Free Selections – Friday, November 26, 2021

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 25, 2021 in Blogroll, Free Picks and Tips, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | Comments Off on Free Selections – Friday, November 26, 2021

As the turkey hangover subsides, this is a big weekend of horse racing as some venues get ready to close the doors and others swing open wide to welcome winter racing. There is nothing like another helping of free selections to get your inner-horseplayer ready! – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies!


Churchill Downs

Race #11 – The G1 Clark – 1 1/8 – 5:56 pm


#8 – Maxfield = This son of Street Sense is a perfect 4 for 4 at CD and comes off a 55 day rest for trainer Brendan Walsh. Jose Ortiz the regular reinsman in the irons, and he is 3 for 3 ITM going 9f. His past efforts have shown well coming in off a rest and fresh legs are a plus in the deep going at CD. – Use with: #4 – Happy Saver, and #3 – Dr. Post.


Del Mar

Race #7 – The G2 Hollywood Turf Cup – 6:33 pm

#7 – Rockemperer = Hails from the Chad Brown barn with Flavien Prat in the saddle. Excuse his last effort in the BC Turf where he had a tough trip and was in tight into the turns. Prat wins 25% on the turf and the barn is no stranger to the winner’s circle winning 26% with turf runners. Look for a strong late run into the far turn. Use with: #4 – Astronaut and #6 -Acclimate.



Race #9 – The G3 Comely – 1 1/8 – 3:43 pm

#6 – Army Wife = In a race chock-full of speed, it is nice to know a filly will be winding up around the far turn under Luis Saez for Mike Maker. She’s been off for two months and sports a bullet work at CD to prepare. Maker is known for getting the rest and firing right back off the bench. Use with: #8 – Vegas Weekend, and #5 – Played Hard. 


For the most comprehensive look at how the card will play out, be sure to download the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms. Easy to use, and very effective for first time players and seasoned professionals. There is plenty of solid racing action to peruse, and you’ll want to arm yourself with the very best handicapping tool to make your day a winner!

Free Thanksgiving Selections – Thursday – 11/25/2021

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 25, 2021 in Blogroll, Free Picks and Tips, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | Comments Off on Free Thanksgiving Selections – Thursday – 11/25/2021

As the family gathers and the turkey is golden brown glistening on the table. We find ourselves folding hands and bowing our heads to give thanks for the past year. Being thankful should be a daily happening to enjoy each and every moment together. – With that in mind, here are some free power plays as an appetizer for the big day. Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at Winning Ponies!


Churchill Downs


Race#11 – The G2 Falls City – 1 1/8 – 4:22 pm

#4 – Envoutante (7-2) = With a speedy clip expected I’m leaning in the direction of the horse-for-the-course. She is 6/6 ITM at CD and goes to post for Ken McPeek and B.J Hernandez. They win 24% as a team and she is the perfect stalker who likes the distance. Go back in her past performances and when you see a solid 3/4 time she is always in the hunt. Use with #5 – Army Wife and #6 – Bonny South coming off a 46 day rest. 


Fair Grounds

Weather for opening day is sunny and 75 degrees for “Cajun Homecoming” as the “Big Easy” opens the doors for a great season of racing.


Race#7 – Thanksgiving Classic – 6f – 4:12 pm

#4 – Greeley and Ben (7-2) = Will be shooting for his 10th straight win for Karl Broberg. Reylu Gutierrez in the saddle and loves the 6f distance going 14/15 ITM. He should be stalking just off the pace and coming off a 60 day break the barn wins 23%.


Race#8 – The Peluso Memorial – 1 1/16 on the turf – 4:44 pm

#6 – Alms (6-1) = Makes her 2nd start of 2021, and is perfect at FG going 1/1 over the turf course. She has a great prep off a long layoff and it was a 5 1/2f turf sprint at KEE where she was heavily bet. – Her works have been solid and Mitchell Murrill in the irons is a plus in New Orleans. She has tons of back class and is eligible to improve off a long layoff and prep.


