0:00

HIRSCH: Uh, Eddie, you rode this horse, uh, Whirlaway in the, uh, and you won the Derby and the Preakness with him and now you're coming up to the 1941, uh, Belmont Stakes.

ARCARO: Well, Joe, uh, really Whirlaway, uh, was not an easy horse to ride. He was a horse that in all of his other races had to have somebody lead him, and in the Belmont--the way the Belmont shaped up, there were only four horses in the Belmont. So listening around the jock's room and listening to the rumors around there, all of the other riders were decided to take back and put Whirlaway on the lead which, naturally, would bother you. Uh, Whirlaway, anytime Whirlaway ever got to the front, he would bolt. (clears throat)

HIRSCH: Had he ever done that before?

ARCARO: He bolted every time that he'd ever gotten to the front, uh, 1:00other than the times that I'd ridden him, and I had only ridden him in the Derby and the Preakness. So naturally, it worried me. I wasn't, I wasn't about to get trapped by a slow pace, therefore, I practiced time with a stop-watch in my hand, uh, every night, uh, so that I would be capable and able of knowing how fast we were going in these. In a long race, this is very important.

HIRSCH: You mean you'd sit home at night and, uh, hold--

ARCARO: With a, with a stop-watch. I would, I could talk to my wife and carry on a conversation and almost, and almost stop a watch on twelve seconds anytime, uh, uh, during the conversation. But anyway, I had told my wife, uh, we, we had done this together for a couple of weeks before the Belmont and I said, "If they go this first half mile slower 2:00than fifty seconds, or, or fifty seconds, forty-nine and four, forty- nine and three, whatever in that area, I would let Whirlaway go to the front." I couldn't, uh, if I was going to get beat, I wasn't going to get beat strangling him.

HIRSCH: Um-hm.

ARCARO: And, uh, as the chart, as you can see in the chart, after we went the first half mile in--

HIRSCH: Forty-nine and four.

ARCARO: --forty-nine and four, I let Whirlaway go to the front, and he opened up seven or eight or ten lengths. Really the chart only shows seven lengths, but at one time he was much further in front than that, than that.

HIRSCH: Um-hm.

ARCARO: And although the chart, again, says that he had won easily, believe me if it had been another sixteenth of a mile, I believe he may have had a heart attack. (laughs)

HIRSCH: Is that right?

ARCARO: He was staggering.

HIRSCH: Was he really staggering?

ARCARO: Oh, he was just as dead as a horse could possibly be, but he made it.

HIRSCH: You mean, uh, from opening up, you, you drove him to open up that seven lengths?

ARCARO: No. I didn't. I didn't have to drive him, but Whirlaway had 3:00one punch in his life.

HIRSCH: Um-hm. And that was it.

ARCARO: And that was it, and it was just question in him really opening up so far on these horses that he was running with who were really mediocre horses.

HIRSCH: Um-hm.

ARCARO: But Whirlaway was not a true mile and a half horse, but he made it.

HIRSCH: Is that right? What was his best distance?

ARCARO: Well, his best distance was maybe a mile and a quarter if you had a lot of speed in front of him.

HIRSCH: Um-hm. I didn't realize that. Well, your next, uh, Belmont winner was, uh, the following year with, uh, Shut Out. There must, there was quite a stirring with that, too, wasn't there?

ARCARO: Yes. Uh, I picked, uh, Devil Diver over Shut Out in the Kentucky Derby and, of course, I, I thought I was doing the right thing, and later on--

HIRSCH: He was sixth in the Derby--

ARCARO: Right.

HIRSCH: --was Devil Diver.

ARCARO: Devil Diver, of course, wasn't the best horse that day, but later on in his life he went on to prove that he was the best horse. 4:00But, uh, he wasn't really in good form.

HIRSCH: He didn't run a good race in the Preakness either.

ARCARO: No, he wasn't, Devil Diver wasn't, uh, a good horse as a three- year-old. He wasn't in good condition, but anyway I finally, uh, got to ride--the opportunity to ride Shut Out in the Belmont, and he was the best. He was truly the best because I had some trouble going into the first turn and, uh, which of course going a mile and a half you have a lot of time to overcome trouble, but his main contention was Alsab, and they ran practically head to head from the five eighth pole clear into the eighth pole just right together as a team.

HIRSCH: Were you driving your horse?

