My name is Bill Downes. I am a guy who was lucky enough to parlay his love of horse racing into a career. My day job is announcing the races at Ellis Park in Kentucky and Beulah Park in Ohio. My first race call was at Rillito Downs in Arizona, and I have also announced at least one race at Churchill Downs, Los Alamitos, Thistledown, Arapahoe Park, River Downs, Presque Isle Downs, Hoosier Park, Ferndale on the Cal Fair circuit, and Turf Paradise.
I grew up going to the races as my Dad used to take me to Arlington Park when I was a kid. He taught me a ton about pedigree handicapping and about not betting every race! I think I have been to most every major track (except Belmont Park) in the USA and a few in England (the picture of me is from Goodwood Racecourse). My favorite race of all time is the 1981 Arlington Million when John Henry beat The Bart by a nose. So its no surprise that John Henry is my all time favorite horse.
Handicapping tournaments are a passion of mine. I have qualified for the National Handicapping Championships five times. Brutal beats are a part of the tournament circuit and this blog will chronicle the bad beats as well as the occasional victory. I promise not to harp on the bad beats! Whether you have brutal beats or victories, we want to hear from you. And I want this blog to be a starting point for every tournament player out there.
[Social networking disclaimer: As an employee of Penn National Gaming and Ellis Park, please note the views expressed by me are not necessarily those of my employers.]