Free Selections – Saturday, October,13, 2018 – Best of Ohio


Good racing this weekend as Thistledown will put on The Best of Ohio series.  – There is never a bad time to build your bankroll, and with Breeders’ Cup around the corner. We need every opportunity to cash in on the big score!






Race #5 – The Sprint – 6f – 3:40 pm EDT

#8 – Altissimo = Cuts back in distance from 1 1/4  miles and has looked like a totally different runner all year long. He should be up close and be poised to pounce


Race #6 – The JW Galbreath – 1 1/16 – 4:10 pm EDT

#6 – Baby Nina = Cuts back in distance and shipping back from Saratoga. – That is a very nice bullet work to show readiness and the “Miss Ohio” was very impressive. Rider Albin Jimenez is 2/2 in Cleveland.


Race  #7 – The Juvenile – 1 1/16 – 4:40 pm EDT

#10 Danefield was in very tight last out and may have compromised all chances at the win. He has s solid late punch sprinting and should be much closer to the speed today. – Look for a top effort.


Race #8 – The Endurance – 1 1/4 – 5:10 pm EDT

#9 – Fusaichi’s Wind = Good early speed in the “Loooch lime green” and will be getting added distance to run. – If they leave this early runner on the lead by himself he may turn out the lights on this field pretty quickly. – Jockey Luis Colon wins 29% at Thistledown.


Race #9 – The Distaff – 1 1/8 – 5:40 pm EDT

#6 – Takechargedelilah = John McKee in the saddle for trainer Thom Drury – He didn’t know if she wanted this to go this far but if you saw the Vivacious on the turf two back and the last prep she looks to have plenty in the tank. – Drury is a trainer on the move and is winning 28% on the year and three back she faced a monster named Red Ruby. – McKee is his go-to-guy in this area and must be respected as they do very good work together.

Be sure to tune into the Winning Ponies Internet Show as Rich Ruda will be breaking down the biggest day in Ohio with host John Engelhardt at 8 pm EDT or catch it on the podcast!





Did You See That ??

by Ed Meyer

posted on October 11, 2018 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>

Your horse is waiting for a spot along the rail and the pack is ready to make the turn for home. – As the leaders switch leads and horses begin to make their move, your runner dives to the rail and shoots through an opening. – That is until you see your rider take a stronghold and stand up in the irons tapping on the breaks. – He gets his momentum back and finishes 4th in an eventful race. So what’s a player to do? – Easy. Come back with both fists filled with cash next time out.

Watching race replays can be worth its weight in gold. – Sometimes you’ll catch a little glimpse like this and come back ready and waiting. – If you read the comment line in the DRF or program and it shows nothing special. It could have been missed or the chart caller may not have seen the race as you did. – Making notes and keeping a tab on the runner coming back is important. There are plenty of free stable watch sites and they’ll email you anytime they work, enter and run.

Many players just toss their tickets on the ground and move on. – A short memory can be a blessing in gambling. That is the case most of the time except when you see your pony get a troubled trip. – It wasn’t the fault of the rider, because if they didn’t tap on the breaks they would have run up on heels causing a spill. – You had a bad trip today but it holds the promise of a better payday next out.


Keeping tabs on troubled trips can pay off in the long run. – You may have witnessed a little glimpse into your betting future. – Becoming a student of the game can make you a better handicapper.

I was charting horses for quite a while. My notes were solid and they were really sharp. You need to keep your eyes tuned to what is really going on instead of what you were hoping for. – Notes were taken and bankroll waiting. – I went up to the Arlington Million with the promise to myself only to play the races in Chicago as there were some super turf races. – As I walked in I glanced up at Saratoga on the big wall of screens. – It was raining and I just took a glance as the horses were coming onto the track. As the post parade was jogging past there was a runner I had been waiting for since the first week at Belmont. He had a troubled trip over a sealed sloppy track and here he was at (6-1). – I kept walking and wanted to stick to my guns. – That was all good and well until I walked past the betting windows. – I made a large win and place wager and he drew off to win by 7 at a sweet (8-1). – I broke my rules but made my weekend. – I made my notes and waited so why not make the wager? – I’m glad I did, and dinner was on the house for a couple days. – Oh, what a weekend!

How to Play Keeneland

by Ed Meyer

posted on October 6, 2018 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>

How do you begin to handicap a track that is open for 15 days twice a year? – I love the boutique meet and the beauty that’s only Keeneland. But, there are a few hints on how to maximize your bankroll for the meet. – Keep these in mind before heading to the windows. – Best of luck from Winning Ponies!


