Free Weekend Selections – 11/17/18

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 16, 2018 in Blogroll, Free Picks and Tips, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>






As the weather turns and the final leaves fall from the trees. We find ourselves getting into gear of betting more at home than making our way to the races. – It’s ok, but just don’t make a habit of this. There is nothing like spending a day at the track playing races from around the country. – With that mind, here are some free selections to get you thinking about the weekend. Use them as an appetizer and rely on the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms before heading to the windows.





Race #4 – #9 – Le General = 2nd-time starter for Michelle Lovell and wins 12% on this move – Look for a speedy start from the break.

Race #6 – #3 – Okeamo = Been off since Saratoga, cuts back to a sprint and drops down in class.

Race #8 – #3 – Zulu Alpha = Exits a big win in the G2 Sycamore at Keeneland and looks for three-in-a-row.



Churchill Downs


Race #1 – #4 – Irma Bling = 2nd start off a long layoff and will look to wire the field at Louisville.

Race #6 – #7 – Troy Ounce = 2nd timer for the Steve Asmussen barn and he wins 17% on this move – His go-to rider in the saddle with Ricardo Santana.

Race #7 – #4 – Harvey Wallbanger = Beaten favorite the last two starts looks to seal the deal and break his maiden.



Fair Grounds


Race #1 – #9 – Crooked as Can Be = 2nd start off the layoff for the red-hot Carl Broberg barn.

Race #8 – #3 – Saints Girl = Speedy filly shipping in from CD for the Dallas Stewart barn.









The Gambler’s Curse

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 14, 2018 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>

We can remember with incredible detail about bad beats. – Can you say the same about your big score? – Oh, you remember how it went down and the crisp cash you held in your hand. But the loss is like a color photo in your noggin. – For me, I could tell you about some scores that were sweet and how the win was needed. – The loss is remembered in date, horse name, and how much invested. – Is this a bad dream or the “Gambler’s Curse.”

Last year I was watching races on my phone. Small screen with big action. – I made a $100 pick-four and watched as it finished out paying $8,000. – I couldn’t begin to tell you the name of the runners, races, or date. Why? – But with the detail of an oil painting, I can tell you how I was standing at River Downs as a young man. I took off work a little early and wanted to start my weekend. A couple of beers and some live racing action. What more could a young man ask for? – I made a sweet three horse box exacta and had two 25-1 shots coupled with an 8-1. – The 25-1’s ran 1st and 2nd and the bet was going to pay nice. – Up popped the inquiry sign, and after what seemed an eternity the numbers went blank and my runner was taken down. – A bad beat found me as I tossed my beer in the trash and walked to the car. Not the way to start a long weekend.

I was trying to do some big money wagering long ago. – I kept a watch list for runners and decided to make a handful of place wagers each week at New York, Florida or California. I had time to study and watch these three tracks and was making 2-3 big wagers per week. – I was off and running, and loved two runners on the same day. I made a $500 place wager on a 6-1 shot and won $1,500. – I took the money and carried it over to the next runner. – The odds weren’t as good but when he won and I had $2,750. Not a bad day at the office as I made two bets in less than an hour and won over $2,000. – I knew it was at Saratoga, but for another $2,000 I couldn’t begin to tell you the names of the horses. Why?

I have told you of the worst beat of my life many times. – But, it started so good it was hard to believe it turned bad. – I walked into Arlington and it was Million weekend. I arrived a day early and wanted to catch the 2nd half of the card, check in, and do some homework. – I won a couple hundred and made my way to the simulcast parlor for a nice dinner and watched a few simulcast races. – After winning $500 playing Mountaineer, I made my way to the room to study. What a start to the weekend.

The next day I made a mental promise in the shower not make any wagers except Arlington races. After all, that’s why I was there. – As I walked in I saw a rain-soaked Saratoga and smiled as it was sunny and perfect in Chicago. – But something caught my eye. It was a runner I had been waiting for for a month. He loved the mud and it was a sealed sloppy for New York. – Ok, ok. Just one bet. That’s all. Then back to my word. – I bet $200 to win on my horse and he splish-slashed home paying $20. I was up $2,000 before making my first Chicago bet. – I made small bets all day and was “having a very good day as Richard Dreyfus would say in Let It Ride.” – I loved a horse in the Arlington Million and he was 9-2. I rolled my pick-three’s, fours, and had him keyed in exactas, and trifectas. Win and place money, and it was time to sit back and watch. – The first three rolled right in and all paid well. It was time for my big race. The payoff was going to be a life-changer. – When he turned for home, he angled out perfectly and grabbed the lead. – This was too good to be true, and right then my horse veered out sharply at the wire and dropped the rider. The spill was horrible and looked bad for the rider. I watched for 20 minutes as they showed the replay a hundred times it seems. – Then when the numbers went dark on the board I knew this was going to be the worst beat of my gambling life. – I do remember his name. Storming Home as he was ridden by my favorite rider at the time Gary Stevens who sustained life-threatening injuries. – I made one more win bet the next race and left winning money, but nothing like the life changer that eluded me.

