The Happy Horseplayer – Back From Vacation

I’ve been taking a little vacation. – No, I didn’t hit the beach or go to the mountains. I took a break since the Breeders’ Cup. – Now, that didn’t mean I stopped reading or handicapping the races. It was a little hiatus from the windows. – Right after the BC, I took a little break away to freshen up.

I would suggest we all take a little break from time-to-time. –  You come back hungry and ready to do the homework needed to find the winners. – It’s all up to you. “A shot at the title or a seat by the band.”


Breeders’ Cup Break

When you do so much handicapping for two days you get a little tuckered out. That was me. – There’s a needed break for handicappers. – Once upon a time, we had downtime. There were no OTB’s with every track in the world to wager. Constant action can dull even the sharpest blade. – If you were lucky enough to have a local track. There would be a time when live racing would end and you could build up a bankroll. In my neck of the woods, it was Latonia (Turfway Park) with a couple months off before the River Downs (Belterra Park) meet would begin.

You built up a bankroll, did some needed home repairs, visited family and friends. Anything but gambling. – Now, if you wanted to watch the races you could drive to Lexington or Louisville. But these trips were rare.

The downtime is good for your handicapping soul. You come back refreshed and fall in love all over again. – Whoever said; “Less is more” when it came to the races may have had a good point. – From my front door, there are 7 casino/racinos in action 24/7/365. – Constant action with everything from racing, slots, VLT’s, Instant Racing, sports wagering, and charitable bingo parlors. A cornucopia of gambling and the dollar only goes so far.

As I embark on my return to the ring. I’m ready. – I’ve been watching and reading and the ponies are calling. It won’t be long and the winter tracks will be offering marquee races as the road to the Derby begins again. – Great time to be a horseplayer. – The horses go to the farm and rest. They run and jump and get a little fatter eating hay and grass. They become a horse again. – Then after a period of time, they begin the process of working and jogging. Before long they come back to the races. They are fresh as a daisy and ready to run.


What do you buy a horseplayer for Christmas?

Gamblers are funny sorts. – They can all use underwear and sox, but maybe a gift more fitting their love fits under the tree. Give these ideas a “think” before wrapping up that ugly sweater.

My Dad buys a handful of scratch-off lottery tickets. – As people come in for the Christmas eve celebration everyone is given one with a lucky penny. – Nice way to start the night as everyone watches to see who’s the big winner.

How about a nice betting voucher in a heartfelt card? – Maybe a $50 betting voucher will hit the gambler’s wish list. – Nothing like starting the day a few bucks to the good.

There are track packs with dining, programs, and tip sheets. – All you have to do is call your local track and see if they offer a packet or gift certificate. – I guarantee this will be a night to remember.

Now, what to buy your significant other who loves the ponies? – How about a couple tickets for the Derby or Breeders’ Cup this year? – Make plans and go together. – They are already on sale and the planning is the best part. – Going to the races is great. Sharing the adventure is worth its weight in gold.


Happy holidays and Merry Christmas from your old friend, The Happy Horseplayer. – May this year be filled with health, wealth, and happiness. – Enjoy the journey and relish each trip you make to the track. – Oh, and do the H.H. a big favor this year. Take a young person to the races for the first time and spend the day sharing your love of the sport. Or, call up that friend or family member and catch the action live. Nothing like spending some time with those who matter most. I’ll bet dollars to donuts it will become a tradition.