Martin Finds Criticism Easy, Effectiveness Not So Much
Top trainers of Thoroughbred racehorses have three things in common: patience; patience, and more patience. But the use of medication allows trainers to take shortcuts by saving time for the short-term money.
And, as most reasonable people agree, this is neither good for the horse nor the bettor and the optics are magnified for the average sports fan who see racehorses break down and some even die, by euthanasia or otherwise, right there on their TVs.
Those chosen to safeguard this sport worldwide forbid race-day medication in all countries, except for the leaders in the U.S. One of the most egregious offenders is Ed Martin, president of the Association of Racing Commissioners International.
Martin, once the press secretary for Senator Alfonse D’Amato, brought to racing a background in communications and marketing. Before the ARCI, Martin was executive director of the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, prior to the formation of the NYS Gaming Commission.
Martin has always had a desk job. I have no idea if he ever mucked a stall, picked a hoof, watched a live foaling, or had a horse die in his arms. The element that appears certain is his lack of proper perspective; the view from behind a desk is always the same.
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Chad Brown earned an Eclipse Award for outstanding trainer of 2016 and he owes a lot of that success to the late Hall of Fame trainer, Bobby Frankel. Brown was Frankel’s assistant from 2002 to 2007.
"Brooklyn Bobby" Frankel was enshrined in racing’s pantheon in 1995. He trained champions and many who worked for him went on to have their own successful careers.
Brown is just the latest example; one of the first was the late Joe Trovato.
Trovato was also a Brooklyn native. He started his career as a jockey agent and in the 1960s was successful with Avelino Gomez, Bill Boland, Manny Ycaza and Larry Adams. He became Frankel’s assistant in 1969.
Two years later, Trovato took out his trainer’s license and three years after that, in 1974, he trained the 3-year-old filly champion, Hall of Famer Chris Evert.
Owner Carl Rosen named the filly for the tennis champion that acted as a spokesperson for the sportswear line produced by his company, Puritan Fashions.
The 1970’s was a heady time for Trovato. He did well enough to get season’s tickets for the New York Islanders, then a young hockey team that was on the cusp of winning four straight Stanley Cup titles.
Trovato’s first million dollar season was in 1979, the same year the Islanders won the NHL championship for the first time, a period spanning the in the 1979-80 hockey season.
There was a strong connection among those who worked at Belmont Park and the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The two facilities are seven and a half miles apart and located on the same road, Hempstead Turnpike.