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Old 05-19-2020, 09:50 PM   #46
Tape Reader
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Originally Posted by ReplayRandall View Post
It's funny how recalling events in our past, appear to be nothing more than mere happenstance....Everything exists for a reason, at a specific time and place, to help us decide what our life's journey will be....It's not just blind luck or coincidence.

Wise decision making is what determines our destiny....
Wow! Amen.
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Old 05-19-2020, 09:59 PM   #47
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Did you see Just Ralph there?? He was from the west side of Columbus. Saw Pete Rose there many times and Art Schlitcher too,, before he was drafted by the Colts! He always had inside info!!
I seen Art Schlitchter there several times. I believe he got started with horse racing through his wide receiver (Hanners) at Miami Trace High School. The Hanner's family trained and drove horses at Scioto Downs. I seen Pete Rose once at Turfway Park. I don't know If you have been to Scioto Downs lately, but their Grandstand has been condemned (unusable for the last three years).
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Old 05-19-2020, 11:32 PM   #48
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Greeting Fellow Cappers!!

My love for handicapping started over 30 years ago at the young age of 16 years old. It was then that I took an interest following in the footsteps of some influential people around the game. I got to know these individuals through working graveyard shifts on weekends at a local 7 Eleven one mile down the road from Parx Racing (Philly Park) at the time.

These guys would come in overnight (trainers, agents, exercise riders, handicappers, you name it) purchase the DRF and a cup of coffee. They would then pull up a seat behind the counter and start marking away at their programs. It was a very open and friendly place to say the least. I would consider it the mini-market version of "Cheers". In between duties there, whether it was stocking the cooler, the shelves, or mopping the floor, I would watch and listen to them debate about different points of views on different horses. Over time, I got nerve enough to start asking what they meant by different terms such as "current fitness level", "recent form", "running style", etc....It was not long after, that I began asking what all of the marks, slashes, numbers on the page meant and how to they come about making those decisions. In no time, I started wrapping up my duties before they came in so that I could sit alongside with my own copy of the DRF.

About a year later, I was sending them off with $10 or $20 to make plays on horses that I had handicapped that night/morning. How rewarding it was when they would show up at 5AM the next morning with $20 or $30 that I made on a few $2 WIN wagers. From that point on, I was hooked.

PS. Trainers gave the WORST tips!!
Started going to Keeneland in the early 70's, as a 16 yr old. I was a catholic school student and I remember a bunch of us skipping our Senior Graduation mass to go to Keeneland to watch the Bluegrass stakes which was run on a Thursday at that time ('74) only 10 days before the derby. I bet all I had left on Judger the winner that year.
Fast forward a year and I am sitting in my dorm room at Eastern Ky University watching the Today at Keeneland show replaying the races of that day. Someone pokes his head in the door and asked if he could watch it with me and that day I became friends with one of the greatest horseplayers in the game today...Mike Maloney. Spent the next 4 years going to Latonia, Keeneland and Churchill with Mike and his dad Bud trying to learn as much as I could. One day Mike went to Churchill by himself and bet 500 to win on a horse that hit, and I knew that day he was way out of my league.
I found my niche as a semi serious/recreational player but owe my love of the track and handicapping to Mike and Bud Maloney(RIP)
now I work at Keeneland teaching people how to bet , read the form , and BRIS and play weekly online.
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Old 05-20-2020, 11:05 AM   #49
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My best friend's dad used to take us to a local OTB when I was in middle school (around 12 was probably when I first went). We'd sit at a table with him and a couple of our buddies just bs'ing and eating, waiting for the next race to go off. I knew nothing about handicapping but did appreciate all the numbers in front of me on the racing form, so I'd attempt to make sense of the data. I lived for the first call when my friend's dad would shush us and turn up the volume to hear the announcers' opinions. He'd then ask us what we'd want on the race and go place bets for each of us. It was mostly $2 and $4 exacta boxes. If there were some combination he really liked he'd place much larger wagers, the size of which were incredible to me at the time.

This guy was and is an idol of mine - successful businessman, easy to talk to, always has a funny way of easily breaking down complex situations, and always had solid, practical advice to give. I was fortunate to spend a lot of time with him, as he coached a lot of our youth sports and drove us to and from practice. His advice directed a lot of my decisions as I went to college, selected my majors, applied for jobs, etc.

I continued going to OTBs as I turned 18 and throughout college but never with any seriousness. It was probably the one form of gambling where I was actually up money and only because I hit a few large tris and supers. In college I studied business and computer science and took a few AI-related courses, one of which required a year end project for which my team created a few models to predict March Madness brackets. I was hooked immediately.