The “Gambler’s Curse” is one where we remember big losses more than the big wins. – Why? – That will be the eternal question for this horse player and gamblers from all walks. – We do remember some recent good winners, but for some reason, the losses stick out like a sore thumb. – I guess we’ll walk the world guessing and questioning why as we trudge onward. – Something I’ve learned is to put them behind you. Let it go, and move on the next race. – In the words of Jimmy the Greek; “ Well, that’s over. Let’s move on to tomorrow.”

A Day Well Spent

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 14, 2018 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>

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Isn’t it fun to visit old haunts? – You know, the places we used to go on a regular basis. – I’ve been away from playing in handicapping contests for years.  I used to play every weekend online, and sometimes make the trip to tracks. There was nothing better than watching your 15-1 shot hang on in the shadow of the wire. You would check the leaderboard after every race with bated breath. – I have my handicapping materials and ready to enjoy the day. No worries, no stress, and just having fun for the first time in a long time.

There are contests that have one round format and others offer a qualifier to move on. – I made a trek with a friend and played in a $20 qualifying round. We were talking about having a contest on our track and I wanted him to play in a small tournament to get his feet wet. – He enjoyed the evening as we wagered on the Del Mar card. – A great evening spent just talking and explaining the process. – The contest was run by Keeneland, and they’ve always put on a good show.

As the first broke from the gate, I snagged a 3-1 shot and moved on to the 2nd race. Good start, but chalk doesn’t hold up well as one 15-1 shot that can blow you off the leaderboard. – We talked and made some plans for our version. – The smaller ones are pretty much alike and this is a nice starter. – I ran 3rd at 10-1 and time to move on.

The evening was fun and took me back to making weekly treks on Friday nights. – It used to be on the Turfway Park card and it was enjoyable. Only $20 and a nice buffet dinner. It was hard to not to go and I won around 5 times over the years. The paydays were solid and qualifying for the Tournament of Champions was super. My Dad and my girlfriend would make the trek. It was a good time for all. – I just ran 2nd at 8-1 and my tally continued for the night.

As the contest was just past midpoint I made a bold move and caught a 12-1 shot. – Now that’s a building block to the winner’s circle, and I started paying attention to the leaderboard. – It had been a long time and this small contest was just what the doctor ordered. Part work venture, part enjoyment, and getting to know a work colleague as a good friend. It was a great night. – I was tied in fourth and needed to finish in the top 10% to move onto the finals. – Funny how something so long ago comes right back. – It was time to play conservative for the last race and try and catch a little chalk to build upon. – The rest of the players would be swinging for the fences.

Caught the last chalk keeping the chasers at bay. – As the smoke cleared I ran 2nd and was beaten by 60 cents for first. – I received a nice little check and an invite to the Tournament of Champions. – It is a one entry person qualifier and it will be held on 9 of any of the 11 races at Churchill. – I’m getting stoked for a day of fun just taking my shot. – Been a long time and I’m kinda happy to be part of the action. Going back with my Dad is a bonus as we get to talk up and back, and enjoy the new environment at the Red Mile where Keeneland holds all of their contests. – The top two get to play in the Horseplayer World Series and there is a prize money payout for the top ten.

This time last year was pretty tough for me health-wise, and I’m relishing the opportunity to play again. Win, lose or draw I’m really looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. – Being with my old man making the morning drive to Lexington already has me stoked. I’m a grateful man and appreciate each and every opportunity that comes my way. – Good vibes and positive thoughts to everyone who will play, and if you haven’t tried your hand it’s a great deal of fun. Keep your eyes peeled for Belterra Park this year as I think we’re going to bring some great new events for guests to enjoy. – Wish me luck! – I can’t wait to handicap and make the trek.