ARCARO: Well, both of us were driving because it really was practically a two-horse race although there were other horses in the race. These two were the two, they kind of stood out over their, their opposition. 5:00But anyway, Shut Out, right at the finish, drew out, although the, again, the chart doesn't show it.

HIRSCH: Was he all out to win? Was he--?

ARCARO: Oh, yes.

HIRSCH: He was a pretty tired horse, I guess.

ARCARO: Yes, he was a real tired horse, but he was a true mile and a half horse. Shut Out--

HIRSCH: He was a true mile and a half.

ARCARO: Shut Out could go, you know, a couple of miles, I think, if he had to.

HIRSCH: Well, now your third, uh, Belmont winner was Pavot in 1945.

ARCARO: Well, that was kind of--

HIRSCH: What do you remember about Pavot?

ARCARO: That was kind of an interesting, interesting horse to ride. Uh, I had written Pavot in the Preakness, and, uh, Oscar White who was training him told me, "Eddie, uh, Dave Gorman had just ridden this, this horse in the Derby, and told me that he, he wouldn't stand whipping left-handed or right-handed. So, uh, don't hit him." And me, 6:00like I sap, I guess you'd call me a sap, I didn't try hitting Pavot in the Preakness until he got right down near the eighth pole, and when I hit him, he took off.

HIRSCH: You mean in the Belmont?

ARCARO: No. I'm talking about the Preakness before the Belmont.

HIRSCH: Uh, well, George Woolf rode him in the Preakness. You didn't ride that, uh, in that, uh, Belmont, I mean in that Preakness. '45--

ARCARO: Maybe, oh, I'm thinking of the wrong horse. There's another dur-, there's a, oh, I'm thinking of a, wait a minute. I won another Belmont over here. Uh, I'm sorry, for the same man, by the way.

HIRSCH: For Oscar, uh, White? Was it, uh, oh, yes. That's right. One Count.

ARCARO: One Count. (laughs)

HIRSCH: Well, no. Uh, Pavot, uh, Pavot didn't run too well in the Preakness.

ARCARO: No. I didn't ride him in the Preakness, and I, and I had had no connection with Pavot really until the Belmont.

HIRSCH: Which is probably why you got the mount because you didn't run 7:00the two of them?

ARCARO: No. Maybe, uh--

HIRSCH: Uh, you opened up right as they, after going a mile and a quarter you seemed to, you remember that race? You're restrained in the stretch, too.

ARCARO: Well, but actually that's the quarter pole--

HIRSCH: Yeah. That's the quarter pole--

ARCARO: --there on the chart. And, uh, there was a lot of pace in the race, and I, and I, and he was an awful hard horse--

HIRSCH: The Doge set the pace.

ARCARO: There was an awful lot, uh, yes. That's correct. There was a lot of speed in the race.

HIRSCH: Um-hm.

ARCARO: If you can see going a mile and a half, they went the first quarter mile in twenty-two and four and forty-seven. Of course, then they'd back down a little bit and then settle off to, like, a mile and a half race, but there was a lot of sprinters in the race. There were no--

HIRSCH: Brookfield was a sprinter wasn't he?

ARCARO: Right. There were no real true mile and a half horses in the race, again. Uh, it was really my first experience with Pavot so--

HIRSCH: Did you, uh, do you recall, he won by five lengths. It must have been a pretty, uh--

ARCARO: Oh, he won awful easy once he went to the front at the head of 8:00the stretch.

HIRSCH: Um-hm.

ARCARO: He had no problem.

HIRSCH: He was only the second choice to a horse named Jeep.

ARCARO: That is correct, so you can see that the field was weak, and it, it was a weak mile and a half field. There is no real mile and a half horses in there.

HIRSCH: Well, now your next, uh, Belmont victory was in '48 with a horse called Citation.

ARCARO: That's right.

HIRSCH: What about Citation's Belmont as opposed to his Derby and his Preakness?

ARCARO: Well, Citation was so great, Joe, that my only problem and I cornered it before I rode him, the only way that he could ever lose was to fall, and he almost fell leaving the gate. He stumbled--

HIRSCH: Did he really?

ARCARO: He stumbled awful bad right away from the gate and, in fact, it tells that in the charts. Cit--

HIRSCH: Stumbled at the break.

ARCARO: Stumbled at the break and horrified me.

