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Old 08-01-2021, 06:32 PM   #52
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Mick's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: Chicago in summer, New Orleans in Winter.
Posts: 56
Originally Posted by illinoisbred View Post
Things I remember as a kid going to "old" Arlington in the early 60's. Bill Hartack,would never acknowledge my "hellos" and I usually got a cold stare. Funny the things you remember from way back.
I have two stories about Bill Hartack both second hand information but from good sources.

My father told me he always got a good ride from Bill Hartack. He said that he bet a horse to WS at Arlington Park and on the turn, he could see the horse backing up and wanting to quit. He crumbled his tickets in hand but kept watching. He said that Hartack never eased up, kept encouraging the horse with hands, feet and occasional whip, and along the rail he managed to get back up for third and my father had to scramble to find his show ticket.

Just earlier this year, I was at Fair Grounds along the rail and a man who once was a jockey and I started chatting. We spoke about Cajun jockeys and how they once ruled New Orleans, though he thought it was overdone, he did mention one jockey that got tossed by those Cajun boys. I told him my story about Hartack and he related his story.

He said that Hartack was shunned by other jockeys and I asked why. He said there was a rumor that Hartack was gay, and he wasn't allowed to be around the rest of the jockeys.

I trust my fathers story implicitly and read a book where a section was devoted to Hartack. The other story had a ring of truth to it, though who knows if it is true? Not me.
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