Big Wins, Bad Beats and Long Walks to the Car

I was at Churchill Downs for the Breeders’ Cup in 2011. – Now, I know I’m not the only one in the world but this track is 100 miles from my home and I am a true lover of racing. – There was a fat pick-four pool and I needed to find that single that may upset the apple cart. For me, it was a gal by the name of Turallure. She had the French-sensation Julien Leparoux in the irons and I felt pretty good coming into the race. She’s easy to see coming down the lane. – Leparoux was known for not getting excited and when I saw him raise his hand in the air it looked all but done. But the photo-finish had her a nose back.


I was at Arlington Park for the Million as I’m a huge fan of turf racing. Great weather, great races and even had a hotel room on the first turn of the track for a song. – Things couldn’t have been going any better. – I arrive the night before and catch the second half of the card. I win about $300! Wow, I am off to a great start. – I go back to the simulcast building as I heard they had great food. It was a perfect steak and four beers that made me feel right at home. I even bet Mountaineer Park which is not on my usual course list, but +$500 an hour later, and I was a fan for life. –  I walked in the next day and was only going to bet the Arlington card. That was until I looked up at a soggy Saratoga and saw a horse on my list for 1 month. – Ok, ok. Just one good bet and off to my seat. – I bet $200 to win and he drew away paying $14. It was my day to steal a line from the Richard Dreyfuss movie Let It Ride. I was having a very good day – I was betting small and winning all day long. It was time to bet multiple races into my key runner. A Euro runner ridden by a young gun by the name of Jamie Spencer. – I really liked Powerscourt and put all of my winnings and tucked back my initial bankroll. I had multiple pick-three’s, four’s, trifecta keys, and $200 to win on him at (6-1). When they turn for home watch the black silks flying on the outside.  Fast forward to 17.00 to catch the race.  – He was DQ’ed as he came over at the 1/8th pole.






The Happy Horseplayer

Today has me winding back clocks and looking forward to an extra hour of sleep. Not a bad thing coming off a long Breeders’ Cup weekend where I’m tuckered out from reading and doing homework. I’ll need a day off before I start digging into the reports of how the horses came back. For The Happy Horseplayer, this has always been important. – I never like to just make a bet and read six months later how that Saturday-Superstar came up with an injury. – I did pretty well on the two-day mega-dose of the very best racing. Some was pretty much to form, and other races came up a little tougher. But that’s the sport of racing. – So wind back your clocks and sit back and listen to the insights from the previous month from this handicapper.

I finally made it back to Keeneland. – It had been two years and spent the day with mom and her husband. They’re pretty much newbies in every sense of the word and enjoyed the day. – They dined on the world-famous corned beef sandwiches and sat in the sun like racing royalty. It was one of the rare fall days where 73 degrees was nothing short of a blessing from the Racing Gods. – I had the horseplayer curse all day long running 1st and 3rd. I would rather be last than be that close every time. With a nine-race card on tap and close with no cigar, I asked if they would be ready to leave after the 8th and feature race. – They agreed and I went to work on the final wager. – BOOM ! – $20 to win on a winner that paid $33 and had a $2 exacta for me and a $1 exacta for my Mom. – As we walked to the car our day was a winner, and the time spent together was priceless. – So long to the “Brigadoon” of horse racing that appears twice a year. See you in the spring!

I was happy with the previous day and put a few bucks in my betting account. I ran it up with a couple of place wagers and dumped it into a big pick-four. – The Racing Gods had me in their favor and I luckily made a pretty nice score. It went right to bills and plans for a long cold winter. – Talk about a good couple days. – They are rare and we need to “rat hole” a few bucks so we can start that run at a later time. – It’s the silly squirrel that doesn’t stock away nuts for the winter.

After Breeders’ Cup, I usually take a month off. – I must admit, this is when my handicapping is pretty darn good. – Take away the money factor and the winners appear. – So if I knock out a weekend selection sheet, be sure and pay close attention. I’m on a handicapper’s sabbatical and I like to re-charge the batteries. – I have been doing this for years and I always come back hungry and ready to tear into the Fair Grounds cards.

For the year of racing, this is one of the last big weekends left on the table. It won’t be long until we’re talking 2018 and we’ll be ripping into the new year. – Some words of advice from the Happy Horseplayer are simple. Spend some time with those that matter, enjoy every race as we’ll never know when it may be our last call to post, and relish every gate break and charge for the wire with the enthusiasm of the younger player. – Get excited when you make your way to that races and enjoy the game more as we head into the late-fall ovals that offer up some glimpses for the next year. – Best of luck from the Happy Horseplayer! 





