On Saturday my niece Katie held a party to watch the Belmont and hopefully see the first Triple Crown winner in over 38 years. Many family members and friends were there and it was especially nice because our cousin MariAnn and her husband Mike were in town and we got to spend quality time with them. As we crowded into the family room to watch the race, my father announced that he had raced horses as a kid. ( We didn’t even know he had a horse, let alone raced them ).
Apparently, he would ride his horse to the drug store in Helper, Utah and challenge people five cents a race. ( Now we know how the family fortune was built ). According to my dad his horse was as fast as the wind and ” I won against everyone who challenged me”. Katie looked at him and said ” Papou, you don’t look like any horse jockey that I have seen”. He told Katie ” Don’t be silly dolly. Back then I was just a small kid. I looked a lot different then than I do today. My horse sure was fast”.
Of course this left us to speculate. If my dad had continued in his horse racing career, he maybe could have been the oldest jockey and possibly the oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown. Now all we can do is speculate that perhaps if California Chrome had been ridden by that winning Greek jockey from Helper, would he be a Triple Crown winner today?