I think most of our older posters have heard my stories , but since your new I'll give you one of my favorites .
The year is 1987 and the Hawthorne Pacing Derby was one of my favorite races and I have a horse in the race , what could be better in life for a guy like me !! Ritmo was feeling real good and I felt he had a big chance , but things got chaotic before the race he warmed up and threw a shoe and Micky's second trainer Keith Waddell started looking for the shoe all over the track and couldn't find it , so he went to the barn and got an old shoe of Mo's !! I didn't like him running in an older shoe !! The Hawthorne shoer a guy named Clyde who could hardly bend over put the old shoe on and I felt this is a reason why he'' lose and I was upset . 10 minutes before the race Keith comes running in and said I found his shoe so I told Clyde take that shoe off and put this shoe on and he balked and said he'll be fine with the old shoe ( cause the guy was lazy ) I got angry and told him put the shoe on !!
He balked again , but finally said OK but you better take care of me if he wins ! I said SURE !! knowing I wouldn't because I didn't like his attitude . I would have gladly tipped him if he acted right .
The rest is Hawthorne history Charge Plate breaks a line at the start and Randy Jacobs jumps on his back like Roy Rogers after Doug Larsen sacrifices his chances with Spensive by pulling alongside Charge Plate and grabbing him for Randy to pull a Roy Rogers !!! It was crazy , meanwhile Ritmo makes the lead and I figure he's a cinch coming into the stretch when Joss makes a tremendous move and goes by Mo like he was standing still by a length in mid stretch and I'm naturally upset and put my head down !!! All of sudden my brother says he's coming back and I look and here he comes flying back and wins pretty easy . I went to dinner and called the Big M from the restaurant to stake him into the Graduate Series it was Valentines Day and although he was all stud thats the best present I ever got under crazy circumstances . I strutted to that winners circle wearing a nice suit where people thought I wore it for the race , but again it was Valentines Day and win or lose I was taking my wife out to celebrate !!
I felt 10 feet tall getting that trophy !! I don't smile much , but I was all smiles that day !!
I was on the elevator and who's standing next to me Doug Larsen and I looked at him and said your a hell of a guy to sacrifice your horse to help a fellow driver in distress . He replied I had too !!
Some people probably think Mo got lucky , but he proved the rest of the year it sure wasn't luck because none of those horses ever did what he did that year . NO LUCK !! Just a good old tough horse .
You can tell I still love RITMO until I die