looked happy and made his way around talking to the many he worked with for years. – I had heard he was having a tough time, but just being back at the races can do wonders for your soul.

There is a gent who loves the ponies so much it is hard to imagine him not in the grandstands. – He’s a big guy who has the look of a retired football player with a gentle as a puppy manner. He always likes to come up and visit once a year and we talk horses and he watches me do a race or two. He loves having the best seat in the house and is a pleasure to chat with. Stop up anytime, Bob. Always a pleasure talking horses with you.

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