Maiden races can be tricky. If they are a first-time starter this late in the year tread lightly. – Many trainers target Keeneland and train in Lexington. – Look for a sparkling morning work and see how the trainer does with first-time starters.

The turf is one of the best in the country. – Closers and stalkers do very well overall; be sure to examine the pace scenario. – If the race is lacking speed, a wire-to-wire winner could be on the horizon. – Stay away from the far outside post positions and look for the middle runners 4-7. They seem to get a garden trip from the break and don’t get trapped on the rail or run the extra ground from the outside.

Look for top trainers and riders who have done well in the past. – Many riders come in to ride for the meet for an outfit. – BTW, keep an eye on the Ortiz brothers in New York this weekend as they are not at Keeneland.

There are two finish lines. – One is used for 1 1/16 races only – The finish line can be found by looking for the red “stop sign” right at the post. – The turf has one finish line.

Speed and stalkers do very well overall. – Pay close attention to wet tracks and fast tracks. – Sometimes a little extra moisture helps the runners dig in and make late runs. – When Keeneland switched back to dirt from synthetic. It was a national holiday for horseplayers!

The value is incredible! – Pricing on win, place and show wagers will decrease from 17.5 percent to 16 percent and from 22 percent to 19.5 percent on exactas. Takeout for the Pick Five will be 15 percent. Takeout for all other exotic wagers will remain at 22 percent; according to a Paulick Report article on Keeneland value.

The TV coverage is incredible and levels the playing field for off-track bettors. – They show runners working on the track, and have a free live racing feed to watch all of the action in real-time.

Keep a lookout for long time layoff runners who have shown a love for the oval. – If they sport a red-hot work, you may want to “dig in the jeans and pull out some greens!”

Be sure to look over the trainer info. You may find some hidden gems on who has an edge with babies, turf runners or horses fresh off the claim.


Where can you find all of this in one place? – Right here on Winning Ponies! – You’ll get color-coded tier levels and handy icons to keep you up-to-speed on the how the race will take shape. – Winning Ponies is your one-stop-shop for your handicapping needs. – As we kick off the Keeneland meet and beyond, be sure and check-in with the E-Z Win Forms for a clear view on how the race takes shape.



The Happy Horseplayer

Another month in the books, and racing marches on to the next stop. – Fall time racing is a signal for the Breeders’ Cup. – As Keeneland opens you can feel the breeze turning cooler and leaves starting to change. The Happy Horseplayer looks forward to some special times this month. Last year I found myself “on the shelf” taking care of me and missed my treks to Lexington, Kentucky. – If you’ve never been, please keep it on your bucket list. You’ll remember the trip forever. – In addition, there were plenty of special memories that I enjoyed. I know that I’m not alone and if you were on hand you’ll have 7,000 reasons to remember September.


Mr. 7,000

The week started off as many, and the buzz was all around. – ” When do you think he’ll hit the milestone?” – Fans would stop and share stories, and players would ask how many more? – Perry Wayne Ouzts is 64-years-young. Leading up to the big milestone he was scheduled to ride 22 out of the 24 races for three days. – That was until he picked up a mount and made it 23 out of 24. – Emmy’s Candy was the lucky one for Perry. – He grabbed the lead in “Scoot n Boot” style and never looked back. – It couldn’t have been scripted any better than for Perry Ouzts to jump out and make every pole a winner. – His family was on hand, riders past and present, and HOF legend Pat Day came up to celebrate his victory. Every manager from both properties was on hand, colorful signage, and a trophy that was almost as tall as Perry. – An incredible day for one of the hardest working riders in the game. Few on words as Perry would rather do his talking on the track. – I spoke to him after the big win and asked what his plans were going to be. “I’m gonna come in tomorrow and go back to work.” – Winning races still feels the same as it did in 1973 aboard Rablue at Beulah Park. – Congrats, Perry! – Long may you ride.

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, shoes and outdoor



Image may contain: Perry Ouzts, smiling, standing and outdoor
















The Brigadoon of Racing

Keeneland is a magical place. – “If Heaven has a race track, I’m sure it looks like Keeneland.” – You walk through groves of trees and feel the energy in the air. You’ll see fans dressed for the occasion and ready to watch some of the best Thoroughbreds in training. It appears like the magical town of Brigadoon for 15 days each April and October.- When you hear the bugler call them onto the track. You know what awaits. – I’ve always loved Keeneland, and each time I walk past the Sycamore tree in the paddock I feel energized. – I sure did miss seeing the beauty and pageantry last year, and like a kid waiting for Christmas, I’m ready!