HIRSCH: Well, which of these, uh, three races was the easiest? The Derby, the Preakness or the Belmont?

ARCARO: Well, Citation had no problem in any one of them, of course. He 9:00was just so much the best that you, you just can't believe it.

HIRSCH: I guess the Belmont might have been the easiest. He won by eight lengths.

ARCARO: Well, but the Derby was awful easy and so was the Preakness really. He just never had any problem with any one of the three.

HIRSCH: Um-hm.

ARCARO: In fact, anybody could have won him, won the Triple Crown on that type of a horse. He just, there was no problem with him.

HIRSCH: Well, now your next Belmont victory was with a horse called One Count.

ARCARO: Now this is--

HIRSCH: What do you remember about One Count?

ARCARO: This is the horse that I tried to tell you about before. I'd ridden, I, I didn't ride One Count in the Preakness. Uh, a boy called Dave Gorman rode One Count in the Preakness, and Oscar White, he trained this, uh, or in the Derby rather. I rode him in the Preakness.

HIRSCH: Yeah. You rode him in the Preakness, and you finished third.

ARCARO: That is correct, and at one, and Oscar told me to be sure and 10:00not hit him because Dave Gorman said that he wouldn't run from the whip, and when I, I listened to orders--

HIRSCH: Okay. You won the, you, how you won the, oh, no. That's the, that's the wrong year.

ARCARO: No. I didn't win the Preakness on him.

HIRSCH: Uh, you rode a horse called Battle Morn for Cain Hoy in the Derby.

ARCARO: In the Derby. That is correct.

HIRSCH: Uh, One Count, uh, well, I don't think he even ran in the Derby, did he? No. But he ran in the, uh, no. That's got the wrong damn year here. Oh, you won the Derby that year with Hill Gail, and, uh, Hill Gail--

ARCARO: No. You still have the wrong Derby.

HIRSCH: No, that's '52.

ARCARO: '78? Oh, oh, I see.

HIRSCH: This is the Preakness. Uh, One Count finished third in the Preakness and you won the Belmont with him.

ARCARO: Yes. I won, but who wo-, who rode him in the Derby?

HIRSCH: He didn't run in the Derby apparently. You won the Derby with Hill Gail, and One Count didn't run. That's right.

11:00

ARCARO: Well, evidently then, uh--

HIRSCH: Hill Gail didn't run in either of those two races; the Preakness or the Belmont. I guess he might have been hurt.

ARCARO: No, but see, but Gorman had ridden this horse before and told Oscar White that he would not run from the whip.

HIRSCH: Well, that must have been another race.

ARCARO: Couldn't have been either the Derby or the Preakness.

HIRSCH: No, so it might have been the Withers Mile or something.

ARCARO: Probably.

HIRSCH: Peter Pan or--

ARCARO: Probably.

HIRSCH: In any case, what about his, uh, race in the Belmont; One Count? Uh, you said you were cautioned not to use the whip?

ARCARO: That is right, but I, I had the privilege naturally of riding him in the Preakness, and I'd never hit him. In fact the chart will show or should show where he was laying third, dropped back to forth and I, then I, as long as he was going to be beaten, I tore into him left handed and he took off, and I really believe I should have been closer or won the Preakness had I have known that he would have, would 12:00come from the whip. And I told Oscar White this, and naturally I rode him back at the Belmont and if you'll notice--

HIRSCH: He won that.

ARCARO: Blue Man, when Blue Man moved up alongside of me in the Belmont, I switched over and let Blue Man get right alongside of me, head and head with me, and when I switched over and I hit him left-handed, he really won the, uh, Belmont kind of easy. Won by about two or three lengths.

HIRSCH: Yes.

ARCARO: Won by about two and a half lengths, but he really was drawing away and was as much the best at the finish.

HIRSCH: Well, all right. Now your next Belmont victory came in the, with Nashua. What do you remember about Nashua?

ARCARO: Joe, if it were all that easy it would, I probably, as old as I am, I could still ride.

HIRSCH: By nine.

ARCARO: He just had no problem at all. Whew. Just laid second, and, and was, uh, was so much the best that he had to go to the front. There was no pace in the race, and he went to the front and won 13:00awfully easily.

HIRSCH: Was there any, of course it's all looking back, but, uh, is there any way that you could have won the Triple Crown that year with, uh, Nashua?

