Enjoying My Time

by Ed Meyer

posted on August 15, 2022 in General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on Enjoying My Time

I made my way down to the race book. A place that saw my face at least 3 times a week, and with a little luck maybe five. This was after a day of calling the races and doing the morning line and tip sheets. Many would have gone home and called it a day, but for this handicapper it was enjoying the game as a fan.

I arrive at work two hours early. Talking to the riders, valets, and everyone in the jock’s room always makes my day. Then, I head up and grab scratches, color my program, and listen to light jazz as I comb through the day’s races with the eyes of a gambler. I look for spot plays that I will highlight with video and audio as they warm up on the track. Sometimes it’s a runner who looks good on the track, and sometimes it’s a horse that looks great on paper. Sharing good info with the public has always been a labor of love. I still enjoy listening to the talking heads banter about the races on the card. Something about it that makes me feel like I’m right there while I’m watching a thousand miles away.

The daily routine is the same but different. I enjoy taking the time to see the same things from a different perspective. – The older riders who still hang with the up-and-coming jockeys. The new faces who are trying their hand at working in the jocks’ room. Retired race trackers who worked at the sport long ago imparting timeless wisdom to fresh ears. Yeah, the same things from a new daily perspective. You’ll never get bored; and if you’re not careful you just may learn a thing or two.

Working in a place that makes you happy is worth a thousand nuggets of gold. You may not get rich, have a large mansion, or a big retirement. But the memories and daily happiness are definitely worth every minute spent. There have been countless days walking into the track that make me smile every time. – I’m lucky. I get to do what my heart desires.

Just a couple of hints to make any job a joyful experience. – Don’t listen to the curmudgeon who bitches about not getting what he wants. He probably had it and didn’t know it until it was gone. Steer clear of the folks who do it for the personal glory of being able to tell you what they’ve done. These folks can quietly drain the enjoyment right out of your time. Stay away from name-dropping goofs who quietly like to toot their own horn and use it for personal gain. They will have more impact on your attitude than you’d ever expect.

Do spend a little time daily getting to know the people around you. Listen more than you talk. Remember birthdays, anniversaries and those times you need to pull up a chair and just listen to a fellow traveler. – Buy someone lunch, share a story, laugh at yourself. These are some of the wonderful things I have learned while working in racing. – We hear more bad than good these days and tend to allow the negative flow to influence our daily thoughts. – There is plenty of good as the sport of racing is chock-full of great stories and timeless moments. – If you are not happy with the way things are going now; just wait. It will change, and the future is bright ahead.

I was reading a local ad for a track having an open job-fair for careers in racing. – Take the time to stop by and see what’s being offered. I guarantee you won’t regret it, and if you’re not careful you could have a life well-spent cherishing every moment. – If you know a young person who may be interested, send them my way. I’ll put them in touch with someone who can help. – Just this past week a young man was sent my way and I hooked him up with some incredible people who may give him a new life’s passion. I wish him the best of luck.

Take the time to look with fresh eyes. The same picture will look different every time you see it. – Go ahead and give it a try. I bet you’ll love it…




Go the Extra Mile – It Will Payoff

by Ed Meyer

posted on July 31, 2022 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on Go the Extra Mile – It Will Payoff

It’s up to you how you spend your discretionary dollar. Some go to the movies, others enjoy shopping. But is there really anything that compares to the excitement of horse racing?

Some enjoy the whirling reels and random spins of a slot machine. That’s just fine. Some enjoy the action of rapid-fire pulls or button pushing while they await the jackpots. – Nothing wrong with that, and racing can learn a great deal from the “one-arm-bandits.”

Video poker is a game of skill. You have to know the nuisances of how to play and percentages of getting the desired outcome to fall your way. – Poker like horse racing is a game of skill wrapped in a blanket of chance. Both have a great deal in common.

So, have you learned anything about what racing is lacking in the sanitized world of gaming? You bet! – If we have a moment of introspection and are willing to go the extra five miles. There is plenty to learn about what is going on around us and how we can prepare for the future continuation of the sport.

