Listed below are the people behind the Winners Wire.
Frank “Cam” Jovine (Founder/Co-Owner/Handicapper)
Major League Baseball is my favorite sport and growing up in New York, it was the Yankees. My dad was a diehard fan and the torch was passed onto me. I consider myself a baseball historian and a fan of the sport with a knack for being objective. My favorite moment was at Yankee Stadium when Don Mattingly and Dave Winfield were competing for the American Leagues highest batting average. Donny baseball won by tenths of a point. Great day!
My other favorite sport is horse racing and mostly harness racing. I was first introduced to harness racing back in 1980 when my neighborhood friend invited me to Roosevelt Raceway. I had no idea what I was doing and my friend said “just bet on any horse Carmine Abbatiello is driving.” I made several win bets and I did hit a few winners. I was so excited and from that day on I was hooked. My greatest night was when I hit the straight triple in the 3rd and it paid $1,200 and my dad who wasn’t fond of me betting on the horses was elated when I gave him a few hundred from my winnings. My uncle Duke loves the ponies and I use to bump into him at OTB (Off Track Betting) when I couldn’t make it to the track.
I have watched and handicapped Harness and Thoroughbred racing for over 35 years and have been a spectator at many race tracks. My most memorable race was the 1983 US Pacing Championship at Roosevelt Raceway. I was born and raised in Astoria, Queens (New York) and was fortunate to see many great races at Yonkers, Belmont and at my home track, Roosevelt Raceway, which was closed down on July 15, 1988.
Frankie “FPL” Leonardo (Co-Owner/Statistician/Handicapper)
I have always been immensely interested in the sport of horse racing (harness racing in particular), growing up a few miles from Yonkers Raceway (now part of the Empire City Casino) in Westchester, NY. Only in the past couple of years however, have I started to understand the intricacies of the sport and truly appreciated what these horses and drivers do over the course of a mile. I really enjoy heading to the track several times a week (often times with my dad, fellow poster “Frankie the Fixer”), and love the opens and series that Yonkers offers.
As for other sports, growing up in New York I could not help but become a Yankees fan, and a hopeless supporter of the Jets (I have to blame my father for this one, but he also introduced me to my guilty pleasure-golf-so I can’t hold it against him all that much). I graduated from Stanford in the Bay Area and watch our basketball and football teams whenever they were playing. I’m also a bit of an NBA nut (fan of the Lakers thanks to the Shaq-Kobe pairing in ’96, but I have a soft spot for our local teams in the Knicks and Nets), and watch as much as possible (big fan of vintage pro basketball as well).
Posting on the Winners Wire has given me a chance to interact with others who love the sport, improving my knowledge and feel for the races. Additionally, I definitely feel like I now have a pretty good idea of what goes into handicapping and wagering. It certainly is an interest worth pursuing, and I encourage all readers-whether novices or seasoned veterans-to stop by the Wire message boards to chat with the wonderful group we have assembled. If you enjoy your stay, consider joining us for our various discussions and competitions.
Paul “WinHarness” Gooch (Statistician/Handicapper)
I owe my fascination with Horse Racing to my Uncle Joe. As a youngster, he would take me to The Meadows in Washington PA to watch the races and every once in a while, he would ask me for my picks and put a couple schillings on my numbers for me. I have to admit, he was GOOD at handicapping but as I got older I failed to learn his ways because I was too stupid to listen and thought I knew better. Before I realized what a “goldmine” his brain was, he passed away and all that knowledge went with him. He was GOOD.
Being a Programmer/Analyst by trade, I have a “BAD HABIT” of trying to crunch numbers hoping to find “the angle”. I would consider that my “true hobby”. I love to take any type of statistics no matter the sport (Horse Racing, Football, Fantasy Sports, Hockey, even Golf) and try to come up with a system that predicts winners. I have some success at it but I will NEVER be in the same league as most amateur handicappers but I really enjoy doing it.
My current job takes me on the road all over the country and I always try to find time to visit the “local track” no matter where I am on business. I guess my fascination with Horse Racing just attracts me to the local venue granted I have time so over the years I have visited many tracks including the “biggies” like Churchill Downs, Pimlico, and Belmont.
Thanks to Frankie “FPL” & Frank “Cam” for asking me to be a part of this fantastic Web Site and I hope all ENJOY their visit & find true value and camaraderie here are Winners Wire. Good Luck to ALL.