Just a little sampler as the winter racing season is just getting started. We’ll have more to sample for “leftovers” in the form of free selections for this weekend as Churchill Downs is coming to a close and Fair Grounds is just beginning. – Plenty to give thanks for as far as races to play, family, friends, and football in the background. – Enjoy your holiday!


Talking Turkey

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 23, 2021 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, | Comments Off on Talking Turkey

During my years of working in racing, you could always count on every holiday being a day at work. – No bitching, like many folks in the entertainment industry, dining, get the same plan. It’s just part of the job. We get to ensure you enjoy yourself with everything in place, and miss out on getting to sit in a Norman Rockwell painting with family and friends.

For me, it worked out great. My family used to wait the few extra hours and we would all eat together. – Still plenty of football to watch and seconds were a plenty at my mother’s table. – Naps are optional, but once I hit 40, they became part of the day. Family celebrations, but just a little later. Not much of a problem, I suppose, and you still had the opportunity to watch the quality racing action.

On the backside folks who tend to the horses stay and finish work. – Over the years, I would stop back at a barn or two and take part in a wonderful Thanksgiving feast. Workers far from home and some without family near would belly up to the makeshift tables complete with all of the goodies of the season. Talk and laughter filled the air while many enjoyed great food and even better company. This time was special. – If you traveled and just followed your nose you would smell the culinary delights of many countries. Specialties and celebratory foods mixed in with a little traditional food from their new adopted home. If you enjoy a cocktail or two, there was never a shortage of punch and sweet tequila to get that inner-festive spirit going.

Father Frank Niehaus had a heart of gold. Father could put the squeeze on local merchants for donations, clothing, and toys for the kids like a mafia hit man with a halo. Father Frank’s Backside Works of Mercy tended to the workers who raised families, and lived on the backside. – Father would always speak to what they needed. “Do you need a coat? Sox? How about some soaps and shampoos?”- Father not only tended to their spiritual needs, he was a “bulldog” who feverishly gathered items all year long. – If he were a salesman he could have sold ice to an Eskimo. Great man wouldn’t begin to scratch the surface. – From the first time I met this wonderful man I was in charge of the parking areas. That being said, there were always five to six huge winter coats, windbreakers, gloves, and one year an extra kerosene heater was ordered by mistake and Father took it off my hands with a hearty laugh and a shared cigar together.  – He would stop by my office from time to time and just talk. He wanted to know how I was doing and what was going in my life. With cigar in hand and a love of betting the ponies, I doubt I’ll meet another like him. Giant of a man with a soft side that could melt your heart. God Bless, Father Niehaus.

Working at the track in many capacities over the years gave me the opportunity to see many wonderful acts of kindness. – There is so much more going on than the just taking care of horses. It was an extended family of travelling souls trying to make a living while enjoying the beauty of life. – There are many backstretch programs in place, and if you contact your local racetrack, they will gladly accept a donation of many kinds to care for those who could use a helping hand. – If you love the races and the sport of kings, make a donation that is sure to warm your heart and help others in a time of need.

As we approach the “turkey day” celebration, take moment and think of those who are less fortunate. A little goes a long way, and the smiles of the children as they get to unwrap a toy will allow you to share in the joy of the season. From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at Winning Ponies!

Red-Hot Winter Racing in Kentucky

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 16, 2021 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, | Comments Off on Red-Hot Winter Racing in Kentucky

The sun was setting with a glow on the horizon. Each passing day brings nightfall a little sooner as daytime fades into the distance. Autumn’s song is sweetly fading as brisk winds come calling to swirl and sweep away the gifts of summer. – This is the prelude to the beginning of winter, and the gift of racing swings into another season.

My life has always been in Kentucky. The seasons herald a new chapter, and racing is enjoyed year round. Winter brings the horses to Northern Kentucky in Florence. – Once called Latonia Race Course; has evolved into Turfway Park. Bought and sold over the years, and finally in the hands of Churchill Downs. A new day is beginning and the books are open for another exciting chapter to be etched into racing history. The ancient building is memory and a state-of-the-art facility will replace the antiquated white elephant with gaming, a full-card-simulcasting race book, and a safer track for equine athletes to compete. Some of the biggest stables in the country are focusing on the winter oval to call home.

