VIP 2016 Archive

June 2016: White Night at Downs After Dark

Welcome to our new BetAmerica VIP page!  This will be a great spot to get a feel for what is happening exclusively for our VIPs.  We will talk about the hospitality events as well as any promotions we are doing on the calendar.  For June we have an Exacta Race.  Clubhouse members will do battle and Turf Club and Winners Circle members will be showing down (and showing off!)  Thanks to amazing employees doing work behind the scenes, we will be able to have an updated leaderboard every Monday so make sure to check for your user name.

Since I only recently joined the BetAmerica team this will be my first event that I will be hosting and we are going to be heading to Churchill Downs.  We are very lucky because the stars have aligned for this event.  It is Downs After Dark, which lens the greatest modern atmosphere to the historic track.  There is a great theme- the White Party- so we can all dress to impress and the card will be SPECTACULAR!  The Stephen Foster is one of my favorite races every year and it anchors a full card that has 5 graded stakes.  There are going to be some marquee names and we will get to watch all the action from a private Jockey Club suite.  Judging from the photos of last years event we will have a blast!

I am very excited for the VIPs that will get to join us.  There are several trips this year so be on the lookout for those invites!

Good luck to everyone in the Exacta Race and as usual if you need anything please feel free to drop me a line at


July 2016: White Night Left Us Tickled Pink

VIP Hospitality trip #1 is in the books!  And it was amazing!  22 of us embarked on historic Churchill Downs.  We arrived and were shown to our suite which was blessedly  air conditioned with a private balcony that had an unparalled view of the Big Screen.  The atmosphere was light and casual and you could hear music from the DJ below.  Our private bartender got right to work pouring and we got right to work handicapping!  I was very happy to see our VIPs and guests were comingling nicely as everyone took off to explore the Jockey Club suites, the paddock and the buffet.  Oh and WISE DAN was there!!!

A few good scores later and everyone entered the Bet or No Bet contest that Churchill was offering for a $1000 free roll.  At 7:30, my phone rang.  It was Churchill.  I had won!!!!  Since this was a group outing, I decided to let everyone vote on the pick for our race (which was the Stephen Foster) and we would split the winnings.  Of course there was an odds on favorite in Effinex so that was the first hurdle to overcome.  Our group watched 3 others choose favorites that went down in flames.  As we prepared to head to the paddock for the Foster, our tally stood at 5-Effinex, 5- Majestic Harbor, 5- Are You Kidding Me 4- Eagle, 1 for Bradester and a few abstains.  Armed with the knowledge that Effinex is not an easy ride and noticing that his new pilots wife had not made the trip to Kentucky I cast my final vote for Majestic Harbor.

Down in the paddock, we got the relish the scene as the connections for the Grade 1 milled around.  As a group we again assessed the field and I swayed slightly to Merv who had been trying to push Bradester all night (come on guys!  Power rating horse!  Lone speed!  Loves the track!) but stuck with Majestic Harbor.  We soaked up the sights and sounds of being on hallowed grounds and then we made it on to TV!  Our pick out there for the world, we headed to the Winners Circle.

Of course you know how this story ends.  Bradester wins, we finish third and $1000 goes up in smoke.  At least we didn't back the favorite and at the top of the stretch everyone was screaming.  Even Merv who had gone ahead and bet Bradester.  We walk back through the tunnel that has unleashed Derby winners and Triple Crown contenders, back to the coolness of our suite to finish out the races.

After the last we piled into our 40 foot limo that had a dance floor and thought about the night.  We had an unreal experience that could have only been better if we had walked away with $9000.  But its what we love about the game.  The chance.  The chase.  The fun.  I thank everyone that was able to make it out for being a part of it.

Our next event we head north to Saratoga.  Where summer means horses and an entire town stops for the races.

Good luck to everyone in the Exacta Race and as usual if you need anything please feel free to drop me a line at
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August 2016: VIP Trips to Summer Hot Spots

July was a whirlwind with not one but 2 VIP trips, one on each coast!!!   16 of us descended on Saratoga Springs for opening weekend and what a trip that was!!!  Mother Nature played nice with us as the temps were under 100 as was the humidity.  An open air trolley picked us up at the hotel and we were on our way!!!  The trolley was a fun way to roll into the races as it was chock full of Spa revelers and there is nothing that makes you smile more than a group of fans heading to the races.

