Eight Habits of Lucky Gamblers

 

We would all like the “secret sauce” of being successful and lucky. – There is no magic to the process, and most are common traits and practices for anyone who excels in a chosen field. – Nothing like having a little reminder of keeping the important task at the top of the list. Grab yourself a pencil, make a mental note or just let it fall over you like a waterfall of good fortune.

Cultures for centuries have faith in lucky charms and symbols they feel give them an edge:

  • Sailors: The albatross
  • Chinese: Bamboo
  • Thai: White elephant
  • Japanese: Maneki-Neko
  • Irish: Four-leaf clover
  • English: Horseshoe
  • Native Americans: Dreamcatcher
  • Germans, Italians, Russians, Turks: Ladybug
  • Americans: Rabbit’s foot

Here are some practices we can always take a self assessment to see where we need to focus:

1. – Be mindful of what is going on around you – Take notice of the company you keep. Are they positive, toxic, or just a negative downer that will eventually drag you down. – Mom was right, we are the company we keep.

2. – Be proactive – Lucky people make good things happen. They leave the negative outside in the car before venturing in to make a wager.

3. – Be opportunistic – Many people are blind to opportunities because they don’t notice them or because they are inflexible and stuck in their ways. People who practice opportunism see opportunities all around them and are able to use them to their advantage. Being an opportunist involves being mindfully aware; being flexible enough to change your original plans; and being open-minded enough to take advantage of these new opportunities.

4. – Be insightful –  Making use of this knowledge depends on your ability to access this information and trust in yourself. Having insight involves integrating explicit and implicit knowledge with an understanding of social situations and emotions, both yours and others’. Insightful people have higher emotional and social intelligence.

5. – Be flexible –  “You can’t step in the same river twice.” The truth is that you can’t even step in the same river once, because even as you’re stepping in the river, it is changing. Appreciating the dynamics of life and being able to go with the flow provides enormous advantages to finding new ways of doing things or getting places or creating opportunities. Lucky people are flexible and take advantage of new situations.

6. – Be optimistic – Optimism helps you see the advantages in any given situation. Lucky people with an optimistic outlook are better able to identify the silver lining in any given situation.

7. – Think out of the box –  Out-of-the-box thinking. It isn’t always painful; often it involves looking for loopholes and looking at situations from multiple perspectives. 

8. – Be resilient – Take advantage of new situations. Several of history’s most famous inventors found out thousands of ways to not do something before they finally figured out something that worked. Were they lucky? Most people would think so. Obviously, these individuals were very bright—but there are a lot of bright people in the world. What made these people different was their resilience.

 

 

 

 

Days After Derby

Image result for pictures of a roller coaster

 

 

 

The build up was like a giant coaster climbing the big hill. You feel the momentary slow roll stop as you look at the fall that awaits at the bottom. – Then the coaster starts drifting and WOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOO ! – You are in for the ride of your life. That’s the way the Oaks / Derby weekend feels for me.

It’s not just the up and downs of playing the races. – There are good days, bad days, and ones we’ll never forget. – This Derby weekend had me working at the track. Now most would have rather had the day off, but working at the track when the big races are on tap is a pure day of fun. People came in and out and some dressed to the nines. The stories, the talk, and waiting for the big race had me chomping at the bit.

My work was a double pleasure people watching, seeing the sights and calling the races. Not a bad day if I say so myself. – I enjoy meeting visitors who come up to see me. Some are old friends and others are visitors who ask if they can watch a race. – For me it’s  the best part of the day when someone comes up and gets to see the best seat in the house. I give them the binoculars, let them sit and spin around people watching and talk horses. – Not much better for a kid who once stuffed the entry box at the track with thousands of entries to call a race. – I took booklets to school and filled them out all day long. When my Dad took me to the track I stuffed them in three different boxes. – I didn’t get my name called and always looked to the sky at the announcer’s booth. For me it was the place I wanted to visit. – When I have the chance I always invite guests to share the ride. It’s not half as much fun if you don’t share with others.

On this day I was a visitor of sorts. I was in the company of a different breed of gamblers and the stories of their day. – The big players’ room had a bevy of big time bettors who fire as much in a race as I make in a week. I heard the cheers and jeers about the last race as I walked in to make a small bet between those who were betting as much as my car cost. But I digress. – It was at the end of the day as I gathered up my gear and walked to the car. I passed the big players’ room when a couple of gents were walking slowly to the elevator. They spoke of the bad beat and what cost them a life-changing score. They didn’t look as happy as when they started the day, but that’s gambling. As we were riding down to the parking garage I overheard one player quote a line from the movie Fight Club; “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.” – I was trying to decide if that was true or just the ramblings of a bad day. But when I saw him the next day I was pretty sure he was just sour.