Breeders’ Cup – The Aftermath – Time for a Long Winter Nap

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 6, 2018 in Blogroll, Breeders Cup, General Discussion, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>

The Breeders’ Cup is in the books, and the fans have gone home. – The only reminder is piles of discarded programs and a floor full of tickets. As the big weekend lived up to the hype, I’m left with only one question. – “How do we get people involved all year round?” – The question may be one without an easy answer, or at least one that takes great dedication to the sport. – The industry as a whole goes to sleep after the Breeders’ Cup. Don’t discard this thought as it’s true. No more big races for a while, and it’s going to be a bit of time before the next round of Derby preps hit the calendar. So what’s a track to do?

The average track won’t have a million dollar race on the docket, and if there are a handful of small stakes you are lucky. – But we have to make do with what we have to offer. – The part that eludes me is there is no celebration of other tracks big races. – Think of it like this. They put up the money, the show, and all of the work. Other tracks can ride on the party wagon with free seating, a handicapping seminar, a free handicapping contest, or free program for the target track that offers up the next big races. – You aren’t going to fill the place to capacity but you’ll get 40-50 more bettors through the doors. Multiply that 100 times a year, and you have another 4,000 – 5,000 customers coming in your doors to showcase your facility.

We are all guilty of the “build it and they will come.”  – Tracks aren’t going to partner with everyone except those with the same ownership. – But there is no reason why we can’t celebrate the Thoroughbred all year long. – Simulcast times aren’t as lucrative as live racing, but there’s no harm in trying to keep the handle churning. – It is the little things that make all the difference to horseplayers.

Free seating should be in effect every day. This excludes your restaurant area of course. – You may charge for your marquee race days, the Triple Crown, and Breeders’ Cup. – The rest should be free. – Don’t be the only game in town to charge someone to make a bet and have a seat. Let them get comfy and stay awhile.

Clean and ready. – This is your race book manager’s job. They walk the race book an hour before doors. – Lights are on, the betting carrels are clean, TVs are on, and a channel lineup at every station. – Clerks should have a recap book to know what tracks are taken and what time they run. – There should be posted behind glass a monthly schedule, operation times, and future events. – Make it their home and they’ll stay.

Be available. – Simulcast time is a great time for managers to peruse the race book. – During the day each manager is to spend some time walking around and chatting with players. – This is time well spent and they feel served. – Don’t stay too long as they came to gamble not talk.

Buy a soda, bring out a couple programs, a handful of pens, caps with your track logo. – I used to walk around and pass out something a few times a week and it went miles with guests. – When they see you coming they’re more inclined to speak and let you know what’s going on.

Listen. – Sounds easy, but just spend some time before the day gets busy and listen. – Not the same customers every time and give them a person they can contact. – This makes it so much easier during live racing.

On slow days, have food service bring in a cart of hot dogs and fixings. – Let them have a little bite on the house. If you do this during the slow days, I wonder what we can do for the big ones.


Racetrack fans are easy to please. There will always be ones that have every answer and complain you didn’t give them a cap. But you’ll start growing a customer base and begin relations. – It has been many moons ago I worked in this capacity at Turfway Park and River Downs. But when players see me they still want to talk, and most think I still work in that capacity. – Taking the time is worth every second. Get to know your customer base and don’t assume they know you. Sit for a few, shake a few hands and be available. – It’s a little more shoe leather but well worth it.

Breeders’ Cup is the pinnacle event of racing and afterward, we start going to sleep. – A shame I say as it should be year-round communication. Grow your fan base with simple gestures and low-cost ideas. –  It’s not too late and stop thinking about sitting in your office making up for that tough live meet. – Get back out and act like your job depends on it. – In reality, it really does.

The Happy Handicapper

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 6, 2018 in Blogroll, Breeders Cup, General Discussion, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>

Another Breeders’ Cup in the books and the stories remain. – After the hard work of handicapping and preparing for the big day, only the stories remain. They’ll live with us for years to come. – I do wish the weather would have been a bit better, but the track crew did an excellent job doing magic to get it ready. As another month goes into the books, this year was special.


