'Winning Ponies' welcomes trainer Mike Nance and handicapper Dan Moore

July 7, 2011
Hosted by John Engelhardt

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Episode Description

Midwest trainer Mike Nance “blames” his family for his successful 25-year career in horse racing. But it wasn’t because they bought him a pony. One of the favorite weekend destinations of the Nance family was an afternoon at Ellis Park Racetrack, so the seed was firmly planted in young Michael. By the ripe age of five, the Evansville, Ind. native was fairly adept at interpreting the racing form. The racetrack was his heaven, and he loved every minute of it. When he was 8-years old, Nance was hopping on city buses by himself to catch Ellis’ weekend cards. Instead of “playing baseball as I told my Mom,” he was armed with a pocket full of money earned from doing odd jobs and ready for a run to the track. “Of course I couldn’t bet (legally),” recalls Nance. But I hung around with these old guys who’d place bets for me. I’d have five dollars, and if I didn’t win, I was out for the day.” He won more often than not, and the races, the horses, and the excitement were in his blood. Horse racing remained a constant interest, but it was in his sophomore year of high school that Busler’s Training Center in Evansville placed an ad for summer maintenance staff. “I saw there were horses involved,” recalls Nance “and I applied immediately and got the job.” After a month of mowing lawns and anything else required, he asked owner, Randall Busler if he could work with the horses. Busler saw the young man’s passion, and placed him under the wing of resident trainer Jim Tulley. Much to Mike’s delight he was promoted to cleaning stalls and within a couple of weeks, was given a horse named Great Republic to hot-walk. A year later, this horse would turn out to be his first to gallop. In the interim, Tulley sent Nance on a race day trip to Ellis Park as a groom with Not’s Mistake. From then on, the die was cast. Busler’s proved to be the equivalent of a high school education for Nance. “My books are still in the locker!” he states, as if that’s impeded his career.

Winning Ponies

Winning Ponies

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, jockey’s agents, owners, and celebrity handicappers). 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.

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John Engelhardt

John Engelhardt

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.”

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