Winning Ponies

On the show we will talk about the Sport of Kings. We will delve into the different features of the website. John Engelhardt will talk about the issues of the day that affect horse racing, such as synthetic surfaces, medication rule changes, the fate of the industry as a whole, VLTs and Casinos, and human interest stories of triumph and defeat. You will also hear our spot play of the week, where John will handicap the feature races for the upcoming weekend, and will give out his best plays. We will keep you abreast racing’s big events. Featured on the show will be guests (trainers, jockeys, jockey’s agents, owners, and celebrity handicappers). Promotional giveaways will be featured, such as brand merchandise and free WinningCredits.

  • 55 minutes 55 seconds
    WP Welcomes Back Awards Winning Writers Jay Privman & Tom LaMarra
    Jay Privman joined Daily Racing Form in 1998, covering the Southern California circuit plus such national events as the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup. After establishing himself as one of the sport’s leading writers, his association with racing will change dramatically as Jay recently announced his retirement with DRF. Normally during Breeders’ Cup season, we would seek him out for a guest appearance in between deadlines or television rehearsals. This year we had to wait until the Padres/Phillies game was over as he was taking in “America’s Pastime” rather than the “Sport of Kings.” We’ll let Jay take us down memory lane, lined with outstanding horses, races and horsemen he got to cover over his decades. Jay is the author of Breeders' Cup: Thoroughbred Racing's Championship Day and a contributor to Champions, and is a six-time winner of the Red Smith Award for best Kentucky Derby story, among numerous other writing honors. Tom LaMarra, a native of New Jersey, has been a racing fan since the mid 1970s. He graduated from Rutgers University, got a job as a newspaper reporter, and eventually landed at Daily Racing Form. He and his wife, Karen, moved to Lexington, Ky. in 1994, and have been there since. Mr. LaMarra had been the News Editor of The Blood-Horse magazine for more than 10 years. He is an award-winning writer and is currently Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association Director of Communications and Backstretch Services. As we parse the possibilities for the Breeders' Cup, the graded-stakes calendar, Keeneland and the Belmont at Aqueduct meet offer a handful of graded stakes this weekend. Front and center this week is Laurel Park as they host the Maryland Million Classic, the second biggest race in the state. This day is filled to the brim with full fields competing in 12 races, eight of them stakes, starting at 11:30 a.m. – an opportune day to cash in a Big ‘Un with your E-Z Win Forms! Tom will select his favorite races of the day and join John to analyze each on the show.
    20 October 2022, 7:00 am
  • 56 minutes 22 seconds
    WP Welcomes Announcer Nick Tammaro and Handicapper Vance Hanson
    Our first guest is Nick Tammaro, who is announcer and morning-line odds maker at Sam Houston Race Park. This season he has added the morning line at Keeneland. Tammaro is very familiar with Keeneland racing, having won a handicapping contest there and placing in its Grade 1 Gamble. In addition to making the line at Sam Houston, Tammaro consulted with BetMakers on setting its fixed odds for Thoroughbred racing in New Jersey. There may be no greater challenge in setting odds than the boutique meets at the historic Lexington track. Overflow fields come from every region of the world to compete for the rich purses in various divisions on turf and dirt. It will be interesting to see how Tammaro approaches such a mind-boggling task. Tammaro, 38, a contributor of handicapping content at TwinSpires, replaces long-time odds-maker Mike Battaglia, who had made the line at Keeneland since 1974. Battaglia is still the morning-line maker at the Churchill Downs Inc. owned Kentucky properties of Turfway Park and Churchill Downs Racetrack. Vance Hanson has been an associate editor with and since 2008. A member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, he previously served as a handicapper with Daily Racing Form and began his career in racing as a publicity assistant at Canterbury Park. His focus has been on Keeneland of late and the Lexington, Ky. Track will feature three graded stakes races over the weekend – a rare sight during this pre-Breeders’ Cup lull at major tracks. Vance and John will look for the horses to watch – the Keeneland payoffs have been generous. On Friday we’ll see the Grade 3 Sycamore at 1 1/2 miles on turf for 3-year-olds and up. Seven runners from the Kentucky Downs Turf Cup (G2) are entered in this overflow field, including winner Red Knight, who’s 2-for-2 this year, and Arklow, who rallied to finish second in the July 31Bowling Green (G2) in his first start of the year before finishing sixth in the Turf Cup. Saturday features the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup a G1 at 1 1/8 miles over the greensward for 3-year-oldfillies. Depending on who shows up, the invited field includes McKulick, who is 5: 2-3-0 this year with wins in the Jockey Club Oaks (G3) last out and the Belmont Oaks (G1) in July. Bellabel’s second-place finish in the Del Mar Oaks (G1) was her first loss of the year after wins in the Blue Norther and San Clemente (G2). Cairo Memories is looking for her first win since back-to-back victories in the Providencia (G3) and Honeymoon (G3). On Sunday fast fillies go on the grass in the Franklin (G3), at 5 1/2 furlongs for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up. Major players include Change of Control who had finished no worse than fourth in her last nine wins before her ninth-place finish last out in the Presque Isle Masters (G2) and Twilight Gleaming, last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint winner, who has an 8: 5-3-0 career record and is coming off 2 straight wins.
