The Happy Horseplayer

The “Dog Days of Summer” are upon and summer racing is in full flight. – I’ve taken my time off and enjoyed the little things. You know, going to the races on a Saturday afternoon, swimming in the middle of the day, reading, and just having that fleeting feeling I haven’t had since my college days. – Take the time and smell the roses was the old saying we’ve heard since childhood. But only as we age do we really understand the meaning.




I’ve watched and moreover enjoyed the races. They’re fun to watch but even more so to wager. – Over the years I’ve learned to embrace the chalk. It’s ok to make that $10 win bet on a 4-5 shot. If it wins you have a “free spot” to wager on the next race. – You put up $10 and get back $18. That’s just fine with me. – You can’t make this your go-to wager because if you lose it will take two winners at the same price to be $6 to the good.

Don’t be afraid. If you find the lock of the day and they offer up short odds. Take em.’ – I love to play the pick four wagers on weekends at The Spa. – But only if they have a sweet guarantee pot. Most just pass and swear I’ve left my betting sense at home. – But this past weekend was a doozy.

I had two small tickets in play. It was a “short stack” day just enjoying time with friends making small wagers. – I parlayed a couple 5-1 winners into a couple P4 tickets. – I got past the first three with two singles in the wager. (Pretty good shooting if I say so myself). – My buddy was all excited and dialed up his computer in between an online contest he was playing. – ” Ed, you come back to; $187, $127, and $603. Let’s root for the big one and have a beer.” – I couldn’t agree more and have to admit the payoffs seemed healthy.

As they turned for home my 7-1 big payoff rolled around the field like they were stuck in the mud. – After “hi-fives” and asking what kind of beer they wanted I made my way to the window. – I slid my ticket across the desk and when the clerk slid it into the machine it showed a $79 payoff. – Needless to say, I didn’t believe it and asked for a result print out.  Yep, he was right. I had a little less than I thought rolling my way. – As I made my way back to the table my buddy immediately apologized. – “Ed, I’m so sorry. I was looking at Monmouth on my screen for payoffs.” – You could cry, bitch, or blame. I opted for a laugh and enjoyed a few more races with friends that are hard to come by in this world.


Clear the Watch List

I used to enjoy watching the races and keeping notes. – There are plenty of free places to keep your notes. They send you an email 48 hours in advance of the race, let you know when they work, and inform you of sizeable carryovers. All good stuff and you can’t beat the price. – I decided it was time to purge my list and start with Saratoga with horses that had a troubled trip, bad start, or were compromised. – I would like to share one I have running on Wednesday, 8/7/19 – Race #6 – #6 Mount Travers (12-1) – He scratched last out as it was a yielding soft turf on opening day. He cuts back in distance for Linda Rice and his only effort on the sod was soft going. – It is a $100k race, and the price may be worth the effort at the windows. I would have liked to see a nice allowance race, but I’ll make a small bet as the price will be right. Thursday – Saratoga – Race #3 – 1a – Mo Gee = Claimed last out and jumps up in class as part of an entry. Irad Ortiz replaces Luis Saez and this son of Uncle Mo is a strong closer.

Go ahead and give this a try. Trip handicapping is a lost art and it is well worth the time. – Until next month, best of luck from The Happy Horseplayer and Winning Ponies!