Join Ernie Lillycrop in the movement from slots fan to horse racing fan.
It started about five years ago.
Ernie Lillycrop was eighty years old and he and his daughter, Kim, would make the trek into the Flamboro slots parlor once a week.
“Then one day Dad says, why don’t we take our $20.00 and bet on the horse races instead,” reminisces Kim.
They have never looked back.
“Now Dad gets the programs for the races at Flamboro and Mohawk as soon as they come off the presses,” she says. “He studies them all week to pick out the best bets. We even go to all the qualifiers to see the new horses coming to the track.”
Ernie can’t see why folks would mindlessly play the slots, having no control of their success. He believes they would have a better chance of winning if they use their minds to study the past performances, track conditions, and drivers and trainers statistics to make an educated wager.
Kim is convinced it has been the horses that have kept her Dad going these past five years and it will be the horses that will keep him going for many more years.
Ernie’s enthusiasm for the sport soon passed down to Kim. She decided to sign up for the adult driving camp held at Grand River Raceway.
“The thrill of driving a horse was amazing. I can now harness a horse in less than an hour. Do you think I could get hired to paddock at the races?” she laughs.
Kim has also plunged into the horse ownership world by joining the SBOA ownership mentoring group. She is now part owner of, Bad Boy Matt, 3g p ($28,445).
In the fall of 2011 ten new owners, including Kim, put up $4,500 to become the Dream Team Stable. The SBOA chipped in $15,000 to bring their combined bank roll to $60,000. A mentor, Brian Webster, and a trainer, Tony O’Sullivan, were recruited by the SBOA. Brian and Tony put their heads together and scoured the yearling sale catalogues to find the perfect yearling for the group.
On September 10, 2011 Bad Boy Matt a (Badlands Hanover-Mattercycle-Matts Scooter) gelding was purchased for $22,000 at the Canadian Yearling Sale.
“It has been a wonderful experience,” says Kim. “The owners in the Dream Team Stable go out once a month to the Classy Lane Training Centre to watch Bad Boy Matt train. Brian has been great at keeping us all updated on the progress of the colt.”
“But the biggest thrill has been watching him race. He hasn’t missed a cheque in seventeen starts. I think most of us owners were in the winner’s circle getting our pictures taken March 31, 2013 when he won his first race in Flamboro in 1.57.1.” Kim smiles.
Kim feels the whole experience of horse racing has been terrific. “I think about all those people in the slot advertisements, who get all dressed up to go and play the slots,” Kim laughs. “Imagine putting on that fancy dress just to sit in front of a machine all night.”
So let’s pack up those fancy dresses, put on our jeans and join the movement Ernie and Kim have started from the slots to the horse races.
“Bet You’ll Love It”