If I was a Betting Man…

by Ed Meyer

posted on October 31, 2017 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>

Eddie Mush's Profile Photo, Image may contain: 1 person

How many times have we heard the magic sounds of the wanna’ be player talk about the race? – Long ago, I was told by a seasoned horse player that opinions at the track are backed up with money. There is always a few that seem to know everything about every runner and why we should have bet them. – With this in mind, I have compiled a few cheeseball moves that really get my goat at the races.

When we go to the track, rooting and cheering is an important part of the exciting action. The screams for a rider’s name and what they should do never bothered me. Hell, I’ve even found myself hollering for a rider to switch leads and go to the whip. – Now, I’ve never switched leads going 40 mph, but since I have a $2 investment that gives me full right to root them home. – No problems with the bettors who love to cheer til’ they’re hoarse. Players are the best part of the game. – But there are a few items that really get me good. They have no bearing on my horse or his trip, but rather it’s a cheese-grater being put to use on the back of my skull. – This is a picture of “Eddie Mush” from the movie Bronx Tale. – If you’re not familiar with the gambler, give the movie a watch and you’ll swear you’ve seen him at every track you’ve visited.


1. – The Finger snapper = I’m not sure how they get their fingers to make the wild snapping noise, but it surely can unnerve you pretty quick. – I’ve never been a fan of the “snap” and is it their way of going to the whip or communicating with the rider telling them to use the crop? – Either way, I hate the sound of snapping fingers held above their heads smooching to the horse as if they could hear this horrible sound.

2. – Program whip master = Now if you’re new to the track making your first trip or two, go ahead and get excited. But if you’ve been a long time player you must not use your rolled up program whipping your side. – I saw a couple of young players using their phone to capture this old man going to the rolled up whip. – After the race, they laughed until they cried watching the old man really give his ass a beating getting his horse to run. I’m pretty sure it’s on YouTube.

3. – Dumpster Diver = If you’re a kid hanging out with your old man I guess we’ll forgive you for looking for a program in the dumpster. – If you’re an everyday player please stay out of the trash can looking to save $2 for a program. – I saw a gent pull out a program covered in coffee and all sorts of nasty as he wiped off the paper. But, he did save a deuce so he could make a bet. – Please, please, please, stay out of the dumpster.

4. – The switch screamer = Oh this is one of my favorites. – As the horses make the turn for home you’ll hear this shrill voice screaming at the back of the race book. – “C’mon, Jose! – Turn him loose, Jose. Switch leads, Jose!” – Just about that time, Jose’s mount starts to fade you’ll hear the same voice start screaming ” Go on Johnny! – Go past, Johnny. You gottem’ now Johnny!” – They have the winner at every single track for every race that is carded. It is truly amazing, and just to think he started the day by doing a little dumpster diving for a program and has every winner on the card. If you don’t believe me just ask him.

5. – The shoulder watcher = You’re in line at the self-bet or with a clerk making a good wager. – You have this odd feeling of being watched, and low and behold you have someone peeking over your shoulder or around your side. – They want to know what you are doing. It’s not that they’re going to bet your horse’s odds down, they’re just nosey. – There used to be a crew that hung out at the $100 minimum window, and in a matter of seconds, the entire track knew what player X bet.


Whether you’re at the track, OTB, or just betting from home with friends. Show a little racing etiquette. – It’s ok to get a little excited and rooting your runner is encouraged. I’ve never seen a gambler standing at a slot machine rooting them on to win. – Another gambling rule is don’t brag too much when you win or bitch too much when you lose. Either behavior sticks in the crawl of fellow gamblers. – Best of luck and may all of your photos be winners!

Breeders’ Cup 2017 – BC Sprint / BC Mile

The big weekend is closing in and you can’t do enough homework. – Winning Ponies is ready for the biggest stage in horse racing. Use these runners as a starting place to begin your handicapping, and be sure and download your Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms. We’re always ready for a day at the races winning over $11,076,640 in exotic payouts to date. – There is something special about the marquee events that have the E-Z Win Forms locked and loaded for a big day at the windows. Just take a look at few early runners and be sure and check back and download your Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms for a definitive approach to how the race will take shape. – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies!


Breeders’ Cup Sprint



Mike Smith in the saddle for Bob Baffert.

