Ode to the Gambler

by Ed Meyer

posted on June 28, 2021 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on Ode to the Gambler

Just like fishermen; you can always bet that gamblers will have a say. It’s not about the one you caught, but the one that got away.” – Ed Meyer


Why can’t we recall the day we caught the big score, but can describe in precise detail how we got beat for the big one? – In my humble opinion and roads most traveled. Gamblers are ultra-competitive. If you survey 100 players in the grandstands, most were competitive ball players, professionals in their chosen field, or a puncher who always gets off the canvas. – Being a gambler is a noble pursuit and a great way to remain active. Father Time has not won many rounds against gamblers. No matter what their age, they always are ready to climb back in the ring.

I have had a few good scores in my days as a punter. – My best was a huge place ticket at Saratoga that to this day my Dad says; “I ruined gambling for him forever.” It was a pretty big wager that won. 18 years later I can recall the day, but couldn’t tell you how much it paid.

But, on the flip side, I can recall my worst day in gambling history. – It was at Arlington Park for the Million card. Incredible racing, and on my favorite surface the greensward. – I got there the night before and played the 2nd half of the card in the Chicago sunshine. I won about $300. – Afterward, it was off to the OTB across the track backside for a wonderful meal and $500 more from the Mountaineer card. I don’t even bet the mountain. But, in the words of Let It Ride;” I’m having a really good day.” 

My day continued after a night of devouring the racing form. – I was ready to do battle with the best turf races of the year. It was Arlington Million Day.- I began slow and the winners mounted. As the day progressed I was all-in on a runner in the big race with stacks of multi-race wagers and a huge win and place bet. He was (9-2).

As they turned for home in the 2003 Arlington Million my favorite rider Gary Stevens fanned out and drove for the wire like the champions of the past. – His powerful effort gave me chills that still run up my arm. That was until two feet from the wire. – He was spooked by something in the infield and a 20-minute inquiry blinked on the infield board. – I was pretty sure he crossed, but with each slow motion shot on the big board I started wondering. Stevens was still on the turf and the spill about killed him. – My favorite rider I was hoping would get up as the EMTs scooped him up to the hospital quickly. – After forever waiting for the decision, his number came down and my life-changing score was gone. This was the toughest beat of my life and I can recall the weather, watching the replay 100 times and hoping for the best. But, sometimes stories have a bitter ending.

It was a bad day, and one I’ll never forget. – Funny how we can recall with precise detail the bad beats. That one will always be my story tattooed on my wallet.

But, since then I have won major handicapping tournaments, finished in the money multiple times in the Horseplayer World Series, and had an incredible ride as a career in racing. – Overall, at the end of the day this gambler has had an incredible journey. I would call that winning run I’ll remember forever.