7,000 Reasons to Love Racing

by Ed Meyer

posted on September 25, 2018 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>

The week started out as many, but last week had some special magic. – Perry Ouzts was three wins away from 7,000 career wins. If it sounds like a great number, that’s because it is. – He is now the 9th rider in the history of racing to reach this milestone. To say this is rarified air is an understatement. – I’ve had the pleasure of watching him for years now, and he still brings the heat. – I’ve surely enjoyed the summer, but last week was very special for this racing fan.

I was being asked, “when do you think he’ll hit the number?” – That’s about as easy as picking the Powerball. Perry could hang on the number or just reel them off in a day. – It was Thursday, and I said he’ll get in on Friday. I create the morning line and I get to see what his mounts look like as soon as they draw the races. – After he reeled off three wins on Thursday; Friday looked pretty possible as he had 6 mounts from 8 races.


Image may contain: 2 people, people riding on horses, cloud, sky, horse, outdoor and nature

Photo Credit: Mike Howard

Perry started the day on Friday and was getting close but no cigar. – The gent you see in the purple shirt is the owner/trainer Gary Patrick. He was riding his daughter Cheyanna and they had blazing speed. – He was (2-1) on the morning line and Cheyanna gave up the mount and Perry had a “pick up” mount. A common practice in racing as the owner has to pay a double jock’s mount fee. – When I got the call for a rider change I immediately called the management to get things ready. – This is the one.


Emmy’s Candy grabbed the lead and led from flag fall to that’s all. – She drew away by 12 1/2 and Perry rode this one like his first win back in 1973 aboard Rablue for W.J. Danner at Beulah.

Image may contain: one or more people, text and outdoor


As I said, I’ve been watching since I was a young lad. – He has always had a quiet way that didn’t brag or read his own press clippings. – Perry prefers to let his horses do the talking. – I guess that’s why he’s always been one of my favorites.

Management was ready to celebrate and if you notice in the picture you’ll see HOF rider Pat day with over 8,000 wins. – He’s the ambassador of racing and one of the best guys to grace the saddle. He wanted to be there to celebrate Perry’s special moment.


Image may contain: 14 people, people smiling, people standing

Photo Credit: Coady Photography

The day was perfect. Celebrating with riders, valets, family, and special guests. – Our management team quietly waited to celebrate Perry, and the day was one to remember.

As Perry Wayne Ouzts walked into the jocks room that day I’m sure he treated it like the other 50,000 + mounts he has ridden. He gives his all, and never makes an excuse. – For a man of few words, he does his talking on the track. – That what makes him special. To have him in my own backyard is a real bonus. – Thank you, Perry! – Long may you ride!


Image may contain: Perry Ouzts, smiling, standing and outdoor

Photo Credit: Mike Howard







Falling in Love

by Ed Meyer

posted on September 19, 2018 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>

Sometimes you stumble across things that bring a smile to your soul. – It can be your secret love or best friend. For many, they search their entire life looking for such a thing and others find it in a blink of an eye. – For me, I was a younger man who fell head over heels. – It’s been many years later and I’m still a happy man.

What started out as a trip out with dad turned into a full-blown love. – We would make the 10-mile drive and catch the last three or four races. We would talk and plan all the way as $2 wagers awaited. My dad wasn’t a big bettor, but he had more fun than most at the track. – I started off the same. There was something about making a couple $2 bets that bit me at a young age. – The time spent with my old man was priceless. He loved the early speed runners and I always favored far back closers. That’s racing. If everyone enjoyed the same things what a boring game it would be. – This is a game where you back up your opinions with a few bucks.

As a kid who grew up in a small town, I did the usual things. I played ball, had friends, and had a lawnmower that knew the town well. – I would make my way around looking for pick-up jobs and eventually gained regular customers. I wasn’t saving for a bike, a car, or clothes of the day. I was working to make a few bucks to head out to the races with dad. – Grass in the summer, leaves in the fall, and shoveling snow in the winter. I had a source of income and that kept me in the game. For a young man of thirteen, I was allowed to take a few bucks out to the track and hang with the old man. – These were the best of times.

