A few stalls farther on, a handsome mare stood quietly and John patted her affectionately.
"Sea Saga," he said. "She's a lady, a real lady. So is Sun Lover. Anyone can take care of them."
An exercise boy came by on another horse and Campo watched it walk for a moment, then stopped the boy. He leaned over and slid his hand gently from the horse's knee to its foot, and felt gingerly around the ankle.
"Take it easy," he said to the rider. "I don't want his ankle filling up."
He walked on through the barns, stopping now and then to talk to one of the young men or women who were caring for the horses, then went back to his office. A jockey's agent came in and Campo talked to him briefly, finally deciding on a mount for the jock.
"I don't use any one jock real regular," he said. "Jocks have hot and cold streaks, just like everyone else. I like to get one on a hot streak."
He leaned back in his chair, obviously a happy man. "Somebody asked me the other day what do I do for fun," he said. "The horses are my fun. I watch a little television. The other night I saw a thing about Vince Lombardi, the coach. It was real good. I mean, I could understand him. He's an Italian in the coaching business, which seems a lot like training horses to me, and he had a tough time getting a break, maybe because he's Italian. Anyway, he figured it that way. Then finally he gets it made and he dies. I felt bad about that. I mean, I know what he went through. It ain't so different in horse racing."
A serious young man came in and stood waiting for Campo to finish, then asked him about some details of work schedules. "This is Vince Nocela," Campo said. "He's my assistant trainer, does all the hard work." Nocela smiled and left and Campo watched him go.
"You look around my barn, I got all young people working for me. Go around to the other barns, you'll see all old help. Old trainers, they don't trust young people. I like to help them because it ain't long ago I was in the same spot."
The phone rang and he picked it up, listened a moment, said, "I'm busy" and hung up, no Dale Carnegie training apparent. "Horses," he said, reflectively. "Horses are like little kids. You take any kids three, four years old. Horses are like them, except you can't talk to them.