The Happy Horseplayer / Happy New Year!

by Ed Meyer

posted on January 15, 2020 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>

Just a few days into the New Year and the H.H. is off and running! – So far 2020 has been good to me. I took some time off after Breeders’ Cup and did a little “refresh” for my handicapping. Oh, I made some wagers, but a little less than normal. – Sometimes less is more and the heart does grow fonder when you feel the absence.

Taking a break is a good thing. I came back hungry and ready and the ponies always deliver the action. Taking time out to examine what you’re doing wrong and making adjustments can make all the difference in the world. – Many handicappers just keep plugging along and never examine their game. – I put so much into the Breeders’ Cup some introspection time is needed. I like to look back and see what I would have done differently if given the chance. Not to find an excuse for betting the winner, but how I placed my wagers for maximum value. After all, being a good bettor is just as important as being a good handicapper.


Winter racing

Gulfstream Park gets a great deal of my betting attention. – I love the rider colony and turf racing in 75-degree weather. My top riders to watch: The Ortiz brothers, Paco Lopez, Luis Saez, Tyler Gaffalione, and Javier Castellano. – Watch the barns of Saffie Joseph, Todd Pletcher, Mike Maker, Bill Mott, and Jason Servis. – When they hook up with one of the top three riders you may want to double down at the windows.


Spot Plays

I have enjoyed making a spot play or two in my time and the winter is a great opportunity. – Take a look at Fair Grounds but steer clear of cheap claiming races, state-bred claimers, and cheap maidens. You’ll find a golden play or two if you peruse the card and any winner is good for your bankroll. – When Oaklawn Park gets rolling add them into your spot play target as well. As with FG steer clear of cheap claimers and state-bred claimers. – At the end of the day, I think you’ll be glad you made the effort. – The top barns usually return each year and be on the lookout for California and New York trainers making the trek.


Reach in your jeans and pull out some greens

We have all heard of aftercare facilities for retired Thoroughbreds. – Make the trip to visit and drop off a donation for a great cause. I think you’ll leave with a renewed sense of how important these are for racing. Be sure and get some pictures with your favorite runners from yesterday.

The PDJF is in support of the “Permanently Disabled Jockey Fund.” – Brave athletes who put on the show for years need our help. – Injuries are part of any sport, and this incredible fund helps those pay for medical bills, rehab, and assistance in paying the bills. – Jockeys have to carry their own insurance and the cost can be incredible. – If you attend a PDJF event I bet dollars to donuts you’ll be back. – You’ll be able to bid on donated items from champion runners, equine art, and meet your favorite ridder from years gone by. Donations are always welcome and your favorite rider will be more than happy to pose for a selfie or sign your favorite racing memorabilia. – Make the trip. You won’t regret it!