Thoroughbred racing has been around since 1868 in the states. Since the publication of the American Stud Book which was the official guide for categorizing thoroughbred racehorses for breeders to categorize the horse’s origins and so racing began. – After the sport emerged, it became an activity enjoyed by people from all social and economic classes, from the wealthiest to the lowest classes. During the Civil War, the popularity of thoroughbred horse racing took a decline due to the economy and gambling activities. As a result, interest faded. But after the war, thoroughbred horse racing saw a rebirth and the popularity for horse racing grew as people took a more in-depth interest in the sport, investing in racehorses, construction of proper racetracks and jockey clubs. While New York was the first state to fully embrace the sport, it was when horse racing made its way down South those things took a definite turn for the best; according to the Deep South Magazine.

Racing is a cyclical sport that has ebbs and flows. Great beginnings followed by downward trends have been a part of the history of the Sport of Kings. – Right now, I would assume we are facing a time of a downward spiral facing social scrutiny and following the COVID pandemic where many owners disappeared from the game due to the cost of keeping a stable without the prospects of any racing. It is fair to say, this is a downward spiral and can work itself out of this trend. This isn’t your grandpa’s game anymore. We just can’t open the doors and fans will come anymore. We have to re-think and plan for the next generation of fans to come.

Racing can be too cumbersome and slow. We need to speed up the game a bit. – Have a group of horses come to the paddock and another group in waiting near the paddock. Taking a clue from harness racing where the next field of runners is waiting near the paddock, this would speed up the game and give players a quick-style sport to enjoy. Just like the rapid-fire games with a push of the button, we could have a next race waiting minutes behind the one on the track. It would take a larger staff to handle the paddock, starting gate, and ancillary workers. But the game would move quicker and the snail pace that is in place would be replaced with a quicker day at the races. – A typical eight race card runs in 3 hours. Now we’ve moved it up a notch and a feel of constant action has taken its place. How about catching a race card in two hours?

Gamblers love to chase jackpot style pots too. – Long before American tracks offered up the “Super-High-Five” wager; The Barbados Turf Club was offering this bet. It had huge carryovers, and the stands were packed. – They started this wager at the Keeneland meet, and it went immediately to the Breeder’s Cup. The rest is history. – I’m thinking of a wager that would have a base wager of a dime and cover the entire race card. You must select the winners of all eight races and if you had a scratch, you would receive the post time favorite. – Folks would be slow to wager at first until the first big carryover. From there, it would take off. Trust me, I would be interested in a wager that had the potential to grow into a big pot at a small price to play. This would appeal to new and seasoned players.

Racing is open air, and you can get close to the participants. That alone is worth the walk down to the paddock. – Now, have a hopper where guests can drop entries clipped out of the program for drawings for free programs, concession items, and track merchandise. Keep the action moving and give everyone a chance at winning something for free. Fans love winning for no cost, and they become the best advertising money can’t buy when you see them wearing your cap in public. – Trust me, invest in your guests and you’ll reap rewards of creating fans.

Have family fun days again, free pony rides, and drawings for $5 betting vouchers. Sound like fun? Energetic atmosphere? You bet! – Guests love it. Turn the day into an event and they’ll hang around and enjoy your property as an entertainment destination. That’s the idea. – By no means is it easy. It takes planning and some costs, but in the end, it will make a difference in the handle and the future.

Live streaming of the races on your website. – Many players love to make the trip and watch and wager on a race or two. Bet the card and head home. – Make it easy by being able to watch the live races on your phone or computer. I bet your on-track handle starts to grow.

During the season have a “Breakfast at the Track” for the early birds who would enjoy coffee, Danish and a free program. – Have a handicapping seminar and make it a great way to start the day. Reward them for coming out and supporting your races.

“Simulcast Saturdays” are a great time to get to know your players and grow interest in the facility. – Free breakfast one-week, handicapping guests from major racing publications, drawings for vouchers and free merchandise, free handicapping contests, and always have a large station that has free coffee and tea for guests for the first couple hours to say thanks for coming out. – There are a million ideas to engage players and not just hoping they’ll come out. Give them a reason and create a fun environment.

