One Day Pro Player

by Ed Meyer

posted on May 24, 2024 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | Comments Off on One Day Pro Player

I promise myself every year I won’t bet any tracks I never follow. – I’m not sure of the track bias, what happens when it rains, or who the toughest jock at the oval would be. Oh, what the heck, it’s just the Preakness; and I love the Triple Crown action. Bad decision…

The Kentucky Derby is different. I play Churchill Downs all year long. I know the track absorbs moisture like a sponge and sometimes when wet, the times are red hot. The jock colony switches most meets, and it gets better with each passing season. Churchill Downs is not one of my favorite tracks, but how can you pass the incredible stakes, turf racing, and racing connections at the top of the game. So, playing the Derby doesn’t play into the trap.

Smaller ovals can offer good value. I work at one, and you could cash for $4.00 or the 50-1 shot who circled the field yesterday. When a big-name rider drops by; you immediately recognize the difference between the guys who ride three or four mounts a week and a rider who ships in for a big outfit to get a maiden win or steal the sweet purse money. At Belterra, I have seen David Flores, Jeffrey Sanchez, and Rafael Bejarano just to name a few.

If you have to make bets on a track and have no bearings to make a good decision. I have one suggestion. – Dial up Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms and make your day a winner. They have $4,883,569 in exotic payouts just this year. The E-Z Win Forms are color-coded, easy to use, and effective for all bettors. If you are new to the game or have been playing for donkey years you’ll find it to be a tool you cannot do without. Instead of guess-working, allow Winning Ponies to take your game where you want it to be. – I surely wish looking back I would have just downloaded the E-Z Win Forms and enjoyed the day.

Next time you are going to play a track you normally don’t or if you want to take your game to the next level. – Download the E-Z Win Forms and thank me later! – Be sure to thank them with a testimonial letting them know how you did for the day. – Don’t be a one-day pro and try and take down the race card you’re not familiar with playing. Take your game to the next level. You are right here now and take a look around and get ready to get in the game. Because you can’t win it unless you get in it. – Best of luck from Winning Ponies!

Derby 150 – Memories to Last a Lifetime

by Ed Meyer

posted on May 5, 2024 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, Kentucky Derby, | Comments Off on Derby 150 – Memories to Last a Lifetime

A good friend and I spoke on Oaks night as we chatted back and forth about the horses, the people involved, and the beauty of the sport. – I didn’t think he’d be going down this year as he has become a player from home catching all of the commentary about the event. – “Ed, I have to make this Derby. I was on hand for Kentucky Derby 100, and now I’m going to Derby 150.” I was so happy my friend was making the journey and experiencing the day. He is a true Renaissance man in every sense of the word. Taking incredible photos, writing, and working with people who have been going since Derby 100. I hope you had a great day my friend. Long may you snap the photo at the wire, write a compelling story, or just chat with old friends. Hope you had a winning day, John Engelhardt.

Two people came up and knocked on my window. I came around and greeted the two older fans who were dressed to the nines. “ Hello, we were just wondering if we could come up and watch you call a race. It seems so exciting.”  – My two new friends met at the Derby in the ’60s and always wanted to come up and see behind the curtain. It was my pleasure to allow a couple of new friends in my booth as I explained what was going on as the horses came to the paddock, let them look around through my binoculars, and talked about racing history. It was an enjoyable time meeting new friends; I was surprised when they asked kindly if they could stay for another race. Kind and gentle sitting next to each other holding hands. She only let go once as that was when I asked her to call the horses onto the track. – Meeting new friends, and enjoying the day was one of the best ways to usher in Kentucky Derby 150. I’ll remember this Derby with a smile for a long time.

Watching all of the doings of the day was terrific. The Winner’s Circle has now been named in honor of the 5th all-time leading rider in North American history, Perry Ouzts. The paddock was packed. It was amazing watching a gentleman who plied his trade 20 miles away from his front door. A family man from Lepanto, Arkansas who hails from a racing family and a man of few words. Perry prefers to do his talking on horseback on the lead. That’s his signature. Break them quick and go right to the lead. – His cousin Earlie Fires was one of the best speed riders to sit in the saddle, and Perry was right there in the same conversation. Both are listed in the top riders in North American riding history. Congratulations, Perry. Long may you ride!

