Born in Shreveport, Louisiana in November 1945, I grew up on a multi-use farm in south of Baton Rouge, La. My dad, a PhD Chemistry professor at Louisiana State University, enjoyed raising all kinds of animals.  At different times of my youth, Dad raised rabbits, chickens, pigs, beef cattle and bird dogs.  He loved training bird dogs and was a respected field trial judge in the 50’s.  We had one horse on the farm at that time, a three-gaited American Saddle Horse named “Star” that could “singlefoot”.  She was the first horse I ever rode and an experience with her made me a horseman.  For more about that experience, watch for “Star And The Dairy Stanchion”, a story coming to this website soon

 I was active in 4-H from fourth grade through high school graduation at Woodlawn High School of Baton Rouge, showing Hereford cattle and participating in livestock and poultry judging.  For my 15th birthday Dad bought me a Quarter Horse colt to add to my growing horse “herd”.   I was responsible for the horses and would hurry through other chores so I could work with my horses. 

 While getting my B.S. degree in Animal Science at Louisiana State University, Evangeline Downs opened in Lafayette.  I bought a field engineer’s notebook that I carried in my right back pocket everywhere I went.  Each morning when I got to the LSU student center,  I bought a Baton Rouge Morning Advocate newspaper and a cup of coffee and copied the previous night’s results into my notebook.  I didn’t know about charts and past performances, but after two years I had an extensive, albeit brief, compilation of both.  My strategy for playing Win and Show bets came from that experience and my system netted over $1500 during my last two years of undergraduate college.  I was “hooked” on handicapping and wagering.

 I married Lana Bernard the day after we both graduated from LSU in 1967 and we had three children together:  Noelle (1968), Reid B. (1970) and Brett (1974).  Lana and I separated in September of 1983 and our divorce was final on February 14th, 1985. 

Unable to get a PhD in Equine genetics because no school in the country offered such a program in 1967, I attended Oklahoma State University where I received my M.S. in Animal Science in 1970 and Ph.D. in Animal Breeding and Genetics with a minor in Statistics in 1972.  After seventeen months as Director of Beef Cattle Artificial Insemination Programs for Louisiana Animal Breeders’ Cooperative, I was hired as head of the Animal Industries Department at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana.  Ruston was one hour from Bossier City where Louisiana Downs opened one year later.  I subscribed to the Shreveport Times so that I could follow the races daily.    

 In 1981, after five years of rejected proposals, a lifelong dream became reality when La Tech’s equine program took form and students could get a B.S. degree in Animal Science while they learned to work with and train racehorses.   Tech’s program was featured on ABC Sportbeat with Howard Cosell before the 1985 Kentucky Derby and won a national award later that year.  That award-winning program was not considered an “appropriate” educational program by a new administration that assumed office a year later.  I resigned in 1988 and took my youngest son, Brett, and launched a training “career” at newly opened Remington Park with two maidens – one that had been given away in a raffle and the other an abused yearling that had been “rescued” at an ASPCA sale by his owners for $825.  I had been in formal education for 34 years altogether.  For the next eight years I had an even greater “education” experience as I trained racehorses and watched my youngest son grow and learn.    

 When Brett was ready to go “on his own” in 1996, I resigned from training and took a job as seasonal Fan Education Coordinator for Sam Houston Race Park, something I had done part time while training there in 1994-95.  (Brett is now head assistant trainer for Churchill Downs based stable of trainer Hal Wiggins.)

 As Racing Education Manager at Sam Houston Race Park I teach new fans how to get started, novices how to expand their knowledge of handicapping and experienced players about money management and wagering strategy.  I was leading handicapper for Sam Houston Race Park in every Thoroughbred meeting but one since I started doing Purple Power in the fall of 1996 and every Quarter Horse meeting except for the summer of 2001 (when for a reason known only to the “racing winds” I finished last of the four that handicap races here in Houston).  I rebounded last summer with the best meeting of my career, once again leading all handicappers in winners on top and in money won from wagering suggestions. 

 A uniqueness of my handicapping product is that I use my tip sheet to educate as well as suggest winners.   I primarily handicap and produce full tip sheets for Texas and Louisiana tracks.  I will occasionally post tip sheets for tracks such as Churchill Downs where I have contacts and/or friends running horses.   You can check out the full PURPLE FAMILY of tip sheets by clicking HERE. 

 I enjoy making time to visit my daughter, son-in-law and two granddaughters in Grand Isle, La;  my oldest son, daughter-in-law a grandson and two granddaughters in Belle Chase, La: my youngest son in Louisville. Ky and my Mom in Baton Rouge, La.   You can learn more about each of those family members in stories to be posted later this month. 

I love to write and have four books on the “planning” board.   So, there you have it. I’ll introduce you to my family as this website grows.