The track surface is no longer a traditional “dirt” course, but now has switched over to a safer synthetic blend of Tapeta. – Tapeta is a Thoroughbred racing and training surface comprised of a carefully selected mixture of the finest silica sand, wax and fibers that have been extensively researched and simulate the root structure of turf. Tapeta has been tried and tested in all climates at training and racetracks around the world. Florence, Kentucky can be the perfect location for such a surface. The weather can be in the low 30’s in the afternoon, and once the sun sets can dip nearing 20 degrees. Winds can be vicious for night time racing, and only the wind chills and temperature can cancel racing as the surface is perfectly safe in any condition. If the weather gets nasty during the winter months, it is paramount to protect the safety of equine and human athletes competing when Mother Nature can make it unsafe for the race cards to be run. That is mainly the only time you will see a cancellation for the races.

Over the years there have been many studies and comparisons of why Tapeta is safer. At Newcastle in England, there were 0 fatalities from 4,754 runners in a past meeting. Wolverhampton had 3 for 5,363 runners. Heralded greatly by some of the biggest trainers in the U.K. the fast and firm consistency has held up in every type of climate.

Tracks in the United States have been using the new surface with great results. Woodbine in Canada, Golden Gate Fields in Northern California, and as of late Gulfstream Park in Florida has added an “inner” Tapeta course for runners to compete. – Presque Isle in Erie, Pennsylvania has been running on the surface since 2007 and been used as it a prep for six winners of the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint exiting the Presque Isle Masters.

Watching the horses run on the Tapeta surface is unique. No more frozen unleveled surfaces of the old, replaced with a safer surface kind to the runners as they skip across the oval with little to no kickback for safety of riders and horses. Winter racing is back in Kentucky, and a new day awaits. With full fields and a safe surface, it is a prime track to watch and wager for value as players will make Turfway Park a circuit to follow during the winter months.

Free Selections – Churchill Downs – Friday 11/12/21

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 11, 2021 in Blogroll, Free Picks and Tips, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | Comments Off on Free Selections – Churchill Downs – Friday 11/12/21

The Kentucky circuit has shifted its tack to Louisville, and the Thursday card had a sloppy track. – More of the same predicted for weather, and even though the drainage is good, I’m looking for a track muddy-good. – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies!


Churchill Downs


Race#1 – #3 – Madelyns Heat = First time starter by Cairo Prince and trainer Chris Hartman is winning 40% so far at the meet. – His dam has 2 wins from 3 starts and the rider/trainer combo is 8 for 14 ITM the past 2 weeks as a team.


Race#2 – #2 – Jazzy Lady = Drops down in class today for Mike Maker and has the services of Keeneland meet leading rider Tyler Gaffalione. Makes the turf to dirt switch and with all the speed in here she may come calling late turning for home.


Race#3 – #2 – Cousteau = 3rd time off the layoff and goes to post for Rudy Brisset and Tyler Gaffalione. Drops down in class and the trainer wins 22% with mdn claimers.


Race#4 – #3 – Dover Strait = Drops down two class levels and still managed a solid 4th place finish last out – I like his chances in here today.


Race#5 – #1 – Epicurean = Speed from the rail post and a big drop down in class. – Add in Joel Rosario and you have a major danger in this event.


Race#6 – #4 – Briefcase Bully = 2nd time off the layoff and two wins from 3 starts at CD – 2/2 ITM on off tracks.


Race#7 – #10 – Flash Magic = She was a beaten favorite last out and the barn comes back to turn the tables at a 25% win clip – Tons of speed and she may be able to stalk and pounce when the real running begins.


Race#8 – #2 – Semble Justice = Perfect stalker who is 3 for 3 ITM at CD and go back two races and she won big over a sloppy track at CD.


Race #9 – #8 – Thirsty Betrayal = 3rd time off the layoff and is 3/5 ITM at CD – The barn wins 36% third off the shelf and should enjoy the extra distance today. Major player.


