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.