THE SPORT OF KINGS, THE WEALTHY, AND BARBERS

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL. I met a barber today in his shop near the beach who is a partner with two of his friends in owning a couple of horses that train at Calder and race at nearby Calder and Gulfstream. The wiry and lively fellow looks to be in his seventies and came to the United States years ago from Eastern Europe.

When a customer sits in the barber’s chair, he faces a large mirror and a prominent picture taken in late 2011 in the winner’s circle at Calder. The barber’s 4-year-old Hold That Tiger gelding had won a $50,000 claiming race on the turf. The proud owner told me all about how much he had received in purses with the gelding as well as from betting on him.

The affable barber is eagerly looking forward to his gelding’s next race at Gulfstream sometime in the next week or so, although he can watch the horse run in person only on the weekends because of cutting duties at his shop.

His other horse at Calder has had some physical problems the trainer is trying to overcome.

This conversation reminds that horse racing is truly an egalitarian sport attracting folks ranging from royalty and billionaires to people who work with their hands and, in this case, scissors. Horse racing gives aficionados of the turf something in common to talk about–and argue about–regardless of the particulars of the parties involved.

Copyright © 2012 Horse Racing Business

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