The Horse Players’ Christmas night

by Art Parker

Twas the night before Anita opened, out on the coast,
The track with the Big ‘Cap and handle the most.

The day has been filled with food and much drink,
With many gifts given, my bankroll doth shrink.

Perhaps dollars I can find, and if only a few,
Tomorrow I can slip to Anita, for the old Malibu.

And if I can manage to cash and to cheer,
I’ll be well on my way, to another fun year.

Where at the place I love, with all my heart,
Even though my money, from me, often does part.

The track, the track, I love it so much,
I can’t stay away, I must keep in touch.

Live racing, oh yes, and simulcast too,
Without them I moan and always feel blue.

Past performances for years I have read,
To find a winner even if by a head.

But most all, it is for the loads of fun,
Which always grows fast, with a big 20-1.

And when the track closes, then all I will say,
I hope to come back, to the track…just one more day.

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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