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Here’s A Strange Story On Day of Famed Match Race; Trainer Rose Takes Shot Naming Famed Jock And Wins

By Warren Eves

Here’s an unusual horse racing story.

It came our way from former horse trainer Bobby Rose.

Take it back to July 20, 1974 at the track of the Lakes and Flowers–famed Hollywood Park.

Here’s trainer Rose’s recollection of the events leading up to that great afternoon.  It took place several days prior at what is known as “the draw” in the Hollywood Park racing office.

“I was going to enter a horse that I was positive would win on the same day as the Chris Evert vs. Miss Musket match race,”  Rose begins.  ”I had my horse named Afrimado eligible for a cheap starter allowance race at a mile and a quarter.

George O’Bryan(nickamed Black Heart) had Pincay’s book at the time.  I knew him from when I was with Woody Stephens and George had Manuel Ycaza’s book.  He says he’ll ride him(Rose’s horse Afrimado) unless it’s the race just prior to the match race.  In that case he said he had to pass.  George didn’t want the jock to ride a distance race just before the ‘big one!’.

“Soooooo, they call my race.  It winds up scheduled as the race before the big one.  So George(O’Bryan) says “take him(Pincay) off as they call Laffit’s name on Afrimado.  That was back in the day’s before cell phones.  So I walk over to the pay phone in the racing office and pretend I’m talking to someone.  I turn back around and say: ‘Put Jorge Velasquez on my horse.’  The steward at the draw asks me if I’d spoken to Jorge and gotten his permission to name him on.  I said ‘yes, I just spoke to him and he wants to ride my horse.’

Now comes the sternest warning possible, they’re telling me if he takes off my horse they were going to have me executed, or so it seemed.’

“Oh, I forgot to mention the fact Velasquez was coming out to ride Chris Evert.  So, now I’m shittin’ bricks until Jorge shows up in the paddock.  I tell him welcome to Hollywood Park, and just go out for a pleasure ride ’cause this horse will just gallop in here.  He does just that and before he leaves the winner’s circle I tell him thanks for not being like one of these California pussies.  He thanked me and said he was thrilled to have an earlier mount as it would settle his nerves before ‘game time.’

“One half hour later Chris Everet won by a city block over Miss Musket(who just didn’t fire), but they ran 2 3/5ths seconds slower than my $8K starter horse. ”   The winning margin was 50.

Notes scribbled across my official program–Watched the replay of the Smarty Jones a few more times and concluded Always in a Tiz, trying two turns for the first time, was probably the best colt when all was said and done.  He was coming off a second to Vjack in the Aqueduct slop and really got a great ground saving trip.  He was just behind a wall of horses going into the first turn at Oaklawn.  When they came out of the turn to make their way down the backside Always in a Tiz had saved every inch of ground while eventual winner Will Take Charge had lost a lot of real estate.  On the far turn Paco Lopez had to wait while locked in behind the leaders.  Third to the top the two leaders got away from him.  But in the final yards Always in a Tiz surged late and was catching both Will Take Charge and Texas Bling. After the wire?  Always in a Tiz galloped out clear of the field………………Dominick Schettino trains Always in a Tiz who is a son of Tiznow who was purchased for $175,000 and won his debut at Saratoga.  He could continue to move forward……………..The final fraction in the one-mile Smarty Jones was 13.24, but that might even be misleading because the track had been pounded by bad weather in the opening weeks………………………….Jerry Lambert is still training Arabians. I’m told the former pilot of Native Diver is up in the Solvang, California area……………………Charlie Rose, the oldest brother of trainer Bobby Rose, galloped horses up until he was 65 years of age.  Charlie galloped the famed Alydar…………………………….How soon we forget the true greats in horse racing.  This is the sort of thing that saddens me.  How often do you hear the name William “Willie” Molter mentioned anymore?  He’s a true Hall of Famer.  All this man did was train the likes of Bobby Brocato(1956), Determine ‘58 Horse of The Year, and Round Table who retired at the end of ‘59 having earned a then record $1,749,869.  Molter died April 2, 1960 having won 2,158 races………………..Chris Evert, the horse, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988 the same year Chris Evert won heer final tournament as pro.  As a broodmare Chris Evert produced two stakes winners, Six Crowns and Wimbledon Star……………..You might want to follow how lady trainer Michelle Nevin does in the coming months.  She used to assist trainer Richard Dutrow………………..Jockey Ron Hansen disappeared on Oct., 2, 1993.  ”His is a story of alleged race-fixing, oddball characters, thousands of victories and the hard-living jockey who wanted it all,” wrote Elliott Almond, Nov, 10, 2003 in the Mercury News.  ”Car crash, then disappearance.  The San Mateo Bridge is an arcing ribbon of asphalt that is a lifeline to thousands of Bay Area commuters.  Hansen, who lived in Alameda, regularly drove the highway when working at Bay Meadows in San Mateo.  He often drove at warp speed, particularly in the arly morning hours after downing a few at the track’s local haunts.  His last day proved no different.

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About The Author

Warren Eves
Warren Eves is a senior turf writer from the state of California who calls Pearl River, Louisiana his home. The one time editor of the Pasadena Independent Star News moved on to handle publicity for racetracks coast to coast. Eves gained his first exposure to the racetrack through a school buddy the late Art Lerille, Jr., who eventually became a trainer in California. Warren worked as farm manager for crack two-year-old trainer Ray Priddy, before holding on track jobs at the racetrack. He worked for Hall of Fame trainer M.E. "Buster" Millerick, Allen Drumheller, Jr., and Dick Moon. Eves has a well rounded background in all breeds. He developed Quarter Horse Report in 1979 with Ed Burgart, track announcer, at Los Alamitos Race Course. It was an innovative publication which revolutionized the industry with actual descriptions of the workouts. While handling publicity at Saratoga Raceway in upstate New York Eves was named employee of the year in 1970. He also handled publicity for Sunland Park, Centennial Park, Ascot Park, Thistledown, and two harness meetings in California. Eves then went into the 900-line business with his best plays and has compiled his own Kentucky Derby ratings for many years. In 1997 he began going back and forth to Las Vegas teaming up with Ralph Siraco to create the long runining radio show Raceday Las Vegas. Eves has produced and directed many horse racing shows on both radio and television. In 2010 he got a call from Mark Geiger. That's when he began writing www.pricehorsecentral.com. Eves, with a reputation of a trip handicapper, is known for his video tape scrutiny. He currently monitors horse racing in for a major horseplayer. While writing for Ridder Publication at the Pasadena Star News his investigative reporting was highly regarded by his peers. Often on the cutting edge, Eves has been given the green light to write about what issues he sees fit to cover. Have a question. His book "Hold All Tickets" is soon to be made available for those who come to this site. It's a factual account of actual events and happenings that took place in the 70s, 80s and 90s. If Warren doesn't know the answer to a question you may have, he'll tell you up front. Eves won't drop it there, however, he'll find someone who knows the answer and get back to you.

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