Once I graduated I went to work as a programmer on commodity trading desks. A lot of my work was focused on data collection and writing code to analyze and backtest trading strategies. Around that time I thought about mixing what was learned from the NCAA project and on the trading desks with horse racing. Dr Z's place/show method was my first attempt but reading the Bolton & Chapman paper followed by Benter's paper were what really lit the fire. Since then it has been about 3.5 years of building out a code base with the goal of approaching racing like trading desks approach algorithmic trading. I've wagered what is to me a significant amount of money with a small, positive ROI, but if I were to stop now and shut everything down, I'd consider it a defeat.

My friend's dad still has no idea how much time and money I've put towards racing in the last couple years lol
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Old 05-20-2020, 09:17 PM   #50
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I started to pass the time at a skating rink I used to work at. It's lonely on week days when everyone is at work, just a couple families coming by here and there. Could be absolutely dead when -20 and windchill. Nothing to do but handicap and phone my bets in, chug a tomato juice and hope for the best.
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Old 05-20-2020, 11:42 PM   #51
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Cool

We sort of had the same stomping ground, old WATERFORD PARK. The old Morning Telegraph with all the numbers and symbols mesmerized me and I was hooked starting about 1965 or 1966. On Fridays after the races I would hang at the lounge in the Holiday Inn after the races and was intrigued by the track regulars like, the one armed guy (jock agent I believe), some gambler named Manual and a ticket seller named Nick to name a few. I think Nick lived in East Liverpool cause I remember giving him a ride. The other 2 gentlemen lived in the trailer park across from the track, I believe. My best story is this, after the races one Friday my little Toyota Corolla quits about 2 miles from the track in Newell, WVA on the main road. The next day I'm lying under the car trying to figure out what may have happened. A truck pulls beside, the driver gets out and asks what happened. I say "I am trying to figure that out". He says, "I will make you a deal I will trade you this mare I have in barn #6 (??) for your car". Talk about 2 losers, I am sure the mare's next stop was the glue factory and unknown to me I latter realized I had 2 broken valves in my engine. TRUE STORY. A salute the the good old days at Waterford, and "Mountainman"
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:46 AM   #52
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We sort of had the same stomping ground, old WATERFORD PARK. The old Morning Telegraph with all the numbers and symbols mesmerized me and I was hooked starting about 1965 or 1966. On Fridays after the races I would hang at the lounge in the Holiday Inn after the races and was intrigued by the track regulars like, the one armed guy (jock agent I believe), some gambler named Manual and a ticket seller named Nick to name a few. I think Nick lived in East Liverpool cause I remember giving him a ride. The other 2 gentlemen lived in the trailer park across from the track, I believe. My best story is this, after the races one Friday my little Toyota Corolla quits about 2 miles from the track in Newell, WVA on the main road. The next day I'm lying under the car trying to figure out what may have happened. A truck pulls beside, the driver gets out and asks what happened. I say "I am trying to figure that out". He says, "I will make you a deal I will trade you this mare I have in barn #6 (??) for your car". Talk about 2 losers, I am sure the mare's next stop was the glue factory and unknown to me I latter realized I had 2 broken valves in my engine. TRUE STORY. A salute the the good old days at Waterford, and "Mountainman"
Morning telegraph form-cuts?? At 16, I believed those 3 by 6 rectangles held the encoded meaning of life.

Mack Roberto?? Manuel Nicholas?? Men who hold the status here of at least lower case legends. Men sadly to be forgotten when guys like you and I, Waterford Park's last surviving torch bearers, can no longer tell their stories, or attest to the presence of their ghosts.

Even at my age, I'm considering an inked inscription on my arm. Nothing elaborate or artful, just two words. Four syllables that fortify my soul.

Keep the flame my brother.

Last edited by mountainman; 05-21-2020 at 02:52 AM.
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Old 05-21-2020, 06:50 AM   #53
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used to drive from pittsburgh to waterford on a week night then go to work next day--dont know how we did it
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Old 05-21-2020, 09:06 PM   #54
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It was the early 70's and I was a mainframe computer operator working my way into programming by taking a COBOL class. A fellow operator challenged me to write a program for the horses, Hollywood Park being nearby. It was a primitive program using speed and finish only. I dry ran it for a couple of days and it showed profit. I was getting interested now.

The only way we could bet was to rush over there for the 4th race for the $5 exacta bet. It was almost always a sprint race on the dirt, a very fast dirt surface. Surprisingly, we were hitting $5 exacta boxes a couple times a week. Then one day, a $5 exacta box bet won $1,327.50, a fortune at the time. I had three tickets on it, one for me, one for another operator, and another for a group of operations people. Suddenly, I knew it all, unfortunately.