Thoroughbred racing was alive and well this first Saturday in May. To me, the Oaks and Derby make horse racing fans of everyone for a couple of days. The apron was packed, lines for concessions filled, and fans from all walks enjoying the action. – Hearing the cheering crowd made me get chills as it took me back to any day I was with my Dad at the track. As the horses got closer, the cheers from the stands got louder. Great day to be at the races. – I look back on this day with fond memories. I could say that about all of them, but this one was special. I am grateful for the opportunity to work in racing doing what I enjoy, and to this day my favorite part of the track is the people you see. A melting pot of sorts, and one of the only places you’ll see the lawyer standing next to the plumber sharing a beer and talking about the day’s events. Yeah, it was a damn good day to be a racing fan.






Betting the Kentucky Derby Card

by Ed Meyer

posted on April 30, 2024 in Blogroll, Free Picks and Tips, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, Kentucky Derby, | Comments Off on Betting the Kentucky Derby Card

The 150th running of the Kentucky Derby is only days away. – It just seems like a few days ago I was watching some of the first prep races for the Derby trail. But, this is not a drill; the real thing takes place this Saturday.


Race #6 – The G1 Derby City – 7 furlongs

Race predictions from Timeform US and other figures show this race to have a quick opening pace. Two things happen with such speed. Either there is a complete stoppage and horses will run out of gas, or they will run them off their feet and go wire to wire. – I see this to be an excellent opportunity to stalk and pounce off the pace.

#10 – Vahva (3-1) = This daughter of Gun Runner ran a lights out 2nd place effort at Keeneland last out and this is her 2nd start of the year. Following the solid effort in the G1 Madison, she worked a bullet over the Kee surface. Irad Ortiz is in the saddle and she will be tougher than a nickel steak turning for home.


Race #10 – The Churchill Downs Stake – 7 furlongs

#11 – Hoist the Gold (3-1) = He hasn’t run since the G1 Saudi Cup in February and cuts back to 7 furlongs where he is 6/7 ITM at the distance and 4/6 ITM at Churchill. This son of Mineshaft has been working very well in the mornings and John Velasquez looks to give a perfect off-the-pace ride.


Race #11 – The G1 Turf Classic – 1 1/8 miles on the turf

#11 – Naval Power (7-2) = Frankie Dettori in the driver’s seat for the turf master Charlie Appleby. This son of Teofilo (IRE) has a super strong late kick with a 120 Timeform US late running figure. He was rolling late going 1m at Kee in the G1 Makers Mark Mile and gets 1/8th of a mile more to come running. His dam Emirates Reward (GB) has 5 starters, 4 winners, and a stakes victory to her credit. Frankie and Appleby will make a dangerous team in here, and look for them from the 1/4 to the wire.


Race #12 – The G1 150th Running of the Kentucky Derby – 1 1/4 miles

#4 – Catching Freedom (8-1) = Flavien Prat closed from last place in the G1 Louisiana Derby going 8 wide down the lane to get up. That was 1 3/16th’s and he gets an extra 1/16th of a mile to come motoring. This son of Constitution broke his maiden at first asking at Churchill and is 4/5 ITM lifetime. Lightly raced, and Prat knows how to get their best. Take a look at his last work over the Churchill track going 59.1 the 2nd best of 58 runners that day at the distance. Getting the four-post is a plus as he can save ground or angle off a bit and not get hemmed in along the rail. Watching the race at Fair Grounds sealed the deal for me and I love the rider who should do well for Brad Cox.

Use with: #2 – Sierra Leone, #7 – Honor Marie, and #18 – Stronghold.


Remember to download your Winning Ponies EZ Win Forms to get a comprehensive look into how the race will take shape. Color-coded and easy to use for the new player to a seasoned professional. Winning Ponies is always ready on the marquee days to take away the guesswork from your handicapping. What are ya waiting for? Let’s get handicapping! – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies.


Betting the Kentucky Oaks Card

by Ed Meyer

posted on April 30, 2024 in Blogroll, Free Picks and Tips, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, Kentucky Derby, | Comments Off on Betting the Kentucky Oaks Card

The first day of live racing action can be quite the bonus for handicappers looking to get the jump on a last-minute bankroll boost as the “Lilies for the Fillies” takes place at Churchill Downs. The undercard offers great plays that you can roll right into the Oaks and beyond. Here is a game plan that can get you thinking about Louisville’s Day at the Races.


Race #5 – The G1 La Troienne – 1 1/16 miles


It looks to be a solid pace run into the turn and expect fractions to be hot. #4 – Idiomatic (6-5) sports a 113 early Timeform figure which equates to a quick start from the gate break. Speed on the lead can be dangerous and Florent Geroux in the irons seeking his 6th straight win.


