The Happy Handicapper

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 6, 2018 in Blogroll, Breeders Cup, General Discussion, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>

Another Breeders’ Cup in the books and the stories remain. – After the hard work of handicapping and preparing for the big day, only the stories remain. They’ll live with us for years to come. – I do wish the weather would have been a bit better, but the track crew did an excellent job doing magic to get it ready. As another month goes into the books, this year was special.


The Breeders’ Cup

January had me in the hospital recovering. It was going to be a long haul and each day was filled with anxiety. – I started thinking ahead to the Breeders’ Cup and this kept me focused. After all, which horse player doesn’t want to see the biggest day in racing. – With every passing month, I started feeling better as I watched every prep race. – As the weekends passed, the picture began to take shape. – I had targeted a date to be ready to return to work and do what my heart loves. When I met that goal, the Breeders’ Cup still waited ahead. – Each week, I felt stronger as the preps rolled by clearing the picture with winners. – I spoke to a very dear friend who was battling his own war, and we chatted about trying to get to the big weekend. – It wasn’t my biggest betting weekend by far, but the victory I celebrated was immeasurable. – Along with my good friend who received great news, you could say this may have been the best one ever. Hopefully, there will be plenty of Breeders’ Cup visits and better days ahead. – Thank you for all of the prayers and well wishes as they counted more than a pick-six any day. – This year had me feeling like the biggest winner!


The Long Cold Winter

Now before you get that mental image of a blustery snow-covered track, I’m talking about playing your favorite wintertime ovals. – Fair Grounds, Aqueduct, Turfway Park, eventually Gulfstream. – The California circuit is always sunny and perfect and it plays a great backdrop to the grey filled skies of the East. – There is the speedy “Big A” where we watch for the golden rail bias. – Fair Grounds brings the babies preparing for the long road to the Derby. – Turfway gives us solid night time racing on the safe Polytrack. – When Gulfstream kicks open, the real racing begins. Every weekend brings top quality turf racing and slowly builds up with incredible stakes racing. – I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Tampa Bay Downs as they have great turf racing and offer the best value with large competitive fields. – Hunker down and bundle up. Winter racing is almost here and it starts the process all over again. – I can’t wait for the action to heat up.


The Last Race

I’m not much of a funeral-goer. It has nothing to do with lack of respect. – I would rather spend time buying you a beer, talking horses, and enjoying the best sport in the world. – I found myself going to a service for a gent I knew as a young boy tagging along with my Dad. – They used to work together and would meet occasionally at the races. – My Dad was speaking with his son and told stories of their yearly trek to Churchill the day after Thanksgiving. They would drive down, have a few libations, and make some bets. – He told of winning days and losing rides home. – His son was surprised to hear this side of his Dad. ” I can’t believe you guys did that every year.” – There is something about that 100-mile ride to Churchill that gets your blood pumping and awaiting the action. – I watched my Dad smile and tell stories of how he relished his friendship. I was glad to just stand there smiling about their special “Man’s Day” at the races. – Rest in peace, Bob. I’m sure glad you and my pops made your special trips as friends. They are memories that will stay with him for a long time. I know it meant a great deal to him to spend time with you.


Holidays and Parties

As we reach the holiday season and the stress and bustle to find the perfect gift is a challenge. – Here is an alternate idea that would be a great way to enjoy a gift that keeps giving. – In that beautiful card with wintry scenes, place a $50 betting voucher inside. Make a date to go to the races and spend four to five hours playing the ponies. The winner has to pick up the lunch or dinner tab and the memories will last longer than the ugly sweater. – Call up group sales and make a reservation to have a light finger food buffet and boxed seats. The cost will be minimal and the memories will last until spring. – Head on out to the races and enjoy a special day. Silly sweaters and adult beverages, and if there is a solid handicapper in the group have them make out a tip sheet. – Have a group pool where everyone tosses in $5. If there are 20 in attendance you have a $100 bankroll. Draw names to take turns to select runners, or nominate a group handicapper. – Take the $50 bankroll and bet it to place. If the runner scores, the entire amount goes on to the next race and so on. – You can make a splitting point, or keep it rolling to the end. – There is nothing like having a $200 place bet on the feature race. – You’ll have the whole room rooting and cheering together. They’ll probably remember that more than a cheese box. – Another great gift is to purchase some Winning Ponies Credits for future trips to the races. They’ll thank you each and every time they download the E-Z Win Forms. Think of it as the gift that may really keep giving!


As the Happy Handicapper closes another month, I’m filled with gratitude and happiness. – I saw the 35th edition of the Breeders’ Cup and sat on my couch enjoying the action. – Nothing like it if you ask me. – We’re digging out winter clothes and getting ready to do the process all over again. – My wishes for the upcoming holiday season are ones filled with joy, happiness and the feeling of gratitude. – Share your love of racing by taking another to the track and call up that old friend to meet for a day at the races. I promise you won’t regret the time spent together. – Until next month, best of luck from the Happy Handicapper.