    13 October 2022, 7:00 am
  • 55 minutes 13 seconds
    WP Welcomes Comm Associate Amy Owens and BloodHorse's Byron King
    The Record-Setting Keeneland Fall Meet Begins Friday with Fall Stars Weekend and laying out the schedule for us all is Amy Owens longtime veteran as Keeneland Communications Associate. Get out your calendars as Amy will layout the highlights and wagering options for Keeneland’s Fall Meet, which opens Friday for 17 days through Saturday, Oct. 29. The season precedes the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which Keeneland will host Nov. 4-5 for the third time. Get out your E-Z Win Forms because during the Fall Meet, Keeneland will offer 22 stakes worth a record $8.9 million! Big bets are not going to hurt your odds. The season opens with the three-day Fall Stars Weekend, which features 11 stakes, including nine “Win and You’re In” events, with total purses of $5.45 million. Post time for the first race each day of the Fall Meet is 1 p.m. ET. As Keeneland Communications Associate, Amy Owens assists Keeneland’s Communications Department with a variety of projects related to races and sales. Her days start early and she does an outstanding job giving us the inside scoop on all of the top connections. Owens, who hails from St. Charles, Missouri, is a graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism. She most recently worked as a freelance writer and editor, handling a variety of assignments for publications, organizations and farms in the racing industry. She has assisted in managing Keeneland’s press box since 2006 and serves as editor of the track’s race-day program wrap. Byron King is currently the Associate Editor at the Blood-Horse. He will become a very familiar face around the track as Keeneland will present its star-studded fields competing on “Fall Stars All Stars Weekend.” No sooner will he hit the “send” button on his last weekend story, will he head out the door to start on the Breeders’ Cup preview coverage – it all happens at Keeneland. Byron will join John in analyzing a few select races from an extensive menu of quality competitors.
    6 October 2022, 7:00 am
  • 55 minutes 40 seconds
    WP Welcomes Back Trainer Eric Reed and HorseTourneys' Eric Wing
    Kentucky Derby winning trainer Eric Reed will once again join the show. He’ll tell us about the challenges that Rich Strike has taken on since his triumphant Run for the Roses. “Richie” has left the comfortable confines of Reed’s Mercury Training Center and is bedded down at Churchill Downs to take his game up a notch facing older horses for the first time. Eric will talk about the progress “Richie” has taken since his return to Louisville and the deep field he will be meeting in the Grade 2 Lukas Classic on Saturday that includes the extremely talented Hot Rod Charlie and Happy Saver after their solid efforts in the Whitney. Eric Wing is not only the Communications Director for, but a man who has been known to cash in on a few tourneys himself. We’ll be putting him to the test in our handicapping segment. It looks like a great weekend for tourneys and an excellent time to go for the “Big ‘Uns using the WinningPonies E-Z Win Forms.
    29 September 2022, 7:00 am
  • 55 minutes 16 seconds
    WP Welcomes Back Writer Rich Eng & Bloodstock Guru Joe Nevills
    Richard Eng covers the Horse Racing industry. Handicapping for Dummies is one of the many handicapping books he wrote. He also is a writer for Las Vegas Review Journal and the Daily Racing Form. Rich will give us a “final edit update” on his revisions of the popular “Betting on Horse Racing for Dummies,” a must-have book he penned for teaching anyone about the basics of the racing game. Rich will join John to review the unbelievable card that Parx will present on Saturday. You'll need your E-Z Win Forms as opportunities abound. The 13-race day kicks off at 12:05 pm and features 10 stakes races! There will be five consecutive graded stakes headed up by star-studded line-ups in the afternoon’s feature races. Cyberknife and Taiba, separated by a head in the Grade 1 Haskell at Monmouth Park, head a field of 11 3-year-olds entered Monday for Saturday’s Grade 1, $1 million Pennsylvania Derby at Parx. In addition to Cyberknife and Taiba, the field includes two additional Grade 1 winners - Zandon and White Abarrio. Secret Oath, the Kentucky Oaks winner, will face eight opponents but will not have to face her recent nemesis, Nest in the Grade 1, $1million Cotillion for 3-year-old fillies. Secret Oath, trained by D. Wayne Lukas, is coming into the race off back-to-back runner-up finishes to Nest in the Coaching Club American Oaks and Alabama. The connections of Nest did not want to cut back to 1 1/16 miles and are looking at either the Grade 2 Beldame on Oct. 9 or training up to the Breeders’ Cup Distaff on Nov. 5. Joe Nevills, Bloodstock Editor of The Paulick Report, will take a well-deserved break from the seemingly endless stream of eye-catching thoroughbreds making their way to the Keeneland Sales Pavilion over the past week. With 2,180 yearlings sold so far, we’ll just ask Joe to weigh in on a few of the many million-dollar babies. Cumulatively, 2,180 yearlings have sold through the ring for $389,605,000, an increase of 14.69 percent over the same period last year when 2,125 horses sold through the ring for $339,691,500. Average price of $178,718 is up 11.80 percent from $159,855 in 2021, while the median of $100,000 is 11.11 percent above last year’s $90,000. This year’s sale has 12 sessions compared to 11 sessions in 2021, and it ain’t over yet folks. The September Sale runs through Saturday. Those who follow Joe on Facebook are often treated to his real-life adventures. One that caught our eye was his search for an aging horse called Mary Murphy, named after his grandmother. After reading about the trail her life took after racing and the outcome of his search for her, has all the elements of an upcoming feature with the Joe Nevills byline.
    22 September 2022, 7:00 am
  • 58 minutes 25 seconds
    WP Welcomes Clocker Ernie Perri and Old Friends' Michael Blowen
    The best racing on the thoroughbred calendar this weekend is north of the border at Woodbine. The 12-race action starts at 1:10 and will feature no less than four graded stakes. Talk about inside information, we will be joined by the Head Clocker, Ernie Perri. The horses going to post on Saturday have mostly been based at the Woodbine ovals where he has had the opportunity to intimately observe their morning routine. Ernie will share his observations and let us know how he settled on his morning line odds for these very contentious races. Ernie has been a horse racing enthusiast and handicapper most of his adult life. So, it was natural that he became a clocker over 15 years ago. He moved on to Head Clocker 10 years ago at Woodbine. He also has been the morning Line odds maker for over 10 years. Currently he is the official Racing Analyst for Woodbine Entertainment. We will again get a visit from one of the real, good guys in the game. After establishing the now landmark farm in Georgetown, Kentucky. Visiting the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland? Put “Old Friends” on your to-do events in Kentucky. Michael always throws a wonderful get-together open to the public the day after the BC and he will fill us in on the details. Old Friends' founder and President Michael Blowen discovered his unique bond with Thoroughbreds while working as a volunteer groom at Suffolk Downs during the 1990s, eventually buying and racing a small stable of claiming-level horses before leaving his position as Arts & Entertainment reporter and film critic for The Boston Globe to become operations director for the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. That move to Kentucky gave Michael an even greater appreciation for plight of older, displaced Thoroughbreds and led him to the idea of creating a permanent retirement home in the Bluegrass for horses who need a place to go when their working days are over.
    15 September 2022, 7:00 am
  • 55 minutes 7 seconds
    WP Welcomes Jockey Jackie Davis & Railbird Tweeter Tom Quigley
    Our first guest is Robbie Davis' daughter jockey Jackie Davis (need bio which I will write.) Our second guest Southern California Railbird Tweeter Tom Quigley will be giving us the West Coast Update.