Dropping the Ball Again

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 8, 2021 in Breeders Cup, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | Comments Off on Dropping the Ball Again

Breeders’ Cup weekend is like your birthday, Christmas, and any day you hold holy in your heart. For horse players, gamblers, and even your Aunt Millie who likes to bet $2 to show on the favorite. It’s a powerhouse buffet of action.

Day #1 has always been good to me. No rhyme or reason, but just good. I always think of it as an afterthought and focus on Day #2. – But, it usually works in reverse for me. Not a clue why.

Anyone who knew me had heard for days how much I thought Charlie Appleby was going to have a great weekend. – A man who started at the bottom of racing and employed the old fashioned practice. Patience, time, and focusing on the horse first. Humble beginnings led to many great things.

An amateur jockey early in his days, and saddled his first big winner with Outstrip in the BC Juvenile Turf in 2013. He worked as an assistant trainer for Goldolphin for 15 years, and finally tapped as trainer in 2013. Quite a trip for a man of few words.

The first day of the Breeders’ Cup weekend was going well. Weather ordered to perfection, and the conditions were excellent.

He had two of the favorites entered in the Juvenile Turf, Modern Games and Albahr, slotted in the first two post positions. Modern Games reared up in the starting gate, and then Albahr panicked and also reared up before dropping under the gate. Albahr was scratched, and Modern Games, who was allowed to exit the gate through the front, was briefly scratched as well upon a veterinarian’s recommendation. Del Mar stewards then allowed Modern Games to run for purse money only after the fact.

OK, here’s the rub. – This was the biggest race of the day and when the vet makes a recommendation to the stewards. That is the protocol, and there is no back-and-forth discussing the situation, or why have the vet there at all making crucial decisions inches away from the horse?

The two was extricated from the gate and his number was taken off the starting gate. All normal procedures, except one. The #1 Modern Games number was on the screen and went blank meaning he was scratched. It was up for about 10 seconds, and taken off immediately. His gate number still on the starting gate. Now, this could have all been fixed with an additional 45 seconds and a quick announcement.

“Ladies and gentleman, #1 Modern Games will not be a part of the mutuel pool and will race for purse money only; with a complete announcement.” Fine and dandy, except he reared and possibly struck his head. No announcement, no quick explanation, and the gate broke and he took off running to turn for home to win. Glad for the connections, but with a short delay in explaining the process, bettors would have been informed. Gamblers are fickle to say the least, but without them they would be running for blue ribbons. But, no explanation was given and the powers that be acted in extreme haste.

This decision was ripped apart in every blog, social media blast, and even Facebook chat rooms. – Why even have him run if you thought there could have been a problem? That defeats the safety protocol in place. – Now, what if a possible injured horse running for purse money blocks, impedes, or cuts off your runner? You would have finished second and really got the win. But, in this case you were knocked a bit during the race and finished third. Now, how’s that rapid fire non-decision, no announcement feeling now? I just wanted to be the fella sweeping the floor with all of the thrown away tickets which actually were going to be a winner.

I seldom bitch out-loud, but this is a rare case. – I had the horse that was scratched properly, number taken off the gate, and out of the pools. No worries there. But, for the players who once again took it on the chin, how are they feeling after the stewards immediately cleaned this up after the fact with complete explanations. – Just the opposite before the gates opened. – If they would have taken the horses out, taken the numbers off the board, and gave a complete announcement I feel players would have understood. I’m not saying they all would have been happy campers, but at least the process would have been better explained. Biggest stage in racing, and the bettors took it on the chin once again.

Wagering Ideas 101

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 1, 2021 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | Comments Off on Wagering Ideas 101

Keeneland has come up with a great new wager. The $3 all-turf pick three. – Incredible wager, and the base cost can insure it will pay a sweet return. But, in the times of racing falling behind the times of gambling/gaming. Is there more we could do to entice players to get involved in a multi-race wager that could have a big return?