My buddy in the next room is the camera operator. He’s one of the good guys for sure and loves to make small bets shooting for the moon. He loved his $1 exacta that paid $21 earlier in the day, and when he made a score for $2,000 on a $4 bet earlier in the year I knew he was going to be a horse player. – His energy and happy-go-lucky ways are infectious. Never gets down and always looks up. – In between races he ran downstairs to put $2 in a 50-cent slot machine. Usually he comes up with a good story, but this day he came running back with $1,000 ! – He was laughing and high-fiving the guys and bought lunch for everybody. – The next day we started with $5 and ran in up to $160 in five bets. When he split the money with me he was just as happy as when he nailed the big slot hit.

A longtime friend of mine came to the races and made his bets. He was part of a ten man team who put up $500 each and made some blowout bets. – After his bets were made he came up to the booth to hang with me. We talked about horses, the big scores, and the many handicapping contests we played in together. – Another good guy and quite the handicapper. We talked about my pick who won the Oaks and paid $20 and he asked what I liked about her. “Did you take down the big cheese ?” – “Not really. This has been the least amount I have played on Derby weekend since I’ve been 18 years old.” – When they turned for home in the Derby he needed about five mid-range longshots to close out the pick four. When Always Dreaming drew off and looked like gold, he turned and said; ” There’s only two weeks to the Preakness, Ed !” – Now that’s a gambler. Not crying in his beer but planning ahead for the next score. – It still seems like yesterday when we both went down to Churchill to play in a big handicapping contest. In the first race we both took a big price and both were over 20-1. – As they turned for home our two horses were running together and drew off from the field. – This is the kind of score that puts you in the money right off the bat. – He looked at me and said; “Ed, if I have to lose to anybody here I would rather it be you my man.” His horse beat me by a dirty nose at the wire. But I’ll never forget the honest words of a gambling friend.

We hope you did well on Derby weekend and if you used the top three tier level selections you did pretty darn well. We just hope you were on board. – When our second tier selection ran off down the lane in the Derby, the $11 winner could have been the capper for your day. – As my good friend stated, “there are only two weeks til the Preakness.” But don’t wait until then as Winning Ponies is locked and loaded and ready to get your bankroll in tip-top shape for the next big weekend. – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies !

Free Oaks and Derby Selections

 

The big weekend is upon us and the weather looks to be favorable if you’re a duck. Heavy rains are in the forecast for both days, but the historic oval has been known to be able to handle a great deal of water. If we could get a window of a few hours of sun and a breeze. Just watch and see what magic the best track crew in the nation can do for the deep Louisville surface. – Use these selections as an appetizer for the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms. Nothing like some frees selections to whet your handicapping appetite for what waits ahead. – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies !

The 143rd running of the Kentucky Oaks goes post ward at 6:12 pm EST. – A race that is affectionately known as the “Fillies for the Lillies” has a field of fourteen set to do battle for the Kentucky Oaks trophy. – The weather calls for heavy rains at times for the weekend and handicapping for a wet surface may be just what the doctor ordered.

Kentucky Oaks selections

#13 – Abel Tasman (5-1) = Mike Smith in the saddle for Bob Baffert, and he doesn’t have a Derby runner this year. His plans are winning this race and enjoying the Derby tomorrow. She is 5/6 (ITM) making her third start of the year. She was off slow last time as the beaten favorite. Two angles handicappers look for the next time they run. This race shapes up nicely and with heavy rains in the forecast she’ll do her running late in the lane.

#2 – Lockdown (20-1) = Jose Ortiz in the irons for trainer Bill Mott. They are winning (20%) as a team and bring a filly by First Defense to post. This is her 2nd start off a layoff and she has shown excellent works over the Churchill Downs oval.

#1 – Ever So Clever (20-1) = Luis Contreras is the reinsman for Steve Asmussen. She is 3/3 (ITM) at Churchill Downs and is bred to enjoy the deep Louisville surface and wet tracks may be her strong suit. A very solid price runner who looks to wreak havoc deep in the stretch.

Kentucky Derby selections

Kentucky Derby 143 takes place this Saturday with twenty hopefuls looking to etch their names into the history books. As Mother Nature has plans for a soggy weekend, this rite of spring will go to post at 6:46 pm EST. – For what shapes up as a wide open affair, here are a few runners that promise to bring their “A” game for the “Greatest Two Minutes in Sports.”

