Apr 15, 2012


Amid the commotion surrounding Hansen's appearance in the Blue Grass Stakes comes the "news" that Patrick Valenzuela will grace us with his presence once again in the jockey's quarters.

Dr. Hansen's unorthodox pursuit of the Kentucky Derby includes debate on the merits of a paint daubed juvenile champion to jazz up the paddock scene at Keeneland. By race time the issue had "all come out in the wash", as it were. The whole exercise was a lot more interesting than P Val.

Come to think of it, the renegade jockey was involved in a Breeders' Cup race years ago that, if you can stretch a point, had something to do with paint and a horse owner.
That was the inaugural Juvenile Fillies at Hollywood Park and P Val finished first aboard Fran's Valentine, only to be disqualified for wracking up the field at 74-to-1 aboard Earl Scheib's filly. Outstandingly inherited the victory by way of the stewards, a harbinger perhaps of the scrum that would take place a few hours later beweenWild Again, Slew of Gold , and Gate Dancer.

And the paint angle? Earl Scheib was noted for his nationwide paint shops and the slogan that he would paint any car, any color for $99. He had to paint a lot of cars to make up for P Val's indiscretion.

Fernando Toro was so incensed that he and the younger rider nearly came to blows, quite a feat as Chilean Toro was a caballero noted for his decorum.

I was working television back then and witnessed the near fisticuffs. Toro won the next race with Royal Heroine for Robert Sangster and smiles returned to the English faces.

Earl Scheib, the Paint King of Green Thumb Farm, stormed out of the track and left with his entourage.

I take the Libertarian view when it comes to the current discussion on what constitutes suitable deportment. We have been beating the bushes for some time now trying to attract new owners with not a lot of success. Let's not scare them away.