The Breeders’ Cup

January had me in the hospital recovering. It was going to be a long haul and each day was filled with anxiety. – I started thinking ahead to the Breeders’ Cup and this kept me focused. After all, which horse player doesn’t want to see the biggest day in racing. – With every passing month, I started feeling better as I watched every prep race. – As the weekends passed, the picture began to take shape. – I had targeted a date to be ready to return to work and do what my heart loves. When I met that goal, the Breeders’ Cup still waited ahead. – Each week, I felt stronger as the preps rolled by clearing the picture with winners. – I spoke to a very dear friend who was battling his own war, and we chatted about trying to get to the big weekend. – It wasn’t my biggest betting weekend by far, but the victory I celebrated was immeasurable. – Along with my good friend who received great news, you could say this may have been the best one ever. Hopefully, there will be plenty of Breeders’ Cup visits and better days ahead. – Thank you for all of the prayers and well wishes as they counted more than a pick-six any day. – This year had me feeling like the biggest winner!


The Long Cold Winter

Now before you get that mental image of a blustery snow-covered track, I’m talking about playing your favorite wintertime ovals. – Fair Grounds, Aqueduct, Turfway Park, eventually Gulfstream. – The California circuit is always sunny and perfect and it plays a great backdrop to the grey filled skies of the East. – There is the speedy “Big A” where we watch for the golden rail bias. – Fair Grounds brings the babies preparing for the long road to the Derby. – Turfway gives us solid night time racing on the safe Polytrack. – When Gulfstream kicks open, the real racing begins. Every weekend brings top quality turf racing and slowly builds up with incredible stakes racing. – I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Tampa Bay Downs as they have great turf racing and offer the best value with large competitive fields. – Hunker down and bundle up. Winter racing is almost here and it starts the process all over again. – I can’t wait for the action to heat up.


The Last Race

I’m not much of a funeral-goer. It has nothing to do with lack of respect. – I would rather spend time buying you a beer, talking horses, and enjoying the best sport in the world. – I found myself going to a service for a gent I knew as a young boy tagging along with my Dad. – They used to work together and would meet occasionally at the races. – My Dad was speaking with his son and told stories of their yearly trek to Churchill the day after Thanksgiving. They would drive down, have a few libations, and make some bets. – He told of winning days and losing rides home. – His son was surprised to hear this side of his Dad. ” I can’t believe you guys did that every year.” – There is something about that 100-mile ride to Churchill that gets your blood pumping and awaiting the action. – I watched my Dad smile and tell stories of how he relished his friendship. I was glad to just stand there smiling about their special “Man’s Day” at the races. – Rest in peace, Bob. I’m sure glad you and my pops made your special trips as friends. They are memories that will stay with him for a long time. I know it meant a great deal to him to spend time with you.


Holidays and Parties

As we reach the holiday season and the stress and bustle to find the perfect gift is a challenge. – Here is an alternate idea that would be a great way to enjoy a gift that keeps giving. – In that beautiful card with wintry scenes, place a $50 betting voucher inside. Make a date to go to the races and spend four to five hours playing the ponies. The winner has to pick up the lunch or dinner tab and the memories will last longer than the ugly sweater. – Call up group sales and make a reservation to have a light finger food buffet and boxed seats. The cost will be minimal and the memories will last until spring. – Head on out to the races and enjoy a special day. Silly sweaters and adult beverages, and if there is a solid handicapper in the group have them make out a tip sheet. – Have a group pool where everyone tosses in $5. If there are 20 in attendance you have a $100 bankroll. Draw names to take turns to select runners, or nominate a group handicapper. – Take the $50 bankroll and bet it to place. If the runner scores, the entire amount goes on to the next race and so on. – You can make a splitting point, or keep it rolling to the end. – There is nothing like having a $200 place bet on the feature race. – You’ll have the whole room rooting and cheering together. They’ll probably remember that more than a cheese box. – Another great gift is to purchase some Winning Ponies Credits for future trips to the races. They’ll thank you each and every time they download the E-Z Win Forms. Think of it as the gift that may really keep giving!


As the Happy Handicapper closes another month, I’m filled with gratitude and happiness. – I saw the 35th edition of the Breeders’ Cup and sat on my couch enjoying the action. – Nothing like it if you ask me. – We’re digging out winter clothes and getting ready to do the process all over again. – My wishes for the upcoming holiday season are ones filled with joy, happiness and the feeling of gratitude. – Share your love of racing by taking another to the track and call up that old friend to meet for a day at the races. I promise you won’t regret the time spent together. – Until next month, best of luck from the Happy Handicapper.



