The horseplayers who crowded the black iron fence around the paddock were saluting Arcaro for a small item they had read in the papers. When Arcaro was an apprentice jockey back in 1932, he stood overlooking the course at Agua Caliente in Mexico with an exercise boy named Jackie Westrope. They watched as Jack's brother, Tommy, was thrown from a horse past the finish line and killed. Since then Eddie Arcaro and Jack Westrope have been close friends, even though Arcaro does not like to fraternize with other riders. ("It isn't easy to go out socially with a man one night and then have to take a mount away from him the next morning.")
This past Thursday, when he was only a few jumps from victory in the $28,350 Hollywood Oaks at Hollywood Park, Jackie Westrope was killed when he was thrown into the rail. That night when he heard about it at his home in Garden City, Eddie Arcaro cried. "Jack was a strange guy," he said, "kind of complex. I don't know just how to describe it, but when you first met him you didn't like him very much. Then, after you had been around him, as I was in California for many years, you got to love him."
As Arcaro rode around the ring a lady whispered to him, "You must be an awful nice person." The lady had heard that Arcaro had started, as president of the Jockey's Guild, a trust fund for Westrope's two young daughters. And the fat man who always seems to be standing by the paddock abusing Arcaro at Belmont raised his voice just a little. "You won't be here Monday, Arcaro. You're going out to be a bearer in Jackie's funeral, ain't you?"
Arcaro rode onto the race track saying nothing, even though both of these things are very true.
Anniversary for Ed Furgol
At the National Open in Tulsa two weeks ago, while the applause washed around tempestuous Tommy Bolt for his front-running victory, and devoted followers of Sam Snead sadly shook their heads over another failure by the Slammer to win his first Open, a quiet man named Ed Furgol observed the fourth anniversary of his Open victory in 1954 by failing to qualify for the final 36 holes in 1958. He shot an 84-75, 159 and missed the qualifying score by five full strokes.
Furgol's victory in the Open at Baltusrol in 1954 carried special significance for both golfers and non-golfers, because he won the world's most important golf tournament handicapped by a left arm which is permanently crooked at the elbow. But now, four years later and three months after his 41st birthday, Furgol's good right arm has finally yielded to the ruinous pressure of 13 years in professional golf. The lean, tanned six-footer's right elbow has been causing him severe pain since March 1957 when it received a bad bruising in an automobile accident. This April he was forced to undergo an operation for removal of a bone spur, two chips and a hemangioma (a blood vessel tumor in his elbow). He couldn't comb his hair for a couple of weeks after the operation and has adopted a neat crew cut.
"I've always known that this was a fluctuating game," he says. "But I never thought something like this would happen to me so suddenly and so early in my life." He sat on a bench by the first tee of the Southern Hills Country Club in the late afternoon, as the last few second-round threesomes struggled up the long hill to the 18th green, and stared gloomily out at the course.
"I really had no confidence in myself before coming here for the Open," he continued, "and was just prepared to do my best. My tee shot is down to an average of about 225 yards but once, when I won at Baltusrol, it was about 275 yards. All I can do now is to try and prepare myself, mentally and physically, for better consistency the next time I tee it up.
"The doctors tell me to keep playing and that eventually my elbow will get stronger."