Race #7 – The G2 Alysheba – 1 1/16 miles

This is a crazy hot pace going into the turn and look for the pace to start wobbling at the top of the lane. A runner that fits the bill perfectly is the #3 – First Mission (8-5) who is a perfect stalking sort and his back speed figures show that can be the case when the early running gets salty. 2nd time off the layoff for this son of Street Sense, and can play right into Florent Geroux’s plans turning for home.


Race #9 – The G2 8 Belles – 7 furlongs

I’m looking at a very fast pace which is sure to set up the come-from-behind runners. This leads me to the winner of the G2 Beaumont at Keeneland; #7 – Diamonds and Pearls (3-1). A mile pushed her limits a bit and 1 1/16 was too far. Coming right off that win with two works has her looking fine coming into today’s race. Prat Flavien in the irons and look for him at the top of the lane working off the rail circling runners who are tossing in the towel.


Race #10 – The G2 Edgewood – 1 1/16 miles on the turf

#13 – Dancing in Dixie (12-1) ran a swift closing race last at Keeneland and needed just a little bit more than the one mile in the G2 Appalachian. Today, she gets an extra 1/16th to run at and Jose Ortiz retains the mount. A big run at a solid price is expected down the lush turf course. Use with: #4 – Buchu, and #11 – Way to be Marie.


Race #11 – The G1 Kentucky Oaks – 1 1/8 miles

A quick pace is expected and this could set up some late runners in the final 1/8 of the race. #14 – Leslie’s Rose (4-1) fits the bill in the hands of Irad Ortiz. He has been aboard all four starts and just won the G1 Ashland over the Keenland surface. She packs a strong late kick and should be a factor in being wide and staying away from the quitters who set the early fractions. Use with: #11 Ways and Means and #13 Just FYI.


This should get you thinking about Oaks Day, and be sure to download your Winning Ponies EZ Win Forms for the most comprehensive look into how the races will set up. – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies!



Little Things That Matter

by Ed Meyer

posted on April 10, 2024 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, Kentucky Derby, | Comments Off on Little Things That Matter

Horseplayer friends always have the same chatter going on these days. “Who do you like for the Derby?” – Most have an idea or three, and others can run the list in their head pretty quick. For me, I always have the same answer and it never changes from year to year. Not yet, too early for me.

I’m guessing for at least two defections between now and the Derby in 25 days. Sometimes they matter and others don’t impact the picture much. – For me, they all mean something to complete the picture. Patience.

Take a look at how your horse came out of their last race. If it were a month or more, make sure you see a couple of works, especially one over the track. If it was last weekend, read all reports as if the winner depends on it, as they actually do.

Make sure the rider stays in the saddle. If they jump around and play moving mounts, there is a degree of uncertainty. If a rider stays put, there has been plenty of talk between, the trainer, agent, and rider. I like the teamwork approach.

When do they ship into Churchill Downs? – Biggie here, and most overlook. Nothing like arriving early and setting up home for a month. Horses settle and get used to the surroundings versus runners who ship in days prior and never catch a breath. Pay close attention to who ships in early. This is a sign trainers have been targeting Louisville.

Stay away from late equipment changes. If they add something, they are still trying to figure out what the horse needs. Even a new tongue tie or a set of shorter blinkers make me toss this runner. The only exception is if they had blistering work since their last race will I consider them again.

Only play a runner who was in the top three spots in Grade I-II-III races. This is no time to swing wildly with a runner who had a bad gate trip or finished up the track. Good outfits target this race and know just when to ask their best. – I love to see a sweet middle move where they finished up nicely in the money and galloped out strong past the wire. Last year, I saw this with Two Phil’s in the Jeff Ruby at Turfway. It was the gallop out that caught my eye. Even though he finished a super second in the Derby, he ran his heart out. The last time I saw this over synthetic was many moons ago with Animal Kingdom who won the 2011 Kentucky Derby. Keep your eyes peeled.

Spread exotic wagers. Exactas offer big value in the Derby. – Don’t be afraid to spread out to four or five or more horses in the exotic. It pays better than you think. – Another hidden gem is the place price. I have seen more $9.80 to win and $6.20 to place payoffs than you think. Don’t leave money on the table.