We all had a study hall back in school. I would get my work done and ask for a hall pass to the library. – Inside was a large selection of books, but I would head to the newspaper section. – I started with the local newspaper which had a great racing section. I kept up on past results and who was leading the pack. – I would examine the entries and hope dad would ask me to make the drive later that night. – After reading the local paper, I would peruse the New York Times and Chicago papers. I wanted to know all about the game.

A few years passed and my love grew. – I still did the things kids my age were doing, but my heart was somewhere else. – I remember playing in a football game where we were beating the tar out of the other team. They allowed the clock to roll and that meant the game would be over in half the time. – I remember one of the refs walked by and I caught a glimpse of his watch. – I wasn’t thinking about having a few warm beers with the boys. I was making plans to shower and make the 10-mile drive. By my calculations, I would be able to catch the last four races. – We won, I showered quickly, and made it for the last races. When I got back to town I caught up with the guys and had my warm beer.

I was 17-years-old and my dad knew I loved playing the races. – Nothing wrong in his book, as kids could get into other trouble. The worst thing that could happen to me was losing $10 bucks. – It was at this time he made me a deal I couldn’t refuse.” Make good grades, stay out of trouble and there would be a car to drive and a few bucks to play on the weekend.” – I felt like I’d won the Irish Sweepstakes. – It was at this time he introduced me to his bookie. – Now before you get the picture of some crooked nose gangster, it was a couple of old men my grandpa used to bet with and my dad enjoyed betting a few bucks. – I was put on a $20 per week limit, and I could call up and make a few bets on the “race of the day” on the radio. – Magically I was transported to Lexington, Louisville, and River Downs. All had the “race of the day” on the radio and I could call up and bet a couple bucks and tune in to the live call. – These were great times shared with my dad.

When I went to college I met some other racing fans who knew me from the track. I was working in the parking lot and always had my windbreaker on with great pride. – We would meet at Turfway for a few races, and over time things got even better. – My buddy Tim was an avid player. It seemed we always had the same college class times. – I would make my way out to my car at 11:00 am and drive up and grab a quick bite for lunch. – On some of the best days, there was a Daily Racing Form under my windshield wiper and had a message attached. ” Meet me here at 11:15 and we’ll drive down to Keeneland.” – If there were any sweeter words I surely don’t know them. The many treks we made over the years and the fun we enjoyed was worth a pound of gold. – I surely miss my old friend, but the fond memories will last a lifetime.

I graduated to be a teacher but they had a freeze on hiring. – I was a sub-teacher and worked at the track at night. – Over the years, I made my way up the ladder and my part-time jobs eventually became my career. There was no better job in the world than working in racing. I saw the growth, the best of times, and decline. But my love never wavered. I have always been optimistic and felt we could educate and grow the sport back to good times.

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work in some really great jobs in racing. – At Turfway, I had a few radio programs that allowed me to talk horse racing and did on-air handicapping. I was finally doing what I loved. – River Downs came calling and I became the director of marketing. In addition, I did on-air handicapping and a weekly radio show. I was one of the “Regular Guys” with John Englehardt. This was more fun than the law allowed as we educated with a twist of fun. Never taking ourselves too seriously. – When I had the opportunity to work with Keeneland, I felt like I was called up by the Yankees. This was the big leagues as I walked under the large sycamore tree in the paddock. I had to fight back the lump in my throat. I finally had a year working for the big leagues. – A few years later, I started working at Belterra Park. – I was hired to do the morning line and call the races. I worked hard at trying to improve every day and there has never been a time I wanted to be anywhere in the world as my car pulled into the parking lot. – I’ve been writing since 2011 for Winning Ponies and was the original host of the Winning Ponies internet radio show. –  I’ve been able to write about anything in racing and the love of my life. – I’m a pretty lucky guy and the future looks bright ahead. I’ll always be a fan at heart and work to educate and share the love of racing with others. – Best of luck and I’ll see you at the races!



Getting With the Times

I’m not about having a circus in the parking lot, or is that just what we’re missing? – The old days of ‘build it and they will come’ went the way of the dinosaur. If racing is going to make it to the next generation we need to loosen up and have some fun. – After all, that’s the reason we started going to the races in the first place.


Pick up the pace

There used to be 30 minutes in between races long ago and that was fine. It was the only game in town. – We now have professional sports, college sports, casinos, racinos, movies, and a plethora of things to do. People want to be entertained. – I know why we have 20 minutes in between races. You have to allow players to wager, and the handle is what drives the sport. – How about drawing two names for on-track players between races for concession packages, free programs for a weak, or upgraded seats. – For fans who are playing off-track allow them to enter into drawings for merchandise prizes by signing up on the website? – I went to an arena football game some years ago. –  During every time-out, they would draw for upgrade seats, dining packages, and sponsored prizes. It was a carnival and I loved it! – Constant action and the fans loved when a time-out was called. – If you want their attention, grab it.