#14 – Classic Empire (4-1) = Julien Leparoux in the saddle for Mark Casse. This son of Pioneer of the Nile loves the Churchill surface with a perfect record of 2/2 over the track. This is his 2nd start off a brief layoff. He enters the race with an ultra-impressive win in the Arkansas Derby. In 2016, he was the Juvenile Champ of the Year, and broke his maiden over a sloppy track at Churchill. He looks to a have a slight home-court advantage and has the skills to get the job done.

#15 – McCraken (5-1) = Brian Hernandez in the driver’s seat for trainer Ian Wilkes. This son of Ghostzapper relishes the track going a perfect 3/3. He has a lifetime record of 5/5 (ITM) and has overcome injury and many hurdles to make it to the starting gate. According to the rider he is training lights out and bred to get the distance. If the sky opens up he’ll enjoy a gallop over the wet going.

#18 – Gormley (15-1) = Victor Espinoza (Mr. Derby) has three wins to his credit and is the pilot for trainer John Shirreffs. This is his third start off a layoff and this has always been a handicappers’ angle looking for a peak effort. This son of Malibu Moon looks to be hitting his best stride. If he can duplicate his victory in the Santa Anita Derby he could give them fits in the final furlong.

 

The road to the Derby has been pretty murky all season long, and add in the weather and we’re all still guessing. – That’s where Winning Ponies steps up. The color coded tier levels are a comprehensive look at how the race will take shape. The handy icons and complete past performances give you the true vision of the players. Each horse is ranked and the tier levels give you an insider look as to how the Derby will take shape. One of my favorite tools has always been the change of weather tab. You can adjust your weather tab if the track is fast, muddy, sloppy, or off the turf. This will generate a brand new set of E-Z Win Forms at no cost. There aren’t many if any data services that can give you the option to adjust to the weather. But that is just one thing that sets Winning Ponies apart from the rest. If the weather is anything as predicted it may be the difference between a big winning day and guess work. – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies, and enjoy your Derby weekend !

Derby by the Numbers

There are folks who pick a name out of a hat, favorite color, or employ a complex computation where they ask everyone in their family who they like and toss them out. Either way, everyone has a little Derby madness pulsing through their veins. This Saturday you’ll hear every theory in the world and the method to their madness. Here are a couple of do’s and don’t’s for picking the winner. Breaking from the starting gate going 10 furlongs is a mad dash for cash. So, take this in an add it to your process.

There are two starting gates used for the run for the roses. The regular gate holds 14, and an auxillary gate adding another 6 spots. The 20 slots available for horses have trainers and connections wishing for thier favorite spot. Some like the middle posts from 5-15, and other trainers enjoy the outside draw in the auxillary gate according to America’s Best Racing.

Here’s a little something to think about before plunking down a few bucks or having a family party where names are drawn out of a hat. The Derby is a rite of spring and if you watch one race a year let it be the Kentucky Derby. – As you hear the University of Louisville band play “My Old Kentucky Home;” I’m sure you won’t see a dry eye around. It takes us back in history, the beauty and pageantry, and the long road to get here was nothing short of incredible. – Take a look at the info compiled by America’s Best Racing  for fans who have subscribe to a favorite number theory.

 

#1 post = The last horse to win was Ferdinand in 1986.

#2 post = Affirmed in 1978

#3 post = Real Quiet in 1998

#4 post = Super Saver in 2010

#5 post = California Chrome in 2014

#6 post = Sea Hero in 1993

#7 post = Street Sense 2007

#8 post = Mine that Bird 2009

#9 post = Riva Ridge 1972

#10 post = Giacomo 2005

#11 post = Winning Colors 1988

#12 post = Cannoero II 1971

#13 post = Nyquist 2016

#14 post = Carry Back 1961

#15 post = American Pharoah 2015

#16 post = Animal Kingdom 2011

#17 post = NO WINNER FROM THIS POST ***

#18 post = Gato Del Sol 1982

#19 post = I’ll Have Another 2012

#20 post = Big Brown 2008

The top the winning postions = #10 / 11.3%, #5 / 10.3 % / #8 / 9.3%

The top three ( In the Money) finshes = #10 / 30%, #2 / 28.7 % / #13 / 24.3%

If you’re a number / percentage player from historical data. Make a 3 horse exacta box with #2, #10, and #13. – Bet your $2 to win on #10 as it leads the winning percentage and (ITM).

