A Day Well Spent

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 14, 2018 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

money bills or wad of cash over white background. vector illustration Stock Vector - 69488707


Isn’t it fun to visit old haunts? – You know, the places we used to go on a regular basis. – I’ve been away from playing in handicapping contests for years.  I used to play every weekend online, and sometimes make the trip to tracks. There was nothing better than watching your 15-1 shot hang on in the shadow of the wire. You would check the leaderboard after every race with bated breath. – I have my handicapping materials and ready to enjoy the day. No worries, no stress, and just having fun for the first time in a long time.

There are contests that have one round format and others offer a qualifier to move on. – I made a trek with a friend and played in a $20 qualifying round. We were talking about having a contest on our track and I wanted him to play in a small tournament to get his feet wet. – He enjoyed the evening as we wagered on the Del Mar card. – A great evening spent just talking and explaining the process. – The contest was run by Keeneland, and they’ve always put on a good show.

As the first broke from the gate, I snagged a 3-1 shot and moved on to the 2nd race. Good start, but chalk doesn’t hold up well as one 15-1 shot that can blow you off the leaderboard. – We talked and made some plans for our version. – The smaller ones are pretty much alike and this is a nice starter. – I ran 3rd at 10-1 and time to move on.

The evening was fun and took me back to making weekly treks on Friday nights. – It used to be on the Turfway Park card and it was enjoyable. Only $20 and a nice buffet dinner. It was hard to not to go and I won around 5 times over the years. The paydays were solid and qualifying for the Tournament of Champions was super. My Dad and my girlfriend would make the trek. It was a good time for all. – I just ran 2nd at 8-1 and my tally continued for the night.

As the contest was just past midpoint I made a bold move and caught a 12-1 shot. – Now that’s a building block to the winner’s circle, and I started paying attention to the leaderboard. – It had been a long time and this small contest was just what the doctor ordered. Part work venture, part enjoyment, and getting to know a work colleague as a good friend. It was a great night. – I was tied in fourth and needed to finish in the top 10% to move onto the finals. – Funny how something so long ago comes right back. – It was time to play conservative for the last race and try and catch a little chalk to build upon. – The rest of the players would be swinging for the fences.

Caught the last chalk keeping the chasers at bay. – As the smoke cleared I ran 2nd and was beaten by 60 cents for first. – I received a nice little check and an invite to the Tournament of Champions. – It is a one entry person qualifier and it will be held on 9 of any of the 11 races at Churchill. – I’m getting stoked for a day of fun just taking my shot. – Been a long time and I’m kinda happy to be part of the action. Going back with my Dad is a bonus as we get to talk up and back, and enjoy the new environment at the Red Mile where Keeneland holds all of their contests. – The top two get to play in the Horseplayer World Series and there is a prize money payout for the top ten.

This time last year was pretty tough for me health-wise, and I’m relishing the opportunity to play again. Win, lose or draw I’m really looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. – Being with my old man making the morning drive to Lexington already has me stoked. I’m a grateful man and appreciate each and every opportunity that comes my way. – Good vibes and positive thoughts to everyone who will play, and if you haven’t tried your hand it’s a great deal of fun. Keep your eyes peeled for Belterra Park this year as I think we’re going to bring some great new events for guests to enjoy. – Wish me luck! – I can’t wait to handicap and make the trek.