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Bobby Adair Worthy of Quarter Horse Iconic Status: Scott Wells Recants Fond Memories of Great Jockey

By Warren Eves

Los Alamitos will always be a staple for quarter horse racing.

Bobby Adair, who died recently, will always be an iconic memory to that sport.

“He was a great horseman,” says Scott Wells.  ”A great team roper, and a honky tonk legend, too, just a great guy to be around.”

Wells got a large dose of greatness early on in his career.  Long before he became president of Remington Park and Lone Star Park he was assistant trainer for D. Wayne Lukas and Jack Van Berg.  I think we can deduce Scott should know a little about horse racing, and the fame that some achieve.

“I think I was about 14 or 15 when I first met Bobby,” says Wells.  ”He rode most of Wayne’s horses that first year we came to California.  He had already won two consecutive races on Native Empress but took off her to ride Kaweah Bar one night. That really aggravated Wayne, but we had to understand Bobby’s commitment.

“We got Nicodemus to ride her and just before the race, when she was 7-2, Wayne said we ought to take a picture of the tote board as a souvenir that she was that highly regarded in such a tough field.  She broke like a bullet and won by 2-1/2 lengths over Kaweah Bar, Rocket Wrangler, Come Six, Plunder Bay–and a couple more.”

Talk about great memories. Wells continues to tell the story on the day when Adair honored a call he had on Kaweah Bar over a super star named Native Empress.

“The next morning Bobby had to take some teasing from us!” recalls Scott.  ”He said, ‘when they kicked it, that was the quickest I ever got beat in my life.’”

Wells has lots of great memories.  ”In 1971 Come Six had the fastest qualifying time in the All American and somehow ended up without a rider for the finals,” Scott begins. “(I forgot why). He was from the first drop of Azure Te and we were confident he would win the final.

“That evening I told Bubba Werner that the best rider in the country, Bobby Adair, might be available, and I gave him Jaybird’s number(Adair’s agent Jay Robinson).  Bobby got the mount but Come Six lugged in the whole way and Bobby could never let him run.  They finished second by a neck to Mr. Kid Charge.  That was a tough loss because, of course, he really wanted to win the All American Futurity and that was the closest he ever got.”

Notes scribbled across my official program–While watching TVG on Thursday morning, June 26, there was an incident in the stretch run of the second race at Belmont Park. Commentator Matt Carothers, without seeing the head-on shots, he felt there would be no change. One thing we can be thankful for is Carothers is not a steward. The head-on shot showed Burndiner coming out, not once, but twice under Irad Ortiz. A disqualification was the obvious action the stewards took. In the meantime Carothers tried to wiggle off the hook without much aplomb…………….In my opinion one of the stone cold best analysts ever to be viewed on TVG was non other than Gary Seibel, who was let go early in 2011.  Yes, the same Seibel who was inducted into the Communications Corner of the Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y. When Gary talks about harness racing he knows the subject he speaketh about………………On June 26 Bill Finley wrote in Harness Racing Update the owners of the mares Classic Maritine and Frau Blucher would not be allowed to race at any track owned and operated by Jeff Gural.  This came on the heels of the 60-day ban and $2,500 fine paid by their trainer Chris Oakes for a Tripelennamine positive back on Nov., 15, 2014 in connection with the horse Ahead of the Curve. The lawyer for the owners argument for reversal on a belief Gural makes up his rules as he goes along…………….I get so tired of those who continue to make excuses for the moronic ways of the Santa Anita racing director Rick Hammerle.  In my opinion, he’s one huge reason why Santa Anita has continued to slip down the ladder of  respectability. Bob Moreno, whom I’ve known for eons, proved my point with the conditions he wrote for the opening of the current Los Alamitos thoroughbred meet.  Eighty horses were entered for day one and 88 for day two.  Interestingly, Moreno’s racing conditions were the key. He wrote a lot of starter races where outfits could protect their horse with the Del Mar meet not many days removed.   The quack of a racing secretary in Arcadia, has never deviated from his old ways and that’s as shame………..Here we go again.  More useless fodder from the CHRB. Most of us are aware of the Dumb Ass Partners which nearly won the Triple Crown with California Chrome. Well, we continue to see dumb ass things come from the dysfunctional California Horse Racing Board.  This is the board, along with it’s useless head vet, allowed Baffy to get away with giving THYRO-L to all his horses resulting in seven “sudden death” equine issues. Instead of buttoning down and getting serious about the use of drugs on horse in SoCal, this group installs a new whip rule. As of the 1st day of July they have a new whip rule in place.  ”Under the rule, jockeys will be required to limit their use of the riding crop(or whip) to three times in succession.”  Are you kidding?  I’ll continue to call the CHRB out for their complete failure to enforce the rules they already have. By the way, those mandates, in many instances have needed definition for eons. We called for the CHRB to re-write the mandates that were in the book way back on Dec., 19, 1976.  We’re still waiting for this inept organization to belly up to the real issues in horse racing–not the use of the whip. Can you say dumb ass racing board?  I just did…………...Kaweah Bar was known as the Palomino Express.  He won 36 of 101 starts. The son of Alamitos Bar was named World Champion in 1968 and 1970…………One of my favorite memories of Los Alamitos was Go Man Go.  He was out of a mare named Lightfoot Sis.  He was a son of the thoroughbred Top Deck.  That was back in the time when there was a debate about allowing some thoroughbred blood in their breeding lines.  Go Man Go received an Appendix registration number through a special rule in place at the time that allowed a foal of a thoroughbred stallion and an Appendix mare to be registered in the Appendix registry.  Those foals could, therefore, race and show in AQHA-approved contests but could not be used for breeding.  Go Man Go was owned and bred by Johnny Ferguson of Texas.  When he sold him to B. Green of Oklahoma, the new owner immediately began petitioning for the horse’s advancement to the Tentative registry.  The inspector turned him down on the conformation clause.  He was three-quarters thoroughbred and looked it.

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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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