Gio Ponti = Sire

8 starts / 6 wins


Roy H

Kent Desormeaux in the irons for Peter Miller

More Than Ready = Sire

16 starts / 5 wins / 4 place / 1 show


Ransom the Moon

Flavien Prat aboard for Phil D’Amato

Malibu Moon = Sire

20 starts / 5 wins / 6 place / 1 show


Mind Your Biscuits

Joel Rosario in the saddle for Chad Summers

Posse = Sire

17 starts / 6 wins / 6 place / 2 show



Breeders’ Cup Mile



William Buick in the saddle for Richard Fahey

Iffraaj = Sire

14 starts / 6 wins / 4 place / 3 show


World Approval

John Velasquez in the irons for Mark Casse

Northern Afleet = Sire

23 starts / 10 wins / 2 place / 4 show


Decorated Knight

Andrea Antenzi in the saddle for Roger Charlton

Galileo = Sire

18 starts / 8 wins / 4 place / 1 show


Heart to Heart

Florent Geroux in the irons for Brian Lynch

English Channel = Sire

31 starts / 13 win / 5 place / 3 show



Daniel Tudhope gets the call for David O’Meara

Le Havre = Sire

32 starts / 8 wins / 8 place / 7 show













Breeders’ Cup 2017 – The Breeders’ Cup Classic

The biggest race of the weekend stands to answer plenty of questions. Racing starts early in the year and sometimes a carryover from the previous. But not to fear, the Classic has always offered up plenty of action and one that equates to a bumper payday who has the winner. – Be sure to download your Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms for the final and definitive look on how the race will take shape. Winning Ponies has one-of-a-kind handy icons, color-coded tier levels and last race and composite ratings for every runner. The E-Z Win Forms can be used by the first time player to the hardcore fan. By downloading one of the most effective tools you can have in your arsenal, Winning Ponies strives to bring you the most effective handicapping weapon you can use for a winning day at the races. - Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies! 


Breeders’ Cup Classic


Gun Runner

Florent Geroux aboard for Steve Asmussen

Candy Ride = Sire

17 starts / 10 wins / 3 place / 2 show



Mike Smith for Bob Baffert

Unbridled’s Song = Sire

10 starts / 7 wins / 1 place / 1 show



Martin Garcia aboard for Bob Baffert

City Zip = Sire

11 starts / 8 wins / 1 place


West Coast

Mike Smith in the driver’s seat for Bob Baffert

Flatter = Sire

8 starts / 6 wins / 2 place



Drayden Van Dyke in the saddle for Bob Baffert

Dubawi = Sire

18 starts / 5 wins / 4 place / 1 show






Breeders’ Cup 2017 – BC Juvenile / BC Turf

Here’s a little glimpse of good things coming our way. Think of this as an appetizer for a bigger feast just around the corner. Use these as food for thought and check in with the Winning Ponies E-Z Forms. They’ll break down the race and give you a glimpse of how the race will take shape. – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies! 




Bolt d’ Oro

Corey Nakatani up for Mick Ruis

Medaglia d’ Oro = Sire

3 starts / 3wins


Free Drop Billy

Robby Albarado in the irons for Dale Romans

Union Rags = Sire

4 starts / 2 wins / 2 place


Firenze Fire

Irad Oritz in the saddle for Jason Servis

Poseidon’s Warrior = Sire

4 starts / 3 wins


Good Magic

Jose Ortiz for Chad Brown

Curlin = Sire

2 starts / 2 places



Breeders’ Cup Turf



Jim Crowley in the irons for Mr. Stoute

Galileo = Sire

13 starts / 5 wins / 3 place / 2 show


Highland Reel

Ryan Moore in the saddle for Aidan O’Brien

Galileo = Sire

24 starts / 9 wins / 6 place / 1 show


Beach Patrol

Joel Rosario for Chad Brown

Lemon Drop Kid = Sire

16 starts / 5 wins / 5 place / 3 show


Fanciful Angel

Irad Ortiz in the driver’s seat for Chad Brown

Dark Angel = Sire

25 starts / 5 wins / 3 place / 3 show












Breeders’ Cup 2017 – F&M Turf / Juvenile Fillies

The big stage is now in sight and you can go ahead and start your inner-countdown. – Winning Ponies is locked and loaded and always has your back. There is something about the marquee days. Some handicappers buckle from the pressure and others rise to the occasion. Winning Ponies has their best days when the money’s on the line and we want you to make the most of the biggest weekend of racing. – Use this blog as an appetizer but download the E-Z Win Forms to get the definitive answers on how the race will shape up. – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies! 