Or, if you enjoy a data driven process. – You are in the right place. – Download the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms and use who they identify in the easy-to-use color coded tier levels. The data is up-to-the minute and everything is in real time. You can see how the E-Z Wins are doing by following the races, and see who won and how the E-Z Win Forms ranked them. – I’ve looked at every type of data out there and Winning Ponies can be used easily by the new player and seasoned professional. – Our data does not tell you who to bet three days in advance. It shows you how the race will take shape, and ranks them in color coded tier selections. There are handy icons to remind you of important bullet point info such as; Fast Workouts, Change of Equipment, and cutting back in distance to name a few. – It is up to you to decide how to use the data as it breaks down the numbers in an easy to use format. – If the weather becomes a factor and you have been handicapping for a fast track; No problem. Winning Ponies will allow you to change the track condition and receive a brand new set of E-Z Win Forms at NO COST – We don’t tell you who to play and walk off. – Winning Ponies takes the runners and breaks them down in a one-of-a-kind format that you’ll find easy to use at first glance. – So what are ya’ waiting for ? The post draw happens on Wednesday afternoon, and shortly after you’ll be able to download the best data a horse player could want. If you’re doing any job you need the right tools, and this is a must for all handicappers to keep in their arsenal. - Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies !

 

Start Thinking Derby – 9 Days Away

As we enter the 9 day warning, it’s really time to start thinking about who you like. No, really, I’m serious. No more putting it off and waiting. – I have spoke to handicappers from around my area and this is the mode of thought. I would venture to say that 8 out of 10 horse players I know don’t have a clue who they like. Well kiddies, if you’re going to bet the Derby, you’ll have to start some deep thinking. The picture was never really clear for the run to the roses, and believe it or not this may be a very good thing. That elusive price you’ve been seeking may be just around the corner. – I’m going to give you a little something to think about. A reason why they fit or why they don’t. Sit back, and keep an open mind. We’re going to start handicapping the Derby.

Girvin

Lightly raced son of Tale of Ekati has yet to run a bad race. He is trained by up-and-comer Joe Sharp, and has the services of one of the best morning workout hands with wife Rosie Napravnik. – He has 4 races to his credit and was only beaten 3/4 in the Keith Gee Memorial on the turf last year. He is peaking at the right time and his works are very solid. I would have liked to see three races in 2017, but he may be doing just fine without the road work. He gets Mike Smith and his chances have shot right up the charts. – Bottom line, this colt fits nicely.

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

Classic Empire

Very strong son of Pioneer of the Nile and is 6/7 ITM (his off the board effort was when he tossed his rider in the G-1 Hopeful at Saratoga). I had questions about distance, but his commanding victory in the Arkansas Derby was impressive and stamped his ticket as a legit player.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7u3cP9PQYo

Gormley

Son of Malibu Moon, has had an up and down journey. After a short break in January, he looks to be getting his game together at the right time. Mr. Derby Victor Espinoza in the irons and may be coming of age at the perfect time. I have always had a close eye on the left coast and love to see them travel back to Churchill. – He won’t surprise me one bit after his fast closing effort in the Santa Anita Derby.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_f03IrFYqJQ

Irish War Cry

This son of Curlin has been on the road since he’s been racing. He has three races in 2017 and you can toss out his Foutain of Youth as it was a clunker. Other than that he is perfect. Hard to scratch that record, but his win in the Wood Memorial. A perfect stalking trip but did he beat a strong field? You be the judge.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHodpshOk6I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

People You Meet ‘Long the Way

Coffee is steaming on the kitchen table. Birds are fighting over the seeds on the post outside, and the sun is starting to burn off the morning fog. The prefect way to start your morning. I look at results, stories and promising runners. The usual goings on of the morning turns into a Zen-like moment of quiet. – I used to get up gobble down something full of sugar and turn on the tube. I would try and read, but there are just so many things you can do at one time. This took me back to conversations long ago. Where my hair was thick and brown and my love affair with the sport of kings was just beginning.

Paul was a hard-core handicapper. Maybe that sounds a bit tough and gives you the vision of a man who bet every race offered. Far from the truth, as he would arrive late at the track and catch the last four races on the card. He lived in the same small town of Ludlow; as in most small towns he knew my entire family. Paul worked as an auditor in Cincinnati, and did some bookmaking on the side. The kind of low key bookie that flew under the radar except for the guys who called him for action. – He was known as “The Fox” by his friends and longtime acquaintances, and was a father and husband from our little town. – He used to see me at the track. Fellas like us would arrive after they stop charging for parking and the admission gates were open. – Funny thing about gamblers as they don’t mind betting $10 on a race, but try and peel that $2 out of pocket for the admission turnstiles and they would’ve rather gone home. – Fox used to see me betting. I would have a nice winner or three from the four races and we would talk about who we had after the race. Gamblers are a cagey sort and tipping your hand prior to the race was off limits. – I had just scored a very nice hit with $20 to win and place on a horse who paid $22. That was $220 on the win end alone and time has faded the place price. – After watching me go through a bad streak going 0 for 4 two nights in a row, he offered some sage like advice that comes from people who’ve felt the same. – ” Eddie, you like playing the horses and there is nothing wrong with that. You make good money, but when you bet $40 a race and lose, it won’t be long until you’ll be making less trips. Nothing wrong with coming every night for a single young man, but you may want to drop your bet amounts.” – Simple words from a far from simple man. His words of wisdom helped me gauge my betting plan. Thanks, Fox. I still use it today when I’m making wagers. When a 19-year-old young man learned to throttle back his wagers to stay alive, this was a sign that the learning process was growing along with a lifetime gambling education.

