The Happy Horseplayer

The stockings come down from the chimney with care, and the holiday traffic is out of your hair. – Well, you get the idea. The holidays are over and it’s time to start counting the days for marquee races and the road to the Derby. Spring is only 73 days off, and the Derby is a mere 117 days. But not to worry. It will be here before you know it.


Ringing in the New Year

I’m not much a party goer with hat and horn up all night. – I’ve always been a homebody that watches football and the ball drop at midnight. – This year like many others was spent with my son and having some last minute goodies before the yearly diet kicks up. – Many moons ago, we began telling each other what we’re grateful for and what we’d like to see happen in the New Year. This was heartfelt and loving while we talked into 2019. – For me, it is being grateful for so many things. Family, friends, and being able to see both. Having a new job in racing where I’ve had the opportunity to see another side of racing. – Health that allows me to enjoy all of the above, and having the opportunity to write about a game I love dearly. May your year be filled with health, wealth, and happiness. – And as always; ” may your winners be many and your photos be few.”


Plotting out your plan

Let this be the year where you make plans to visit a new track. – Don’t put off this task as many have changed or disappeared over the years. – I still kick myself for not getting to see Hollywood Park. – We flew over and I could see the beauty as we we were landing. – Bay Meadows is gone, as well as Beulah, Calder, Rockingham, and my personal favorite River Downs. – If you’ve been thinking about making the trek, do it this year. – Nothing like a visit to a quaint little oval or a county fair meet. Just go and enjoy the racing in all it’s splendor.


New Shooters Stepping Up

Santa Anita is unveiling its new wager called roulette. – According to the

  • Two dollar minimum win wager with customary industry-low 15.43% takeout
  • Horses (minimum six-horse field) will be placed into one of three groups, Red, Black or Green
  • In most cases, the morning line favorite will be part of the Red Group
  • The Green Group will be comprised mainly of longshots
  • The three Groups, in most cases, will not have an equal number of horses
  • Whichever Group contains the race winner, wins that “game” of Horse Racing Roulette
  • In the event that ALL betting interest members of any group are scratched or declared non-starters, betting on the Group Bet pool will be stopped immediately and all Roulette wagers made on this particular race will be refunded.
  • In the event of a dead heat for first between two or more divergent Group members, the Group Bet pool will be distributed as a profit split (place pool) or, if there is a triple dead heat with as many Group interests, the pool will also be distributed as a profit split (show pool).

Horse Racing Roulette will be offered on all races with a minimum of six runners throughout Santa Anita’s upcoming Winter Meet. Fans are encouraged to carefully consult their racing program prior to wagering.


I love new wagers and the idea of appealing to newbie players is a great way to bridge the gap. – Players will try their hands at simple new wagers and over time learn more. Great idea! – I’ve always liked this idea but sometimes getting players to try their hand is tough.

In the spirit of having a new wager. How about the Horse Race Lottery? – For a 25-cent quick pick or a chosen number. The game will be based on the exacta numbers in every live race for the day. – Example: The 1 and 2 run exactly that way for ten races. Add the 1 and the 2 and it equals 3. Multiply that for 10 races, and it is 30 – If you had 30 in the HRL, you win the pool or split it with others. Sounds easy enough, and I could see this wager being bought quick-pick style on all machines like a lottery ticket. – If no player hits the HRL it is a 100% carryover. – Nobody will pay attention until the HRL is over a couple thousand bucks and then you’ll see the quick-pick plays add up. – I see the game having a lottery and keno feel. – I could see new players buying a couple bucks worth and regulars take a stab at two. Easy game, has a fun feel and there is no real handicapping. You can buy a few tickets and enjoy the races with a cold beverage or two and keep tabs on what numbers have won. – Get players in cheap with the possibility of hitting for a sweet playoff and you have a new wager!


As January rolls on the marquee races will start rearing their heads. – Enjoy and get out and play.- You can’t win it unless you get in it.  – Until next month, The Happy Horseplayer wishes you a New Year filled with plenty of winners.









New Year’s Resolutions – 2019

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 31, 2018 in Uncategorized | No Comments >>

New year 2019 background Free Vector




It’s that time of the year when every gym will be packed, and more health food and vitamins will be sold. – But, it’s a new year and we want to start off on the right foot. – For gamblers, bettors, guests, and players, we have a list we usually keep to ourselves. Not me. I want to put it out there and remind myself to make better decisions as a racing fan who likes to bet. For better or worse, here’s my list to make me a better handicapper! – Winning Ponies would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year filled with health, good luck, and happiness! 