What’s the plan? – Patience. Take your time, read all you can, and take it all in. Don’t be afraid of a big price and don’t be afraid of the “all-button.” -I would grab a few like-minded gambling pals and go after the pick-four leading into the Derby. It will be a big ticket, but this is where the big fish swim. – Best of luck and be sure and check back as we draw closer. I’ll start a few horses to watch lists, and hopefully, they can help you find the big winner!

Why I Became a Gambler

by Ed Meyer

posted on February 21, 2024 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, | Comments Off on Why I Became a Gambler

There’s a certain feel when the dice careen off chips and come spinning to a halt. As the reels spin with a whirl of colors and dreams to come. You peek at your hole cards and find that pair of bullets staring back at you as you reach deep for composure and cool. People can smell the aroma of good and bad luck. – But, when you see a throng of runners make the bend and turn for home there’s a certain feeling all to its own. You feel your heart race as they close down the homestretch. Your body starts to vibrate. The bounce begins where you can’t stop moving quicker as they reach the final 16th and fortune awaits. Watch a race being run live and you’ll see the smacker who holds his Form tightly urging his horse with every stride, or the fat man with a cigar start vigorously going to the right-hand whip with his rolled-up program.  – Those are my people and just one reason why I love gambling.

When Greyhound Racing ended in Florida a gal pal asked me to make a trip. In my head, I could hear this voice resonate;” Why the hell would I want to go there? No Dog Racing, Jai Alai is a long memory at many Frontons. Why go there? It’s an old person’s paradise with dinner specials at 4pm.” – I made gambling a part of my trip. Do it all, make it exciting.

Harness Racing was a bridge evening. It sure wasn’t Thoroughbreds, but just enough action to get you to the next trip to see real horses. – Many a summer night spent with the old man making double-header trips from River Downs in the daytime; a box of Lee’s chicken in between, and off to Latonia Trots. One is now Belterra and the other is Turfway Park. – What I wouldn’t give to be 20 years younger and make that trip in the old white truck again.

When I made my first trip to Keeneland on a Saturday ” the worst day of the week for the crowd size.” – I thought I was in Heaven. – Eight live races with one Daily Double. Pat Day would win 5 races and pay an average of $3.20. But I still loved it. I made a trip with my brother when our boss let us off early, and we drove a purple GT of my friends going way past the speed limit. That was the day we made our biggest bet to date. $50 each for an exacta box and $50 to win on a horse named Risen Star. The exacta paid $19.20 and we thought we were the ‘Kings of the Bluegrass.” – I’ve won plenty more, but that was my favorite day as we left early due to the crowd and listened to the live race call on WLAP 630am in Lexington.

I made friends at the races; won and lost, and shared time with family. – I once heard horrible words in a race track meeting. “We need to do something special for the guests.” – They might as well tossed me out. I’m a gambler. I love the way it sounds, and feels, and makes my heart skip a beat to this day. – These have been some of the best days and years of my life. It gave me a hobby, a game to fall in love with, and employment for the past 35 years. – Yeah, without a doubt. Being called a gambler is like being part of a fraternity where we are all Grand Poobas.



How to Play Turfway Park

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 19, 2023 in Blogroll, Free Picks and Tips, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | Comments Off on How to Play Turfway Park

The winter winds are blowing in Florence, Kentucky and the synthetic track is always fast. I work as a racing official and watch every single race. Sometimes I’ll look at the program making “mind bets” as who I thought looked the best. – After a few weeks, here is what I have found.

It is one of the toughest tracks in the nation to handicap. That means if you score you can count on a sizeable payout. Good news.

Playing horses from Churchill, Woodbine, and Horseshoe Indiana has been solid. Keep your eyes peeled for ship-ins from these tracks and look for a couple of works over the Turfway oval. – Trainers are limited to 2mm grabs on shoes and you are allowed to run without shoes. The track is kind and plays fair which makes handicapping tougher for bias players.

Trainers to keep on your list of ones to play:

William Morey

Jonathan Thomas

Mike Maker

Mike Stidham

Ian Wilkes

Dale Romans

Paulo Lobo

Brad Cox

John Ennis

Brendan Walsh

Jordan Blair


The rider colony is one of the best in the country for a winter/night racing track:

Gerarado Corrales

Declan Cannon

Walther Rodriguez

Axel Conception

Yarmarie Correa

Adam Beschizza

Julio Felix

Several apprentice riders can win at a huge price as well.


Stay off the rail with your selections

Turf to dirt is a good angle

Look for Presque Isle horses coming into Turfway Park

Gulfstream runners shipping North

Speed wins, but not very much

Stalkers that move at the 3/8th’s pole are dangerous

Steer clear of dead last horses closing strong. They seem to flatten out.