Theme songs

We would all love to hear our own theme song as we walked into the track. – Now since it would be impossible to have everyone’s favorite tune playing. How about when a rider wins he or she is serenaded with everything from Garth Brooks to Motorhead? – Just a little fun to keep the place moving. – I’ll bet you a beer you can hum the “Brady Bunch” theme or the theme song from “Batman.” – When we hear the Allman Brothers playing; I’ll bet you’ll know exactly who is going in the winner’s circle. – Have some fun. Loosen up.

Class is in session

Every Saturday, have a free handicapping seminar. – This is for new players who would like to learn the game. You might even have a few regular players looking to pick up some handicapping tips. – As they walk give them a free program, a quick 20-30 minute “how-to” session and turn them loose. – Keep it simple and light. Make it fun as the game can be intimidating for players who would like to play. – As they arrive; they sign up and will be given an entry ticket. At the conclusion of the seminar, there will be some drawings for door prizes. Make them a winner before they make their first bet.


People love to play slots or video keno because they are easy to use. – They don’t make the player have to learn the entire process before plunking down a few bucks. – Make it easy and try to have some fun. – I watch from above every day and see what the players enjoy. They hate standing in line. No more upcharge to have a seat. Keep the pace moving with music and some prize drawings to keep their attention. We are in the times of staring at phones, constant video games, and a million things that keep us engaged. – When people come to the track it is our job to reach out to them. – This isn’t your grandpa’s game anymore and we need to evolve with the times.



Handicapping 202

We’ve glanced over the intro course and it’s time to learn more. – If you haven’t caught on yet, no worries. This class may have you chomping at the bit. Just sit back and take it all in.


1. – Many people like to learn online. No worries with this as the Internet is a great place to learn at your own speed. – Go back and look up “Night School” lessons about varied subjects in horse racing. – Read the Blood-Horse for info about the business and handicapping, and try the Daily Racing Form for an overall read about the industry. – This will move you to the next level.

2. – Now you have an idea of what the basic wagers are about. These are the staples of betting, and should always be used during the day of wagering. – As you graduate to the next level don’t forget bets that got you started. You don’t want to leave money on the table.

3. – Turn back to the front of the program or any betting site and look over the glossary of wagers. – You’ll want to learn more about daily doubles, quinellas, exactas, trifectas, superfectas, pick threes and pick fours. – This is where you can win some bigger money.

4. – Takeout is the amount of money that comes from every dollar wagered. – Let’s make it easy and use 20%. The money is split between the horsemen in the form of purses and the track who puts on the show. – The money is taken out and 100% of the remaining monies go back into the pool. If you look at the odds the “takeout” has been removed. This is called “pari-mutuel” wagering and the French word means “betting among ourselves.” – The race track is the only gambling establishment who wants you to win every race, every day. They get a % from every dollar to pay for the show and the rest is returned to the common pools where players money can be seen.

5. – If you would like to wager from home there are plenty of ADW’s or betting sites that are legal. Some states have restrictions and you can find this out pretty easy. So, which one to use? – Find an ADW ( Advance Deposit Wagering) that fits your needs. There are some that offer free handicapping materials and other offer rebates for the amount of money you wager. Some offer both. – If you would ask for me for three: TwinSpires, Xpressbet, and DRF bets. You will receive everything from wagering materials for tracks you bet, blogs, and rebates. – You’re in the right direction. (Just don’t let your boss catch you playing the 3rd at Saratoga).

6. – Watch some races without betting. – No better way to begin to understand the game. You’ll start to find your favorite tracks and wagers. – This is where the fun begins.

7. – On marquee racing days you can find a TV channel that has incredible coverage of the races. – The next big weekend will be the Breeders’ Cup, and they will have some incredible coverage talking about the behind the scenes. – Listen to the handicappers and racing personalities but make your own bets.

8. – As you start to learn more jump into the exotic wagers. – Don’t bet more than your bankroll allows and these days are great for using a partner.

9. – If you make an exacta, be sure and box your selections. – “If you’re to bet em’ you gotta box em’.” – You’ll thank yourself in the long-run.

