Another Trip Around the Sun

by Ed Meyer

posted on June 30, 2017 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, | 2 Comments >>

It comes around quicker these days, as it seems like yesterday I was just blowing out the candles. Well maybe that was last week, but you know what I mean. As you approach a birthday you take stock in what you have and what is no longer here. You count your blessings and relish the memories. This birthday like many others for this race fan is filled with gratitude and happiness. As we use to recall every bad beat and every photo that went the other way. I now find myself counting the wins by how many friends I speak with and family members that are still here to talk racing.

Working in Thoroughbred racing has been more than a dream come true. How many people do you really know love what they do ? – Me neither. – I can recount every job and every moment. As a kid I used to attend the races with my dad and grandpa, and I spent my time in the high school library reading results and entries at tracks around the nation. – I remember once playing in a high school football game and we were beating a team pretty bad. They let the clock roll, and that meant the game would be over 45 minutes sooner. As I walked past the ref I could see his watch and it read 8:00 pm. – I figured if we get off the field and I skip a shower, I could catch the last three races at Latonia Race Course. We did, and I hit the road with my tape still on my ankles.

I am grateful for so many that have helped me along the way it would read like a political speech. I’ll sum it up by saying thank you to you every wonderful person who continues to make my dream come true. – There are a few people who rise to the top. I would just like to give a little special “thanks” for all they did for me along my travels.

Greg – Thanks for giving me my first job in the parking lot many moons ago. This taught me the first people fans meet on the way in can be very important. Attention to detail, and learning to take handicapping to the next level happened during this time as a young man.

Bob – Can’t thank you enough for all that you did. You taught me to believe in myself, and gave me plenty rope to run with. You created an opening for me and let me design the details. You won’t see that many times in your work experience, and it helps me on a daily basis to this day. – Thanks, Big T.

Izzy and James – It started with a few emails, and since 2008 I’ve been a part of your team. Allowing me to kick off the Winning Ponies Internet Show and writing for your site has been a great joy. – Can’t thank you enough. I wear my black Winning Ponies cap with pride to this day, and you guys gave me a little extra to build my resume. – Thanks, guys ! – May all your photos be winners.

Brad – Thanks for allowing me to spend a year with the Yankees. Keeneland is the benchmark of what racing should be, and I appreciated your time and wisdom helping me see the big leagues. – Walking past the big iconic Sycamore tree in my daily trek was like walking past Touchdown Jesus at Notre Dame.

John – Where does one begin ? – As you heard the best sales pitch to the GM at River as I sold myself for a job I already had thanks to you; Taking me in to be the 1A on the Regular Guy Show, or getting my foot in the door at Belterra trying my hand at something new. You taught me how to have fun with handicaping and working in racing. Never take yourself too serious, and enjoy a cold chill at the end of the day. – You are one of a kind to say the least, and I will always consider you to be the big brother who let me tag along. – Thanks, Colonel.

*Handicapping is a long road. Last week when I was asked “how long does it take to learn to read the Form ?” – There has not been a day I have not learned something new.  – Have patience. It is all about the journey.

*Treat the guests, patrons, or visitors with respect and courtesy. – Act as if your job depends on it because it really does.

* Bring a kid to the races; take a new person who didn’t think they’d like the game, or just spend time talking with an older player who likes to share stories about the game. The first two invest in the future and the latter respects the past.

* Share your knowledge. – It’s just more fun to help someone along the way.

* Bet with your head and not over it.

* Don’t argue with your better half about making a trip to the races. – It never turns out well. Trust me.

* Try and make it to the paddock once every trip. There are magical things that take place there.

* Be happy for others when they win even if you lose.

*If you lose don’t cry and if you win don’t brag.

* Enjoy the beauty and pageantry. There’s no other game like horse racing. – If you listen real close you’ll hear the hoofs beat from the past running down the stretch.

Well, another year in the books, and the race is official. – I find myself enjoying more and worrying less. Past memories are the reason you see that little smile on my face when I walk in the door to the track – Until next year, may all your photos be winners, and I’ll see you at the races !