1. – I will bet only the tracks I follow. – No more impulse bets on a stake race I don’t follow. No more betting a strong race card just because it is part of the Triple Crown (Pimlico). – If I can stick to my knitting I may see a little better return in 2019.

2. – I have stayed away from handicapping contests for some years now due to entry costs. – I may not be playing in the million dollar contests, but there are plenty for small money which are a great deal of fun. – I used to hold my own, and 2019 will see me toss my hat back in the ring. – I sure miss seeing old friends who still love tournament play.

3. – I’m going to keep better track of my wagers. – You keep track of calories, steps in a day, and time spent on Social Media. Why not keep track of how much you bet and how much you won or lost? – It only makes you a better player and helps you manage your bankroll.

4. – My horses-to-watch list is going to get more attention. – It is impossible to remember when a runner had a bad break, forced to take up, or just needed more ground. – Trip handicapping is a lost art among handicappers, and now more than ever we have app’s, free sites, and stable mail. – I’m going to clear my list and start off strong for this year.

5. – Take someone new to the races. – If we take a new person to the races, or bring an old friend who hasn’t been in awhile. We’ll rekindle the love affair for handicappers. – Many moons ago this is how we learned the love of the game. – Go ahead, make the effort. I’ll bet they love it!

6. – This past year has been one of reflection, personal growth, and happiness. – Enjoy every race win or lose. Remember the many wonderful people who are no longer here to share the love. – Find the beauty and pageantry that only racing can provide. – Fall in love all over again.


I’ve loved racing as she has been my muse and first true love. – Take the time and make 2019 the year you fall in love all over again. – Share your knowledge, handicap with old friends, and find time to go with new ones. – I can’t wait to see what the new year holds, and I’m already counting the days until the road to the Derby is in full-swing. – Best of luck my friends, and enjoy each and every race. – I’ll be right there with you, and I’ll be the guy with the smile on his face and sparkle in his eye.

Christmas Wishes

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 24, 2018 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>



As we enjoy our time with family and friends take a moment or two for reflection. – A time to remember those who are gone, but touched out lives in countless ways. Every horse player has a set of beliefs, and I’ve always believed there is more prayer at the races than the Vatican. – But, I digress. – This is a time of gathering with those we love and friends we cherish. – Winning Ponies wishes you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 


I wish for the safety for rider and horses alike. – As in all sports there is a dangerous side. – Over the years, I have gained an extra respect for the athletes who ride. They are going 40 mph on a 1,200 pound animal. – Pound-for-pound jockeys are the best athletes in sports.

For the many tireless folks on the backside. – Cold, snow, heat, and rain doesn’t stop them for caring for the horses. – I was  watching works and chatting with a trainer friend. ” Ed, the horses eat before I do.” – These simple words have stuck with me for many years. – God Bless the hardworking men and women who care for the horses like they are their children.

Support the game, or it may face tougher times. –  Racing gets a bigger piece of the handle when you come out versus betting from home. – The “takeout” is split between the horsemen in the form of purses and the track to pay salaries, taxes, keeping the lights on, and improvements. – If every person who lives close enough makes two more trips out to the track, the bottom line can be affected in a positive way. – We want racing to continue and making this small gesture can save the game we love.

For the many who are no longer with us. Keep them in your thoughts next trip to the races. – If they were fans, make a token wager on their favorite number, horse, or jockey. – I was reading on social media how a friend honored his comrade with a trip to Aqueduct before attending the services. – It’s what they agreed upon, and he kept his end of the bargain. – He left before the last race, and looked back at the results to find his friend’s favorite trainer won the final race of the day. – He knew he was watching over being with him in spirit. – For me. I had a friend pass away this year. Good guy. Loved to drink more than bet, and always had a smile on his face. I remember one of our last conversations. – ” Ed, I just wanna go back to the track and have a few beers.”  – No worries. Before I start everyday at Belterra, I think of my friend and how he loved standing in the sun swilling a beer and betting the ponies. He’ll always be at the races in my heart.


From your friends at Winning Ponies, we wish you a Safe and Happy Holiday Season! 

