Whatcha’ Reading Today?

by Ed Meyer

posted on June 14, 2021 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on Whatcha’ Reading Today?

Wipe off your spectacles. Really take time to examine what you’re looking at. Not just a cursory glance, but a deep breath of what you’re reading. – I found a little gem while tossing out a plethora of old books and articles. The things that keep clutter your life and make your workspace difficult to see over. That was until I looked a little closer.

Many moons ago, I had a gent who worked for me. A retired longtime truck driver who traveled the country from coast to coast. His wife had passed away, and the peace he found behind the wheel allowed him to meet many wonderful people. In addition to new friends, he visited race tracks from fair circuits to the marquee ovals. “The hardest part of going to the races was finding a place to park a semi.”

It was his 30-years on the road that led him to start a memoir book. Not about shifting gears, or his favorite truck stops to eat, but a reflection on his favorite tracks and his methods of handicapping.

The wagering plans would be considered simple by today’s standards, but the talk about his love for the races was pure gold. – He started visiting tracks when most offered a single daily double, and maybe an exacta or quinella on the card. He loved the fair circuits of California and the beauty of the Bluegrass state of Kentucky. Both were special, and each had a place in his heart. Joe loved to talk about betting, and his $5 wagers were a well-thought-out plan.

His notes included stories of big wins and not having enough gas money to get to the next stop. But, somehow he made it. – “I learned to keep copious notes which helped me see how I was doing to make plans. With time and the open road I learned discipline.” 

I read about him using the daily double as a springboard for the day, and how important it was to start off strong. – How a place and show parlay would carry him to the next track on his list hours away. – I guess it wouldn’t be found on the best sellers list, but this rugged hard-bound book where he kept notes and betting strategies was timeless.

Here are a few notes that stayed with me to this day:

Keeneland is the most beautiful place on the planet. – You have to go at least twice a year. Once in the spring, and the other in the fall. 

Betting the double is important. There is only one on the card (at the time) and you had to start off strong to have a shot at the big day.

Great Barrington Fair was a trip back in time. I stumbled across it after being lost for over an hour. – I stayed for two days. 

Using the place parlay can protect your bankroll, and give you one heckuva’ shot at piling on the cash for the day. 

Only bet to show if the price is 15-1 or better. I have found out I’ve never got the best price chasing a 5-1 shot hoping for more.

Joe retired and became a security guard. We worked together and he was a wealth of info and entertainment. – He took the gig to help out his adult daughter who was recently divorced with a child. – He talked about his granddaughter as much as the race card the next day. – Where we worked was right next to River Downs outside of Cincinnati, Ohio. I used to catch a ride on his golf cart over to the clubhouse where we could catch the late double. – He still kept to his task of using the wager and had more stories than winners.

After looking at this old faded book of memories and stories, I decided to keep it. – Back it went on the shelf, and there it will stay. – Makes me feel good just knowing it’s there. On a Sunday morning, I found a memory that made me take a trip back in time. I think I’ll keep the book looking for the perfect person to pass it on with the stories that brought it to me. – Thanks, Joe…