I would come back to earth after that when I bet whole cards on Saturdays. Hindsight would tell me later that dirt sprints on very fast surfaces are not the same as the many other distances and surfaces. Jockeys, trainers, class, workouts, pace, etc, also mattered. Decades later, personal computers were finally fast and big enough to do a proper analysis on large data bases downloaded from the Internet. It's been a humbling journey.
There was another story that goes with this one. I had given out my exacta picks to another operations lady. Her husband wanted to replace one of my horses with another horse and told his son to do that. He mistakenly bet it my way, realized his mistake, and tried to get the teller to take it back. He wouldn't take it but left it near the window in case somebody else would purchase it. Just before post time, some guy did buy it. His son got his money back and quickly bet the other horse like his dad wanted him to. I'm sure there was angst, regrets, and depression after this.
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Old 05-26-2020, 10:49 AM   #55
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This has been one of the most enjoyable threads that I can recall. I love everyone's recollections of special times at the track. Here's one of mine: It was 1959 and I was 7 years old at my father's side in the Bowie clubhouse. It was not unusual, at all, to see J. Edgar Hoover there. My Dad took me up to Hoover and said, "ask Mr. Hoover for his autograph." Hoover looked down at me and said, "I'll give something better than that...bet the 2 horse." The 2 went right to the front, led all the way and paid $8.20. Those were great times.
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Old 05-26-2020, 11:05 AM   #56
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I knew I was hooked when my father took me to a Cincinnati Reds baseball game as a teenager. On the way I told him I would rather go to Latonia (now Turfway). Seriously what teenager would rather go to the track instead of a Major League baseball game ?

That's awesome! This is going to be me as a father. "Sorry kids we cannot go see the Blue Jays lose another game, but let's go to Woodbine. I hear they have a takeout of only 25% of the Pick 5 pool and we have a chance to use Grandma's shoe size and Uncle Steve's birthday as our lucky numbers for tonight"

Just kidding about the shoe size and birthday. The future wife/gf would probably be reading the Form for me before we get to Woodbine.
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Old 05-26-2020, 11:59 AM   #57
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Before the days of OTB and simulcast racing, I bought my first copy of Winner Guide Magazine ($0.50) from the corner newsstand on 4th Avenue and E.23rd street in Manhattan. I was 15 years old at that time and ask the proprietor if he knew where I could place a bet. He directed me to a building in the fur district on W.26th street off of 7th Avenue and said to ask the elevator operator for the 13th floor. When I got into the elevator, I noticed that there was no 13th floor on the panel but there was a 12A which was constantly lit on the elevator panel and was taken there by the operator when I asked for the 13th floor,
When the elevator door opened my door to horse racing opened when I saw the odds sheets for all the tracks pasted on the walls and a small counter where you could place your bets. The whole operation was no bigger then a small utility room which it was before it was transformed to a bookie joint.
Needless to say, I bet my first horse from Winner Guide which paid $20.00+.
I was a believer and was hooked from that time 65 years ago untill the present. The first track I ever visited was the old Jamaica race track.
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Old 05-26-2020, 12:10 PM   #58
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Purchased a Mattel Race Analyzer in 1979, after my first win that was it, a magical box that picked winners, who could ask for more versus my lowly handicapping skills at that time, LOL.
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Old 05-26-2020, 12:40 PM   #59
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A trip to Roosevelt Raceway when I was 17.

Ironically, I never took one bit of interest in harness racing even though that was my very first live exposure to horse racing.

But it definitely got the ball rolling.
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Old 05-26-2020, 03:52 PM   #60
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Before the days of OTB and simulcast racing, I bought my first copy of Winner Guide Magazine ($0.50) from the corner newsstand on 4th Avenue and E.23rd street in Manhattan. I was 15 years old at that time and ask the proprietor if he knew where I could place a bet. He directed me to a building in the fur district on W.26th street off of 7th Avenue and said to ask the elevator operator for the 13th floor. When I got into the elevator, I noticed that there was no 13th floor on the panel but there was a 12A which was constantly lit on the elevator panel and was taken there by the operator when I asked for the 13th floor,
When the elevator door opened my door to horse racing opened when I saw the odds sheets for all the tracks pasted on the walls and a small counter where you could place your bets. The whole operation was no bigger then a small utility room which it was before it was transformed to a bookie joint.
Needless to say, I bet my first horse from Winner Guide which paid $20.00+.
I was a believer and was hooked from that time 65 years ago untill the present. The first track I ever visited was the old Jamaica race track.
Parts

Is there a copy of Winners Guide magazine that you have that you scan the pages? No worries if you don't just sounds like a cool thing to have back then in your days!
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