10.- Don’t be afraid of using the “all button.” – This is having all the horses in a position or in a particular race. If you decide to use this, be sure to pair down your ticket in other races to keep it manageable. – This button has saved me plenty, but it can get pretty expensive if you don’t try to shorten your ticket by taking one or two fewer runners in other races.

Handicapping / Graduation Day

Put on your cap and gown. It’s time to learn the process of becoming a full-fledged horseplayer. – In this chapter as you walk down the aisle to move to the next level. Here are some wagering tips that you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled on.


1. – Before betting, go back and take a look at how the track has been playing the past week.- Most ADW’s have race replays for free.

2. – Know the weather conditions for your selected tracks. – When the track is sloppy and off the turf, this can affect your handicapping greatly.

3. – If you have ten races you’re going to play. – Cut it back to your favorite six races. – From there, bet your best 4 races. This process will allow you to only bet your best selections and keep your bankroll growing.

4. – If you like turf races know which riders and trainers have the best percentage on the weeds.

5. – Look for trainers fresh off the claim. – They must have thought something of this runner to talk an owner about spending $10,000.

6. – A rider switch to a top percentage jock can make all the difference. – Their agents will book them for the best possible chances as they only make money when the rider does.

7. – Take a look at the trainer stats. – Some do better with 2-yr-olds, claimers, turf – dirt switches, and equipment changes.

8. – In bigger races look for runners coming off a layoff on the turf with a few solid works.

9. – Look for bad trips found in the comment lines at the end of the past performances.

10. – Cutting back in distance, and pay close attention to dropping down in class.

11. – Look for ship-in runners with last race troubles.

12. – First-time two-year-old’s for top-shelf barns – Looking for top riders who take the mount, and good workouts from tracks or training centers shipping in to run.

13. – Speed horses going 6f – 7f stretching out to longer distances. – Sometimes it’s magic with added distance. They can wire a field as the fractions can be slower.

14. – Top trainers making a claim. – They were watching this runner and can move them up with different care and training.

15. – The middle move. – A runner makes a good charge and just holds in place (ex) 4 3/4 – 5 1/2 – 4 1/2 – 4 head. – This is a sign of race that has a horse moving forward.

16. – When a horse is a beaten favorite and runs back in the same conditions, or better when they drop in class.

17. – Pay attention to a runner working multiple times. – If there are 3 works take a look at the middle work. It is usually the best. – Also, pay attention to how many days in between works and how many from the last work to race day. – If they are on a 7-day spacing and then move up to come back 5 days to race. – Keep your eyes peeled for a top-notch effort.


There will be plenty of little-handicapping notes and over time you’ll develop your own. – These are a few of mine and before long you’ll be playing the greatest sport. – Now toss your tassel to other side of your cap and get to the races. – What are ya’ waiting for? – It’s almost post time! – Best of luck from Winning Ponies!



Handicapping 101

by Ed Meyer

posted on September 6, 2018 in General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>

All of us started making a place or show wager. We may have been given a $4 bankroll and tried to eek out a profit. It can be daunting, to say the least, to jump in and start the process. – I’m going to try and break down the process on how to begin so you can take part in the greatest sport.


1. – Buy a track program and turn to the front where there is usually a page that explains with a legend what all the small symbols mean. – You will have a starting point from here.

2. – Start by visiting the paddock, winner’s circle and walk out on the apron and look over the track. – Notice the poles around the track. There are 16 black ones which equal a 1/16th of a mile; there are 8 green ones which represent an 1/8th of a mile, and 4 red ones which mark 1/4 of a mile.

3. – Start with a small wager. – Maybe a place or show wager? – Don’t go wild, just learn the process slowly.

4. – If you attend the races with a friend or two, try pulling a few bucks each and rotate who gets to make the wager for the group. This allows your money to go farther while you learn. ( And it’s more fun to win with others!)

5. – Try this little fun experiment. Find the standings in the program and use the top three riders and the top three trainers when making your wager. – If they team up together they get extra consideration. Now you are beginning to handicap.

6. – Find a trusted source of data to help you decide who to play. – Beginners usually start with a program in hand, but others want a jump to get started and choose data that breaks down the race for you to examine. -You are in the perfect spot with Winning Ponies. – It makes it really easy to use with color coded tier levels for you to examine. – Choose a source that wants to educate you rather than tell you who to bet.

7. – Write down your starting bankroll, keep track of your wagers and write down your end bankroll. – Keeping notes about your wagers will help you learn money management.

8. – “Bet with your head, not over it.”