Making Memories and Remembering

by Ed Meyer

posted on September 4, 2022 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | Comments Off on Making Memories and Remembering

I always tell readers to take a new person to the races. Especially if they’ve never been and take the time to explain what’s going on during the day. – This makes it more fun and who knows? Maybe you’ve made a lifelong fan for the game. I have a couple of stories; one from the past and the other that will take place this Tuesday.

Friend #1 – He was never into horse racing and was more of a race car, dune buggy type guy who loved that style of racing. But we’re very good friends and he was willing to try anything new that I loved. I guess it could have been that we were going out afterward as he may have thought of this as an appetizer of having a few beers and watching a few races.

I started to explain what was going to happen in the next 20 minutes, and he interrupted me and asked if I wanted a beer. “No, I’m good for now. I try not to drink and play the horses.” Looking back maybe a good idea for a young horse player, but he was just getting started. As he made his way back from the concession booth, he had two large draft beers in his hands. “I said I’m ok, and I’ll wait till later. – They’re not for you, they’re mine.” – The night was set, and he was getting lubed up for taking in the races.

Race #1 – They took the track, and he handed me a $20. – “ Bet me whatever you’re playing.” – While I was gone, he hit the concession stand for two more Pabst Blue Ribbon drafts. – The race was running, and he stood up and started screaming for our horse with vivid profanity and high fives as he crossed the line first. – “Great job, let’s do it again!”

Race #2 – They were coming onto the track, and I went down to stand in line to make a bet. When I returned there were two more large paper cups filled with the golden nectar that was making him a racing fan for the night. – If we stayed five races he was going to be passed out.

After Race #4 – He was starting to get “Yellow Cab” drunk and began to really show his new interest for the game. – When he took his shirt off where we were sitting, there he was 12 large cups of handicapping juice into the evening, I thought we’d wrap it up a little early and head on out for a few more drinks. – When I asked him what he thought about the track as he walked shirtless to the car; he said, “Man, the beers are really expensive at the track.” – He really tried to enjoy the horses for me, and as my good buddy he took one for the team. – He passed away suddenly this week, and I’ve been reflecting on some of the good old days we spent together in our youth. – He wasn’t going to be a regular visitor, but for me he was willing to try anything. – I’m sure gonna miss my friend. He was one of the good guys. How many friends would force himself to drink 12 beers and watch the races without his shirt for a buddy?


Tuesday is a day I’ve been waiting for. – I have a friend who’s going to come up to the races and sit in the announcer’s booth with me watching the races. – She’ll tell me stories of how she fell in love with racing many moons ago with her horse racing loving husband and all the big days she was on hand to enjoy. – She was the receptionist you would hear on the other end of line greeting you with a smile and direct your call to the right place. If you think of all of the important jobs at the track, this one quietly sits in the top five. When Covid hit, she was one of the many let go as the future was in question. When called back, she opted to remain a fan with good memories instead.

You want to know who the special guests who are coming on Thursday, she’ll know. Problems in the office, she knows. – Promotions being planned, she has all the scoops. – Long ago I found out from another track to always bring in candy once a month to the receptionist. My check was always waiting there with a program, and before I would leave, I could write a book on who was doing what. They keep the incoming traffic moving like the Swiss trains. – So, my friend is coming up to spend the day and watch her favorite rider Perry Ouzts make his way to the winner’s circle. I sure hope he has a great day! – Even more, I sure hope she enjoys her trip out to see me.

She’ll speak of the many trips of going to River Downs with her husband. He’s been gone twenty years now, but her tone makes it seem like they were there just minutes ago. We’ll share stories, and I’ll show her the fun of the best seat in the house. – She loves the excitement of the races, and you can bet dollars to donuts I’ll ham it up a bit so we can share a laugh and talk until the next race. – That’s what it’s all about. Sharing your love of something with others.

I’ve always said the best part of racing is the people. Many over the years I have written about in my blogs. – Taking the time to enjoy the day and just share a laugh is worth its weight in gold. Looking back, I remember many stories and incredible people. Many are gone, and still to this day I have met many new faces with a story all their own. If you put my feet to the fire and asked me who I’d like to spend a day at the races it would be easy.

My Dad and I riding out to catch the last three races at Latonia Racecourse in his old rusty white pick-up truck. My grandpa in the front seat and my Dad picking him up with a $20 bill wrapped around an admission pass. My college buddy who would put a Daily Racing Form on the window of my car with a written note “ Meet me here at 11:am, and we’ll go to Keeneland.” – Those days were golden then and even better to look back on. – Well, I’d like to talk more about the good old days, but my son and I are going to watch and wager on some races from Saratoga today. Memories still to be made, and I’m sure they’ll bring a smile now and times to come.


See you in the winner’s circle.