Christmas Wishes for 2016


Nothing like sitting with friends and family by the crackling fire. The seasonal eggnog makes it’s reappearance, and not a moment too soon.  Cream, sugar, heavy whipping cream, eggs, and nutmeg make up 50%, and the special ingredient is 50% Jim Beam to complete the seasonal concoction. Nothing like it, and boy I’m glad it only comes once a year!  As the year winds down, your friends at WinningPonies wish you and yours the happiest of holidays. Here are some wishes for the upcoming New Year in racing.

May there be a unified movement to promote and advertise our sport to the masses. We were blessed with the appearance of a unicorn is 2015. He was decked out as American Pharoah. It is up to the powers that be to showcase the beauty and pageantry that attracted us in the first place. Simple things like an up-close view of the horses, back stretch tours, family events at the track such as wiener dog races are a real rib tickler. You can’t go wrong reaching out to the family as a destination place of fun. This isn’t your grandpa’s game anymore.

For the new fan base that enjoys free bands, and low price beer. Go with it! Back in grandpa’s day, the track was used for speeches, fairs, and political debates. These days we could use it to showcase free music and a great place to grab a quick bite and enjoy an adult beverage. I know many tracks employ this, but we need to direct the focus on educating this new fan base. How about “real education sessions” where we allow new players to get involved in wagering by tying it to the entire evening. Make it a $10 cost for two drink tickets, and a share in the players pool. The races will be handicapped by track handicappers, and it will be posted on TV who the “group” has in the wagering pool. Keep it simple and work from there. If there is a winning night, each player that purchased a share will be a winner. Nothing like winning money and doing little. My guess is they’ll start enjoying the process and learn more on their own. How about having a library of fan wagering videos on line? This is the most popular way for people to learn, and they can do it on their own time. The videos can be easy at first, and work their way up the ladder. You’ll have new players wanting to learn, and if you tie in a bonus loyalty point prize for new players to peruse the wagering videos.  You’ll start seeing new players become regulars.

For the players; keep the take out low, the wagering menu expanding, free handicapping contests, track tours to allow players to watch the stewards, placing judges, or track announcer. Have early-bird drawings, bonus loyalty point days, and free admission and seating. Keep the concessions close, and packed with quality fare at a square price. Real players enjoy creature comforts. Keep the race book clean and free seating, free admission, and if you have to charge for the marquee days. Allow players to use loyalty points for seating options, and keep it at a minimal charge. Who wants to pay to sit and gamble? Just a small dose of common sense goes a long a way! Once upon a time gamblers had to pay to park, pay for admission, and pay to sit. You were hooked $12 before you made your first bet. Wouldn’t you love to have that $12 from 2000 players on a Saturday afternoon?

May the riders, outriders, and gate crew be safe. They have some very dangerous jobs, and just like in every sport they put it on the line everyday. – Have a safe and Happy New Year! I can’t say it enough these unsung heroes keep the sport safe.

Get off the couch. I have to admit I’m more of a “play from home” gambler, but we need to make the trek to the races a few more trips a year. If there are 200,000 racing fans in your state, and they make three more trips to the races per year. I think you’ll see a little spike from the people who’ve always made the races run. Management needs to get out among the fans more and be seen. Nothing like a handshake or kind word on your way in the door. Keep the lights bright, the place clean, and prices in check, and fans will want to be part of what you’re doing. The discretionary dollar has so many places it can be spent, and we have to lose the “open the doors and they will come mindset.” Work on fan relations from every job at the track. We are all ambassadors, and it is up to each and every person who works there.

Happy Holidays from WinningPonies! We’re here to give you every possible edge to make your wagering experience great. We have our Internet Radio Show with John Engelhardt each and every Thursday. If you miss the live show, no problem. You can always go back in your time and catch John on podcast as he chats with the biggest folks in racing. There are free selections, and all you have to do is check back. Ed Meyer will be writing about the issues in racing, race track stories, and passing out FREE E-Z Win Selections to get you rolling. Who said there is no such thing as a free lunch? There are free handicapping contests, and specials during the year for you to purchase WinningCredits at a stocking stuffer price! WinningPonies is dedicated to giving you the edge that makes a day at the races a winner. Be sure to start your day by checking in before you make your first wager. Who knows, this could be your day and you don’t even know it.