If you like the $3 turf pick three, you may enjoy this. You may make a win, place, show parlay on any horse(s) in a race. Now, if it your first wager scores the entire amount goes on to the next race. – You could make a 5 horse parlay, or anything you like. You could go from turf to dirt, and play the wager anyway you like. All you have to do is keep alive for the entire amount to carryover to the next leg.

If there is $10 winner for example in the 1st leg, it would break down to $5 to win and place if you chose to make your 2nd leg a win and place wager. Sound easy? It is. – Tracks, ADW’s, OTB’s would love the wager as it would have a takeout for each leg. That means the purses get more money in the coffers, and the track makes a percentage as well. Everyone is a winner and all you have to is keep alive to the next leg. The entire winning amount carries over to the next. A true parlay, and you call the shots on how many races you want to play.


The E/3

Make an exacta wager in any race you like, but it has to encompass three exacta races. – Just like the parlay it would carryover to the next leg. – Talk about a sweet payoff! – Three exactas of your call, and the more horses you have involved the higher price the ticket. Maybe worth thinking about. – Three exctas and the entire amount minus the takeout rolls into the next. Sounds like it could have some big payouts for you!


Racing has to allow players plenty of room to reach out for bigger payoffs. Let them choose the races and be the decider of how the wager will play out. – Once upon a time racing was innovative, but has grown complacent over the years. There is too much competition without allowing players to chase the bigger pots, and the best part is they decide which races. Take a look back at Harness racing from back in the day. They had some great innovative wagers and players chased the big win. We need to step back and see how we can draw more horse players into the ring to have a chance at a big time payoff.



First Look – Breeders’ Cup Friday – 11/5/2021

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 1, 2021 in Blogroll, Breeders Cup, Free Picks and Tips, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | Comments Off on First Look – Breeders’ Cup Friday – 11/5/2021

As the ghosts and goblins fly away for another year the best weekend in racing is upon us. Let’s take a first look at the races on Friday and start making plans. We’re going to glance at runners before the post draw and who looks good and why. Be sure to download the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms this week as we always bring our “A” game to the table for our handicappers. Best of luck from Winning Ponies!


Friday / Del Mar


Juvenile Turf Sprint

Armor = If you have a liking for runners who come from rolling out of the clouds, you may have landed on a runner who fits your ticket. He does very well at 5f and shows a blistering turn of late speed turning for home. He cuts back in distance and has been knocking heads with some of the European tough guys.


Juvenile Fillies

JuJu’s Map = is a daughter of Liam’s Map who exits a perfect trip in the G1 Alcibiades negotiating the short stretch of the 1 1/16 distance, and this race has become a good prep race leading to the BC. Brad Cox trainee and he’s become the “next trainer to follow” the past few years. He spots his runners well and she looks to be sitting on a big race. Like the sharp work on 10/22 at CD. – Don’t discount Sequist and Echo Zulu.


Juvenile Filles Turf

Pizza Blanca = The U.S. fillies do very well in this race and had a big effort in the G1 Natalma which has served as a good prep for this event. She has been off for 47 days and comes in fresh and ready.



Corniche = This son of Quality Road is 2/2 and hails from the Bob Baffert barn and looks to be a close-up stalker and his dam Wasted Tears has 5 starters with 5 winners to her credit.


Juvenile Turf

Albahr = Hails from the Charlie Applebee yard; he, John Gosden, and Aiden O’Brien have won 8 of the last 14 events. Winner of the G1 Summer Stakes which is a great prep and has a strong late punch. His dam Falls of Lora (IRE) has 4 starters, 4 winners, and 4 turf winners to her credit.


Juvenile Turf

Albahr (Still like him no matter which race he ends up in)

Dakota Gold = is a perfect 2/2 and exits a super effort in the NowNowNow Stakes at Monmouth. Danny Gargan is the trainer and sports a bullet work at Saratoga on the yielding turf.



