Nov 21, 2011


The death of heavyweight champion Joe Frazier was well chronicled in the boxing media.
There was another Joe Frazier, this one a Thoroughbred of some talent owned by Peter Fuller, owner of Dancer's Image, disqualified winner of the 1968 Kentucky Derby. Fuller managed a fighter named Tom McNeely who once got a longshot chance to meet Floyd Patterson for the heavyweight crown.

Joe Frazier (the horse) was purchased by New Orleans owner Albert Stall Sr. I had the good fortune to meet and interview Joe (the boxer) when his horse showed up to race at Fair Grounds. The horse proved good enough to satisfy Stall's quest for a "Saturday"

Stall Sr. later called me some years later and asked a favor. Could I try to persuade his son, Albert Jr., to give up his ambitions to become a trainer when he graduated in geology at LSU? No dice.

The younger Stall, you may remember, posted a pretty good TKO of his own with Blame in last year's Breeders' Cup.

Back to boxing. I never saw Frazier again but did have the thrill of watching Muhammad Ali train in Vancouver for a bout with Canadian George Chuvalo. For five bucks you could watch him work the heavy and speed bags and skip rope with the grace and power that set him apart.

Fuller bred another good one in Mom's Command and bred the jockey who rode her, daughter Abigail.

Nov 20, 2011


Longtime Canadian breeders Dick and Jo ellen Shaw were in Lexington during the Keeneland November sales, selling their last horse. After some four decades raising horses at their Glenview Farm west of Calgary the couple called it quits, more a function of age rather than any beef they might have with the the Thoroughbred scene.

Perseverance was never a problam for the duo. I learned that some decades ago when I phoned to congratulate them on a stakes win. It so happened that it was their first added money event after some 20 years of trying.

As sometimes happens, the Shaws then began to churn out high quality runners with David Bell training them at Woodbine. Bell also had horses in the barn for John Franks which is how I became involved. Bell trained the Canadian champion mare Woool00omooloo,
who gave Woodbine race caller Dan Loiselle a chance to dramatize her deep closer runs over the Ontario sod. I admired the pair's loyalty to trainer Bell over the years.

The Shaws represent all that's good in the "sport" of racing. We could wish to have a hundred more just like them.