Most importantly. – Get out and be around the people who will grow this segment of gaming and enjoy the facility by taking part in a place they’ll call their own. – I had a rule when having these at a track long ago in a place far, far away. Have your brass on the floor being accessible. Guests do not care about generic signage, but if you let them bend your ear and have a person to reach out to communicate. You are on your way to being a fan friendly environment where guests feel appreciated.

Trust me this works. We’ve become a bit complacent and just hope things somehow get done. – Put in the time and reap the rewards of growing interest in your facility. This will work and is worth every penny and sweat making it happen. We’ll start planning for next year earlier and guests will wait with baited breath to make their next trip out.


Can Sports Betting Help Racing?

by Ed Meyer

posted on July 27, 2022 in Educational Articles, General Discussion, Horse Racing, Other Events, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on Can Sports Betting Help Racing?

We’ve all made a couple bucks bet with a buddy and watched the big game. – The idea is pretty much the same, but now we could have a central location to make our big bet on the game and catch a few races before kickoff. What more could a gambler want??

As sports gambling is gaining traction around the nation, one would have to wonder when it would be available in their state. If you look below the landscape has changed dramatically. Here are the states in 2022 which have a form of legal sports betting according to SportsBetting.Legal

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio*** Legal but have not launched ***
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Washington
  • Washington D.C.
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming


  • 5 million — Bets placed online/offshore
  • $6.8 billion — Total Super Bowl betting handle
  • $154.7 million — Legal bets placed in Nevada
  • $6.65 billion — Gray-market bets placed everywhere else
  • 97.7% — Percentage of all bets placed through non-US-licensed means
  • 25% — Increase in total Super Bowl bets from the previous year

Pretty staggering numbers indeed and a gambler’s paradise. – By offering up gaming, sports wagering, and horse racing, you have turned your betting facility into an entertainment destination where guests will want to come and savor all of the gambling cuisine available.

With Sports Betting ready to blow the top off; it would be a great idea to incorporate wagering that would involve horse racing. – Having a wager where you could add in selected horses or wagers as part of a parlay. Example: Three football teams to cover the spread and three separate horse races to kick up the parlay odds? You get the point.

Cross-promote for double points on loyalty cards that use sports betting cards to make horse wagers. Sound easy? Well, it could be. In some states you can fund your sports account and wager as long as you’re in a state that offers legal sports gambling. If it sounds familiar, it surely sounds like horse racing ADW’s. – I would bet dollars to donuts that having sports betting accounts funded legally would allow for those same funds to make horse wagers. Once again, some hoops to jump through but this is foreign territory.

I think racing’s magical mind has grown stale. We need to create more big jackpot wagers where even the smallest track could see a boost. Just make the wager a little more challenging and you’ll see the carryover jump. – The important part in the sports book is to an area designated for racing. Give the players a buffet and they’ll come back for seconds.

The tracks have to focus on their product and stream the live races for free on their website. With TVG evolving into Fanduel TV for sports and a secondary channel TVG2 for racing, the landscape is losing one of its biggest outlets to watch and wager. – By showing your live streaming for free would you attract more gamblers to watch and wager? I think it would help the bottom line.

Many have turned away from racing as the profit margin is higher on other forms of entertainment. – By cross-promoting wagering as a whole and not leaving anyone off the table sounds like an interesting idea. In short, yes. Sports gambling could benefit racing and the facility, by offering up a one-stop shop for all of your wagering needs.

Just think, catch the early double, make a play on the 4:00pm game, and hang around to play some of your favorite slots at half-time. Sounds like a full day of one-of-a-kind entertainment. Sign me up.


The Beginning of the Week is for Bankroll Building

by Ed Meyer

posted on July 19, 2022 in General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on The Beginning of the Week is for Bankroll Building

Sometimes we forget how to grind it out and take what you can get. Most feel they have a bankroll, and they are in the game until the pocket is empty or a few winners that keep them going. But there is a secret. – Take what you can get and appreciate it.