Box Full of Betting Advice

It’s a cool rainy day outside as I begin my final descent into handicapping zen. There’s nothing like it for racing fans. as we’ve been waiting all year for the big weekend. – Over the years, I’ve collected a box of handwritten notes I peruse before the real handicapping begins. These were little-handicapping patterns and plans from some of the biggest players I’ve ever known. Some were great bettors and others were better handicappers. The two are like apples and bowling balls. – They are two different items altogether, but when you find the sweet mix great things can happen.

For those that will be doing battle with the biggest two days of racing, best of luck. – For our friends, fellow handicappers and people we met along the way who are no longer going to be wagering you are not forgotten. – Without further adieu, let’s dive into my little box of handwritten history.


Tune in and turn up

You need to turn on your favorite music and play it in the background to lift your mood. – Don’t do this when you’re watching video replays, as that is when you really need to have complete focus. – But don’t forget to turn on something you enjoy. – This little piece of advice comes from one of the biggest players in the nation. Please don’t second guess his success, as he is one of the very best handicappers in the game. You read his name in articles, contests, and gambling related pieces. – I consider myself pretty lucky to have met this gentleman and every time he sees me we speak briefly. – Right now, I’m listening to the Beatles.

Take it a piece at a time

Remember how we use to cram for the big test in school? – Well, don’t do that. – Take it a race at a time and take a break. No more than two races in a day. – This gent was the king of cool. – We still quote him 17 years later after he’s been gone and his words still hold true. – He had multiple pick-six winners with big gamblers, track owners, and men who hold baseball records. – He was one of the best guys you’d ever meet and dressed to the nines every day. He had his own lingo that the “Rat Pack” would have been jealous they didn’t use. – “Take your time, what’s your hurry kid?”

Euros must be respected

For decades some of the best handicappers felt Europeans couldn’t hold court with the American runners. – Now, that may be the truth in the Kentucky Derby, but this is a whole new game. – They have been targeting this weekend all year. – When you see strong one mile efforts, that is worth its weight in gold. European connections find this test to be the answer no matter what distance. They wouldn’t be here to embarrass themselves. – “Jock” was a longtime rider in England and Ireland and came to the states after he gave up the saddle. – He would wait all day to play two races and have more winners than losers. Pay heed to his words. “They wouldn’t be here if they weren’t ready, and there is more of a respect for the sport instead of overzealous owners wanting to watch.” – The day that Arcangues won the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 1993, there was only one voice cheering above all others. This Euro had only raced on grass before trying the dirt for the first time. He won under Jerry Bailey at odds of 133-1 and a Breeders’ Cup record of $269.20 for a $2 wager. – Thanks for passing by, Jock. You are surely missed.

Don’t bet just because you can

Betting the Breeders’ Cup at the track is like watching hordes of tourists. – I’m not putting them down, but the money in the pool favors the better handicappers with skill. – The hats and outfits, and piles of cash making a false favorite is a dream come true for a good handicapper. – Wait for your move. You’ll find more horses that pay $20 and should have paid $10. There is a bevy of players who like the chalk, and on this day every horse is bringing their running shoes. Getting left a beat out of the gate, an outside draw, or shut off in a stampede is good news for those looking for the right price. – Don’t bet just because you have money. – Thanks, Louie.


The Breeders’ Cup is the final goal of the year before it all starts over. – I am grateful for the chance to sit down and handicap; and been counting the days for quite some time. – I’m sitting this one out as far as making the trek to Churchill Downs, but you can bet I’ll be in front of the TV watching with baited breath as they crown the champions. – As I turn on the Allman Brothers, here are a few of my own handicapping rules.


1. – Stay away from low price chalk – Seek better value for your dollar. – This is for all the marbles.

2. – Respect European shippers. – They love coming over this time of year.

3. – Every year there is a trainer of the weekend. This year it will be John Gosden.

4. – Pay attention to the Weather Channel. – Right now, the weather looks like showers during the week, sunshine on Friday, and a chance of showers and cool for Saturday. If that doesn’t sound like a Euro forecast not much does.

5. – If you don’t play a pick-six, don’t make this the day to try your hand. – There are some incredible guaranteed pick-fours and pick-fives. – A good friend shared some great advice; “stick to your knitting.” I guess that means doing what you’re best at.

6. –  Remember, there are plenty of races and don’t go tapped early. – Pick your best runners and try and focus on how you’re going to bet them.

7. – Have fun. We’ve waited all year and it’s here!


