Awhile back in USA Today, horseplayer MIke Maloney said there are "about 10,000 factors" that go into handicapping a horse race. I think we all agree that's about right. Analyzing these factors, beating a crazy rake, losing photos, losing streaks and the general hard work that goes into it can take a toll. One of the people - Barry Meadow - who lived and breathed that type of existence for 23 years has called it quits.
Via an email, posted at Pace:
I am retiring effective immediately.
Partly I am retiring for health reasons, to withdraw from the daily stresses of long hours, deadline pressures, and millimeter $8,000 photos. These pressures, I reluctantly admit, have taken some toll on my body. My doctors tell me that I’ll be better off not to be spending late nights reviewing the final turn of a Hollywood Park turf race
several times to see exactly who was wide (and how wide), or agonizing over whether a horse should be a 14 or a 15, or pounding my desk when I’ve just lost a photo at Santa Anita.
Barry is pretty much an icon in horseplayer circles. Many horseplayers on chat boards, on TV giving out picks, or writing how to handicap, have never been able to do what Barry did. That is, make a living at betting horse racing. It probably is the most singular toughest pursuit to excel at in the skill game gambling genre, and very few in this world can do it. Barry was one of the best.
Everyone deserves a retirement, whether you work for years at a mine, or a mill, behind a desk, or betting the fifth at Santa Anita. I wish Barry well.