Many times, Joe-average bettor seeks to win the big score on a small bankroll. Oh, it does happen, but not often. – But if you’re looking to keep the ball rolling and gather some extra cash to start building, you’re in the right place.  You may want to start with this mindset:

  1. You have 8 live races and plenty of action. Now, take the eight races and find your top four. Now, filter it down to your top three. – Good start.
  2. You now have $20 to start each wager and that will stretch your $60 bankroll into a full day’s action.
  3. If you bet $20 on your top pick to place and it pays $3.40. You have made $14. – Next bet, take the $34.00 bucks and make your place wager. You get lucky again as you’re only playing your top three plays from eight races. – She pays $3.80, and now you have $64.60! – Time for the big moment. Take out your initial $20 you started with to protect your bankroll and the worst you can do is break even for the day. – Wager your $44 bucks on your big pick to place and it pays $3.40 – Now your bankroll sits at $74.80 plus the 60-cents left over, and the $40 bucks you didn’t touch; you’ve made a profit of 75.40 for three races and you’ve only played your three best picks. Not bad for a small bankroll – Don’t forget to add in the $40 you didn’t need to wager, and you have $115.40 in your bankroll for next time.

The place parlay has been my secret bankroll builder for decades. It kept me in action for the many years I’ve worked at the track. Most gamblers feel like it takes the pick-four or pick-five to count it as a good day. – Take what you can get, roll it into a bankroll, and wait for your favorite card to play. You will need to kick up your initial wager keeping that place parlay going. As long as you don’t get greedy or need a million-dollar win. You’ve got a good shot at going home with a good return. Here is a glimpse of my latest venture of bankrolling for one week starting with $150 by only making a place wager on my favorite four races during the course of a Saturday.

$50 to place on my first selection was solid and won paying $4.00 to place – That drove my bankroll up to $100. – Play #2 – $100 to place on a runner who was short in price but looked great. He paid $3.00 to place – Bankroll stood at $150. Not a bad start. – Play #3 – $150 to place on a (5-1) shot and he paid $4.40 to place – Bankroll stood at $330.00 – Play #4 was a turf beast who looked great at New York.  He ran away and hid paying $3.40 to place. – Bankroll swelled to $561.00 bucks, and I was done for the day with a sweet return. – Took out my initial $50 investment and my profit stood at $511.00 – Not a bad day at the races.

Stick to what suits you. I have friends who take a shot at the million-dollar pick-six and may have made one or two bets on this wager in the past. – Keep in your wheelhouse, and you’ll feel better at the end of the day.

You get lucky and do this three times. – Once you see a nice bankroll start, pick your favorite track with races you’ll like to play and take your big shot! – It didn’t cost you a dime and now you get a chance to step back to the plate and swing away! – Now, that is just one formula to have a shot at the big score without losing your car payment. – If you win on the big day, put it back in the pot and start over with your smaller style wagering plan.

Protecting your bankroll and money management are the keys to success. Keeping a handle on your wagering is discipline. Add the two, and you have a player who is focused and ready to win.

Best of luck and let us know how you do! – See you in the winner’s circle!



HISA – The Dawn of a New Day

by Ed Meyer

posted on July 19, 2022 in General Discussion, Horse Racing | Comments Off on HISA – The Dawn of a New Day

Established when the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act was signed into federal law in 2020, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) is responsible for drafting and enforcing uniform safety and integrity rules in thoroughbred racing in the U.S. Overseen by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), HISA was created to implement, for the first time, a national, uniform set of rules applicable to every thoroughbred racing participant and racetrack facility. HISA is comprised of two programs: the Racetrack Safety Program, which goes into effect July 1, 2022, and the Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) Program, which will go into effect in January 2023, according to the rules on the HISA website.

Horsemen from around the country have been talking about this for over a year now. It has bounced back and forth with mixed feelings. Overall, the thought of having a “big brother” to oversee the sport seemed a million years away. Before you knew it, the new rules were upon. Now the sport has more questions than answers and just this past week some problems began.