Once at the Spa, we made our way to the At the Rail Pavilion and I think we were all thrilled with what we had in store.  The pavilion was a large white tent with chandeliers hanging, an entire wall of windows as well as a private outdoor sitting area that was railside just past the wire.  The horse path bordered the tent so our view was unobstructed and simply stellar.

Mimosas in hand, our VIPs indulged in a buffet and an 11 race program highlighted by the Grade 1 Diana and the Grade 3 Sanford.  Unfortunately our group pick 4 was unsuccessful but we had fun rooting anyways and several of our players would leave with cash in their pockets!  We took some time to walk the grounds, inspect the starting gate, picked up some souvenirs, got to meet Johnny V, Steve Bass (agent for Julien Leparoux) stopped by as did Wesley Ward’s assistant as he was schooling Songbird.  And yes we got to check her out too!

After the races, we hailed a cab to head to Longfellows for dinner.  Dinner was delicious as everyone shared stories and we learned that Paul LoDuca is a 4 time major league all-star! (inside joke, yes we already knew)  Thanks to our BetAmerica app we were able to cheer on Wiggle It Jiggle It who was running (not running….) at Saratoga Raceway as well as watch Chrome and Dortmund throw down.  I can’t say the other diners appreciated our enthusiasm but it worked for us.  A wild cab ride home led us to bed.

Walking out the gates of Saratoga, someone said “You know it was a great day when you don’t win anything but you leave smiling and happy”.  That my friends, is what a day at the Spa does and I was happy to get to take some of our players to enjoy a day like that!

A week later a compact group of us attended the races on a balmy summer day at Del Mar.  Our Luxury Suite had a birds eye view of the track as we were situated just past the finish line.  In cool California style, everyone arrived and settled in to snacks and lunch.  In addition to the great live racing we were also playing at Saratoga and the California Fairs!  The next suite over must have thought we were all a little crazy to be screaming on mules!

Of course the highlight of the card was Beholder and our group was split about how good she was and what the outcome would be.  After the race we all turned analyst dissecting the rides and the trips as well the post race attitude of the 2 gutty fillies.

We didn't let Beholder's defeat dampen our spirits as we trooped down to the paddock railing for the last race to take in some of the atmosphere.  It was a pleasant Saturday with a good crowd but not so busy you couldn't walk around.  After the finale we made the short journey across the street to Red Tractons where we indulged and imbibed until we were all exhausted (about was a long day).  Special thanks to Mike Smith for dropping by to say hello!

BetAmerica's first VIP trip to Del Mar was in the books and was a success!  Next month we head to the Windy City for some of the best grass racing in the country: Arlington Million!



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September 2016: Arlington Event “Flo”s with International Flair

The Arlington Park VIP Event has traditionally been one of our most popular VIP outings and this year was no exception.  Most of us arrived at the Renaissance Hotel on Friday and were able to take in some of the great atmosphere.  There was a fabulous Indian wedding going on complete with a groom on horseback and those who chose to spend the evening at the bar were rubbing elbows with the owner of Mondaliste, trainer Charlie Appleby and others of racing acclaim.

We arrived at Arlington bright and early Saturday and claimed our window side tables and started handicapping.  We had some harness fans with us so we also had a quick lesson of “how to read pps”.  One guest thought the percentage of Florent Geroux at Arlington was sensational and thought he would be a smart bet all day.  Being the expert that I am (LARGE EYE ROLL here) I told him that generally a jock can’t win 4 or 5 races a day so be sure to shop around.  Fast forward to Flo winning the St Leger and we went to construct a pick 4.  Jamie said we had to use Flo in every race.  I reminded him again that winning 4 in a row would be nearly impossible and that I would give him $1000 if that happened.  Needless to say I was sweating bullets and hoping that Jamie knew I was joking when Geroux piloted in the winner of both the Secretariat and the Beverly D to add to his St. Leger tally.  Having used World Approval as my top pick in the Million I now resorted to rooting for my longshot play Kasaqui.    Thankfully, the Frenchman was not able to pull off 4 in a ROW so I was safe and Jamie crushed him in the nightcap and was put up by DQ so he was happy there.