Size Matters ?

by Ed Meyer

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

It may be a large oval where marquee races are held, events of the year take place and the biggest players in sports call home. – Or, it may be the quaint little oval that has the spark of a country fair, and generations of horsemen have worked in the sport they love. I have had the wonderful opportunity to work at both and each holds a special place in my heart.


Big Ones

You walk in and everything is perfect. The grounds have been prepared for months and there is energy in the air. You’ll see fans dressed in the finery of the day and ready to enjoy an experience. Some of the bigger tracks have a rich history, and the best in racing has thundered down the lane. You’ll see large artworks, events that celebrate the equine with chef prepared culinary goodies.

There are new players to hardcore handicappers. You’ll see many that come in a large group to celebrate, and friends enjoying a cigar and cocktail. There is something for everyone, and if you can’t find it in the massive gift shop. It doesn’t exist. – The Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup are held at some, and others offer up a festival of racing. You have to love the big ovals that are rich in history and showcase the best in horse racing.


Little Ones

You walk in and you’ll see fans in lawn chairs holding court in the same spot everytime they come. – There are fans walking down to the paddock and known by their first name. The horses are called onto the track by a replay call-to-the-post rather than a live bugler dressed in uniform. – You’ll see more cheap claimers than G1 runners, and if you’re lucky enough to have a turf course you look forward to watching the horses on the greensward.

Every holiday has special giveaways such as T-shirts, caps, and flowers on Mother’s Day. – $1 hot dogs and beer specials are promoted with pride and small stake races are exciting as you get to see the best do battle. – The riders are either on their way up the ladder or jockeys returning to where they began to polish off their career. Small tracks have a rich history as well. Once upon a time, big time riders had their start in the game at the little track. They were given a leg up by a trainer who went on to great things but started at the smaller track. The smaller track has a charm all of it’s own. Morning workouts being watched by longtime horsemen and the smell of fresh morning breakfast wafts through the air from the track kitchen.

Image may contain: one or more people, people riding on horses and outdoor


This racing fan loves both. – I enjoy making the trek to Keeneland or Churchill and have caught the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita and under the Twin Spires. You may have to pay a little extra for your seat and park in someone’s front yard, but the day is worth it. – I must admit I always buy a cap from the big day and still have most of them. – Going to the larger track is an event and one you plan to attend. It’s worth the trip as I’ve seen many great runners over the years. To name a few: Risen Star, Forty Niner, Alysheba, Harlan’s Holiday, Lil E. Tee, Point Given, Pleasant Tap, Blame, Zenyatta, Curlin, and too many to mention.

Going to the smaller oval has its own little charm. I’ve always called it the great melting pot as you’ll see the businessman talking horses with the plumber. I watched Steve Cauthen break into the game aboard Red Pipe and just saw jockey Perry Ouzts notch his 7,000th career win to become the 9th all-time leading rider in history. Laffit Pincay called the turf course the best he’s ever ridden, and when Wesley Ward trained his runners over the turf course before going to Royal Ascot to become the first trainer from the states to add his name to the winners. – In the end, I love them both. They serve my needs and allow me to enjoy a day of beauty and pageantry. – As the two ovals hit the wire at the same time the smaller track is a head in front. – I can casually drop by for a few races, catch some simulcast action and get my bet in. – I guess the smaller track will always call my name as a fan and I look forward to going again.

New Shooters Welcome!

“Newbies” are the fresh faces that came to the track and wanted to play. Initially, they were drawn in with free music, cheap food, and beer. Now, how do we keep them? – Many tracks were stopped in their tracks as they didn’t have a plan beyond that part. – That’s fine. We’ll help you get your bet-on right now.


Free Handicapping Seminars

If you are new or would like to sharpen up your game. Head out for a free handicapping seminar. – Yes, they are free and usually have free food, programs, or a drawing at the conclusion. – This is a great way to keep your game sharp and feel confident in making wagers. – I’ve had the opportunity to introduce many players to the sport with free seminars. – This isn’t a place where you get every winner for all of the races, you’ll get some fresh perspective on runners who look good and why. There is a complete explanation on how to understand betting materials, and many times I have conducted a 101, 202, and Graduate seminars. – You can learn about the game on your time and not feel intimidated. – The idea is to get you selecting your own runners. But in the meantime, we’ll help you get started!


Casinos do it

Many gamblers wanted to stand at the packed craps table and cheer with the winners. The only thing holding them back was not understanding the game. – Casinos offer up free training sessions and usually, there is some type of drawing or bonus to get you started. – What better than to learn something new at your own pace? – The action awaits, and “you can’t win it unless you get in it!”