The Racetrack Safety Program includes operational safety rules and national racetrack accreditation standards that seek to enhance equine welfare and minimize equine and jockey injury. The Program will expand veterinary oversight, impose surface maintenance and testing requirements, enhance jockey safety, regulate riding crop use, and implement voided claim rules, among other important measures.

The ADMC Program will create a centralized testing and results management process and apply uniform penalties for integrity violations efficiently and consistently across the United States. These rules and enforcement mechanisms will be administered by a new independent agency, the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit (HIWU), established by the Drug Free Sport International (DFS). HIWU will oversee testing, educate stakeholders on the new system, accredit laboratories, investigate potential integrity violations and prosecute rule breaches.

The HISA rules and plans are like trying to study for the SAT exam in one night. It came out of the gate quickly and before you know it, we may be the only sport to regulate itself out of existence if we’re not careful. – Just this past week there was a “learning curve” issue for a horse being taken down as the rider used too many strikes with his riding crop.

During a race, riders will be limited to no more than six strikes of the whip on the horse’s hindquarters, with no more than two permitted in succession. After each pair of strikes, a rider must wait at least two strides to give the horse an opportunity to respond. – Jockeys may also tap the horse’s shoulder with the crop, or show it to the horse, as a means of ensuring the horse’s best effort and for safety purposes. Riders may not raise their wrists above their helmets prior to striking a horse, nor may they hit the horse anywhere other than the shoulder or hindquarters. It’s in the penalties where the new rules will differ from the old. The new regime is more severe and contains added punishments for cumulative violations. This came into effect on July 1, 2022.

Here’s the rub. – While the stewards are trying to uphold the rules and changes; mistakes can and will be made. While the rider did have too many strikes down the lane the stewards hung the inquiry sign. After conferring about the infraction, they took the horse down from the order of finish hurting the wagering public. This was not a malicious position and the judges in all good faith were trying to hold accountable the infraction. They were correct about the overuse of the riding crop but took down the horse from the payouts effecting the betting public.

In my humble opinion, the sport needs regulations to hold the game accountable and provide transparency. My only gripe is that it came upon very quickly where mistakes can be made. I feel if it came in phases throughout the year, it would have allowed for the horsemen and tracks to educate and prepare. – Rules restricting the use of the riding crop are a relatively new development in Thoroughbred racing, but up until now, violations have been between the rider, his or her wallet, and the stewards.

For the longest time stewards were vigilant to ensure jockeys were riding their mounts to fullest of their ability. Once upon a time a rider who was getting busy down the lane with their stick was a sign of a jockey riding their horse out completely. – Now things have changed, as trainers and horsemen will need to be more informed to eliminate these problems going forward. – All involved in racing have been working with a set of rules since the beginning of racing. Now, the changes are here, and the questions begin. Time can heal the wounds and communication is key.

I still feel there is merit. But give it more time, training, and even one-on-one meetings that will slowly eliminate problems. Horsemen at every track will work with new rules, but they just need more time. There just can’t be a date and a deadline. Just an overall plan and education to work towards the goal of a date that phases in new rules. As a gambler who likes to see the game governed by a fair set of rules. Just don’t hurry through this. It’s just too important to leave anything unattended.

A Sonny Day

by Ed Meyer

posted on July 16, 2022 in General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on A Sonny Day

I walk into the jocks room, clock in, and gab with the valets, clerk of scales, silks man, and riders just coming into the room. The energy of what awaits is quietly in the background as the buzz of getting ready is underway.

I would shake hands, give a big hug, or just say “hello” to the jocks as they head back to ready for the day’s races. In only a few minutes I spoke with the 6th all-time winning rider in history, a rider who has overcome personal demons to not only make it back to ride but do it in fine fashion. Many others who are trying to make their way up the ladder and others who are happy to still be riding horses as they’ve seen their better days. – Then, in walks a smallish fit young man. Sunglasses on, and a big smile on his face. You would assume he is one of the many; but his only distinction was just a couple of weeks prior he shocked the world and won the Kentucky Derby. No, it’s not Belmont, Keeneland, Churchill, Saratoga, or Santa Anita. This is another morning at Belterra Park outside of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Sonny is the kind of guy you’re only a stranger once. – Big hearty handshake and a hug. That’s Sonny. – July 15, he made his final trips around the Belterra Park oval. Today, he is heading to hang his tack in the Gulfstream jocks room. Good riders weren’t meant to stay in the small pond, it’s natural to spread your wings and ply your trade at the next level. – I think Sonny is ready to start his new journey.

