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"Foul Ball" by Richie Silverstein, as told to Jude Feld

George Hollander, Camilo Marin, Jerry Ingordo, Ron Anderson, Tony Matos, Gene Short, Lenny Goodman, Craig and George O'Bryan, Scotty and Chick McClellan, Vince De Gregory, Ray Kravagna and Bob Meldahl....even Agatha Christie couldn't come up with this cast of characters. You gotta be nuts to work for a jockey and these guys certainly qualify, despite the fact that they have represented the cream of the riding crop.

Camilo Marin was one of the greatest agents of all time. He was a frail, Cuban-born fellow who I didn't get to know 'til the end of his career. His weather beaten face always looked like rubber to me. His wit was second to none even though English was his second language. He wore $2000 suits with matching fedoras and $300 shoes with matching socks even in the hot Florida sun.

This dapper man was a close pal of Fred W. Hooper and brought many fabulous riders to the United States to ride first call for his good friend. Laffit Pincay, Jr. was one of these "gems" that Camilo imported. Marin and Pincay were at Arlington Park, riding first call for Mr. Hooper and leading trainer Lou Goldfine gave Camilo "carte blanche" to put Pincay on any or all of his charges.

At that time, in Chicago, riders were named at scratch time, so an agent had time to study the form and make an educated choice as to what horse had the best chance in every race. One day, Camilo, never one to rush, arrives in the racing office literally one second before scratch time. The stewards are tapping their toes waiting for him because the whole card revolves around whom Laffit will ride.

Camilo begins, "In the first race, I ride Mr. Hooper's horse. In the second race, I ride the six. In the third race, I ride Mr. Goldine's horse. I do not ride the fourth. In the fifth race, I ride Mr. Hooper's horse. In the sixth race, I ride Mr. Goldfine's horse. In the seventh, I ride the five. In the eighth race, I ride Mr. Goldfine's horse and I ride Mr. Goldfine's horse in the last race, too."

At that point, trainer E.B. Carpenter runs up to Camilo. He says, "Camilo, you are making a big mistake! Laffit has been working my horse and he says it's going to win. My owner is going to bet $500 for you!"

Camilo yells, "Foul ball, gentlemen! In the ninth, I ride Mr. Carpenter's horse!"

Lou Goldfine, with steam coming out of his ears, starts bellyaching. "How can you do that to me? I put you on everything!"

Without skipping a beat, Camilo replies, "Lou, don't let a maiden $16,000 at Arlington get in the way of a beautiful friendship!"

By the way, Mr. Carpenter's horse, Boc Man, won the race under Laffit Pincay, Jr. and paid $12 after opening at 20-1 on the morning Line. Trainer Joe Pierce who was present at the racing office when all this was going on, had the presence of mind to claim Boc Man, who went on to win a stake for him.


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