Happy Holiday Memories

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 26, 2022 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | Comments Off on Happy Holiday Memories

The last time I can remember a Christmas “bonus win” was many moons ago. – It was the last race card before Christmas Eve and the joint was packed. Every gambler knew it would be a couple of days to wait for the next call to the post. Those couple of days seemed like a month of Sundays, as this was long before sports gambling and casinos.

We used to get a $100 bonus and man was it appreciated. – We could cash checks at the information window long before the casino “swipe badges” and the million rules that took the fun out of racing. – Even though there wasn’t a sign that said “employees please bet” it was unspoken that 30% of the on-track handle came from behind the windows and the betting floor from the staff. Good days, and who better to make a bet than the throng of employees who were paid to be here.

Well, my $100 bonus was put into action right from the start. It began at a turtle’s pace and as the race cards got better, my bankroll was doing well. – By 2:00pm, it was up to $250 and change. By 4:00pm, it was $500. – Took a break until live racing and played three horses I liked. They all won. – The bankroll was over $1,000 for the day and I kept making a few small place wagers. – As I cashed out before grabbing my coat to head home, I had over $1,200 and change. Not bad from a $100 start.

I drove home as snow began to fall at a wet and heavy pace. By the time I got home there was almost three inches on the ground. – I counted my money and kept $200 in my wallet for me to start after the holidays and gave my better half $1,000 to cover a good chunk of Christmas. We’d go out and have a nice dinner and I’d fill her in on the big day of winning. She couldn’t have cared less as gambling just wasn’t part of her itinerary. – But the money handed to her was always spent on the house, bills, and things that mattered. – Good to have a partner who had their feet on the ground and did enough rational thinking for the both of you.

As the blizzard was sweeping in on Thursday, I was at the track and this story came to mind. – Heavy rain turning to ice was beginning to cover the entire rail and walkways. In the last race it covered the starting gate with such a coating that one of the gates did not come open and we had a non-starter. After a 20 min inquiry, we all made our way out to the parking lot skating all the way. – It wasn’t as happy as that winning day long ago, but it gave me something to smile about while driving 10 mph to the house. – When I arrived and pulled in to park, I made it home safely and that was my win for the night.

As we celebrate our holidays, keep in mind the happy times. They are what we’ll remember for decades to come. – It was a simple wintery night that took me back in time to a special night where a few extra bucks were a welcome addition for a young couple that used the money wisely. – Enjoy your time with family and friends, and here’s to a Happy New Year from your friends at Winning Ponies. We wish you health, happiness, and memories to last a lifetime.