When Sonny would walk slowly into the winner’s circle, I would mention “it’s rainy outside, but Sonny in the winner’s circle.” Hence began what he would refer to having a “Sonny Day.” – Just a little fun and celebrate the winning ride of a great jockey. – The room is pretty competitive, and no rider can be overlooked as a possible winner. That’s what makes the game exciting.

A new day and great opportunity for a Venezuelan native, a devoted family man, and a rider who has his name etched in history forever aboard the 2nd biggest longshot in Derby history to Donerail in 1913 who scored at 91-1. Rich Strike was only 80-1. Not a bad price for a $2 win ticket!

Sonny, on behalf of friends, fans, and fellow riders, we wish you the very best on your new journey and can’t wait until Pete Aiello calls you into the winner’s circle. That my friend will give a new meaning to a “Sonny Day.”

Give a listen to this incredible video from YouTube. – Enjoy!

(1675) Rich Strike SHOCKS the world! Montage edit of 2022 Kentucky Derby – Race and Reaction! – YouTube

Free Belterra Selections – Tuesday, July 12, 2022

by Ed Meyer

posted on July 12, 2022 in Free Picks and Tips, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on Free Belterra Selections – Tuesday, July 12, 2022

The forecast is for sun and heat later today and with that comes turf racing! – There is a solid card to build your bankroll for the weekend and there’s no better time than now to get started! – Best of luck from Winning Ponies.


Belterra Park


Race #1
#3 – Bay Magic = Hails from the Jeffrey Radosevich barn and finished a solid 3rd place last out – The barn is winning 31% for the meet and was in contention into the lane to get bested in the final furlong. – I’m looking for improvement under Jose Bracho today.
Race #2
#4 – Tequilla Flats = Son of Colonel John and has been knocking on the door as of late – Switching to Santiago Gonzalez today may be the winning move.
Race #3
#5 – Keen Mind = Is 3/5 ITM at BtP and just missed at this level last out by a neck as the beaten chalk. – Trainer Kevin Flether comes back to win 18% with beaten favorites next time out.
Race #4
#6 – Cabaret Fleur = Drops down in class today and shows early foot – Could be dangerous in the hands of rider David Haldar.
Race #5
#6 – Laugh A Lot = Won by 14 commanding lengths last for Thomas Drury and John McKee – This was such a red-hot maiden break is worth the play right back looking for a repeat of his last outing. – Rider and trainer win 45% as a team. *** Best Bet***
Race #6
#6 – Squeaky Clean = 2nd lifetime start and drop down the class ladder today – Trainer Kevin Fletcher wins 20% dropping down to maiden claiming levels. His dam Esther Ball has 12 starters, 9 winners to her credit. – Eligible to improve 2nd time out.
Race #7
#6 – Runaway Belle = Santiago Gonzalez for Jeff Greenhill and they win 30% as a team – Stretches back out to a mile and could strike at a decent price at the windows. Greenhill is winning 29% for the meet.
Race #8
#6 – Little Dutch Girl = Drops down the class ladder and should make a late run returning to the route distance. – His dam Watling has 2 starters, 2 winners, and 2 turf winners.

The Feeling That Only Racing Can Bring

by Ed Meyer

posted on June 27, 2022 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on The Feeling That Only Racing Can Bring

We all remember our first date, first kiss, wedding, and when you held your baby for the first time. These are the important dates that never leave you. But when it comes time to enjoying a day at the races, this gambler has done some soul searching and came up with a few feelings that have never left for the majority of my life.

