My First Love is Still Going Strong

by Ed Meyer

posted on August 25, 2021 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | Comments Off on My First Love is Still Going Strong

Built for comfort, built for speed“. – That’s what a real horse has under its hood. We look at the beauty and pageantry only one sport can offer. To gaze at a majestic 1,000 lb animal dance lightly with the power of a freight train. –  “Lord have mercy won’t you look at her run.” 


I was a kid from a small town with more churches and bars than anything. –  Every holiday from the spring to the fall was a big day at the races. We’d watch the parade; finish up with a little league game, or just head on over. When my dad would go to the races without me; let’s just say I was pissed. – Most kids wanted to play wiffle ball all day, and I did my fair share of doing that all day long. But, when he was heading over for the final few races, a young boy turned into a man wanting to be around the ponies. That’s where my heart was located.

I was playing in a high school football game and we were winning big. They let the clock run to get the game over quicker. – I caught the watch of a ref and saw it was only 8:15 pm. Now, most young men would have been thinking of where they were going after the game. Me, I was thinking if I trimmed back some shower time and left my ankle wrap on, I could make it out for the last three races at Latonia Race Course. And, yes, I sure did…

When I started working in the parking lot to every job I’ve held at the track since. I’ve never regretted a day. I won’t be rich, but the memories I’ve had will last three lifetimes. How many can really say they are still with their first love after all these years?

As I’m getting older, I see the faces starting to dwindle. But, as old faces fade into the racing sunset there are new players walking in the door. – It’s our job to share the love. Think of it as passing the torch, and allowing the game to flourish on new levels. – I’m not about to sit and tell you the game isn’t fading a bit in the face of rapid-fire slot machines with non-stop brain freeze action. But, to this day I’ve never seen a crowd of people stand and scream at the top of their lungs as the reels come to a stop. – That’s only a feeling you’ll get when you have a good bet on your best play and they thunder to the wire. Not much compares..

First dates were usually at the harness races in Lebanon, Ohio. If it was late fall or winter, we would enjoy a beer or two watching the ponies at Latonia. – I figured if you liked a night at the races, I could have found the right partner for me. – I didn’t but had more fun than the law allowed.

As I make my way up to the “crows nest.” – There’s a feeling I had long ago when my dad’s old white truck would pull into the parking lot.  I get to spend the day doing what I love; a job I would have only dreamt about years ago. – I wipe off my binoculars, set up my program, my favorite music plays in the background as the day approaches. As the horses walk up the stretch to the paddock, there are very few jobs that bring as much excitement. – As I gaze at the rolling hills of Kentucky overlooking the mighty Ohio River, the full color of the season surrounds the track. – There will be some that make more money and own fancy cars, but how many have this feeling every time they walk in the door? Yeah, I’m still in love more than ever after all these years.