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The Governor had a ball
Douglas S. Looney
October 03, 1977
William Wirtz' colt made short work of the Jug, taking two straight heats in record time, but for a while it didn't look as though he'd ever get to the starting gate
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October 03, 1977

The Governor Had A Ball

William Wirtz' colt made short work of the Jug, taking two straight heats in record time, but for a while it didn't look as though he'd ever get to the starting gate

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The other world marks that fell to the Governor were for fastest first heat, fastest second heat, fastest combined heats for 3-year-olds and for all-age. Fans set the central Ohio record for most beer cans thrown on the ground, bettering the mark set here last year.

Bill Wirtz, who in August said that winning the Adios was as good as winning the Stanley Cup, was ecstatic. Bill's father Arthur, who also owns 47�% of the Governor (the remaining 5% is owned by Bill's brother Mike), was seeing the colt for the first time. Said Bill, "They call Dad 'Bottom Line Arthur' but when this horse won, he cried." The win boosted the Governor's winnings this year to $342,837 and his two-year earnings to $457,992. Which is why Wirtz felt at ease in having sprung for $281 to have 5,000 buttons made that said GOVERNOR SKIPPER FAN CLUB.

As the parties went deep into the night, Wirtz was insisting the reason he had kept the home-bred son of Meadow Skipper, pacing's premier sire these days, rather than selling him was because he saw potential. Others believe it was because the colt was so gangly, stood so funny and toed out so badly, that Wirtz knew he'd bring nothing at auction. "It's like Tony Esposito," said Wirtz, referring to the Black Hawk goalie. "He has never done anything right for us except stop the puck. It doesn't matter how you look."

Then Wirtz was off on another story, this one about the liquor ad he did a few years ago, which included his picture and the words SUCCESS, HOW TO HANDLE IT. Says Wirtz, "You should see the letters I got from our hockey fans; that appeared during a season when the Black Hawks didn't exactly come home like Governor Skipper." Few do.

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