The first time I made my trek to Latonia Race Course was magical. I sat in the back of the convertible while my dad drove with my grandpa in the front seat. – On the days it was just dad and myself, I was sitting shotgun as we talked about the four races we are going to watch and wager. – There was nothing in the world like driving out to catch the last three or four races. I was one of the guys, and spending time with my dad was great. – The drive home was either a celebration of winning money or an excuse laden reason why the big horse didn’t win. Either way, it was pure joy and I’d love to climb in the time machine and make that drive again.

My first daily double was easy. It was a rider who would have 15 wins on the year and spent his time as an EMT on the Lexington Fire Department. – He rode like Eddie Arcaro and my $2 straight DD paid $12. – With the elation of a young man who won the Irish Sweepstakes, the day was dampened with an announcement of the rest of the card was being canceled and urged all to go home immediately. The “Blizzard of 1978” was upon and the skies were as dark as night as I didn’t even get to cash my ticket. – Five weeks later we finally made our way out to the races and a 12-year-old boy had broken his maiden. – Thank you, Carl Faulconer. I always tell him the story anytime I see him.

Every first date was at the races. I figured if they could have a good time betting the ponies and having a couple beers, they were my kind of gal. – The fun was non-stop and only one didn’t like going. It just so happens she was the gal I married.

There is a feeling like no other gambling can bring when you watch your longshot creep up the rail and win in the shadow of the wire. Casino machines just don’t compare, as I’ve never seen a bunch of people high fiving around a slot machine. But, to each his own. I’ll take a day at the races every time.

I’ve owned horses and there was nothing like making a house payment each month to pay for the cost, or that’s what it felt like when they didn’t win. – I now know why they call it the “Sport of Kings.” – I loved getting into the winner’s circle with our silks on display. I was ten feet tall. For a college kid with two buddies as owners, what more could a horseplayer ask for?

My dad mainly bets from home these days, and we still talk a bit about the races. He loves the ease of betting from his office den in comfort. – He goes out a time or two each summer, and he loves to play video poker more and more. – He is the guy I credit showing me the love of the game. Even though he has waned from the ponies a bit, my first love is still holding onto my heart.  – Thanks, Dad.

Working in racing meant working every holiday except Christmas and Easter as others gathered with family. My group always made accommodations by having it later for me. – There has never been a time as my car pulled up that I didn’t love my job. That is rare, and even more as folks retire or pass away. The new group replacing them doesn’t have that love in their hearts for the excitement of racing. They work and treat it like any job. For me, it was a privilege to be a part of the pageantry and history.

The folks I knew by name and where they sat are slowly departing. I see new players come and go but nothing like the loyal gamblers who drove hours to bet nine races. – I can remember a judge who drove from London, Kentucky every night in his white caddy. – “Judge, we just canceled tonight for cold weather. – Damn, somebody’s gonna get hung tomorrow for sure!” Just a joke as he was there the next night parking in valet.

I’ve always said the best part of racing is the people. Horses do great things and eventually fade into the pages of history, but the people last forever. What they said, the big wins and bad beats. – I loved the names of the characters straight from a Damon Runyon novel:

The Fox

Louie the Lip

Big Head


Fat Paul

The Praying Mantis


John R

London Calling

The Black Cat

Joe the Jinx

George the Greek

Big Mike

Bowling Ball

The Saint


Just to name a few. – But as I said, the people always stood out as the stars of the game, as without them they would race for blue ribbons. Gamblers make the game go round, and this is one of the only times where the house wants to see you win every race for every day. I’m one of those good old gamblers rooting home my ponies. – I enjoyed the chats, the bitching, and taking care of the players. The pleasure was all mine.

As I have a birthday this Friday, I’m gonna celebrate by pulling my car into the lot and speaking with friends all the way up to the announcer’s booth. – I’m going to enjoy calling eight live races with two stakes and relish the time doing what I love. – That’s the feeling that only racing can bring. – If you doubt any word, go ahead and give it a try. Betcha’ love it!


Free Selections Belterra Park – June 29

by Ed Meyer

posted on June 26, 2022 in Blogroll, Free Picks and Tips, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on Free Selections Belterra Park – June 29

Smooth weather in the forecast and that will bring out the crowds to enjoy three turf races from a card of eight. – Should be a good day to watch and wager on some Ohio racing! – Best of luck!


Belterra Park / Wednesday


Race #1
#2 – Mutual Confidence = 3rd off the layoff for Cirilo Gorostieta and Agustin Gomez. They win 27% on this move and his only turf effort was last October at Mountaineer in the allowance ranks. They drop in class today and fit like a glove in this field.
Race #2
#4 – Paynted = He is a horse for the course going 5/6 ITM for Steve Cannon and Perry Ouzts. – They are dropping in class and going from a sprint to a route where they score 25%.
Race #3
#2 – General Ginny = 3rd off the layoff and was just bested at the wire last out as the beaten favorite – Switch to top rider Santiago Gonzalez and she is 10/12 ITM at BtP.
Race #4
#5 – Bourbon Buns = 4th start off the layoff and her last two races came off the turf – Drops down in class and her dam has 7 starts, 6 winners, and 2 turf winners. Thiago Canuto aboard for Jeffrey Jackson who is 5/6 ITM without a win as of yet.
Race #5
#2 – Chloe’s Angel = Shows good speed for the Shetron barn with Verno Bush in the saddle. Four wide into the lane last out and finished a game 2nd.
Race #6
#2 – Nilsby = Son of Nyquist for trainer Dane Kobiskie who is winning at 36% for the meet – John McKee in the irons and he is getting his picture taken at a 28% clip. – They are winning 44% as a team and the barn drops down two class levels where they win 37% – The rider is 11/14 ITM the past week.
Race #7
#11 – Henry Mac = Late runner who finished 2nd in the $100k Sydney Gendelman Stakes. – Ethan West and Luan Machado team up together and that last race was taken off the turf due to rain, and West looks to get the job done today.
Race #8
#1 – Pacific Coast = Hails from the Tim Hamm barn with Luis Reyes and they win 24% the past 60 days as a team. – She gets the rail and drops back to a sprint where Hamm wins 21% of the time.

Free Selections Belterra Park – June 28

by Ed Meyer

posted on June 26, 2022 in Blogroll, Free Picks and Tips, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on Free Selections Belterra Park – June 28

Kicking off the week in Ohio looks for cooler temperatures and getting hotter as the week progresses. With that in mind, let’s get our bankroll in top shape to keep it rolling for the big holiday weekend of racing action around the country.


Belterra Park / Tuesday


Race #1
#4 – No Bang No Boom = Speedy runner from the Larry Smith barn with Perry Ouzts in the saddle. – He is 3/3 ITM over the course and shooting for three-in-a-row as he blazes right through conditions.
Race #2
#8 – Yellen = She’s a stout closer for Kara Lin Toye who saddled her first winner last week. After shipping up from GP that was a good building race last out. She returns to 5f and looks to improve 2nd time over the track.
Race #3
#8 – Kobe Beach = A strong closer who ran an even 4th place effort last time out. – He was the beaten chalk, and they switch over to a new rider in Sonny Leon.
Race #4
#2 – Too Fat to Fish = Comes off a three-month layoff from the synthetic at TP – Drops in class and comes fresh off the claim for Ethan West who wins 16% with new runners in his barn.
Race #5
#5 – Thispointintime = 3rd off the layoff run today and two shipped in from CD and won impressively at BtP last out. I’m looking for a repeat for the Nancy Adams barn.
Race #6
#2 – The Pink Z = He is 3/5 ITM over the course and hasn’t caught a fast track since September of 2021. – He was a beaten chalk last out and trainer Robert Cline wins 24% coming back looking for payback.
Race #7
#1 – High Meadows = Speedy filly from the Larry Smith barn with Perry Ouzts in the saddle. They win 33% as team and he has failed four times as the favorite. – Smith wins 22% with beaten chalk and 22% with maiden claimers.
Race #8
#7 – Slippin Jimmy = Ships in from Florida and comes off a 7-month layoff – He drops in class and is 8/10 ITM over the turf course. Class relief and a change of scenery may be what the doctor ordered.