Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Green Green Grass of Home

There aren't many people who rate a news item obituary in the New York Times. Even fewer who rate news coverage of their funeral. But Austin Delaney was obviously an exception.

His name was familiar to me from The Racing Form. It would appear in the upper left portion of a horse's past performance, as the owner of horses, usually trained by Leo O'Brien, a competent trainer, generally turf horses, who won a good share of races at the Big Three, Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga. I remember when Leo O'Brien was a steeplechase rider in new York who had a reputation for hanging out in 2nd Avenue emporiums along with Jerry Fishback, another stepplechaser. In that long ago era there were even jump races at Aqueduct, and those two would be in them. I have programs with their names as the riders.

Leo doesn't look like he'd coax a horse over the fences these days. I can suspect he and Austin might have first met at some place on 2nd Avenue where there was a liquor license hanging in the window. Or maybe in Ireland. I never met either one of them.

Today's news story barely mentioned the horses, but they had to be big part of Austin's life. We have sod and green here, but I'm sure for Austin the grass is greener back home.

No comments:

Post a Comment