Dad has always played speed. Myself, I loved the closer. Two handicappers with completely separate styles. – The shorter the race the better according to my Dad. – He wouldn’t play the top-notch riders, and would find the low percentage jockeys looking for the big score. – For me the closer offered a plan to make up ground even with a compromised beginning. His speed runners would jump to the front and in his own words give him his money’s worth. He loved to use the phrase ” Catch me if you can.” – Words that may have hearkened from days as an all-star athlete. The kind of kid who would play from sun up to sundown. He honed his skills by playing with much older kids, and the younger player would soon become better than the older kids. – Catch me if you can were his words in action. Not only did it describe the small wager, but a declaration of his life. – I learned to keep an open mind from this style, and I keep an eye on the long-shot runner with the small percentage rider. When I see one jump to the front it takes me back to the guy who would run down the stretch chasing the horses. – It was as much about racing as it was his life. – “Catch me if you can.”

My Grandpa was a small-time bettor who always looked for a long-shot. If he took $25 to the races, he would’ve $18 bet in the Daily-Double. There were not as many exotic bets back then, and the DD was a staple of the gambler. – He met my Grandmother at the races at old Latonia Race Course. – There were some big horses who ran there over the years: Black Gold, Seabiscuit, and a long-shot named Wishing Ring who on June 17, 1912 paid a record breaking payoff to this day of $1,185.50 for a $2 win bet. They just picked out their horses and bet their two dollars on it. – He married my grandmother in the Carroll County courthouse on the way to the Kentucky Derby in 1938. The winner was Lawrin with Eddie Arcaro in the irons. I still have the program from that happy day in my racing cabinet. It’s the center piece, and when the cabinet is lit is shows the program in pristine order.  – He never employed complex betting strategies and was just a fan of the action.  – His words of wisdom were more than just having lunch. – “If you’re hungry at the track, go ahead and get yourself a hot dog.” – This was his way of putting things in perspective. If you had money to bet, don’t walk around hankering for a bite to eat. This was his simple logic of doing the right thing and it must have been hard. He loved to bet the big prices and also had a penchant for eating. Sometimes the truth lays just behind the words. – It’s all about priorities.

Bankroll Builders

The preps are in the books and the trail points to Louisville. You’ll want to keep up-to-speed on how the last workouts are going, and who may encounter a last minute problem. It happens every year as someone defects; is under-the-weather, or an injury is discovered. This year has many handicappers scratching their heads, and not many have a single runner to play. This may be the year where we get a little something extra if we’re lucky enough to cash. – Here are some ideas to keep in mind when you dig in and handicap.

 

Gang up on them

We hear about syndicates where people pool their money and take a shot. I’m a big believer in the group effort, and this year looks like a good idea to spread out a bit. Before you put your money in the hat, be sure to designate a team of at least two, no more than three handicappers to design the wager for the group. Now, before you get your self in a tussle. It makes good sense as it’s impossible to please everyone with the wager. – Designate the handicappers, pool the money, and jump on the wagon for the group win. – If it were up to me, I would want two members of the group making the wager. Let them do the work and don’t try to sway anyone. – You can always make a few smaller bets on your own and the big ticket wager has a bigger reach to nail down some big numbers.

 

In the Money

Toss any runners who did not finish in the top three in a Grade 1 or 2 event. This has always helped me downsize some runners and if you have to have them in they always make a nice boxcar price to finish your trifecta or super.

 

Three Weeks

Pay close attention to runners who made their last prep 21 days prior to the Derby. This has happened 16 times since 1929. – It may be impossible to find that perfect 21 day space, and use your best intuition with the number of days. Trainers always have a plan for the Derby trail and they want their runners peeking for the big day.

 

Unlucky Posts

Many trainers cry themselves to sleep if they draw the rail. Tell that to Ferdinand with the late Bill Shoemaker as they came right up the fence. The rail is tough as runners have to break and get into position as the track veers a bit inward and then takes a dog leg right. – Once upon a time many would worry about the auxiliary gate posts. They have won 5 of the last 9 editions. – Number 17 is the tough luck post as it has never produced a Kentucky Derby winner. – Records are meant to be broken and bad luck streaks don’t last forever.