Meanwhile, we enjoyed fine fair from Arlington’s culinary department as well as fantastic service from our server Cathy.  And as you can tell from the cup count we definitely kept her hopping!!!

Outside, the day was warm and very muggy on the tails of the massive storm that had moved in Friday night so we were all thrilled with our seats.  The International Room has stunning floor to ceiling windows with an expansive view of the track and we were situated right at the finish line.  Although not close to the action our vantage point was very good.

After racing was done, the last photo was sweated out and tickets were cashed, our group headed back to our chauffeured ride and back to the hotel for dinner.  We had a fantastic meal at the steak house in the hotel complete with champagne and lobster (bisque) to celebrate the day.

I can’t believe our summer is almost over and this year’s trips are winding down.  Little Brown Jugg is on tap next  and then Breeders Cup.

Until next month, BetAmericans!

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October 2016: Little Brown Jug VIPs Were Rolling in Green!

The VIP hospitality tour rolled on with a fantastic visit to the Delaware County Fair in Ohio and a day at the Little Brown Jugg! The weather was perfect, the view was great and the company was unforgettable! You never know who you will meet at the fair and Merv had so much pull he got Lincoln to swing by! Sadly though, he declined to run for re-election. One of our VIPS, Adam, entered the Jugg Handicapping contest sweeping the event from his phone seated in the Luxury Pavilion for a tidy sum of $750. Another VIP, Ed, hit the Mid Card Pick 4 which paid $626 and he had it several times so he had a good day as well. After a long day of handicapping which included 2 cards, popcorn and some English racing, the VIPS enjoyed a nice dinner at J.Alexanders before calling it a day. Thank you to the VIPs that attended this event!!

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November 2016: Breeders' Cup!

Where to begin about the amazing whirlwind of Breeders’ Cup???  Some of our VIPs came in Wednesday to get an extra day of racing in so we headed to the track on Thursday.  Thanks to some wonderful hospitality we had quite the day!  First off we were able to visit the Eddie Logan Suite .  It has arguably the best view at Santa Anita situated just after the wire about 5 feet above the track.  Glass railings mean you see all the action!  After snacks and some drinks we made our way to the Winner’s Circle where we climbed in a van for a special treat.  A short van ride took us to the top of the Hillside Turf Course!  Despite my having worked at Santa Anita for several years I have never actually been to the top of the turf so I was excited as my VIPs!!!

The view from there is spectacular and I can’t believe how steep the drop actually is!!!  It gives you a whole different perspective on the hill races.  My VIPs got to have their pictures taken in the starting gate before we bid adieu to the accommodating gate crew.

Next on the list was a barn tour! Since no one wanted to get up early for works this was the next best thing.  We peeked in on Tepin who was snoozing, said hi to I’m a Chatterbox and then traipsed across the backside to find California Chrome.  He was in the midst of some chiropractic work from the best guy on the backside Dr Dan but we waited around and after he was done we got to have some photos taken with him.  Not too close as all the horses are under tight security for Breeders’ Cup but pretty awesome nonetheless.

We also swung by the barn my husband works for where the VIPs got up close and personal with a few racehorses; having photos, feeding carrots and learning all about the runnings of a barn.

We returned to the Eddie Logan Suite for some lunch and finished out a great day of racing!

Friday we had boxes in the Grandstand for the days events and we were there plenty early.  The crowd was perfect, the view unobstructed and the company bar none!  We had several VIPs who had never been on a trip and everyone spent a good part of the day getting to know eachother.  We pooled our funds for the Pick 4 but were knocked out by Tamarkuz (2 member liked him, the rest did not).  Some of us went shopping in the numerous tents that were on the frontside and everyone toured the historic grounds.  Champagne was flowing like water and we were having the time of our lives!  Since we were in the “cheap” seats for the day we had no waiter service so Merv and myself did an excellent job of shuttling very large beers through throngs of racing fans and served a delicious lunch of chicken tenders and fries!