ARCARO: I don't know. Swaps was an awful powerful horse in the Derby and, of course, Swaps didn't run in the Preakness.

HIRSCH: No. Or the Belmont.

ARCARO: Nor the Belmont, but Swaps and Nashua were, uh, awful close.

HIRSCH: Um-hm.

ARCARO: Uh, that year they were just, I don't know. I think either one of them could have had a good day and beaten each other, but Swaps happened to have went to California. Nashua stayed in the east, and he won the Preakness and the Belmont. But, uh, who knows if they'd have run against one another, I really believe they would have beaten one another all, all, all that year.

HIRSCH: Well, now, uh, you also rode in the Belmont of uh--(pause)--you 14:00realize. What about, uh, Bold Ruler's race in the '57 Belmont?

ARCARO: Well, Bold Ruler's race, Bold Ruler was not a mile and a quarter horse to start with, but he had no chance. He may have won other Belmonts where there was no pace in the race, but Nerud, uh, Johnny Nerud who trained, uh, Gallant Man ran a horse in there called, uh, Bold Nero to go head and head with him and had a jockey on him that got alongside of Bold Ruler that hollered and screamed all the way which gave me no chance to rate Bold Ruler at all. So, uh, in fact, Bold Ruler finished third. It was really a brave effort on his part because he--not being a mile and a quarter horse, I thought, I thought that he held on very well. And, and the amazing thing, Joe, Nerud screamed like, uh, like about fourteen Indians when, when they ran, uh, that 15:00race this year.

HIRSCH: The Woodward Stakes.

ARCARO: The Woodward, yes, when he said, uh, it wasn't fair, but he did that right back in that Belmont. That was his--

HIRSCH: Well, now you rode a race in the Belmont in '59 when you fell with Black Hills. What, uh, it looked to me like he was beginning to move, uh, when he went down. Do you remember that?

ARCARO: He really over-stalled and stole, and really stole field but he would have won that Belmont because I had, uh, Shoemaker moving around the field on Sword Dancer, and, and I was getting through and, uh, was in front of him when I was moving. And, uh, of course this was turning into the quarter pole when I moved into third, and of course everything blacked out about that time because he broke his leg and--

HIRSCH: What, did he hit a slick spot on the track and, uh--

ARCARO: I really don't know, Joe. I just know that everything crumbled underneath him. He, he didn't even stumble. He just fell on a, all in 16:00a heap. Yeah, so--

HIRSCH: You don't remember a thing?

ARCARO: No.

HIRSCH: Um-hm. Well, now your last, uh, Belmont ride was in 1960 on a horse called Venetian Way. What do you remember about that race?

ARCARO: Well, Venetian Way looked, kind of looked like a winner at one time, but he faded away.

HIRSCH: He had the lead, didn't he, after a mile and a quarter.

ARCARO: That's right. That Irish horse, of course, was awful powerful in that race. He ran right by him and beat him awful easily.

HIRSCH: Um-hm. Well, uh, now, uh, let me just, uh, stop this for a second.

[Pause in recording.]

HIRSCH: Eddie, uh, what is the principal difference between the Belmont as it was run the last, uh, four or five years at Aqueduct and the Belmont as it will be run this year for the first time at the new Belmont property?

ARCARO: Well, Joe, riding a horse a mile and a half in our country, I'll 17:00put it that way, uh, over, uh, the Belmont racecourse which is a mile and a half in circumference over Aqueduct which is a mile and an eighth in circumference is quite a bit of difference because going a mile and a half at Aqueduct, over Aqueduct, you must come by the stand twice. And, uh, many times a horse gets so riled up, uh, going by the stands the first time that it doesn't give you the real opportunity to rate one correctly.

HIRSCH: Could that have been the problem with Kauai King? Uh, do you remember Kauai King's Belmont when he went--

ARCARO: That is correct. Or, let's face it, Chateau gave that, uh, the day that he won the Belmont was a great example. Uh, Candy Spots coming by the stand the first time was, got all excited quite a bit at the Belmont. Maybe Shoemaker may have been able to settle him down 18:00because you would have only went by the stands once.

HIRSCH: Well, does the, do the fans kind of jazz that horse? Is that--

ARCARO: Well, there's a difference because you start, you start, uh, at Aqueduct, for instance, going a mile and a half. You start on the back side and you come by the stand. Most horses who don't have the greatest intelligence in the world think they're finishing, uh, which, of course, they're not.