 

Exacta Time

If you don’t like the bet think again. The average payoff is $822.26, the highest was $9,814.80 in 2005, and the low was $31.00 in 1997. – You better believe I’ll have an exacta brewing for this day !

 

California Dreaming

The left coast runners have a strong presence in the Kentucky Derby. They account for 4 of the last 5 runnings and look to have a couple tough guys this year.

 

Betting the Derby is one of the toughest events of the year. There are no connections not giving their “A” effort. The prestige of winning makes all of the money, early mornings and worries worth the trouble for all involved. – I would start my homework by following last works, shipping to Churchill , and any unplanned illness that may crop up. There are so many that have the credentials, and this may be the toughest I have seen in years. – You are in the right place and should look no farther. Winning Ponies always comes with the heat day-in-day-out. On the marquee days the E-Z Win Forms rise to the occasion. Winning Ponies is tried and true and the numbers speak for themselves. You need the proper tools with any job and having your E-Z Win Forms in hand gives you a distinct edge. They have $2,805,862 in exotic payouts to date. – At the time of this entry there are 15 days to the Derby. You have plenty of time and go back and watch replays right here on the Winning Ponies site for both the Oaks and Derby. You can see the point standings and begin the process. You’ll want to spend some time before getting in the ring for the biggest day of wagering. The pools will be swelled and the payoffs can be sweet. – Winning Ponies is your one-stop-shop for all of your Oaks / Derby needs. You’ll have free selections to build your bankroll, blogs about the sport of kings, and the Winning Ponies Internet Radio Show with John Engelhardt. You’ll hear from the biggest names in the sport and be in the know. What more could a handicapper want ? – Start by taking a look at the FREE replays on the site, and put the finishing touches on one of the biggest weekends in racing. - Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies ! 

 

Derby Trail – 4/17/17

The preps are in the books, and the weeks ahead will be like waiting for Santa for horse players. It seems like yesterday when we began this long road and every year the process begins the same. You have to love this time of year as a racing fan and now comes the best part of making sense of all the preps leading up. You’ll watch replays, read charts, pay attention to barn notes and listen for that last minute defection of one of the marquee names. It always happens and it is never easy. – With only 19 days until the most exciting two minutes in sports there are a few things in addition to the above process you should follow. – Winning Ponies is the best place you can start. There is the one-of-a-kind E-Z Win Forms which show you how the race will take shape. They have a change of weather tab if Mother Nature gets ugly and you’ll receive a BRAND NEW set of updated E-Z Win Forms at NO CHARGE ! – Winning Ponies doesn’t tell you to bet this and watch. We like to show you how the runners in the race measure up against each other. There are the color coded easy-to-read tier levels which can be used at first glance. Rare in the world of handicapping data do you have a source where it can be used by new and seasoned players alike. – There are handy icons which alert you to late works, dropping in class, moving up in class, and monster workouts to name a few. The past performances offer every single item under the sun to allow you to see how the rider and trainer are doing at the meet and percentages on the year.

 

Keeneland

4/15/17

 

Race #9 – The G-3 Lexington Stakes – 1 1/16

Ten three year olds went to post to do battle in the Lexington Stakes. The morning line favorite was #10 West Coast at (3-1).

 

West Coast did everything correct shipping in from California looking to give Bob Baffert a victory. The post position looked to be no problem rounding the turn and going into the short stretch of the 1 1/16 distance looked to play into his hands. – No Dozing for Arnaud Delacour had an eventful trip waiting for room and tipped off the rail at the top of the lane and came motoring with a strong late run. – The late-prize goes to Senior Investment who exited the G-2 Louisiana Derby fighting it out with stretch running Girvin. Channing Hill fit this Kenny McPeek colt like a glove and got up in the shadow of the wire to get his picture taken.

 

 

Oaklawn Park

4/15/17

 

Race #11 – The 81st. G-1 Arkansas Derby – 1 1/8

 

A full field of 12 went to the starting gate and the morning line favorite was Classic Empire at (8-5). – The race was the last chance for getting a shot at coveted Derby points of 100 / win, 40 for 2nd, 20 for 3rd, and 10 points for fourth.

 

Classic Empire steadied at the start and received a patient ride from Julien Leparoux. The son of Pioneer of the Nile was 5/6 ITM lifetime, and faced some of the tough guys along the way. Toss out the G-1 Hopeful at Saratoga where he wheeled and lost the rider and his resume is impressive. He was the best on this day and only time will from here. – Conquest Mo Money showed the way and had some solid fractions on the board. This son of Uncle Mo had been racing solely at Sunland and this was a big move going forward for races later in the year. - Lookin at Lee is the “Silky Sullivan” of the field, and comes rolling from the back of the pack like gangbusters. “Lee” is a son of Lookin at Lucky and is the kind of runner who would need the perfect pace implosion to score. He’s exciting for sure and no matter where he runs he tries to give the players plenty to root for.

