The Louisiana Legend

by Ed Meyer

posted on June 19, 2019 in General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>


I was attending college and the simulcast boom was just beginning. ADW’s were a bunch of letters, and if you wanted to bet the ponies you went to the track or made a call to your bookie. – Keeneland was in session and I spent more time digging in my pockets for quarters as my man was going to get a call.

WLEX in Lexington used to play the stretch run replays 15 after and 15 to the hour. – You could make a bet at the Lexington track and jog out to your car and listen. It was a great way to exercise and a better way to stay involved in the game. – I can still hear Mike Battaglia calling the races on the radio as there was no announcer at the track.

It was the spring meet and I had a canceled class. – No sweeter words could’ve been spoken as I jumped in the “Bet Mobile” ( Thanks, Bob Summers / Exacta Kid). -I made my way to the newsstand and the pay phone.  I bet $10 to win and place which was the bank vault. He won and paid $28 bucks to win, and my man was feeling the sting of the “Louisiana Flash.” – That meet there were fifteen 4 1/2 furlongs races and he won 10. Little to the imagination I used to call and just ask “who was Romero riding?” – He got them out of the gate like nobody’s business.

After leaving the newspaper stand, I jumped back in and made a land speed record flying to Keeneland with a small bankroll in my pocket. – Life was good for a young man in college. I walked in and was going to catch the last five races. – That was plenty for me and when Randy Romero rode three more winners. You could say I was having a really good day. – I started really following Randy after catching the movie “Casey’s Shadow” based on his father and trainer Lloyd Romero and his family.

I met Randy once at Turfway Park and had him on my radio show for the track. – Kind to the core and one of the good guys. – When I saw his picture on the Paulick Report courtesy of my good friend John C. Engelhardt ( Host of the Winning Ponies Internet Show) I found I was reading some sad news. – If you’re a spiritual person say a prayer for this man. If not, just hope for the best. – I watched for years and beat my old bookie with small bets on Randy, Craig Perret, Pat Day, and Don Brumfield. – These were my learning years of racing watching some of the best to grace the saddle.

The Paulick Report did an excellent job as always and here is an excerpt about one of my favorite riders:

He estimates he has broken 25 bones in racing accidents and had some 30 injury-related surgeries in a 26-year career that ended in 1999 with 4,294 victories and earnings of over $75 million.  – Rarely suspended and known for getting the best from fillies and mares, he won back-to-back Breeders Cup Distaffs aboard Sacahuista in 1987 and got up in the final stride of the historic 1988 Distaff to win aboard Personal Ensign, allowing her to retire undefeated in 13 starts. He was the regular rider for 1989 2-year-filly champion Go For Wand. At three in the 1990 Distaff, she looked certain in deep stretch to hold off the older Bayakoa when she shattered her right front ankle and had to be euthanized. Romero broke seven ribs in the fall but rode another race on the day’s card.

How I would love to get in the racing time machine with my college buddy and head down to Keeneland one more time. – He would leave a note on my car saying; ” Be here by 11a if you want to head down.” – I guess it would be fair to say I went more than not and loved every second. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite races that still gives me chills. – Thank you, Randy, for everything you brought to the game. – My prayers for hope and healing are with you and a bigger thanks for making me a devoted fan.