If you’re going to make a pick-four, p-5, or p-6 wager. Get ready to have plenty of coverage in your tickets. You may seek out a group ticket to keep down your cost.


Winter racing is smoking hot. The purses are huge and the field sizes are strong. Just have patience and enjoy the red-hot action in the cold of winter.


Best of luck and keep your wagers small as the payoffs have been solid!







All I Want for Christmas

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 19, 2023 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | Comments Off on All I Want for Christmas

As we gather around the tree and sip eggnog and sing carols. We wish with that gleam in our eyes for wonderful gifts a plenty. Handicappers love a good day, and their skills are sharpened and ready to employ. As we give thanks and enjoy the holiday season. Here are a few things I would love to see under my tree for racing.


We wished for casino entities to buy in and be a part of the tracks which so needed help. I would love to see the original plan of investing in the sport and not treating horse racing as a dying sport so we can have hordes of people smacking buttons on the slot machines. – Why not invest even more in racing and make it an entertainment destination? – No more management going through the motions wishing racing would disappear. – Invest in the backside and create a sense of community. The hard-working men and women would be grateful and stay for as long as possible. – Don’t make the racing areas small and understaffed. Advertise on the huge signs inviting fans to enjoy the entire facility. We were 3 days from opening and the large illuminated sign said everything except when we opened for racing. This is not one track, but all that have racino, casino, or VLTs in place. – You wouldn’t have been here in the first place without the racing gaming license.

As for managers of the racino/casino. Get rid of most of them or change their mindset of thinking racing is a pain in their ass. – They walk around in suits and have no idea what is happening for a sport that has been going on since the 1800s. – Get them out, or give them an agenda of growth and planning for the future. These are tough words, but prove me wrong and I’ll move along. Some tracks invest in both, and they rake in profits with both hands. Racing is not an evil word, and we need to look at how this venture first began decades ago.

For the season of joy, I wish safety for horses and riders. I want to see safer track surfaces and a regimented plan for getting rid of the bad eggs and promoting the ones who play by the rules. Make plans to promote and advertise the sport as an entertainment destination. – Re-think some of the HISA rules. Not everyone is playing dirty, and for the ones that are. Get them out for good. There are too many men and women dedicated to caring for these majestic animals. Most treat the horses better than themselves. As a trainer once told me; “the horses eat before I do.”

I know these are big wishes, but that’s what wishing is for. – So many who care, and a handful of top brass that don’t, or just don’t have a clue. – Help them learn and watch the process. They are beautiful and majestic creatures that bring more excitement than the law allows. How many times have you heard a group of 50 fans gather around a slot machine rooting loudly as the wheel spins? Me neither.

Here’s to a Happy and Safe Christmas / Holiday Season. May the New Year bring tidings of hope and planning for the future. – I started as a racing fan long ago and don’t hate the slot machines. Just give racing a fair shake and see what happens. I bet you’ll come to fall back in love with the game we all enjoyed long ago.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from your friends at Winning Ponies!

What Say You?

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 17, 2023 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | Comments Off on What Say You?

HISA is buzzing around the racing world like a nest of hornets. After the 60 Minutes piece painting everything racing as the devil; most folks took the word of the news program as gospel. The last time I heard anything like this was Greyhound Racing in Florida. – After damning it to the lowest levels, it has disappeared after 50+ years in the Sunshine State forever. I wonder what effect it will have on horse racing?

HISA is actually a good idea if properly massaged. Racing, like all professional sports, needs a fair governing body that will keep out the bad and grow the good parts of the sport. – Are there problems? Yes. Can they be fixed? Yes. – Takes money, time, and commitment. Make the punishments only after due diligence swift and harsh. Reward the good members of the racing community with the spoils of what the sport brings to the table. After all, it was racing that went to Congress like Mr. Smith going to Washington asking for help making the game transparent and fair.

The group swung in quickly and shot first and didn’t ask questions later. Take Saffie Joseph. They all but damned him to the eternal fires. How much do you think it hurt his business for months on end while they gave him a colonoscopy with a rake and tore him open to the core. – Falsely accused, his owners gave away horses to other outfits, and his business was left in tatters. Then, after they finished, they informed him he was fine and able to return to training. – How many owners left the game? How many horses are in the new barns? Just like that, his world turned inside out. – Would you pay $2,000 a month to keep your horse in a barn that was not allowed to race, and the outcome was up in the air. – Nope, and neither did they.