 

Winning Ponies is ready and waiting. – We offer blogs, free selections, stories, updates and the Winning Ponies Internet Show bringing you some of the best names talking racing. Add this in with the easy-to-use E-Z Win Forms and you have your complete one-stop-shop. We want you to be ready for the big score and for the next 19 days be sure to start your day by checking in with Winning Ponies. – The countdown has begun and with only 19 days to the first Saturday in May, you’ll want to stay close as we’ll be bringing you everything to have you ready. – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies ! 

 

 

Winning Ponies – Free Selections – Saturday – 4/15/17

One of the last opportunities to make an appointment for the Derby starting gate happens Saturday afternoon. Hard to believe as it seems we just started. – That’s just fine as horse players will be locked and loaded for some super racing just ahead. Be sure to enjoy the weekend as there is plenty of great racing on the docket. - Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies !

 

Oaklawn Park

4/15/17

 

Race #7 – The G-3 Count Fleet – 6f – 4:57 pm EST

#8 – Whitmore = Ricardo Santana in the saddle for Ron Moquett and this son of Pleasantly Perfect is shooting for a perfect 4/4 after last year’s Kentucky Derby. He’s a horse-for-the-course going 6/6 ITM and faced some very tough runners last year. – Use him with #9 – Apprehender and #6 – Holy Boss. 

 

Race #8 – The Northern Spur – 1 1/16 – 5:33 pm EST

#6 – Jerrid - Ricardo Santana in the driver’s seat for Scott Young, and they were a beaten favorite last out and seem to take to the track pretty well. They have the right man in the irons and he brings his “A” game every time.

 

Race #9 – The G-2 Oaklawn Handicap – 1 1/8 -6:09 pm EST

#3 – Midnight Storm = Mike Smith has the call for Phil D’Amato and this speedy son of Pioneer of the Nile looks the one to beat and at (1-2) on the morning line the public will be right there with you. He was just beat in the 1 1/4 Santa Anita handicap and the cut back in distance and a little class relief should have Smith dictating the pace and tough to beat. – Use him over = #4 – Madefromlucky, and #1 – Texas Chrome. 

 

Race #11 – The G-1 Arkansas Derby – 1 1/8 – 7:18 pm EST

#3 – Silver Dust = At (20-1) this son of Tapit gets first time blinkers and has been knocking on the door in the Rebel and Southwest. -#9 – Untrapped (6-1) = Mike Smith has the call and he wanted to wait to see how Untrapped did before announcing his Derby mount. Trainer Joe Sharp for Girvin made the announcement that Smith would take his runner and Smith agreed to be the nice guy. Keep your eyes peeled as Smith will want to give a good showing drawing a strong rider to have interest in the colt by Trappe Shot. – #12 – Malagacy (2-1) = Javier Castellano in the irons for Todd Pletcher and the son of Shackleford puts his undefeated 3/3 record on the line but will have to overcome the outside post. He’s been working well at Palm Meadows and notched an impressive victory in the (G-2) Rebel. – If you’re gonna bet ‘em, you gotta box ‘em !

 

 

Keeneland

4/15/17

 

Race #7 – The G-3 – Ben Ali – 1 1/8 – 4:24 pm EST

#2 – Eagle (5-2) = The horse-for-the-course has the services of Robby Albarado and this son of Candy Ride is a perfect 3/3 over the Keeneland oval and won the Ben Ali last year. He is third off the layoff and looked to have been pointing to the this race since the beginning of 2017.

 

Race  #8 – The Giant’s Causeway – 5 1/2f on the turf – 4:57 pm EST

#12 – Miss Katie May (12-1) = Jose Ortiz in the saddle for Graham Motion, and they are exiting the (G-3) Ken Maddy at Santa Anita and takes a drop in class and cuts back in distance. Ortiz is a very talented turf rider winning (26%) and Motion knows how to bring them ready with a layoff runner of 5 months. This daughter of Dark Angel should stalk in the second flight and make her presence felt at the top of the lane. – Use with – #7 Lady Aurelia and #10 – Pretty Perfection.

 

Race #9 – The G-3 Lexington Stakes -1 1/16 – 5:34 pm EST

#4 – No Dozing(4-1) = Joel Rosario in the irons for Arnaud Delacour and this son if Union Rags has faced some of the best runners of the year and by looks of the field they are not going to post in here. – He’s been well backed and knocking on the door against better. Delacour is a much better trainer than his Keeneland record reflects. - #3 – Senior Investment (5-1) = Channing Hill in the saddle and exits the (G-2) Louisiana Derby. Kenny McPeek is known for having an ace up his sleeve. – #2 – Souper Tapit (10-1). 

