Lucky Me

by Ed Meyer

posted on June 19, 2019 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | 1 Comment >>

“As I step into the line – You can bet this winner is mine – No photo, objections, and inquiries be not – For this is my day, and I’m feeling quite hot.” – Quote from the men’s room wall at Latonia Race Course.

Gamblers can be the most superstitious people in the world. – I remember reading this on the wall of a track years ago. – Confidence is needed as the old saying of “scared money never wins.” – I suppose someone was feeling quite strong and needed to share his feelings for all to see. – Think of as Snapchat or Twitter long before they were around.

Over the years I did some reading about cultural superstitions. I have to admit I am a bit intrigued, and who knows? It may help your bankroll.

Many Chinese gamblers have a strict belief of no sex before gambling. This one’s a little hard to come to terms with for obvious reasons. But the Chinese have made it a point of pride that if they want to score big on the gambling tables, they’re going to hold off getting lucky.

A horseshoe is lucky if hung outside your home — the iron wards off evil spirits — but be careful to hang it the right way up, otherwise all your family’s good luck will drain out of it… although others claim a horseshoe should be hung upside down to stop the devil sitting in the bottom of it, so that’s a challenging one. – Horseplayers are not immune to the infamous “rally cap” or some other item that is deemed lucky. It could be your lucky rabbit’s foot, necklace, shirt, hat or other trinkets. Point is that you went out of your way to make sure you wore that nasty, old “lucky” hat today.

Ok, maybe it’s all in my head. – Then I found a top-12 list in America’s Best Racing for warding off the evil demons:

1. I never let another person buy my Racing Form for me. #Badluck. – @NYSteve27

2. When I’m live in a multi-race wager, I always watch the remaining races from the same spot I watched the first leg. – @BrianwSpencer

3. Always put your ticket in between the roll of your cash. Money attracts Money. – @RamiroRestrepo

4. Once was live to a Pick 6 and refused to put lights on in the room (as it darkened), not to jinx myself. – @TurfPunter

5. If I like the 2 horse in a race, I always play my favorite numbers (257) in a straight trifecta for $5. – @Barbaro1420

6. Take anything BUT $50 bills from a teller… – @2ndtimeblinkson and @huck_jason

7. I was a no-$50 guy, but one day ended up with a few $50 bills and had great luck. Now I try to use them! – @cwhi2125

8. Always watch “Let it Ride” the night before a big. – @RobSlats1

9. There’s a horse named Look Who’s Here. Every time she gives me a cute look right in the eye in the paddock, she wins. – @RogueClown

10. Always go back to the same mutuel clerk who sold you a winning ticket. – @AndyScoggin

11. Gray horses on gray days. Any horse with pink socks. – @SJHorseReport

12. Always put horses with gold and win in their names in Pick 3 and 4s. – @TheDelMarKid

Told you. – I bet you’ve heard quite a few of these at the races. And if you have. Jump up and down ten times with your lucky hat. – There is a bevy of horse racing movies that show how important it is to go through these little exercises. – See if you can guess the movie from these few quotes about gambling:

 

1. –  “I’m having a really good day.”

2. – ” Don’t let his money touch my money!”

3. – ” For years I wouldn’t kiss her face, now I’m kissing her ass.”

4. – ” Kid, you’re good. – But as long as I’m in town you’re second best.”

5. – ” Go ahead, give him the shut out.”

 

 

 

 

The Louisiana Legend

by Ed Meyer

posted on June 19, 2019 in General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

 

I was attending college and the simulcast boom was just beginning. ADW’s were a bunch of letters, and if you wanted to bet the ponies you went to the track or made a call to your bookie. – Keeneland was in session and I spent more time digging in my pockets for quarters as my man was going to get a call.

WLEX in Lexington used to play the stretch run replays 15 after and 15 to the hour. – You could make a bet at the Lexington track and jog out to your car and listen. It was a great way to exercise and a better way to stay involved in the game. – I can still hear Mike Battaglia calling the races on the radio as there was no announcer at the track.

It was the spring meet and I had a canceled class. – No sweeter words could’ve been spoken as I jumped in the “Bet Mobile” ( Thanks, Bob Summers / Exacta Kid). -I made my way to the newsstand and the pay phone.  I bet $10 to win and place which was the bank vault. He won and paid $28 bucks to win, and my man was feeling the sting of the “Louisiana Flash.” – That meet there were fifteen 4 1/2 furlongs races and he won 10. Little to the imagination I used to call and just ask “who was Romero riding?” – He got them out of the gate like nobody’s business.

After leaving the newspaper stand, I jumped back in and made a land speed record flying to Keeneland with a small bankroll in my pocket. – Life was good for a young man in college. I walked in and was going to catch the last five races. – That was plenty for me and when Randy Romero rode three more winners. You could say I was having a really good day. – I started really following Randy after catching the movie “Casey’s Shadow” based on his father and trainer Lloyd Romero and his family.

I met Randy once at Turfway Park and had him on my radio show for the track. – Kind to the core and one of the good guys. – When I saw his picture on the Paulick Report courtesy of my good friend John C. Engelhardt ( Host of the Winning Ponies Internet Show) I found I was reading some sad news. – If you’re a spiritual person say a prayer for this man. If not, just hope for the best. – I watched for years and beat my old bookie with small bets on Randy, Craig Perret, Pat Day, and Don Brumfield. – These were my learning years of racing watching some of the best to grace the saddle.

The Paulick Report did an excellent job as always and here is an excerpt about one of my favorite riders:

He estimates he has broken 25 bones in racing accidents and had some 30 injury-related surgeries in a 26-year career that ended in 1999 with 4,294 victories and earnings of over $75 million.  – Rarely suspended and known for getting the best from fillies and mares, he won back-to-back Breeders Cup Distaffs aboard Sacahuista in 1987 and got up in the final stride of the historic 1988 Distaff to win aboard Personal Ensign, allowing her to retire undefeated in 13 starts. He was the regular rider for 1989 2-year-filly champion Go For Wand. At three in the 1990 Distaff, she looked certain in deep stretch to hold off the older Bayakoa when she shattered her right front ankle and had to be euthanized. Romero broke seven ribs in the fall but rode another race on the day’s card.

How I would love to get in the racing time machine with my college buddy and head down to Keeneland one more time. – He would leave a note on my car saying; ” Be here by 11a if you want to head down.” – I guess it would be fair to say I went more than not and loved every second. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite races that still gives me chills. – Thank you, Randy, for everything you brought to the game. – My prayers for hope and healing are with you and a bigger thanks for making me a devoted fan.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSpBui9UIkM

Download, Wager, and Win!

Image result for Dizzy Dean bio

 

 

In the words of the immortal Dizzy Dean; ” It ain’t bragging if you can do it.” – according to the leader of the “Gashouse Gang” from the 1934 Cardinals. – Well, if you like the saying another can boast the same on Belmont Day last Saturday. – For this handicapper, it was a great day to have my E-Z Win Forms in hand.

I wanted to play the pick four. – It had a $1.5 million guarantee and ended with the Belmont Stakes. – What more could a handicapper ask when it came to their favorite wager? – Just like Dizzy Dean; Winning Ponies stepped up in a big way.

I had given myself a $100 bankroll to play. – The pick four was calling and it had the best races of the day on tap. – I was going to use the top three Winning Ponies E-Z Win Form selections. But, even with having the top three I knew I needed a big price hoping for lightning. You can have some solid prices but that one big score puts your pick-four into the four-digit territory. – After pondering, I decided the “all button” was going to be on an eleven horse field in Race #8 / The 7f Woody Stephens.

 

Race #8 – The G1 Woody Stephens – 7f 

The “all button” was pushed and from the 11 horse field #8 – Hog Creek Hustle came from out of the clouds and got up to pay $39.80. – The pick four was started in fine fashion!

 

Race #9 – The G1 Metropolitan – 1 mile

The top three E-Z Win Form selections:

 

#3 – Mitole, #4 – Thunder Snow, and #1 Coal Front – The top selection was a winner and paid $9.00. – On to leg number three!

 

Race #10 – The G1 Manhattan – 1 1/4 on turf

There was a standout and the public agreed. It also was the top selection – #8 Bricks and Mortar. – Irad Ortiz and Chad Brown are the magic potion together, and this guy may be the best turf runner in the country. – He did not disappoint paying $3.30. – It was time for the big money shot as we came upon the closing leg the 151st Belmont.

 

Race #11 – The G1 Belmont Stakes – 1 1/2

The top three selections were: #7 – Sir Winston, #6 – Spinoff, and #8 – Intrepid Heart – As the field turned for home Joel Rosario weaved in and out of traffic and went to the winner’s circle paying a whopping $22.40! – The $1 pick-four paid a sweet $4,236 bucks! – I was one happy handicapper, to say the least, and have the E-Z Win Forms to thank for my big day.

 

Tomorrow, there is a star-studded card on tap at Churchill Downs. – There’s an eleven race card on tap chock full of stake races featuring the G2 Stephen Foster Stakes – The action starts at 6:00 pm EDT, and you won’t be disappointed. – It’s never too early to download your Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms and make your wagering plans now. I did, and you can bet dollars to donuts I’ll have my selections in hand long before post time. – As Dizzy said, “It ain’t Bragging.” – He was right then and you could be on board for a big night at the races! – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies! 

 

 

Free Selections – Friday, 6/7/19 – Belmont

There is some great racing leading into the 151st edition of the Belmont Stakes. – It’s never too late to add a few more dollars into your bankroll. Use these as an appetizer and be sure to download your Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms for the best view on how the race will take shape.

 

Belmont

 

Race #1 – #5 – Ahead of Plan = Didn’t give the best account against maiden special weight company at Saratoga last year but trainer Chad Brown wins 29% with runners coming off a long layoff. Javier Castellano in the irons and he wins 35% teaming up with Chad Brown.

 

Race #2 – #8 – Lead Guitar = Good works under her belt and she is bred for the grass. – Trainer George Weaver wins 14% of his turf runners.

 

Race #3 – #6 – Largent = Beaten chalk last time out at Pimlico and Todd Pletcher wins 23% with his runners making the 2nd off the layoff move.

 

Race #5 – #4 – Pacific Gale = Beaten right at the wire last out as she looks to make amends with Joe Bravo in the saddle.

 

Race #6 – #11 – Zapperini = Been off since February in New Orleans and Jason Servis wins 35% with long layoff runners – Irad Ortiz in the saddle and he is winning 23% on the sod.

 

Race #7 – #4 – Fore Left = Comes in from Santa Anita and trainer Doug O’Neill wins 19% moving to new surroundings.

 

Race #9 – #8 – Homerique = Comes over from Europe and trainer Chad Brown wins 23% with 2nd time Lasix.

 

Race #10 – #3 – Amade = Comes over from Lingfield for trainer Alessandro Botti with turf specialist Flavien Prat aboard.

 

 

 

The Happy Horseplayer – June 2019

Can you believe it’s already June? – The snow gave way to spring rains, and your favorite summer tracks are ready to swing open the gates. – Top it off with the “Test of the Champion” this Saturday with the Belmont Stakes and the H.H. is one happy camper.

 

May was a crazy month

The first DQ in 145 years of the Derby was filled with comments from the top racing scribes to the once-a-year fan. – The DQ lost me the pick four, but I agree with the final decision. – At the top of the lane in sloppy conditions, we almost saw a bad incident. Just when you think the smoke has cleared. There are lawsuits, co-winners desired, and a headache that needs three aspirins. - Horse Racing Nation posted audio of the film review. Give it a listen and see if you have any more questions.

https://www.horseracingnation.com/news/Listen_Go_inside_stewards_post_Kentucky_Derby_film_review_123

 

Round #2

After watching the Derby replay a thousand times and reading everything out there. – The second leg of the crown was not going to produce a Triple Crown winner. – I guess we’ve been spoiled the last four years watching some incredible three-year-olds. – For me, it was going to be a new day and a chance to put the Derby behind us. – Even this race had an awkward beginning giving the media some fun to poke. – But, if you watch the race you’ll see a strong winner emerge.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMAk1_bcv90

 

Racing needs a doctor right now. – The horses are running too much. There used to be a “down time” on the Kentucky circuit where I grew up. The downtime was no racing dates and this allowed runners to rest, and bettors to build bankrolls. – When racing returned we were excited to go. – We need to examine the drugs. Plain and simple. We need to adopt a national program to which all tracks adhere. If you’re a trainer and have a bad positive with illegal drugs. You get a very stiff penalty. – If you doubt the effectiveness of penalties take a look at the Japanese racing system. Horses, riders, and trainers are quarantined. The human athletes are prohibited from communicating with media and outsiders. – The game is strong and they bet more on an average Friday card than we do on Breeders’ Cup Day. Oh, and the horses are guarded for safety. Add in fewer dates, and we may have a model to examine.

Be sure to get out this week and watch and wager on the Belmont Stakes. – Leave your computer alone and head out to the races. You may fall in love all over again. – Until next month, The Happy Horseplayer wishes you the best of luck!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imagine If You Will…

by Ed Meyer

posted on May 30, 2019 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

 

 

We all have a person in our lives who’s a few cards short of a deck. They see beauty where others can’t. – They may be a little out there, but one thing is for certain they aren’t boring.

A good friend of mine has rekindled my love of the old Twilight Zone re-runs. – I have a stack of favorites, but if I had to watch one every night it would be “The Last Night of a Jockey.” – Not being a spoiler, but it was about a washed-up jockey getting his wish while waiting for the results of a race-fixing hearing. – Mickey Rooney played it to the letter. Maybe it’s the gambling, the worry, or the reflection. But it’s one of my favorites.

Back to my friend. – He loves to talk about dreams, old stories, and tales of the one that got away in between races. His gambling life was an outlet. If I told you he was an engineer you’d probably have me hauled away by the silly police. – Some tales would captivate your attention, and others just played in the background. – On this day he asked me a favor. – ” Do me a solid and come up with something a little out there next time we meet. Maybe a story, or something that happened to you at the track. But the next time we see each other it’s your turn.”

I saw him a few weeks ago. – I didn’t even shake his hand when he asked me if I had a good story for him? – “Yeah, but it’s not a story. It’s a decision.” – Go ahead and fire away. I await the question, my friend.

You are in a room. I bring in a phone and tell you I have two numbers, but you can only call one. You may call the younger you to give some advice about things to steer clear or a path you should take. – The other, it’s an older version of you. You may ask if you’re happy, did you take a wrong turn, or what can you do to get the most from your journey.” 

He sat back and quietly applauded. – ” Good job, my friend. You’ve given me something to think about. Not sure I’ll have the answer the next time we meet as it deserves some deep thought.” 

Upon our next meeting, he said he still didn’t have an answer. – “It’s just too damn tough. Do I tell the younger me what to stay away from, or do I ask the older version what can I do to be happy when I get there. I just don’t know.” 

Maybe one of the most interesting race track characters I’ve known. We didn’t have that close-knit feeling as I’ve had with others, but his deep thinking has always intrigued me. – He loves his exacta boxes and occasional pick-six wagers. – Always looking for the big score and sitting alone. – I seem to run into him every time I’m at the races, and maybe he’ll have an answer for me one day. – Either way, he makes a day at the races interesting.

 

Free Selections – Thursday, May 30, 2019

The weekend will be here before you know it. – Let’s get a jump on our bankroll building and use these free selections as a starting point. – Be sure to download the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms for the final answer on how the race will take shape. – Best of luck from Winning Ponies. 

 

Indiana Grand

 

Race  #1 – #1 – Stay on Shore = Comes in off the layoff for Tim Glyshaw and he did the same move back in 2017. – Capable barn at a solid price sounds like a trip to the windows.

Race #2 – #4 – Call West = Comes in for the Contreras barn and they have two in here. All of his races have been one turn and today gets added distance at a very nice price.

Race #4 – #1 – Silver N Lai = First timer for Thom Amoss and he gets his picture taken at a 32% clip. His past works looked like he was going to run at Keeneland but Indy will do just fine. The purses are pretty darn sweet.

Race #6 – #5 – Huckleberry Hill = I’m looking for improvement off past efforts and Prescott in the saddle is a bonus. – He should rebound nicely today.

 

Presque Isle

 

Race #1 – #1 – Rojo Rocks = Huge drop in class where trainer Eddie Clouston wins 40% and was beaten chalk last time out.

Race #3 – #1 – Noble Weed = 2nd lifetime start and was beaten by a neck last out. Before shipping in he was working well in Tampa.

Race #5 – #2 – Vilaro = Speedster making a 3rd off the layoff move under “Chilly” Willy Martinez winning 20%.

Race #6 – #3 – Caloric = He ships in from GP and goes back to the synthetic. – Makes the turf to dirt switch and should be dangerous today.

 

Mountaineer

 

Race #1 – #5 – Walkin Princess = Speedster looking for her 8th in a row from the Baird barn. This daughter of Stroll is 7/7 at “The Mountain.”

Race #2 – #8 – Ripinandatearin = Drops back down in class and has Charlie Oliveros in the saddle who is winning 28%.

Race #3 – #7 – Loyalty Spirit = Ships back from Suffolk and drops down two class levels where the barn wins 21%.

Race #7 – #4 – Dance With Stars = First timer state-bred whose dam has five starters and three winners. – Graduation day could be tonight!

 

 

 

The Boys from St. Croix

by Ed Meyer

posted on May 28, 2019 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | 1 Comment >>

Image may contain: 4 people, including Pede Prentice, people smiling, people standing and stripes

 

 

The sun was bright without a cloud in the sky. It was the kinda’ day we wish for when getting out of bed. – I didn’t waste this gorgeous day just sitting around the house.  If you bet $100, where do you think I was heading? – Yep, you’d be right.

I studied my horses and was going to sit in my car along the rail. – I was at the 1/8th pole and had a Sunday paper to read in between races. Just a perfect day enjoying the sun. – I saw a few folks who work on the starting gate and a gal perched high above on her pony giving me a smile and a quick wave. It was a turf race and the runners were circling on the dirt course before heading over. – I saw a rider in bright green silks and gave a little whistle. – He looked over and said; “Hey, Ed. How’s it going.” I smiled back with a thumbs up. – It was the Green Carpet Stakes at Belterra as riders filed over one at a time when the rain started to fall in big slow drops. – As Nevans loaded into the gate, little did I know this would be the last time I’d see a young man who had his whole life in front of him.

Life is like that. – Everything looks good with a thumbs up and the next moment everything can change. – Euclyn “Pede” Prentice was only 28 years-old. He was just finding his groove in horse racing and was one of the happiest people I’ve met. – God called this beautiful young man home in the early hours on Monday, May 27th, 2019.

The “Boys from St. Croix” were fellow Virgin Islands jockeys, Victor Lebron, Julio Felix, Kevin Krigger, and Kerwin John. With their guidance, his drive, and the entire Virgin Islands territory rooting for him, Pede’s success grew tremendously. – I spoke to a good friend of his and he thanked me for always driving it home over the speakers when he won. – It was fun just watching a man ply his trade with such love. – The pleasure was all mine.

As promising a rider on the track, he was even a kinder man out of the saddle. – He would never pass you without a big handshake and a hug. – ” How’s it going, Ed?  Everything all good?” – His smile was from ear-to-ear and infectious, to say the least. He seemed to glide through the world without a care. He was home everywhere he went, but his heart was in the Virgin Islands. – His many friends, clients, and fans are going to miss his smile. One of the good guys for sure, and meeting someone like him is rare. – Pede, to say you’ll be missed won’t fit the bill. You had so many that loved you, respected you, and enjoyed watching you ride. – When I saw your name in the program the next day it hit home. I had watched for the final time a young man do what he loved. – Rest in peace, my friend.

 

 

Free Selections – Thursday 5/23/19

As I like to say there is such a thing as a “free lunch.” – Here are some free selections to build your bankroll and start thinking about the weekend. – Be sure to download the E-Z Win Forms for the definitive answer on how the race will take shape. – What are ya’ waiting for? – It’s almost post time!

 

Belmont Park

Race  #1 – #4 – Days of Spring = Adds blinkers for her 2nd start – Trainer Todd Pletcher wins 30% with his second start and 20% on this equipment change.

Race #3 – #6 – Queen Kahen = Makes a drop in class for trainer Rudy Rodriguez and he wins 19% with maiden claimers – Irad Ortiz gets the nod and he wins 26% on sprinters.

Race #6 – #4 – Belgrano = First start since March for trainer Jorge Abreu and he wins 15% with runners fresh off the shelf – Jose Ortiz in the saddle and wins 18% on turf runners.

Race #8 – #1 – Preservationist = 3 for 6 ITM and hasn’t been off the board to date. – The first start since February and trainer James Jerkins wins 19% with layoff runners.

Race #9 – #7 – Mobridge = Been off since March and comes to post for trainer Danny Gargan. – The barn wins 22% off a layoff.

 

Churchill Downs

Race #2 – #2 – Strut the Ring = Looking for three-in-a-row and trainer Matt Shirer wins 23% of his route races.

Race #3 – #9 – Mom’s Pass = Bred for the grass and trainer Steve Asmussen wins 19% with his first-time runners. – Ricardo Santana wins 23% teaming up with Asmussen.

Race #5 – #2 – Cowboy Rhythm = 2nd off the layoff and trainer Robert Diodoro wins 28% with runners as beaten chalk and teams up with rider David Cohen who is winning 26% the past 60 days.

Race #7 – #1 – Graceful Princess = Raced in March and trainer Ralph Nicks wins 15% with fresh legs and 23% with beaten favorites.

 

 

The Happy Horseplayer – May

by Ed Meyer

posted on May 22, 2019 in General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

It seems like yesterday as January rolled in with cold winds and snow. – Time flew by quickly, and before we knew it we were watching horses take the track as “My Old Kentucky Home” played. – Funny thing when a song brings everyone together if even for a moment. A two-minute race makes everyone a racing fan if even for a day. The beauty, the pageantry, and the long road to Louisville. What a long strange trip its been.

 

The Derby

For 144 runnings there has been no DQ in the history of the race. – The magical 145th edition gave us a Derby filled with more bumping and knocking than NASCAR. – As the field turned for home everyone wanted the roses. – 2019 will be the year that will be known as the “Big DQ.” – I guess I could tell you I lost money and my bankroll, or I could regale you with a wonderful story on how the big longshot had me celebrating. Either way, the race is in the rearview mirror. – The 144th Preakness brings a host of new shooters to the table and there’s no Triple Crown hope this year. But that being said, my inner-horseplayer will be locked and loaded. – Bring it on Baltimore!

 

Keeneland recap

In April, the Keeneland meet was underway. – My brother wanted to put up a couple hundred and see if I could carry it the length of the meet. – I told him; ” Just wait, I have $71 and let me work with that first.” – At the conclusion of the race meet the $71 bucks was still alive and showed a little profit. – It was really fun watching every race at the boutique meet. – I played the angles I’ve been using for years and with a little luck and divine intervention this horseplayer enjoyed each day. – The spring of 2019 was more fun than the law allowed.

 

Preakness 144

Maryland does crabcakes and horse racing. – This year will not have the winner and disqualified runner in the field. – This is a brand new day and the field is chock full of new shooters. I love the big field and probably the best betting opportunity we’ve had in the Preakness in two decades. – Just a note you’ll want to keep in mind before making a bet. – Play runners that exit the Derby who had a tough trip or ran a solid 5th or 6th. They tend to relish “Old Hilltop.” – Take a hard look at Bob Baffert and D Wayne Lukas. They play hard in the second jewel of racing.

 

Winning Ponies

If you’re looking for a great handicapping tool to make your day incredible. Look no further.  Winning Ponies is your one-stop-shop for the best in handicapping data with the E-Z Win Forms. Easy to use and incredibly effective on the marquee days! – Best of luck on Preakness Day and don’t forget to take part in the FREE handicapping contest at www.winningponies.com

 

The Happy Horseplayer = Improbable / Borbon War / Alwaysmining