To some of the help at the Miami Springs Villas, right across the street from his home, Hartack appeared alone during the Christmas holidays. "I looked up from tending bar," said one of the workers, "and here came Bill, alone and carrying a bottle of champagne. The kid that everyone says is inhuman, cold and detached thought enough to come and give me champagne and a good tip."
Racing people across the land argue about Hartack. Writers proclaim that "he can't be bigger than the game," but this is sanctimonious nonsense. Racing has already a too-pronounced tendency to reduce itself to a drearily overcommercialized operation designed to fill the pockets of promoters and state tax collectors. The game should be rough and tough enough to have room for a few arrogant characters—and should also know how to keep them in line.
Nowadays people talk about Arcaro's sportsmanship, but Eddie used to be a very rough rider indeed. He once was suspended for a year, and now he thinks that was a turning point in his career.
As for Hartack, he is a cock of the walk, and maybe his feathers are about to be singed, too. Meanwhile, the only question which preoccupies the racing public is, "How many winners did he ride today?"