I have seen plenty on YouTube and many racing websites. – Steer clear of sites that offer you a GREAT deal if you just sign up for a package deal. You want to use handicapping materials when you want. After all, it’s your money and your entertainment.


Find Your Data Source

There are many types of handicapping materials and you need to find which one you like. – Use ones that are priced to your budget, allow you to use them when you want and have offered up something extra for you the player. – Winning Ponies is a great source of info for the new player to the hardcore gambler. The color-coded tier levels are easy to read and have a complete explanation. There is NO pointing toward one horse and tell you who to bet. WP wants you to see how the race takes shape with handy icons and complete data. From there you can choose who you like. – You like the odds-on runners? See where they fit in the race and make your decision. – Longshots more your style? – Winning Ponies shows what makes runners eligible to win and why. – Take a look if you have not pulled the trigger. – Winning Ponies is a complete site that offers free selections, blogs, stories, and the Winning Ponies Internet Radio Show with host John Engelhardt. – We have the biggest names in racing and focus on the big races for the weekend. – Can’t make it for 8pm EDT? – No problem. The podcast allows you to enjoy the latest episode or go back and peruse the library of shows. – Winning Ponies wants to take your game to the next level and we offer something for all horseplayers.


Going to the races was an event. It was a day or evening out to watch and wager on the action! – It still offers beauty and pageantry whether you play from the comfort of home or make the trek to your local track. – Watching and wagering on the races is a one-of-a-kind experience. – If you’re new to the game find the beginners window where new players can take their time. If you prefer betting from home, do what is easy for you. Just make a trip or two a month to the races. Walking down to the paddock for the sights and sounds will be lost sitting behind your computer terminal.

If you’re a long time player. Be sure and take someone new to the races. – After all, this is how we all learned long ago. – Be sure and stop by to say hello to some familiar faces. – That is one of the best parts of betting the ponies. You share thoughts, make friends and cheer together. – How many times have you seen ten people standing around a slot machine jumping and cheering home the outcome? Me neither. – Take in a day at the races and be sure to keep involved by seeing what type of events, promotions, and music are on the calendar. – It’s not your grandpa’s game anymore and the track is a great place to enjoy an evening out.

Be sure to bet more when your winning and less when your not doing well. – As my good friend John Engelhardt says; “Bet with your head and not over it.”




Early Look for the Breeders’ Cup

With each passing day, the biggest stage of racing readies for the action. – It is never too early to get a jump on your handicapping, and starting right here is the perfect beginning! – Best of luck from Winning Ponies!



Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint = 5 1/2f on the turf

Stormy Liberal = Winner of last years’ race at 30-1. – He is three-in-a-row and looking to keep his score rolling. – 3/3 with wins at the distance.

World of Trouble = Ever since switching to the sod he is 2/2 for the Jason Servis barn. – This is going to be a great test and if the last two races are an indication. He is a player.

Disco Partner = 16/20 ITM on the grass and a beaten chalk the last two. – He came rolling last year to be third and looks to up his record.


BC Filly and Mare Sprint

Dream Tree = She is a perfect 5/5 and hails from the Baffert barn. – This daughter of Uncle Mo has the look of something very special.

Union Strike = 3rd off the layoff and has been over the CD oval. – That was an excellent prep last out.

Separation of Powers = 2nd off the layoff and I’m tossing out the last race at Parx. – She finished 4th in last year’s edition.


BC Dirt Mile

Catalina Cruiser = Hard to knock this son of Union Rags who is a perfect 4/4 – Been on the improve with every start – Must be respected.

Giant Expectations = Off slow in this race last year and makes the 2nd off the shelf move – Incredible morning works.

Promises Fulfilled = Speedy son of Shackleford – 2/3 ITM at CD and exits an impressive win in the G1 Jerkins.


BC Filly and Mare Turf

Eziyra (IRE) = Impressive filly from the Dermot Weld yard – She is 11/11 ITM on the green and has 2 wins from 3 starts this year.

Magic Wand (IRE) = From the Aiden O’Brien yard and has faced some tough Euro runners.

Sea of Class (IRE) = William Haggas trainee who is 5/5 ITM lifetime and been improving with every start – She’s gonna be a handful.

Sistercharlie (IRE) = She is 8/9 ITM on the sod and ever since getting Lasix she has been one tough gal to handle for Chad Brown.

