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June 03, 1988 - Image 50

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-06-03

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Jewish Jockey

Continued from Page 48

Johnny Longden, Arcaro and
Steve Brooks surpassed him
in total winners.
"A race worth $25,000 then
(jockeys usually get ten per-
cent of the horse's winnings)
is worth $200,000 now," he
says. "Then, you'd ride 1,100
to 1,200 races a year. Now,
with night racing, a rider can
ride in 2,000 races.
"When I rode, everyone was
a good rider. A lot of jockeys
who are now making a living
would only have been exercise
riders in the '50s and '60s.
"I was never a millionare —
a costly divorce and tax pro-
blems saw to that. But I was
able to buy my parents a nice
home when they retired and
moved to Miami in 1955.
They're both buried here
As his career neared its
end, Blum recalls, "I wasn't
that much of a horse-lover to
think about training. I like
them, of course, and loved
riding them, getting them to
improve and getting the most
out of them. But as for doctor-
ing their legs and other
ailments .. .
"So I never studied good
trainers. I began concen-
trating on being a racing of-
ficial. It's not just coming out
here every day there's racing,
watching the races and then
disqualifying jockeys for mak-
ing dangerous or unfair
moves in a race.
"Disqualifications require
hearings and there are many
rules of conduct at the track

besides those dealing with
the races themselves. And all
participants have to be licens-
ed. I'm here from 7:30 a.m.
until 7 p.m. most racing
One of his sons from his
first marriage, Jeff, 25, was a
jockey for two years and was
the agent for top rider Angel
Cordero before deciding on an
acting career. Seth Blum, 27,
is a commercial artist. In his
"second family," son Walter
Lee, 5, looks like he'll be too
big to be a jockey. His sister,
Ashley, 3, also would be
discouraged from being a race
rider, their father admits.
"It's too difficult and too
dangerous a life. Sidney Cole,
a Jewish jockey, was killed in
a spill a few years ago and
another Jewish rider, Gary
Cohen, is now a racing official
after being very badly hurt.
"I broke by leg, my back, my
teeth, my collarbone, but
none were serious injuries. I
always recovered quickly.
Then there's the self-
discipline you need to regi-
ment your diet, keeping your
weight the same day after
"There have been quite a
few Jewish jockeys, like Willie
Harmatz and Sam and Joe
Renick in my time, and Ar-
nold Ilescu and some others
today. Not all are champions
or even well-known. But just
to conquer the anger and diet
drudgery day after day takes
a special person — or someone
especially lucky." ❑

Doris Markel Will Direct
JNF Women's Group

The Women of Jewish Na-
tional Fund will hold their in-
stallation of officers at noon
Tuesday, at Temple Emanu-
El. Doris Markel will be in-
stalled as president. Ann
Kaplan, past president of
Detroit Council Na'amat
U.S.A., will be installing
Mrs. Markel is past presi-
dent of the sisterhood of Adat
Shalom Synagogue, past
president of the Music Study
Club of Metropolitan Detroit,
founding president of the
Michigan Branch of the
Women's League for Conser-
vative Judaism, and just
finished two terms as presi-
dent of the Michigan Federa-
tion of Music Clubs.
Bess Axelrod, vice president
of programming, announces
that the program will consist
of a musical presentation, "A
Salute to Israel," by the B'nai


FRIDAY, JUNE 3, 1988

Moshe Players, directed by
Jackie Rogers and Vivian
Stollman, and accompanied
by Sonny Lipenholtz, pianist.
Participating in the program
are: Shirley Frost, Hermine
Hirsch, Florence Meites,
Alexander Nemoff, Marianne
Reinstein, Calvin Weiss and
Lillian Wohl.
Other officers to be install-
ed are: Bea Feigelman and
Shirley Kraft, vice presidents
and chairmen of fund raising;
Bess Axelrod, vice president
and chairman of programm-
ing; Sadie Goren and Ruth
Kimmel, programming com-
mittee; Helen Ring, vice
president and chairman of
membership; Edith Glad-
stone, co-chairman of
membership; Helen Rosen-
feld, honorary chairman of
membership; Belle : Green-
baum, donor comi)troller,
Edith Kolodney and Hele6.

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