Just slow down. Take your time and ask first before the in-depth investigation begins. Racing wants to be around for decades to come, but if you believed everything you heard on 60 Minutes; I’m sure you want this to go away right now. – There are hundreds that I know personally that are second and third-generation horsemen. They love the game and treat the horses better than some treat each other. They are dedicated to doing the right things and couldn’t imagine hurting a horse for the sake of money. But, I’m sure 60 minutes left that part of the story out. As well as they usually get there at 5:00 am and work until 7:00 pm. – No days off, and a vacation is something someone else takes.

HISA is not all wrong. They are trying, but just too hard. – Guilty until they feel you are innocent. Racing needs to rid the game of performance-enhancing drugs, punish the guilty, and leave the innocent to showcase the “Sport of Kings.” – There are so many hard-working folks who are hanging their heads to the court of public opinion. Time will either help or eradicate the sport in years to come. Nobody is off the hook. They are going after everyone and maybe asking questions later. – Just slow your roll and try and keep the game healthy and on the right path. Like all sports, it has big problems and needs help. Not an executioner on every backside to take away the sport. In the words of Winston Churchill; “There is nothing better for the inside of a man than the outside of a horse.” 


Friday Breeders’ Cup – Spot Plays

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 3, 2023 in Blogroll, Breeders Cup, Free Picks and Tips, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | Comments Off on Friday Breeders’ Cup – Spot Plays

Halloween is over, and the cold winds have started blowing to signal the arrival of the two greatest days of the year to be racing fans. Well, that is in my neck of the woods for sure. Having the two-day extravaganza in California is a blessing this year in the Kentucky area. It could be 68 degrees and sunny or 28 and blustery in the Bluegrass State. Without further delay, here are some spot plays on the Friday Breeders’ Cup card. – Best of luck and be sure and download your Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms for the most comprehensive look at how the races take shape.


Race #1 – #6 – Mo Fox Given = Making her second start off the layoff and ran two incredible races at Colonial and Churchill Downs. The daughter of Mo Town has a sparkling late work and the barn wins 28% with non-graded stakes races. Flavien Prat takes the call and he should have a good weekend in store. She sports a fine turn of late foot and will be calling late in the lane.


Race #5 – The BC Turf Sprint – #2 – No Nay Mets = Son of No Nay Never and has the services of Irad Ortiz for George Weaver. He has blistering speed and should be the major pace player from the gate break. Comes off a 55-day break and is 3/4 ITM lifetime. Cuts back from 5 1/2 furlongs and makes the rider switch to Ortiz who wins 22% with early speed types on the turf. Catch him if you can!


Race #6 – The BC Juvenile Filles – #7 – Tamara = She is a perfect two-for-two for Dick Mandella and Mike Smith who win 30% as a team. She comes off a 55-day rest and shows four solid works over the track. Smith has a perfect stalker who can turn up the heat when he asks for more run. This may be one of the singles for your exotic wagers for the weekend.


Race #7 – The BC Juvenile Filly Turf – #6 – Porta Fortuna = A daughter of Caravaggio who is 6/6 ITM lifetime for Donnacha O’Brien with Oisin Murphy in the irons. A perfect stalker who can turn up the heat when asked by the world-class rider. Her (Gr1) sealed the deal for me and I’m looking for an up-close stalker who is poised to pounce. The Euros are incredible in California this time of year, and I’m using her over a few big-priced players to get the bankroll moving.


Race #8 – The BC Juvenile – #6 – Locked = A son of Gun Runner who is in the hands of Jose Ortiz for Todd Pletcher coming off a solid Keeneland meeting. Pletcher wins 23% with his shippers coming in, and it looks like he loves the distance which should be no problem. Ortiz is a patient rider and he is only getting better with each additional trip to the races. I like his last work which shows all systems are a go!


Race #9 – The BC Juvenile Turf – #7 – Agate Road = A son of Quality Road and sports the strongest late punch down the lane in the field. As luck would have it, Irad Ortiz is one of the best finishing riders in the game, especially for Todd Pletcher. Lightly raced and only seemed to get better with every effort. I’m using him over #2 – River Tiber, and #5 – My Boy Prince.


Winning Ponies always has their “A” game in place for the marquee weekends. Be sure and download the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms to give you the advantage of seeing how the race will take shape with color-coded tiers and easy-to-use handicapping tools. – I’ve been using them since 2008, and they never let me down when the biggest day of racing takes center stage. – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies!