WP Welcomes HBPA Exec Dave Basler and Handicapper Rich Ruda
June 23, 2022
Hosted by John Engelhardt
Our good friend Jennie Rees made the following observation about our first guest on winningponies, “Dave Basler sees betting on table tennis in Asia and envisions it being replaced with horse racing in America's burgeoning sports books.” “We can fill that void a lot of times during the day so that they don't have to play table tennis from China or cricket from Australia–things that people have no idea about,” Basler, the executive director of the Ohio HBPA, said in March during a session of the National HBPA Conference at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort. “That's not just attractive to sports books, that's attractive to horsemen and racetracks for the opportunity to increase our revenue.” “Pari-mutuel wagering is not going to be in the sports books,” Basler said. “Fixed-odds wagering will be. So we need to take advantage of that ability to bring in customers and get our product in front of millions and millions of potential new fans.” Basler said fixed odds could make “an unbettable race now a bettable race.” “There's a graded-stakes race with six horses and a 3-5 shot in there,” he said. “There's a good chance the bookmaker will take the 3-5 shot out of the pool entirely and price everybody else as if that horse weren't in the race. There are a lot of things that we don't have the ability in parimutuel pools that fixed odds can offer and perhaps enhance our product.” In addition to Basler’s views on fixed odds wagering we’ll ask him about the horsemen’s reaction to the new Horsemens' Integrity and Safety Act. The National HBPA held a national zoom conference earlier this week concerning HISA and its looming registration deadline among other new rules they would expect to see in place. The Ohio Derby itself presents a great opportunity for handicappers, with no less than three horses that competed in the Kentucky Derby in the field. The cast of competitors includes jockeys Tyler Gafflione, Irad Ortiz, Jr., Brian Hernandez. Jr., Raphael Bejarano and Kendrick Caramouche plus trainers D. Wayne Lukas, Brad Cox, Ken McPeek, Joseph Saffies, Jr. and Mike Maker. The supporting races on Saturday the $250,000 Lady Jacqueline (field of10) and two Ohio-bred stakes – the $75,000 George Lewis Memorial (field of 13) and $75,000 Daniel Stearns Cleveland Gold Cup (field of 8). Saturday is the biggest day on the Ohio racing calendar as Thistledown presents the $500,000 Gr. 3 Ohio Derby, serving as the headliner for four consecutive stakes on the card. Rich Ruda will make his annual winningponies appearance. Rich is a familiar face to fans of Thistledown as he hosted the on-air handicapping show for over a decade and he is familiar to horsemen through his work in the racing office who put together a highly competitive racing program with betting angles galore (time to pull down our E-Z Win Forms)!
Thursday at 5 PM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel
On the show we will talk about the Sport of Kings. We will delve into the different features of the WinningPonies.com 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, owners, celebrity handicappers and industry insiders). Promotional giveaways will be featured, such as brand merchandise and free WinningCredits.
"Winning Ponies" is broadcast live every Thursday at 8 PM Eastern/5 PM Pacific on the VoiceAmerica Variety Channel.
You may recognize him as "Racing's Regular Guy." For ten years, John Engelhardt hosted the informative and sometimes irreverent handicapping show from his base at River Downs in Cincinnati, Ohio. He developed a passion for thoroughbred racing as a youngster at Saratoga, and has been able to make his love of the sport his life's calling.
Engelhardt, a native of Syracuse, New York is a graduate of the University of Dayton. His professional career in racing began as the track photographer at Beulah Park in 1983 and he has worked in racing ever since. John produced "The Stretch Run" for eight years, which aired on the CBS affiliate WCPO-TV in Cincinnati. For four years Engelhardt co-hosted "The Regular Guy Handicapping Show on HOMER 1530-AM in Cincinnati with former "Winning Ponies" host Ed Meyer.
John served as the President of the Turf Publicists of America in 2009 and 2010, after serving several years as the Midwest Vice-President of that organization. He is currently a consultant for Pinnacle Entertainment handling publicity, public relations, marketing, advertising and special events for River Downs. Under the "nom-de-course" of Heart of an Angel Stable, he has bred and owned thoroughbreds for 18 years.
"Racing's Regular Guy" has been exposed to racing on many levels and greets the sport with enthusiasm and well-rounded knowledge. Tune in Thursdays at 5PM PT, as he welcomes nationally recognized guests, who will help you find those "Winning Ponies.”