Filly and Mare Turf


Lady Eli

Irad Ortiz aboard for Chad Brown

Divine Park = Sire

13 starts  / 10 wins / 3 place


Roly Poly

Ryan Moore in the saddle Aidan O’Brien

War Front = Sire

16 starts / 6 wins / 4 place



Ryan Moore in the irons for Aidan O’Brien

Galileo = Sire

14 starts / 3 wins / 5 place / 2 show



James Heffernan for Aidan O’Brien

Galileo = Sire

10 starts / 4 wins / 3 place / 1 show



Juvenile Fillies



Moonshine Memories

Flavien Prat for Simon Callaghan

Malibu Moon = Sire

3 starts / 3 wins


Separation of Powers

Jose Ortiz in the saddle for Chad Brown

Candy Ride = Sire

3 starts / 2 wins / 1 show


Alluring Star

Joe Talamo for Bob Baffert

Exchange Rate = Sire

2 starts / 1 win / 1 place


Heavenly Love

Julien Leparoux for Mark Casse

Malibu Moon = Sire

3 starts / 2 wins / 1 show








Breeders’ Cup 2017 – Juvenile Filly Turf / Distaff

Here is a glimpse of some runners who could make a big splash on Breeders’ Cup weekend. – Use them as an appetizer to whet your appetite and be sure to check in with the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms before making your final decision. The E-Z Win Forms are always ready to make your day at the races a winner! - Best of luck from your friends from Winning Ponies! 


Juvenile Filly Turf



Ryan Moore has the assignment for Aidan O’Brien

Galileo = Sire

6 starts / 4 wins / 1 place



Ryan Moore in the saddle for Aidan O’Brien

Galileo = Sire

5 starts / 3 wins / 1 show


Significant Form

Irad Ortiz in the irons for Chad Brown

Creative Cause = Sire

2 starts / 1win


Capla Temptress

Joel Rosario for Marco Botti

Lope de Vega = Sire

4 starts / 3 wins / 1 show





Stellar Wind

Victor Espinoza / John Sadler

Curlin = Sire



Jose Ortiz / Bill Mott

Medaglia d’Oro = Sire

9 starts / 4 wins / 3 place / 1 show


Forever Unbridled

Joel Rosario / Dallas Stewart

Unbridled’s Song = Sire

16 starts / 7 wins / 3 place / 4 shows


Abel Tasman

Mike Smith for Bob Baffert

Quality Road = Sire

10 starts / 6 wins / 3 place












Breeders’ Cup 2017 – F&M Sprint / Turf Sprint

Nothing like a little bit of pre-homework to get the inner-handicapper moving. – Take a look at these runners and be sure to see where they match against the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms. With over $10,934,952 in exotic payouts, you’ll definitely want to download the most effective weapon for Breeders’ Cup weekend. – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies! 


Filly and Mare Sprint


Unique Bella

Mike Smith aboard for Jerry Hollendorfer

Tapit = Sire

6 starts / 5 wins / 1 place


Skye Diamonds

Tiago Pereira in the irons for William Spawr

First Dude = Sire

16 starts / 9 wins / 3 place



Brian Hernadez for W. Calhoun

Twirling Candy = Sire

12 starts / 9 wins / 2 place



Jose Ortiz in the saddle for Chad Brown

Ghostzapper = Sire

22 starts / 11 wins / 4 place / 3 show



Turf Sprint


Lady Aurelia

Frankie Dettori for Wesley Ward

Scat Daddy = Sire

7 starts / 5 wins / 1 place / 1 show



Luke Morris aboard for Sir Mark Prescott

Acclamation = Sire

17 starts / 7 wins / 5 place / 3 show


Disco Partner

Irad Ortiz in the irons for Christophe Clement

Disco Rico = Sire

20 starts / 9 wins / 4 place / 2 show











Breeders’ Cup 2017 – Juvenile Turf / Dirt Mile

The greatest stage of racing is about to take place and there is never too early of a time to begin. – Here are some runners who need a good hard look while you are starting your lists. – Once you whittle your runners down be sure to check them against the E-Z Win Forms. Winning Ponies is always locked and loaded, and on the marquee days they always seem to rise to the occasion. Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies !




Juvenile Turf


Roaring Lion

Oisin Murphy aboard for trainer John Gosden

Kitten’s Joy = Sire

3 starts / 3 wins



James Garfield

Frankie Dettori in the irons for G.O. Scott

Exceed and Excel = Sire

6 starts / 2 wins / 1 place / 2 shows



Untamed Domain

Joe Bravo aboard for Graham Motion

Animal Kingdom = Sire

4 starts / 2 wins / 1 show



Dirt Mile




Victor Espinoza for John Sadler

Lookin At Lucky = Sire

13 starts / 4 wins / 3 place / 5 show



Mor Spirit

Mike Smith in the saddle for Bob Baffert

Eskendreya = Sire

13 starts / 6 wins / 5 place




Sharp Azteca


Paco Lopez for Jorge Navarro

Freud = Sire

14 starts / 7 wins / 4 place / 1 show