Racing has become more bottom line oriented in recent years and the "loosey-goosiness" of the old days has diminished. Perhaps this is good. Perhaps it isn't.
Where are the characters that our crazy industry spawned in the middle and latter part of the last century? Man, we could use some of your color.
It follows that any industry that exists to determine which large four-legged animal can get from point A to point B faster than others of its kind is crazy as hell to begin with. But for some reason – for many reasons, in fact – there's nothing like it. One of those reasons has been the wild and woolly screwballs racing has attracted.
Those of us with some age on us yearn for the outlandishness of a Warner Jones, Leslie Combs, Liz Tippett, John Finney, Craig Perret, Eddie Arcaro, Pete Anderson, Charlie Whittingham, Albert Yank, Chick Lang, Alex Harthill, Jim Maloney, Doug Davis, George Swinebroad, Laddie Dance – all bona fide characters.
Perhaps they have their counterparts on the racing scene of today. But I’m not bumping into them.
But our game needs more glamour, more color, more pizzazz. We need less legislative absurdities, less litigation, less dry corporate lingo, less cyber hogwash.
The fine racing journalist from California, Bill Christine, recently wrote a piece bemoaning the fact that no one has a nickname any more and this is a sad sign of the times.
Cowboy, Tex, Bones, Black Cat, Fats, Snapper, Iceman, Gentleman John, Harry the Hat …. Where are you guys? We need you.
This is Cot Campbell and this is my view.