Eye at the Breeders' Cup
with Joe P.

World Class Horseman, Joe Petrucione, took his skills to California for the 2003 Breeders' Cup. Endorsed by leading trainers, Bobby Frankel, Todd Pletcher and Nick Zito, Joe offered his services to a select few individuals. This service was for those individuals who had to have the inside scoop as to what was happening in the mornings and afternoons at the site of the 2003 Breeders' Cup. This was a service delivered in REALTIME.  Those subscribers were in the know as events happened !!!

Joe will be attending other events in the future but his services of providing REALTIME information are available to seriously interested parties.  For a fee for personalized services, Joe will be happy to tailor information for the personal needs of the subscribers. An Email and/or FAX report of what is happening with the group of horses that would interest you most can be made available. You can Subscribe today for this unique service at (201) 944-7757, (201) 362-5619 or KLATOOGORT@aol.com,

Payments can be made through PAYPAL at pedrozorro@prodigy.net or by contacting Bob Fox at 201-362-5619.

You may visit Joe online at www.robertsfox.com/eye.htm.  Make your own next big event with Joe's services.

Bobby Frankel states: "Joe's ability to observe and evaluate horses in the morning is a great asset to me."

From the NYTHA Newsletter September 2003

For What It’s Worth - Bob Fox

The ‘Fab Four’ of Saratoga

Independent clockers offer opinions that extend beyond workout times

Every day during the 2003 Saratoga meeting four independent clockers were on hand early each morning to watch the horses train. In the afternoon they were at the track making a few wise bets, working hard to stay ahead of the game. I call them the “Fab Four” because they are all intelligent horsemen who know what is happening on the New York circuit as well as elsewhere in the racing world. They also have strong opinions about important issues impacting racing.

Joe Petrucione is former trainer who was responsible for the development of former Whitney winner Brunswick as well as many other successful runners, including Crafty Prospector. He was also involved in Crafty Prospector’s success at stud, utilizing the Hirsch Jacobs philosophy on how to make a stallion.

Joe has had his ears open at all times during his more than 40 years around the track. Joe P., as he is called, evaluates the health and condition of horses and is also busy in the afternoon doing more of the same. He is in contact with Bobby Frankel, Todd Pletcher, Nick Zito, Randy Schulhofer and others regarding the horses they train.

Joe has strong opinions on the scale of weights and the weight put on 2-year-olds. For example, he points out that on Aug. 2 and Aug. 3 at Saratoga, there were 2-year-old maiden filly and colt races at 6 furlongs where each horse carried 119 pounds. On Aug. 2 in the Grade II Amsterdam Stakes for 3-year-olds contested at 6 furlongs, multiple stakes winner Zavata also carried 119 pounds in winning impressively by more than 5 lengths. He points out that 2-year-old racing sees horses competing in their young, formative stage of development, and the difference between 119 pounds for a 2-year-old and 119 pounds is nothing but a senseless compounding of impact on young bones. This is just another ingredient that adds to the price exacted on our young runners.

I will add my own comments here. Medaglia d’Oro carried 123 to victory in the Whitney. Volponi, the winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, carried 120 pounds in that race. 2002 Kentucky Derby runner-up Proud Citizen toted 114 pounds. Is there something wrong with this picture ? There needs to be major revisions in American handicap racing. True handicap racing with fairly assigned high-weighted horses provides a dimension of excitment for racing fans. Once upon a time, more than 50,000 fans came out to see Dr. Fager carry 139 pounds to victory in the Vosburgh Handicap. I remember the excitement when the mighty Forego carrying 138 pounds ran down Honest Pleasure in that remarkable Marlboro Cup. And how about Ta Wee getting home under 142 pounds in the Interborough.

Marty Katz was a clocker for the Daily Racing Form for nearly 30 years. Marty can clock the workouts of virtually any number of horses simultaneously. He is intent on seeing the next horse who breaks his stop watch. He wants to be there when the the next Seattle Slew debuts. These days he uses his personal information to assist some trainers in their business.

After many decades of watching the morning and afternoon activities of the racetrack, Marty feels we must do more for the fans. He is not a big fan of expensive hot dogs, soft drinks, coffee and such. He feels that with everything done by competitive gambling places such as casinos, like bettor rebates and complimentary beverages and discounts, the racing world needs to keep up with the times. He feels the bettors are the life blood of our business, and the money wagered on horse races drives the entire game. One can only agree.

Leon Blusiewicz, a/k/a “Blue,” is a former trainer and a superb horsemen. He conditioned Eclipse Award champion Ambassador of Luck as well as the wonderful runners Willa on the Move, Snow Plow and Skipat. Leon has great skill at finding bargains at yearling sales in addition to his excellent general horsemanship. His excellent work ethic over his more than 40 years at the track makes it easy for him to get up early each day and do his clocking and observing as a senior member of the “Fab Four.”

He points out that there is a fund for disabled jockeys, but nothing like that exists for the trainers. It would seem that many trainers come on hard times late in life, and Leon hates to see his comrades go out of this world broke. He wants something for these important members of our community, and I am going to carry his message to the next NYTHA board of directors meeting. I have been informed by Bob Flynn that this item is already on the agenda.

Bob Williams is the newcomer to the group. He has a college degree in architecture and has been around the track for only about 15 years. He has spent the last five years with the group, learning the ropes as he calls it. Bob feels that on-site condition evaluation is the most important aspect of handicapping and gives the bettor an edge.

Bob speaks highly of the current NYRA administration. He likes that Terry Meyocks keeps an open-door policy. We all know Terry believes fans are made one at a time, and NYRA’s policy of fighting for takeout reduction and bigger purses is an excellent policy. He adds that the concept of doing the right thing for the horsemen and fans will only benefit racing in the short and long run.

The “Fab Four” have more than a century and a quarter of practical knowledge combined. So let me invite you to one day come out early and shake hands with this group. You might just learn something.