GUSTAV DAHL (L) and RODDY MACKENZIE (R) (Douglas Lees Photo)

International Gold Cup – National Steeplechase Association Stewards’ Actions:

6th Race – Old Dominion Turf Championship

Race 6: The following jockeys were fined $250 for going off course:  Michael Bordwell (CLASS CODE), Richard Boucher (COMPLETE DYNO), Gustav Dahl (WOLVERTON), Simon Hobson (DAYTIME), Roddy Mackenzie (PRIZED PUPIL), Jacob Roberts (WAHOO), Barry Walsh (TU BAKU), Mark Watts (PRIDE OF THE FLEET).

With that as preface, we offer up this bit of humorous insight:

Obviously, jockey are an integral part of horse racing. It’s dangerous, and frequently thankless, work and the subject of second-guessing by and scorn from racing fans, horse owners and trainers. Only one wins, and the rest are eligible to get some grief from anybody and everybody.  Not a job we would want…

As a result, many are willing to poke fun at their riding partners (without whom there would literally be no sport of horse racing.), and no one enjoyed doing so more than the late Charlie Whittingham who died back in 1999.

The Hall of Fame trainer was a three-time Eclipse Award winner and two time Kentucky Derby winning trainer as well as the oldest trainer to win the Derby at age 73.

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1974 and won the Eclipse Award as top trainer in 1971, 1982 and 1989. He trained several champions including Ferdinand, Sunday Silence, Ack Ack, Cougar, Estrapade, Miss Alleged, and Flawlessly. He held the national earnings title seven times, from 1970-73, 1975, and 1981-82. More than 20 of the horses he trained had career earnings over $1 million.

A former Marine, he was known for his sharp tongue and quick wit.

Regarding jockey’s he once said this: “they are incredible because their hat size, shoe size and IQ are all the same number.”

And, of course, this old favorite, “Never trust a man that wears a size three/five hat.”*

Whittingham also claimed this was a true story as well: One time back in the 1950’s a top rider named Ralph Neves had just gotten beat on one of his horses. Afterwards, he told Charlie, “This horse needs blinkers.” Charlie said, “Uh, he HAS blinkers.” Without missing a beat, Neves said, “Then take ’em off.”

*There are several versions of this floating around and we can’t remember which is the correct version – size three or size five…