HIRSCH: You mean they'll ease themselves a little bit?

ARCARO: No. They, they try to take off. They, they think that this is the finish and they go hard. Now the, uh, once they leave the stand then they must go naturally another mile or a mile and a quarter.

HIRSCH: Confuses them there.

ARCARO: They really, really get mixed up, but going a mile and a half, you break in front of the stand and, naturally, when you come by, the only time you come by the stand again, you really are finishing.

HIRSCH: So, uh, then, for a horse that's a little rank, it would be a little easier at the new Belmont Park?

ARCARO: Oh, much easier. In fact, you could, uh, you can almost hunt a 19:00speed horse if you're not, if you're let alone and nobody running with you head and head. You can al-, you could almost, uh, after you go by the stand and go into the first turn it's like being out in the country at Belmont. Partly they relax, and I really believe they could get further going a mile and a half over a mile and a half track.

HIRSCH: You mean, uh, a speed horse has a better chance in the Belmont at Belmont than he would have in the Belmont at Aqueduct?

ARCARO: That would be my opinion, yes.

HIRSCH: Is there any other, aside from this business about horses getting raced past the stands twice, is there any other aspect of riding after regarding the turns, uh, in which a big track like Belmont Park would play a factor?

ARCARO: Well, actually, uh, uh, naturally the, the turns being big and wide, it's very easy to run around two or three horses on the turn 20:00and not lose as much ground because it's, it's a wider, it's almost straightaway.

HIRSCH: Well, doesn't that help the best horse, then?

ARCARO: The best horse, if you're really on the best horse, he should win at Belmont Park whereas at Aqueduct or other tracks you kind of get into a situation of management, and there's more management involved.

HIRSCH: There's more strategy in riding and generalship?

ARCARO: Right.

HIRSCH: Well, I think that's quite a, what about the, uh, the, uh, the Belmont, uh, uh, winning the Belmont as opposed to winning the Derby or the Preakness. Is there any, anything that you might want to say about that? Did it mean anything to you in particular as to--

ARCARO: Well, the Belmont is a great classic to win no, no doubt, Joe. Uh, it's, uh, I really believe, though, that if you're on the best horse in the Belmont, you should get home opposed to being on the 21:00best horse in the Derby or the Preakness. You may not get the, you may not win in them two races whereas, whereas if you come into the Belmont on the best horse you really should win because the track and the conditions set it up for the best horse winning the majority of the times.

HIRSCH: Well, now there are several Derbies in which, uh, they could have gone either way with you. For instance, the, uh, the Derby, uh, uh, with Phalanx which, uh, possibly you could have won. Do you remember that? The one that Jet Pilot won.

ARCARO: Yes, I do. Right. I believe I should have won the Derby on, on Phalanx. Had the same race have been run at Belmont Park, I'm sure that I would have won it.

HIRSCH: Was there any Belmont that you should have won that you didn't?

ARCARO: No. Not, not Belmonts.

HIRSCH: Not Belmonts.

ARCARO: Not Belmonts, but I really believe if I look back that there could have been a couple of Derbies--

HIRSCH: Couple of Derbies and possibly a Preakness or two?

ARCARO: No. Not a Preakness. I never, I played lucky. I never had any bad luck in the Preaknesses, but the Derbies I had some bad luck in a 22:00couple of them where I think I should have won them. But then again, I think that I won a Derby that I shouldn't have won. I really believe that I won the Derby on La-, on a horse called Lawrin, that I shouldn't have won. The first Derby I ever won was on, uh--

HIRSCH: Why do you say that?

ARCARO: Well, I got through on the entire field, and I really believe, I really believe that the Dauber should have beat me in that particular Derby.

HIRSCH: Yes. You won by a length and, uh, well, you opened up three at the head of the stretch.

ARCARO: Right. I got through on the whole field, and he came around which--

HIRSCH: Saving much ground. Yeah.

ARCARO: Right. I, I got through. In fact, I even got through on the leader which was a pretty good horse called Menow.

HIRSCH: Um-hm.

ARCARO: But, uh, you can have luck on a mile or a mile and an eighth track which really at Belmont I really, I have to believe that the best horse should win.

HIRSCH: Well, Eddie, thank you very much, and, uh--

23:00

[End of interview.]

Search This Transcript
SearchClear