As we got closer and closer to the “mane” event (get it?) the excitement level only heightened.  Where before the crowd had been milling about all of a sudden everyone was in a seat or near a seat waiting for the Distaff.  In case you didn’t watch for some reason, the Distaff was everything we hoped it would be!  Songbird and Beholder duked it out down the lane with the older mare winning by the slimmest of nostrils.  Our group was screaming and jumping up and downs and whooping each other on the back.  At the point where they  hit the wire no one even cared who won.

As the fillies galloped back there was a roar when Beholder’s number was put up.  Everyone instantly started chattering and several VIPs commented that it was the most exciting race they have ever gotten to see in person.

As Songbird walked up the track, sweaty and untacked in her first defeat, the crowd gave her a standing ovation that gives me chills even now as I write about it.  She lost nothing in defeat in the eyes of race fans.  I have been around for a few of those.  Zenyatta leaving after being bested by Blame, Chrome when he was beat by Shared Belief….its always an incredible moment and I;m happy BetAmerica VIPs were able to be a part of it.

After racing we decided to head back to the backside to spend some time and let traffic die down.  On the way we caught up with Dale Romans and Todd PLetcher who were kind enough to stop for a chat and a photo.  We also went to Kiaran Mclaughlin’s barn and posed with the Tamarkuz blanket of flowers that cost us the pick 4.  After a but we headed out to dinner and then retired to handicap for Satuday!

For Saturday we upped the ante and had tickets to the Chandelier Room.  Merv and I arrived early to commandeer a choice spot in the sports book with bigscreens, a couch and a phone charger!  Our group was very well turned out and looking forward to an amazing day.  This day there was a lot more handicapping as the races were just ripe for the playing.  Since there was a carryover we all put in to a Pick 6 syndicate and everyone drew a race to pick horses.  I’ll skip ahead and say that we did not have Tourist (despite my objection.  See what I get for tossing Tamarkuz?!) but we did go 5/6 so took home the consolation 3 times for a tidy profit.

One VIP caught a glimpse of Laffit Pincay Jr and expressed that he was his idol.  Laffit was kind enough to take some time and surprise our group and we all got to take photos with him and ask personal questions like “do you still work out?” (He does)

The temperature was sizzling outside so we were all very happy to be in the lovely cool of the Chandelier Room although we did take tours of the Enclosure as well as the rail.  Even though it was a very long day we were so amped up about the pick 6 and the quality of the races it seemed to fly by.  Finally it was time for the Classic and the group split ways to watch from different vantage points.

A few VIPs we walked right down to the track and watched from the Winner’s Circle.  Some were in the View and peered at the races from ground level.  Some stayed in our seats and a few watched from the balcony of the 5th floor room.

Again, we were not disappointed by the race.  It was what we hoped for whether or not you liked the outcome.  As the races came to an end the Chandelier Room became a catch all for the connections and we rubbed elbows with Emma Spencer, Julien Leparoux, Florent Geroux, Oli Bell, Peter Eurton and Caton Bredar.  Finally it was time to call it a day.

It was sad to leave such a weekend.  It will be remembered as one of my most favorite racing experiences ever and while we all had to leave we parted as friends.

Thank you so much to our VIPs who made this trip a success!!!  This was our final hospitality event of 2016 and I am looking forward to a great lineup for 2017!!!  Remember to keep up on the emails and here so you know what trips are coming if there is one you would like to attend!!!


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December 2016: Happy Holidays!

December has come much too quickly!  I can’t believe that it was 8 months ago that BetAmerica welcomed me aboard.  I have been so fortunate to join a wonderful company with such fantastic players!  I have enjoyed getting to know many of you and I hope to touch base with a lot more next year!

But before we jump into 2017 I just want to take the chance to say Happiest of Holidays to all our players and especially my VIPs!  We have made some fantastic memories this year and I look forward to adding more.

May your wagers be lucky and prosperous!