Buffalo- Great points as usual. Carmine back in the day was the best on the half. Great keeping a horse alive with his hands, not a big whip guy. Jack Lee's favorite when calling the races.....He gave him the name the redman.......
I believe you are 100% correct about his nickname. I know Roosevelt Raceway honored him with a night in 1982 but again, while he was brash, he is one of the few remaining from the hayday of the sport and all that knowledge and experience is sitting on the sideline being wasted. And this doesnt apply to just Abbatiello, you can pick a track and look at their history. Bottonm line is that you cant interview a horse. You cant get a horse to tell you what happened in a race or funny stories about things that happen at the track or in training. A horse cant talk to young drivers and give them after their first practice races. A horse cant be an embassador for the sport.
Back to Carmine for a moment. I found a couple of articles on him from between 25 and 35 years ago. There are some funny quotes from him.
--- When asked how good he was, Carmine said on a scale from one to ten, he was an eight. When asked only an eight, he said, "Yeah, but there arent any nines or tens"
--- When asked what the difference was between him and other drivers, he said, "About two seconds".
--- In an interview after winning five races in a row at Windsor, he said he would move there cause the drivers were easy
--- After beating a Stanley Dancer-driven $125,000 horse on a 28-degree night at Roosevelt, Carmine said in an interview after that he, "put Dancer away easily and that was it".