    8 September 2022, 7:00 am
  • 55 minutes 5 seconds
    WP Welcomes Back Managing Editor of ST Publishing, Inc. Tom Law
    They say there is no such thing as a sure thing. One thing we are sure of, is that another historic meet at Saratoga, comes to a conclusion over Labor Day. And with that closing comes the shuttering of the office door at the Saratoga Special and our annual “end of the meet” interview with Tom Law. The President of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters publishes the widely read publication with two other Eclipse Award winners – the Clancy brothers Joe and Sean. Tom will share his reflections on their favorite stories they gleaned from their early morning rounds on the backstretch and winner’s circle jubilations. It was a season that may have crowned a 3-year-old champion and saw Jackie’s Warrior sadly see his named added to the chapter of Saratoga lore titled, “Graveyard of Champions.” The show’s not over yet folks! Great quality racing opportunities abound through Labor Day at the Spa and Tom will join John to go over the top selections of the remaining stakes.
    1 September 2022, 7:00 am
  • 56 minutes 16 seconds
    Travers Stakes Edition with DRF Dan Illman & Writer Brien Bouyea
    DRF’s Dan Illman will join us for Travers Day coverage. A popular Winningponies guest, Dan is one of the most widely watched handicappers on the internet through his platform. Almost daily, he matches wits with Mike Beer for interesting angles and observations of the Race of the Day. There is no doubt what the race of the day will be on Saturday as Saratoga presents the 153rd running of the Travers Stakes. Trainer Eric Reed joined us last week and wasn’t surprised that Rich Strike will be a longshot once again. The Kentucky Derby winner at odds of 80-1, Rich Strike drew post 2 and was made the 10-1 sixth choice in the field of eight entered Tuesday for Saturday’s Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers at Saratoga, a race where Epicenter, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness runner-up, was made the 7-5 favorite on David Aragona’s morning-line. “That’s fair,” Eric said of his odds. “His running style makes him hard to pick no matter what. He’s got all the speed in the world, but for whatever reason he wants to spot these horses.” Epicenter has already proven he can handle Saratoga’s main track, having taken the Grade 2 Jim Dandy here on July 30. Epicenter is still seeking his first victory in a Grade 1 stakes. Cyberknife, the lone dual Grade 1 winner in the 3-year-old division, drew the rail for the Travers. He had that same post when he won the Grade 1 Haskell, setting a stakes and track record for 1 1/8 miles. The Travers undercard includes four Grade 1's topped by the Sword Dancer and DRF’s David Grening posted this thumbnail outline of these top races. First contested in 1864, the Travers is the oldest race for 3-year-old thoroughbreds in the United States. It has been won by numerous immortals of the sport, including Man o’ War, Twenty Grand, Whirlaway, Native Dancer, Gallant Man, Buckpasser, Damascus, and Holy Bull, among others. The race’s 150th renewal will take place on Saturday, Aug. 27 at Saratoga Race Course. Brien Bouyea is the Hall of Fame and Communications Director at the National Museum of Racing and he will join the show again to put a spotlight on Saturday’s “Mid-Summer Derby,” the race that traditionally draws the best 3-year-olds in training to test their mettle again at 1 ¼ miles. Prior to joining the Museum, Bouyea spent 10 years working as a sports writer and editor at the Troy Record and The Saratogian, where he won numerous national and state writing awards. He is co-author of “The Travers: 150 Years of Saratoga’s Greatest Race,” along with Michael Veitch. “The Travers” was a finalist for the Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award. Bouyea is also the sports editor for Saratoga Living magazine, writing mostly about horse racing and Capital Region sports. He has also done work for New York Horse magazine and the Albany Times Union. He enjoys photography, is a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan, and basically lives at Saratoga Race Course from mid-July through Labor Day when he isn’t in the Museum.
    25 August 2022, 7:00 am
  • 56 minutes 2 seconds
    WP Welcomes Trainer Eric Reed and Retired Jockey Sandy Hawley
    Look who just came in town! Just after 2 p.m. on Aug. 14, the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) winner arrived at Saratoga Race Course Rich Strike , the late-running 80-1 winner of the Run for the Roses was quietly taken to his home for the next two weeks, at the barn of trainer Dale Romans. Rich Strike will be running in the $1.25 million Runhappy Travers Stakes (G1) on Aug. 27. Rich Strike started his trip to the Spa from trainer Eric Reed's Mercury Equine Center in Lexington, Ky., at 12:30 a.m. Aug. 14. He's a good shipper, said Reed, who drove separately and beat Rich Strike to Saratoga by a few hours. He sleeps right in the box stall. Eric has been gracious with his time with Winningponies, before and after the historic Kentucky Derby win, and he will join us again this week. With that Derby on his career resume, “Richie” hopes to add the “Mid-Summer Derby” to his list of accomplishments. Eric will discuss the horse’s training regimen up to this revered jewel and what his plans are for the next 9 days in bringing him up to the premier race of the summer in the U.S. Speaking of outstanding races with a long and storied history. North of the border they will hold the legendary Queen’s Plate. Moira has been tabbed as the 5-2 favorite by linemaker Ernie Perri for the 163rd running of the $1 million stake on Sunday at Woodbine. She was an easy winner of the Woodbine Oaks on July 24, got post 8 in the 11-horse field and will be ridden by Rafael Hernandez in her quest to become the 38th filly to win the 1 1/4-mile event for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds. Who better to discuss thoroughbred racing at Woodbine than the “Dean of Canadian Racing” – Sandy Hawley. He was revered as a national racing treasure there. His career started in 1966 as a 17-year-old boy, hot walking horses at a Toronto racetrack. Two years later, he became a regular rider at racetracks in Ontario. He learned how to ride under the tutelage of Duke Campbell a trainer Sandy still credits today as one of his greatest sporting influences. Hawley went on to become North America's top apprentice jockey in 1969 and then led in victories for the years 1970, 1972, 1973 and 1976. In 1970 he was the continent's leading race-winning jockey with 452 wins. In 1972 he tallied another North American title with 367 wins, and in the 1973 season, he became the first jockey to ever win 500 races in one year breaking Bill Shoemaker’s record. Sandy Hawley was inducted into the Canadian Racing Hall of Fame 1986 , the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1992, and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1998. Sandy has moved his home to Lexington, Kentucky with his wife, former rider Kaoru Tsuchiya. He is very active in supporting the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund with personal appearances throughout the country.
    18 August 2022, 7:00 am
  • 56 minutes 38 seconds
    WP Welcomes Back Joe Kristufek & Jockeys' Guild's Terry Meyocks
    Joe Kristufek is a self-proclaimed horse racing ambassador, and fan development has always been his passion. In addition to serving as the Churchill Downs paddock host, Kristufek is also the host for the Fair Grounds during the winter season. Joe will be making a rare mid-August appearance on Saturday as Churchill Downs is keeping the spirit of tradition alive by hosting the Arlington Million, a race that would have disappeared with the closing of Arlington Park. It will certainly be a rare and unique day as the virgin turf course will play host to the feature races of the day – The Grade1 $500,000 Beverly D. for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 on the greensward and the legend-making Grade 1 $1,000,000 Arlington Million for 3-year-old males at 9 furlongs on the turf. As always, both races have attracted a cast of international competition. Joe will share his thoughts on these races and any other catch his eye on this inaugural edition of the Arlington Million presented by and at Churchill Downs. Terry Meyocks is currently the National Manager of the Jockeys' Guild Inc. Saratoga is the “summer place to be for racing enthusiasts and that’s where we will find him this week. Terry will update us on current issues that the Guild is facing, including the maze of requirements HISA has invoked on the sport, particularly race riding. There is apparent nation-wide confusion as to how new rules of race riding under HISA restrictions are to be applied and enforced. We’ll see how the Guild is responding to this and a myriad of topics that effect the riders. Terry’s experience in the sport was garnered through almost every facet of the industry. In 2004 Meyocks was named Vice-President for the NTRA Racing & Industry Memberships. In December of 1996 he was named Chief Operating Officer of New York Racing Association and remained with NYRA until April of 2004. Prior to that Meyocks was hired in 1979 as Racing Secretary for Calder Race Course, then in 1991 was hired at Gulfstream Park to become Director of Racing and he stayed at both tracks until 1993. Other tracks where he served in different capacities include Oakland Park, Arlington Park, Hawthorne, Churchill Downs, Hialeah Park, Delaware and Liberty Bell.
    11 August 2022, 7:00 am
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