It was 1990 and Mister Frisky and Summer Squall were the favorites to win the Kentucky Derby, but by day’s end, the story became folklore history in the grandstand and the press box.
Unbridled was owned by 92-year-old Frances Genter, a petite woman who couldn’t see over the crowd so trainer Carl Nafzger called the race out to her as it unfolded.
Television caught it live for the whole world to see and it was a touching moment, but up in the press box a different drama was unfolding.
There was a sports writer who might have covered the first 115 runnings of the Kentucky Derby if you believed everything he said.
He was cantankerous an obnoxious on a his good days. And for the first time ever he was assigned table H, where a group of friends gathered yearly, including yours truly, to cover the Derby. This dude griped and complained endlessly. Even in 1990 he refused to use a computer and expected the press box to supply him with a type writer.
Each was declared not good enough, and soon they were gathering under the feet of the other writers. Finally one guy, probably from Jersey, and let’s just call him Bill, got the typewriters moved and politely but firmly asked the cranky writer to please quiet down.
Which he did until after the race when the guy picked up the phone and yelled loud enough for Mrs. Genter to hear, “For the first time I bet enough, I ain’t writing a word for you. I quit.’ There were more words than that and they were laced heavily with profanity.
He did that three times before the sports desk quit answering his calls.You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.