I’ve Got a Horse Right Here

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 18, 2018 in Blogroll, Free Picks and Tips, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>

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We all get the golden question ” who do you like today?” – I have a good friend who loves to bet but doesn’t have time to sit down and handicap. – ” So, Ed who do you like at Gulfstream on Saturday?” – I looked over the card and gave him who I liked. – They didn’t do poorly, but I did have a bad case of seconditis. – If I only turned him onto the Winning Ponies this day he may be sending me a fine bottle of wine for the holidays.

Gulfstream is going to get better by the weekend and as January creeps around the weekend stakes will be super. – That’s the best part of racing I enjoy as the stakes start the official road to the Derby. – My friend is in the holiday spirit as he received his bonus a little early and wanted to play some ponies this weekend. – My picks were good, but not up to snuff with the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms.

He bets $20 to win on my top pick and I make him a nice three horse exacta box. – Now, if I would have used the top three selections from Winning Ponies. His day may have turned out a little different.


Race #1 – #7 – She Loves Me = $5.80 to win would have brought him $58.00 – It was their top selection. 

Race #2 – #8 – Erasmo’s Dream = $5.00 to win would have yielded a crisp $50 bill. – Top Selection.

Race #5 – #6 – Sir Anthony was the top pick and paid a whopping $53.80 to win, and the exacta paid $210 with the top two selections. – He would have won $748 !

Race #6 – #1 – Blue Sky Venezuela = $6.60 to win for a sweet $66 payoff.

Race #9 – #8 Capala Temptress paid $10.00 and the exacta with the top two selections paid $48.80 – This would have cashed for $148.80

Race #10 – #7 – Dream Pauline = Paid $5.40 for an additional $54.


At the end of the day, he would have been a much happier camper – My picks hit the board and didn’t do bad. –  But there is nothing like cashing your voucher at the end of the day for some real cash! – I sent along the website and told him if he really liked money to check in with what the E-Z Win Forms had to say. – We’re all decent ‘cappers but when you find a source that will make your day a winner why not use that handicapping tool? – He is signing up today after I forwarded him the payoffs for Winning Ponies and I don’t think I’ll be getting his call as much. – That’s ok. I want him to win and they have shown a profit for years with easy-to-use E-Z Win Forms. – He could have paid for Christmas in one day following the E-Z Win Forms.


Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies, and a Happy Holiday Season to you and yours!


Race Track Time Machine

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 12, 2018 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>

I was sitting in my office looking out the window. – We are six floors up and the flurries were whizzing past like a snow globe.  It was a winter-wonderland rolling through my mind. – It took me back to days gone by and memories they held. – Just staring out the windows overlooking the track had me thinking about the incredible adventures I spent there. With 21 minutes to post the memories came flooding back. – Kinda’ wish there was a time machine of sorts that could take me back to days of yesteryear.


I wish I could climb in the time machine one more time for a night out with my dad and papaw. – Oh, how I loved tagging along in the backseat hoping to get to make a $2 place bet. – It was these trips that grew my love of racing.

I can remember with laser precision my grandpa walking across the parking lot where I was working just to say “hello.” – I was his first grandson and my last memory of seeing him at the races.

How I would love to see my Uncle Don come out to the races to watch my horse run. – He was a man of few words but his affection could be felt just in his presence. – He would travel out with my dad and both had as much fun as I did owning this cheap claimer.

All of my first dates were at the races. – I figured if they could stand the ponies we had a pretty good shot. – Thanks for sharing your time. – I think about them often.

The big winners over the years meant more than money. –  Just getting to go back and celebrate again would be a gift.

To the many fans who became friends. – When you work at the track you get to know people. I had the distinct honor of really getting to know many. – I walked through the racebook the other day and those faces are a memory. – I can remember everyone, and would love to go back when race tracks were packed. The swirl of humanity and energy of the track was wild. People coming and going and lines at every teller station. It was the place to be. – I would love to go back on a busy Saturday and see some folks that have been gone a long time. – Great memories I’ll cherish forever.

My treks with my dad have slowed. Partly because I work at two tracks within our driving range. – We would talk horses and he would play speed horses with cheap jockeys. – He wasn’t a big bettor and was looking for a price. – ” I’m going to be on the lead and they’ll have to catch me if they can.” – I heard that so many times and would love to hear them more. – We drove down to the Keeneland contest a few weeks ago and enjoyed my time playing the races with him. – For the many photo finishes and close calls, we enjoyed the time spent together. – Thanks, dad. I love you.

I met two of my best friends at the races, good friends to this day, and many professional acquaintances. – I wouldn’t trade any of these memories for the world. – I can recall every hot tip, bad beat, and great time. – I’ve had the opportunity to work at five tracks. Two of which could be the same under a new name. – I loved every second and still do. There’s a magic that goes along with working at the track. The energy from the old days has declined due to players betting from home and increased competition. – If you’re lucky, you can still hear the roar of the crowd and thunder of hooves. That will never go away for real fans who love the game.

As the horses are nearing the starting gate, I get in position to watch the race and relish the opportunity. It never gets old. – If you haven’t been for awhile take the time and head out for some races. Take someone new or hangout with some old friends. Fall in love all over again and enjoy the ride. – Trust me, the memories last forever.



How to Play Turfway Park

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 5, 2018 in Uncategorized | No Comments >>

All tracks have their own little nuances. – Speed on the rail, closers from the back, and middle stalkers rule. – The Polytrack is a whole new animal versus what you’ve been playing all year on dirt.  – If you follow a few rules and keep your eyes peeled for the connections. You may find a winter wonderland as the temperatures take a nose dive.

According to Martin Collins Enterprises;

Approved by the BHA and developed specifically for fast work, Polytrack is scientifically proven to minimize the risk of injury and provide a consistent, secure surface for horses to perform to the best of their ability.

Its unique capability of providing consistent going, in even the most extreme temperature variations, makes it a winning choice for racetracks and training gallops all over the world. In fact, Polytrack is used at over 20 racetracks and on 250km of training tracks across the globe. Each Polytrack surface is bespoke and designed for the climate and level of use it is to withstand. But every single mix is manufactured to the same specification, ensuring the material is consistent throughout, for a world-leading racing and training surface that supports optimum performance.

That being said, the surface is very safe. – The times can vary quite a bit. – At Turfway Park, you’ll see the temperature drop 15+ degrees in hours as the sun goes down. Night racing can be a bit chilly and the windchill plays a big part in being forced to cancel. – You have to take the safety of both equine and human athletes into consideration at all times.

If the weather is under normal conditions look at the color. If it is darker there is a good chance of the water trucks making a few rounds to keep down any dust or fluffy kickback. – This is when the track may play quicker as it is tight. Horses seem to grab a hold of the surface and can dig down to run quicker. – If it is a lighter grey and the temperatures are cold. It may be loose and speed will hold up better. – Before making your first wager check in with the weather report for Florence, Kentucky. It is a mile away from Greater Cincinnati Airport and you’ll get a good report.

If there are horses running at Woodbine, Arlington, Presque Isle, or coming off the turf. Give them a good look before betting. – Synthetic runners who enjoy the surface take to Turfway as it is manicured and kept up throughout the day and night. Turf runners seem to glide over it smoothly.

Pay close attention to the charts on how the races have been playing. – After four days of live racing. There have been 32 races. The top number of winners have come from –  13 from Churchill / 5 from Indiana Grand / 4 from Keeneland. – Riders to watch  / John McKee, Euclyn Prentice, Rafael Mojica Jr., Rodney Prescott and the new rider from Brazil Luan Machado. – Trainers to keep an eye peeled on / Mike Maker, Wesley Ward, Jack Sisterson, Kim Hammond, Genaro Garcia, and Jeff Greenhill.

The races have been won by runners who were no more than 3 to 4 lengths off the pace and making a move about the 3/8th’s pole. Go ahead and play a runner on the stretch out in the distance as speed and stamina seem to carry further. – Be vigilant and watch how the track has been playing. Keep tabs on the weather and look for hot connections. – It may be one of your best weapons at the windows.

Watch as the TV crew picks up runners working out strong prior to the race or ones who get away from the pony and settle out. By going back and watching the charts closely you’ll start picking up runners to watch and connections to play. – It may be cold outside during the meet, but the action will be red hot. Just pay close attention and be on the lookout for big outfits who ship into Turfway. They’re coming here for a reason and it may help you find a few more winners! – Best of luck from Winning Ponies!