Wild Illusion (GB) = She is 6/7 ITM on the grass for the Charlie Applebee yard – She’s been tough every time out and expect the same.


BC Sprint

Limousine Liberal = He is 7/8 ITM at CD and has run in this race a few times with troubled trips.

Mind Your Biscuits = Son of Posse who is 1/1 at CD and has run 3rd two straight years in this race.

Roy H = Peter Miller trainee who won this race last year – Repeat in the plans??


BC Mile

Almanaar (GB) = Lightly raced this year and was closing strong in the Arlington Million settling for 2nd – Chad Brown runner coming off a layoff.

Laurens (FR) = 8/9 ITM on the sod and exits a Gr1 at Leopardstown – Three-yr-old stepping up against older.

Oscar Performance = Brian Lynch runner who loves the distance going 3/3 – Dangerous son of Kitten’s Joy.

Suedois (FR) = Solid turfer who ran 4th in this race last year – Comes from the David O’Meara yard.


BC Distaff

Monomoy Girl = 2nd off a layoff and will turn the table on her last outing at Parx – She is 3/3 ITM at CD – She’ll be ready.

Abel Tasman = Toss out her last effort and come back with confidence – She was 2nd in this race last year and Bob Baffert won Ky. Oaks with her.


BC Turf

Crystal Ocean(GB) = He is 10/10 ITM on the turf and goes from the synthetic to turf again – Nice runner who deserves a good look.

Enable (GB) = Hails from the barn of John Gosden and making her 2nd start of the year coming on the Polytrack – She is 7/7 ITM on the sod.

Roaring Lion = From the Gosden barn and has been all the talk this year – Impressive son of Kitten’s Joy.


BC Classic 

Accelerate = Looking for 4-in-a-row in 2018 – John Sadler trainee who is looking to cap off a great year.

McKinzie = Lightly raced and has done very little wrong – Baffert looking for 4 straight for this son of Street Sense.

Roaring Lion = From the Gosden barn and has been all the talk this year – Impressive son of Kitten’s Joy.

Mind Your Biscuits = Son of Posse who is 1/1 at CD and looks to take it to the big stage.

Thunder Snow (IRE) = Just got beat at the wire in the JC Gold Cup and has been a barn talk runner who looks incredible.









Early Look for Breeders’ Cup Races

The old saying is it’s never too early to start handicapping! – Here is a little sample to whet your appetite for playing the races. – Just be sure to check back with the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms for the final answers on how the races will take shape. – Best of luck from Winning Ponies!













BC Juvenile

Looking At Bikinis = Son of Lookin At Lucky who is 1/1 after winning impressively at Belmont. – Chad Brown comes back to win 28% off a maiden win.

Game Winner = Son of Candy Ride who is a perfect 3/3 in California – The works have been sparkling for trainer Bob Baffert.


BC Juvenile Fillies

Bellafina = Daughter of Quality Road who is as tough as a nickel steak – She is 4/4 ITM with three wins – She’s gonna be nasty to deal with.

Nonna Madelina = If she gets a clean trip or doesn’t act up, she could be a major factor – Daughter of Candy Ride for Todd Pletcher.


BC Juvenile Turf

Advertise = Comes in from The Curragh and is 4/4 ITM – He is lightly raced and should be up close in the mile distance.

Anthony Van Dyke = Aiden O’Brien trainee who is 4/5 ITM and won at a mile back in July – Son of Galileo could give them a tough time.


BC Juvenile Fillies Turf

Newspaperofrecord = She is 2/2 and exits a win in the G3 Miss Grillo – Chad Brown will have her cranked up for peak performance.

La Pelosa = Daughter of Dandy Man and won the G1 Natalma at Woodbine – She enjoyed the Lasix and Godolphin may have a real runner in this lady.


 BC Juvenile Turf Sprint

Moonlight Romance = She beat the boys at KyD for trainer Wesley Ward – She loves the states and Lasix looks to have helped.

Pakhet = She closed strongly in a maiden break and would be turning back to a sprint where she will come flying late for Todd Pletcher – She had a last minute prep running 2nd in the G2 Jessamine at Keeneland on Wednesday – She came rolling quick and should enjoy the turn back to a sprint.

Shang Shang Shang = Wesley Ward has a monster here who won at Royal Ascot – She should enjoy coming back to the states and getting Lasix again.