Reliving My First

by Ed Meyer

posted on August 21, 2019 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>

Man, I remember my first. – Can you? – It’s a feeling that still brings a smile to your face many years later and it just won’t stop. – You’ll have many, but there’s nothing like your first. – Remember how nervous you were, and how it settled in with a serene sense of accomplishment and self-satisfaction. – We all have to start somewhere, but we always remember out first.

Mine was a Saturday afternoon. I was with my Dad, and we were heading out to the races at Latonia Race Course. – The weather looked grim as tons of snow and cold were predicted. They said it was going to be the storm of the century in 1978. – We wanted to get a day at the races in before the snowstorm came later that night. The sky had an eerie quiet as the clouds had a heavy gray hue. You could hear the horses hooves as they walked up to the paddock and they seemed to be a little nervous.

The skies looked more ominous than the storm prediction and looked like it was coming soon than later. – I started reading the program with five runners entered and came out with a hopeful winner. The rider was a Lexington EMT and rode horses in the afternoon when available. – Carl Faulconer was his name, and to this day I can remember the grey nag he was riding. – Carl is one of the best guys in racing but wasn’t known to be the leading rider. – I made a $2 straight daily-double, and in the 2nd race, I had selected Mr. Faulconer once again.

As the horses went to post outriders hustled them along to the gate as the impending storm was 20 miles away. – Carl settled in along the rail and made a move around the far turn which was the winning move. – “Yes! – I had my first DD started and hoped Mother Nature could hold off a bit.” – It was at this time Mike Battaglia made the announcement the second race would be the last of the day as the snowstorm was coming sooner than predicted. – I had a live double ticket in my pocket and the tote board showed only 10 minutes to post. Another field of five took the track and Faulconer had another gray runner that was going to bring riches beyond belief.

The horses were rushed to the gate as the announcement was made again. – My first winner paid $7, and the second winner paid $5.60. – That $2 double came back a whopping $12. – I cashed my ticket and walked to the car looking like the cat who ate the canary. – Every time I see Carl I always remind him he was the one who hooked a young man on the races. – The storm came with fury and lived up to the hype. Racing was canceled for weeks and even the Ohio River froze solid. – I had $12 bucks burning a hole in my pocket with no races to play.

Ahhh. That was my first. – Was it as good for you as it was for me? – Probably not, but for a young racing fan with a $4 bankroll it was a big win. – Thank you, Carl Faulconer, for riding like the wind and getting me hooked on the greatest game I’ve ever seen. – You can bet dollars to donuts the next time I see him the story will be told for the 1,000th time!