The Happy Horseplayer

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 5, 2018 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>

The cold winds are blowing and snow replaces the rain. A sign that racing is shifting towards winter is in full effect. That’s just fine as horseplayers don’t need a calendar as we tell what time of year by which tracks are open. – Fair Grounds, Aqueduct, Gulfstream, Turfway Park, Tampa Bay, and Oaklawn. – Fall flew past quickly as it went from 78 to 28 overnight. But with the winter ovals comes the time of hope. – The entire seasonal shift brings about stakes races, new runners, and the run for the roses. By the way, there are only 152 days until Derby.

Breeders’ Cup is a memory, and the talks of who will be the horse of the year are taking place. – There are sales that take place around the globe as the movers and shakers gather to spend millions of dollars hoping for the future. – Right after Thanksgiving, the racing world seems to take a little nap. Well needed so we come back strong and prepared for the future. – The breeding sheds will be packed as the future runners will come to life. – What a game. – Just as we complete the cycle it takes a breath and comes back again.

I finished up my season at Belterra Park watching spring and summer racing. – Calling the races and creating the morning line is the most exciting job I’ve ever had. My personal countdown to April is underway as I await the first group of runners heading to post. – I am working at Turfway Park in the racing office and a placing judge at night now. – I enjoy seeing the familiar faces in the morning and watching them run at night. – The Polytrack is a softer gentler surface and must be studied as such. – When it is warmer there will be plenty of moisture on the surface and the times may be quick. When the cold takes over the surface and plays a bit slower but safe none the less. – There is something special about night time racing. – The glowing light illuminates the oval and keeps the action red hot.

For me, this year is special as I’m working in racing again. – Last year I was on the shelf mending. – I watched races from my phone and computer, but there’s nothing like being there in person. Friends and fans enjoying the action and working with longtime faces is a joy I’m glad to have back. – I’m very grateful for the opportunity, and you can bet dollars to donuts there will be more good days than bad. – Come to think of it, there’s no such thing as a bad day at the races for a true fan.

I’ll mix my races with the end of the football season. Call it my version of “pigskins and ponies.” – I’m ready for the next season of action and await the races that will kick off the action. – The preps we watched last year return with new runners holding the promise for the future. – Racing fans have a mental countdown for big races that will start after the holidays. It seems that January has always been a sprint to the first Saturday in May. – Until next month, The Happy Horseplayer wishes you and yours a safe and beautiful holiday season.

Free Selections – Saturday, 11/24/18 – Aqueduct and Churchill

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 24, 2018 in Blogroll, Free Picks and Tips, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>

The holiday season is upon and there’s never a bad time to build a bankroll. – Here are some free selections to get your weekend started in the right direction. – Be sure to check back with the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms for the final decisions on how the races will take shape. – Best of luck from Winning Ponies! 



Race #2 – #4 – No Deal = Making a plunge down the class ladder and been off for two months. – She may fire fresh off the layoff.

Race #6 – Gronkowski = Comes in off a two-month layoff and takes a drop down in class – He came flying after Justify in the Belmont three back and should give a good account of himself.

Race #7 – #9 – Disco Partner = 3rd off a layoff and exits the BC Turf Sprint – Huge drop in class and he is 8/9 ITM at the distance.

Race #9 – #10 – Lady Paname = Her 2nd start of 2018 and was impressive winning at 1 1/4 getting first Lasix.


Churchill Downs

Race#2 – #2 – Naughty Joker = 2-year-old filly who looks to be begging out for more ground – She drops from stakes company and should get her diploma today.

Race #5 – #9 – Meadow Dance = Speedy filly who exits the G1 Alcibiades into OC $75,000 – She’s faced some tough gals and today looks like a trip to the winner’s circle.

Race #7 – #3 – Love My Honey = Ships in from Laurel and stumbled badly at the start – She should love the class relief and do well for the Maker barn.

Race#9 – #5 – Restless Rider = She is going to be a monster as she progresses and McPeek thinks a great deal of her. – She is 3/3 ITM at CD and exits the BC Juvenile Fillies. – This may be a free spot in multi-race wagers.


Sometimes you can take small price runners and find some great value with the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms. – If you haven’t tried the E-Z Win Forms, now is a great time as there’s an incredible BONUS for purchasing Winning Credits. Check out for a 30% BONUS that lasts until Monday! – Never a bad time to build a bankroll, and there some incredible races this weekend!



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.”