A Dark Day For Racing
The Needle & the Damage Done
Definition of a Handy Workout
Definition of a Breezing Workout
Rolling With the Wiseguys
Mucho Trabajo, Poco Dinero
The Day the Music Died Biography
One summer at Saratoga, while cleaning up the press box five days before the race meeting began, I was chatting with the lone DRF clocker. He annually volunteered to leave Frenchy's downstate Belmont clocking crew to be the (first and only) clocker at Saratoga until the rest of the clocking crew trickled in.
A California trainer, who had also arrived early at the Spa, worked an older horse six furlongs against the stable’s highly regarded two-year-old maiden. We knew this because the trainer had announced it by yelling up from a saddled pony on the finish line below the press box. The clocker was excited by the texture of the workout, for he told me before the two horse team drill that there is no more a certain bet that evolves from the clocker's stand than when a two-year-old maiden shows speed while handling an older claiming horse over a distance of ground. And that is exactly what happened at this morning engagement. The eager two-year-old separated quickly from the older claiming horse and rolled to the wire.
The New York based clocker was bouncing his stopwatch in his hand (which read 112 flat for the two-year-old maiden), and was in dire need of the names of the two horses. The whole stable had just shipped in three days ago from California.
So he yelled down to the trainer, "what was the name of the two-year-old?"
The trainer yelled back, "what time did you get him in?"
The clocker replied, "116-3 for the two-year-old maiden and 112 flat for the older claimer."
A racetrack deal was struck right then!
The trainer said that the two-year-old would work from the starting gate in seven days, and he would give him the name then. The clocker then yelled down, "I'll take care of the gate work too."
You can yell things like that at a race meeting before it opens.