Calling Them Home

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 15, 2022 in General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | Comments Off on Calling Them Home

Anytime you walk into a new race track, there’s a sense of opening that first package at Christmas. – Will it be what you wanted? – Can it be more than you ever thought? – Is this your new place to call home?

Many horse racing fans have these same feelings as the others who just want to get their bet on. Either way, it serves the child in all of us ripping open our Red Rider BB Gun. Just don’t shoot your eye out. – I must admit it was bigger and brighter than the old dank and dark white elephant that opened in 1959. – It followed the original “Old Latonia Race Course” from Latonia, Kentucky built in 1883 and closed its doors for good in 1939 following the financial losses from the “Great Depression” – Years later the new Latonia Race Course rose from the farmlands to open its doors in 1959, and carried on until 1986 when it was purchased and renamed “Turfway Park” under the guiding hand of Jerry Carroll and partners. – I grew up and cut my teeth going to this winter-spring oval which at one time had one of the best fall meets in the state.

I had filled in at Turfway Park calling races in the huge creaky building that was held together by a wing and a prayer. – We had a brand-new building being created and had temporary pods where I also filled in calling races from the TV signal. – Now, the day had arrived, and once again I was called up to fill in. – The huge new building overlooks an infield tote board and the building was a palace dedicated to slot machines, a bad-ass bar, and a place for racing fans to watch and wager. – I made the long walk-in and had to be escorted up by electronic swiping passes to allow me to the next level. Bright and beautiful with many of the same faces I had come to call my friends over the years.

I got there early to polish my glasses, get my scratches and changes ready and prepare for the new era. – Not nervous, just excited like that young boy who took the trek with his dad so many times during the old Latonia days. – Glasses ready calling them on the track, and the waiting game begins. – Finally, the field assembled behind the gate and then I got to do something that most racing fans would have loved to do. – Me in a room by myself, binoculars ready, and sending them on their way for the evening.

As they turned for home it all came flooding back to decades spent with my dad watching our $2 bets bring us more joy than the law allows. I was back even for a few days. But what a few days they would be capping off the card with the $125,000 My Charmer Stakes. Solid race with an exciting outcome. – I think it came out pretty good and the crowd on the apron seemed to enjoy the excitement of live Thoroughbred racing once again.

As I packed my equipment and made my long walk to the car, my heart was filled with that old familiar feeling of spending a day at the races. – If I live to be 103 years old, there is no other action for this gambler. – Here’s a sample from YouTube of my final race for my three-day stint. – Enjoy!


(11) RACE 7 PROGRAM 12-11-2022 – YouTube