Free $300,000 Pick-4 Selections for Keeneland

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 1, 2021 in Blogroll, Free Picks and Tips, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | Comments Off on Free $300,000 Pick-4 Selections for Keeneland

Saturday afternoon offers up a $300,000 guaranteed Pick-Four beginning in Race#7 – The fields are chock-full of quality runners that could be used to make your day a winner! – Here is a great starting point at getting your inner-horseplayer in the groove. Best of luck from Winning Ponies!

Be sure and download the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms for a comprehensive view on how the race card will take shape. 





#1 – Soup and Sandwich = Coming off a five month layoff since the Kentucky Derby. He sports good speed and the rail has been red-hot. Tyler Gaffalione in the saddle and he is winning 30% for the meet.

#6 – Pipeline = Hails from the Chad Brown barn with John Velasquez in the saddle and just had an impressive score going 7f. They ship in from the Spa and Brown wins 28% bringing new runners.



#4 – Big Agenda = 2nd start off the layoff shipping in from KyD and Tyler Gaffalione wins 17% teaming up with trainer Mike Maker. Plenty of back class to like and should get a good stalking trip ready to pounce at the top of the lane.

#11 – Bizzee Channel = Sports good early foot and reunites with regular rider Jareth Loveberry. Been off for 47 days since KyD and should come out winging from the outside post looking to cross over before the first turn.



#13- Obligatory = Late runner exiting the G1 Cotillion at Parx and cuts back in distance today. She’ll come rolling late in the lane for Bill Mott and Florent Geroux. She has a nasty late kick going short.

#11 – Miss Speedy = Mark Casse trainee who ships off the Woodbine synthetic. She rolled and her 3/4 time was 1:08.2 – B.J. Hernandez in the irons and should stalk just off the lead and move quick into the far turn.



#4 – Healing = Ships in from KyD and goes from 6 1/2 f to a mile on the turf for Mike Maker and Tyler Gaffalione. Been off 47 days and makes a big drop in class today.

#10 – Pine Knoll = Hails from the Brad Cox barn with Florent Geroux and they win 21% as a team. Middle pack stalker who has a third place finish over the track. Drops in class off a 45 day break from KyD.


Ticket cost = $1 version = 2X2X2X2 = $16 / 50-cent /$8 dollars

Seven Breeders’ Cup Betting Tips

by Ed Meyer

posted on October 25, 2021 in Blogroll, Breeders Cup, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | Comments Off on Seven Breeders’ Cup Betting Tips

Th sun is setting much earlier these days. Just a reminder of the end of summer and the impending arrival of winter. It was just a few weeks ago when the sun was high in the bluish sky until 9:00 or 9:30pm. But times change, literally. As we head into the four final days of the Keeneland meet, we begin the mad dash on handicapping the Breeders’ Cup next week. Here are a few ideas of what to look for and how to prepare.


1. – If you have TVG, be sure and catch the morning breakfast coverage, and morning works. Incredible coverage to get you watching the works, barn talk and interviews. Well worth the time.

2. – Keep up-to-speed on news about shippers, when they arrive and the work tab on each.

3. – Start focusing on the list of runners who are having any late problems, equipment changes, or unusual late fast works. These are toss out runners.

4. – Toss the synthetic runners, and horses who are making the turf to dirt switch. These changes are far too late in the game for last minute world shattering changes to compete at this level. If they win, it will be without my wager.

5. – Only play horses who comes from “key” races and have won or placed in a G1 or G2 in their final two preps. If it was a G3 or non-graded event, toss the horse, or use for third or fourth in your exotics. – Key races have been the ones who have held up over the years as prep events moving forward. Key races usually have the perfect time spacing and allow runners to get just enough rest to freshen up.

6. – For some reason, the Euros do incredible in the warm California heat on the turf. They leave a cool climate and one would think it may hinder their ability coming back to a warm climate. But, not the case. They are at their best, and I attribute this to the great preparation of the Euro trainers.

7. – Get familiar with the European preps that have propelled many winners on the grass in the states. There are a handful, and to get acquainted could be a major difference. They start pointing runners in the early spring and have just a few preps moving forward.

Best of luck, and we’ll be talking more in the days to come!