Friday, October 10, 2008
Hey pallies, likes I always loves so much to read more and more stories from pallies who walked the earth with our Dino, so likes when I Dinodiscovered this Dinostory I knew that I had to make the Dinoeffort to share it with you. Written by Dave Perkins from the Toronto Star (btw, you can read this in it's original form if you likes click on the tagg of this Dinopost) what we find here is the story of jockey Sandy Hawley who got the stellar Dino-opportunity to plays golf with our Dino and how cool that Dinoexperience truly was. The last four paragraphs relates Hawley's Dinoencounter in total Dinocoolness...checks it out. Never was, never will be anyone as cool as the King of Cool....oh, to return to the days when Dino walked the earth. Yours In Our Dino, DMP
At age 59, Dandy Sandy rides again
Oct 10, 2008 04:30 AM
Sandy Hawley is about to learn the difference between a racehorse and a bicycle.
Canada's greatest thoroughbred racetracker, 10 years after retiring from a hall-of-fame riding career, is back in the saddle again and, so far, liking every minute of it.
Hawley, who is 59, is riding in a legends jockey race on Oct.18 at Santa Anita with seven other hall-of-famers as a prelude to the Breeders' Cup hubbub the following weekend. In preparation, Hawley is set to work a horse at Woodbine for trainer Mark Frostad Sunday morning, his first serious mount in a decade.
"We'll see if it's like riding a bicycle. I don't think I've forgotten, but this is going to be a test of the cardiovascular system and the legs, see if the legs are still there," said Hawley, who enjoys the idea that he'll breeze a horse alongside old rival Robin Platts, another former Woodbine star, who is an exercise rider these days.
"Two 59-year-olds. How good is that?" said Hawley, who answered a fraction of a second later than he should have when asked if he was considering a comeback. "No, I'm just enjoying this whole experience."
Hawley said six months ago, after his weight had ballooned to a whopping 122 pounds, he started working out. He got on a few horses at Windfields Farm, near his Oshawa home, just for some exercise, and said even that left him winded. Then came word Laffit Pincay Jr. was assembling this all-star jockeys race. Hawley was serious and so, he said, are Chris McCarron, Pat Day, Julie Krone, Jerry Bailey, Jacinto Vasquez, Angel Cordero Jr. and Gary Stevens. (Pincay is unable to ride because of the neck injury that ended his career.)
"There's already been a fair amount of trash-talking. Everyone is taking it kind of seriously. This is a betting race, for allowance horse, California-breds, so they'll be half-decent horses," Hawley said.
He is back down to 110 pounds, only two pounds above his prime riding weight and that prime of his included a few starring years on California tracks, including Santa Anita. Some 30 years ago, he was top jock there, ahead of Pincay and, on opening day one year at Hollywood Park he won five races, causing the L.A. Times, in a big bold headline the next day, to re-christen the joint Hawleywood Park.
"I had a lot of friends and great memories there. I'm looking forward to seeing some old friends. Plus, this is a chance for my sons, Bradley (16) and Russell (14) to get to see me ride. They don't remember me riding," said Hawley, who will be joined by wife Lisa and his sons for the experience, one he said could be repeated next year at L.A., New York and Woodbine if it's a hit this time.
One of those long-ago Hollywood connections was singer Dean Martin, with whom Hawley, a good golfer, once played Riviera Country Club. A horse owner had set it up, told Hawley to bring a jockey friend and his pal Martin would join as the fourth.
"Fantastic day," Hawley said. "I remember sitting around at the end, Dean Martin's having a drink and telling stories. I said, `Can we do this again.' They said, `Sure, next Monday, same time.'
"It turned out we had to race the next Monday and (the horse owner) didn't realize that. He and Martin were at the first tee waiting. We never showed up. I talked to him later and he told us Martin said, `Hey, where are those midgets?' They'd forgotten we had to race."
Martin is long gone now, maybe that owner, too. Hawley, though, however temporarily, is back.