Kelso returns to New Jersey, 1962

The following is an excerpt from the memoir of “Dickie” Jenkins. Jenkins served as the primary exercise rider for the legendary racehorse Kelso and was a longtime assistant for trainer Carl Hanford. Click here to read more from his memoir…

We were on our way to Atlantic City. The United Nations was on September 15th. Anyway, we get there, and I think it was August 26. It was still a little warm, and the mosquitoes were so bad that they would practically pick you up off the horse. We were there two or three days, and Carl [Hanford] wanted to work him to on the grass. It had rained the day before, and they had the flags up to keep you off the inside so you wouldn’t tear it up.

I went around them, and broke at what seemed to be the 1/4 pole. Kelso seemed to be stepping right along. In fact, I thought he was going too fast. Anyway, he went in 1:14 around the flags, and when I pulled him up, Carl came over and asked why I didn’t let him run. I told him that I was.

In fact, I thought I might be going too fast. Carl shook his head and said I had gone way too slow with him. He never said anything more to me about it, but that was the reason why he did not run him in the United Nations.

He put Kelso in an allowance race with [jockey] Don Pierce up. Carl was pissed that [agent] George Holland had booked Milo in another race at a different track. It wasn’t that he minded putting Don on him, but he felt Milo should have been there to ride this horse.

He was running a good race, and at the end, turning for home, I noticed Don hand riding him with the reins dangling. It was so bad that he could have stepped on them, almost. They were hanging, so there was no hold at all on him, so he thought the race was over and stopped running before it ended.

Carl felt this was because I had worked him too slow, that he would not have gotten tired otherwise. He had run a mile and a sixteenth, 16 days ago at Saratoga in 1:41.4/5, and did not get tired at all. So much for Atlantic City. We packed up and went to Belmont.

Read the next chapter Kelso back to Belmont