- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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"Now here was a great man. What else can I say? He was a great man. He gave away $200 in tens to racetrack bums every day of his life. These guys would line up and he'd give 'em each a ten as he left the track. Christmas, everybody in his stable would get a big bonus. It would start at the lowest, with the hot-walkers getting something like a hundred. Remember, this is the Depression. That's like a thousand today. He gave me $5,500 when I won the Derby and that was enough for me to get my whole family, my mother and all my brothers and sisters, out of South Dakota to California. And I had some left over. Listen, you could cabaret all night for $20 then.
"I'll tell you what kind of a man Col. Bradley was. He ran the best gambling place in Palm Beach, and in the summer he'd bring his whole kitchen up from Palm Beach to Saratoga. I'd come in from exercising the first set around 6:30, and they'd be serving creamed quail on toast. You'd never know who was going to be there—Jim Farley, Elliott Roosevelt, the President's son, Winston Churchill. The Colonel knew everybody.
"He named all his horses starting with B, and he had another horse coming up to the Derby in '33 named Boilermaker, who was considered the better choice for a while, but he was a speed burner, and Brokers Tip was the one I liked even though he was a maiden. He had only one race that year before the Derby, but a few days before the race we took him out and did the mile and a quarter with the full 126. And he did it in 2:06.2. So after that I knew I had a winner. I called my mother up in South Dakota and I told her I was going to win. She'll remember that. Mother. Hey, Mother. Listen, listen. Remember I called you up right before the Derby?"
"Yes, yes, I heard it on the radio."
"No, before the Derby, Mother. Remember what I told you when I called you up before the Derby?"
"You said you were so happy to be riding for Col. Bradley, and—"
"No, no, not that. Don't you remember I said I'd win the Derby? Remember, I told you I would win."
"Mmmm. Oh yes."
"You see, I knew before the race I would win, off that work. The Colonel scratched Boilermaker, but even then we went off at 8 to 1. If Bradley hadn't owned him he would have been 50 to 1.
"The track was off, and it was deep, but it wasn't raining. Dick Thompson was the trainer, but he didn't tell me a whole lot. He was good at letting you ride the race. These guys who tell you to lay third. What if five other trainers tell their riders to lay third?