 

Tougher the Race the Better the Player

I know this sounds like complete bunk, but if you give it a good think you’ll find some truth. For me, when I have a six horse field in a nice allowance race it probably looks like shooting fish in a barrel. But seldom is the case. When I am faced with a daunting card filled with many players who have a shot. I find myself digging in deeper to get to find the best value runner.

While you’re still with me let me explain why. – There is a fallacy that a smaller field is easier. Now there are certain days this holds true, but if you’re in love with a payoff more than $3.80 you may want to seek the larger fields. – Many moons ago now defunct Beulah Park use to have $1 million dollar Mondays. Yes, you heard it correct. The little track outside of Columbus use to handle a million dollars or more on a cheap claiming card. – Why you ask ? – The bigger the field size, the tougher the capping, and the better the payoff. Hard to believe this ever took place, and even harder they could do it week-in-and-week out. The Beulah Twins Katie and Jenna were in full-swing and the handle was brimming. Many thanks to Mike Weiss who oversaw everything at the “Saratoga of the Mid-West” and they did it with bottom level claimers. 

Boutique meets are hard as nails to play. We love them because they are filled with top-quality runners for huge purses. – Keeneland is the best example as I’m not much of a fair circuit kind of player. Maybe I should as I’ve watched many fellow bettors nail them daily. But I digress. – You’ll want to do your homework coming into the 15 day meet. There is a bevy of info on the homepage under the racing tab. The connections, the riders, who does well with who. Many trainers target this meet in Lexington for more than the burgoo. – Some are on their way to Churchill shortly after and many look for a win at the prestigious meet. Here are a few names who fit the latter: Rusty Arnold, Graham Motion, Christophe Clement, Bill Mott, Ken McPeek, and Shug McGaughey. Be on the lookout for shippers from Gulfstream, Fair Grounds, and the occasional horse from New York. – If they loved the turf last meet, they’ll love it this meet as it’s one of the best in the nation if not the world. – The bigger fields offer up great value and it may take a little more time watching some replays, barn reports, and keeping daily tabs on the action.

The upcoming meet at Belterra Park may hold some good value. There has been a purse increase, and the stalls have been sought after for a packed house on the backside. Trainers report there may be capacity horses on the backside with 1,000 horses stabled on the grounds. Compared to last year with a little over 400, that translates to bigger fields and some great opportunities. I’ve been hearing for quite awhile that some pretty good riders are going to stay or at least ride the majority of time at the track. – It is hard to draw shippers to make the trek all the time, as the competition goes tooth and nail to battle for horses. – Keep an eye peeled as the meet is slated to open on 4/28/17 with a 1:20 post time Thursday – Sunday.

So what about the Derby picture ? – It’s as cloudy as coffee, and it’s not going to get much better. That my friends translates to a bumper payday if you’re willing to put in the time. Many just want  short fields and hopefully use it as free spot in multi-race gimmicks. – You may have to go back and watch replays and follow trainer reports. – For me this looks like a great opportunity for a pick-four which often holds a sweet guarantee. You are going to have to handicap a little in reverse hoping to catch a small number of horses used in one or two races and spread like crazy in the Derby. – Take a 3 X 3 X 5 X 8 ticket = $180 for a 50-cent ticket. Now, that may be above your bankroll limits and you’ll have to fine tune along the way to make it more palatable. The bigger the field the better the reward. It’s worth the swing, and you’ll thank yourself when you take down the prize.

Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms takes the guesswork out of the handicapping game. It allows you to spend more time using the color coded tier level runners to your bankroll level. Their system does not tell you bet the #2 and go to the windows. The proven E-Z Win system is a powerhouse tool that allows you to see how the race will take shape. Funniest thing. They come out loaded for bear for the marquee race days. Oh, they are solid day-in-day-out, but for the big days they come looking for the big score. They have over $2,314,896 in exotic payouts to date. How many sites can say the same ? – Winning Ponies is real-time, up-to-the-minute info which can be the difference of betting the races and winning. – It is the most user-friendly wagering info I have run across in my travels. - I have worked for Turfway, River Downs, Keeneland, and Belterra Park. I have NEVER seen a site that is easy to use for every level, and offers something for the newbie to the seasoned professional. – You’re already here, take a look. – Winning Ponies posts results as soon as the race is official and they show you how the tier level selections are doing. – If you decide to play mid-way through the card you are only charged for the races remaining. Many others have the same price for one race or ten. – Get in the game because you can’t win it unless you get in it. – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies !