Secretariat

Memories of Inky Rekindled by Port and Fort

When Tawny Port runs in Saturday’s Jim Dandy Stakes, in which he will attempt to put his name among the leading 3-year-olds, I will be thinking of a very special horse who once carried those same silks of John Fort in the Kentucky Derby more than 20 years ago, just as Tawny Port did this year. ~ Steve Haskin

Memories of Inky Rekindled by Port and Fort

By Steve Haskin

 

The second season for 3-year-old colts has begun with the Haskell Invitational and will continue with next week’s Jim Dandy Stakes, so right now who do you like in the Travers? I think we now know Jack Christopher wants shorter distances, the lightly raced Taiba should definitely improve wherever he runs next off his excellent effort in the Haskell, and the victorious Cyberknife, despite his perfect ground-saving trip, is formidable on his best day.

We were blown away by Charge It’s 23-length laugher against a weak field in the Dwyer Stakes, and we look forward to three Triple Crown trail dynamos, Epicenter, Early Voting, and Zandon squaring off in the Jim Dandy. And finally, we all anticipate the return of Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike, who is training up to the Travers following his disappointing effort in the Belmont Stakes when he reportedly was hit in the eye with clods of dirt early in the race that had to be cleaned out by a veterinarian back at the barn, so he deserves another shot to repeat his shocking Derby performance.

So what if I told you there is a good chance the Travers winner, who is also scheduled to run in the Jim Dandy, hasn’t even been mentioned yet?

What I am saying is do not overlook Peachtree Stable’s Tawny Port, winner of the Lexington Stakes and Ohio Derby. In between, he ran a sneaky good race in the Kentucky Derby, beaten only 4 ¾ lengths at 80-1, coming back in three weeks and stretching out from 1 1/16 miles. Prior to that, he finished a strong second in the Jeff Ruby Steaks over a synthetic surface.

Peachtree Stable, owned by John Fort, has had some lean years since their last top horse, Lord Nelson, in 2015 and ’16. But they have been a force with horses such as Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty, Red Giant, Flashpoint, Merchant Marine, High Cotton, and Fantasy Stakes winner Mamba Kimbo.

But Fort’s first big horse, and one who he will always remember, was Invisible Ink, whose story I latched onto while covering the 2001 Kentucky Derby.

With Fort back in the 3-year-old picture with a shot to win the Jim Dandy and Travers, I thought this would be a good time to retell the remarkable story of Invisible Ink, or Inky as he was known.

The son of Thunder Gulch, who Fort purchased for $105,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale, was trained by a young up-and-coming trainer named Todd Pletcher, who was making only his second appearance in the Derby. Invisible Ink was no slouch, having finished third in the Florida Derby and fourth in the Blue Grass Stakes, but was soundly beaten in both races. Going up against the likes of Santa Anita Derby winner Point Given, Wood Memorial winner, Congaree, Florida Derby winner Monarchos, Blue Grass winner Millennium Wind, and UAE Derby winner Express Tour it was no surprise to see Invisible Ink go off at 55-1 at Churchill Downs.

What was amazing about the colt was that he was even running in the Derby, or any race for that matter.

By all rights, Invisible Ink should have been nothing more than a tragic memory in the hearts and minds of the people who raised him and broke him and treated him. Instead, here he was at Churchill Downs, about to run in America’s greatest race. And all because he refused to die, thanks to a handful of people who refused to let him die.

In March of his 2-year-old year, while being trained at Bryan Rice’s Woodside Ranch in Ocala, Invisible Ink developed a superficial cut on his ankle, which didn’t heal as quickly as they had hoped. To stave off infection, he was treated with antibiotics and a small amount of butazolidan (Bute). But the colt began eating and drinking less and less, and eventually developed colitis. Rice decided to send him to Peterson-Smith clinic in Ocala. Something was spreading throughout the colt’s body, and his condition continued to deteriorate. Eventually, he couldn’t eat or drink at all, and his blood and body functions broke down. His blood protein levels dropped so low, all the fluids he was being administered flushed into his body and he developed edema.

“You could barely tell where his head and body joined,” Fort said. “His stomach area and testicles were the size of a beach ball. From the appearance of the throat and stomach, it was as if somebody had poured battery acid down this horse’s throat. It completely stripped the skin and ulcerated the horse’s stomach to the point where it hurt him so badly he couldn’t swallow water. His whole insides were like raw meat. The poor thing couldn’t even pick his head up. He’d accumulate all this saliva and would drink that. The vets had never seen anything like it before. One thought was that someone mistakenly had given him a massive overdose of Bute, thinking they were helping him.”

The colt was sent to Peterson-Smith, where he deteriorated so badly he went from weighing 900 pounds to 500 pounds. It finally reached the point where the insurance company gave permission to have him euthanized. But Fort and veterinarian Carol Clark, with the help of Dr. Robert Copelan, wouldn’t give up hope. Fort went to see the horse, and he and Dr. Clark and Dr. Copelan discussed on a conference call just what actions they could take. Fort assured Clark that they would try everything possible to save the horse.

“You can’t imagine what this horse looked like,” Fort said. “I was in Viet Nam and I’ve seen creatures who were dying, whether it was a bird or a dog or a person. You know when someone or something is beyond hope. I had never seen a creature sink this low. He was virtually on life-support system. We were giving him plasma at a rate of $1,000 a day. It was hour to hour, trying to save his life. This horse was dead.”

Clark would spend nights with Invisible Ink, coaxing him to eat. She would hold dissolvable food pellets called Purina Equine Junior in her hand, one at a time, trying to get him to take it. They also treated him with medication to help stop the acids from flushing back into his throat.

Dr. Copelan finally suggested they give him buttermilk that was left out in the sun to reintroduce bacteria and help restore the colt’s immune system. They found an old-fashioned farm in Ocala where the owners made their own buttermilk, and left it out in the 90-degree heat. After it became, as Fort said, “filthy and disgusting,” they fed it to Invisible Ink through a tube inserted in his stomach. They combined that with stomach medication. Soon, the colt began to respond. Once they were able to stabilize his manure and got him to where he could drink and eat on his own, the horse was on the first step to recovery.

By Memorial Day, Invisible Ink had turned the corner, and by mid-July he had regained the weight he had lost. Soon, he began to blossom, and eventually was sent to trainer Todd Pletcher. Before the Blue Grass Stakes Dr. Copelan paid a visit to Invisible Ink and told Fort, “I can’t believe it. I’m treating this horse for the Blue Grass, and a year ago I was trying to save his life.”

“With Dr. Copelan’s consultation and the inspiration of a young girl named Carol Clark and her traditional medicine, we were able to virtually bring this colt back from death,” Fort said. “People frequently give up in the things they try to do, but nature never gave up here. Nature was trying to restore this horse’s body back to health. Once we got out of nature’s way it was able to succeed. That this horse was able to survive is one of the most miraculous things I’ve ever seen.

“Winston Churchill once gave a famous speech to a group of youngsters at a boys school in England, in which he concluded, repeating over and over for several minutes, ‘Don’t ever…ever…ever…ever give up.”

In the week leading up to the Derby I became quite attached to Invisible Ink, knowing his story and watching him thrive at Churchill Downs. One of my fond recollections was when Fort was looking to get a halter and nameplate made up for Invisible Ink, and I suggested he leave the nameplate blank. I said in jest, “When someone asks you why there is no name on the halter you tell them, ‘The name is on there; it’s written in invisible ink.’” It was meant as a joke, but that’s exactly what Fort did, and he has since treasured that halter and blank nameplate.

I watched Invisible Ink graze each afternoon and could see his coat blossom more by the day, making him a live longshot. But as I mentioned, just being there and running in the Derby was a miracle in itself.

Ridden by John Velazquez, who was starting an incredible run as the No. 1 rider for Pletcher, Invisible Ink raced in ninth, then moved up between horses before swinging six-wide turning for home. Monarchos put in a big run and opened up in the stretch, drawing off to a 4 ¾-length victory in 1:59 4/5, the second fastest time in the Derby behind Secretariat. But Invisible Ink was also loaded and kept coming, just nosing out Congaree for second. The horse who refused to die had run one of the fastest Kentucky Derbys in history.

Although Invisible Ink won only one allowance race the rest of his career, he did join an illustrious list of Kentucky Derby runners-up that includes Native Dancer, Nashua, Gallant Man, Sword Dancer, Sham, Easy Goer, and Alydar, just to name a few. He pretty much faded into obscurity, but his second-place finish in the Derby in the second fastest time ever run and finishing ahead of eventual Horse of the Year and Hall of Famer Point Given will remain a part of Derby lore.

Seeing Fort’s name back in the 3-year-old picture with Tawny Port brought back wonderful memories of a very special Derby and also that day in 2011 when a grief-stricken Fort called to inform me Invisible Ink had died of a neurological disorder at age 13 at Pin Oak Lane Farm in New Freedom, Pennsylvania.

Most of Fort’s words were indecipherable as he tried unsuccessfully to get them out through the tears that flowed freely and the distinct quaver in his voice. Finally, he was forced to end the conversation. He truly had lost a member of his family. Although Inky was far too young, Fort was well aware that every day of the colt’s life was a miracle.

I know I’ll be thinking about him when I see Fort’s familiar purple silks in action on the big stage next Saturday.

 

Photos courtesy of Louise E. Reinagel and Cynthia Hunter


Newsletter

Signup for the Secretariat.com newsletter For new announcements, merchandise updates and other excitement here at Secretariat.com, please enter your email address in the popup window. Our mailing list is never sold or viewed by anyone other than Secretariat.com

Leave a Reply

118 Responses to “Memories of Inky Rekindled by Port and Fort”

  1. Jim Tully says:

    Corniche’s future is on grass.

  2. Davids says:

    Well, we can say something about this year’s three year old col. Those who represented them as 2 year olds in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile were ‘stinkers.’ All have been ordinary, at best, since that race.

    The winner and runner up in last year’s BC Juvenile colts just came last and fourth in the Amsterdam Stakes.

    • Steve Haskin says:

      The BC Juvenile has always been mostly a non factor as a launch pad for the classics. Last year’s field has proven to be atrocious.

      This year’s Travers field looks to be one of the deepest and most competitive in years, although Epicenter should only improve off the Jim Dandy. And dont count out Nest yet, as she is still in the discussion.

      Epicenter
      Zandon
      Early Voting
      Rich Strike
      Charge It
      Artorius
      Cyberknife
      Tawny Port

      Nest?

      • Matthew K W says:

        Not saying he’s going to but…if Cyberknife wins he’ll have three gr1s….Epicenter has zero….

      • Davids says:

        That’s true Steve, I did feel Jack Christopher should have been given the Eclipse but that’s life. Looking forward though, the Travers Stakes does look marvelous all the colts and Nest have an excellent chance of winning which is rare. Fingers crossed for a perfect day and no rain. Will you be there?

    • Lynda King says:

      David’s, I do not know that all the blame is on the colt.
      Steve Asmussen has trained the winner of the Amseterdam the most times in recent years.
      Corniche was sent to Pletcher after Baffert’s woes and has been on layoff since the BC in November.
      Horses are different. A one size fits all, cookie cutter training program does not work for all horses.
      Some do well, others do not.

      HA, in reference to “tablets”, it just took me twice the amount of time to type out the above paragraph
      On this tablet as it would have on my desktop.
      Fighting with predictive text is a pain. Holding a tablet aggravates an old neck snd shoulder injury.
      It impedes the flow of words from my brain to the page.
      The darn thing has to be placed on charge several times a day.
      The cameras (it has 2) are great if one is into selfies which I am not.
      No USB port for me to download photos from my digital camera. The connection is not the same.
      It is great for downloading or streaming movies and e-books however.
      This thing reminds me of the smart phone I had…fragile…limited.
      Loaded with a bunch of unnecessary junk I do not need and impossible to move between
      Open windows and the screen is too small.
      And it takes me back to the desktop if I put it down for more tan 30 seconds and closes.
      Thanks but no thanks. It is the third one I have had and they rarely last more than a couple of years.
      Desktops are good for at least 8 or 9 years if you buy a quality one like a Dell.
      And last but not least, no one will work on these things!

      • Ms Blacktype says:

        Lynda:
        My sympathies on having lost your computer. I’m always on edge that my 7 year old laptop will die unexpectedly ever since it almost did 2 years ago. Luckily I’m not far from an independent computer store that managed to rebuild the thing for $400 two years ago — all new bottom half (it’s a MacBook Pro). I’d be lost without it.

        About the horses: I personally am down with Epicenter as the best of the 3YOs. Love Zandon, but he’s yet to beat Epi when the chips were down. Sure, he can turn the tables in the Travers. I’m really looking forward to that race, especially since this is as deep into the year without an obvious leader to the three year old crop as I can remember.

        • Lynda King says:

          Ms Blacktype, totally agree about this crop of 3 year old. Think there a lot of talent, anyone of which can bubble to the top. I like several of the..Epicenter, Cyberknife, Zandon.
          I could have the motherboard replaced in my desktop but chosev not too because it does not meet the requirement for Windows ll
          which is already out and MS will only be supporting Windows 10 for two more years.
          Therein is part of the problem. Both MS and Apple force the purchase of a new device that will meet the requirements of the platform software. Same with smart phones.
          Over the years I have had both desktops and laptops both at work and at home and have found that the desktops far outb perform the laptops. Case in point, my husband and I both had brand new HP laptops. Mine cost almost a thousand and his around 500.
          On both rhe hinge broke about 30 days after the warranty expired. Tried to repair mine, 200 to fix, but it did not last a month.
          It’s very much like an automobile I think. At what point do you stop repairing and buy another vehicle. It just is not cost effective
          and it becomes a money pit. So I will just chill with this tablet until I can afford a desk top that already has Windows 11

          • Davids says:

            Lynda, try out an IMac. I stopped using PCs at home over 20 years ago and the resale value of Apple products is amazing. You can update everything all the time at very little expense.

      • Davids says:

        Lynda, you’ll have to forgive my attack on last year’s Breeders’ Cup field but I thought Jack Christopher was ‘outstanding’ and Corniche was lucky having had a home advantage against a questionable field. Yes, sour grapes but I do admire the progeny of Munnings. I wish Chad Brown had not decided to overextend Jack Christopher’s range the colt would have remained undefeated.

        As for your computer trouble, buy a Mac you won’t look back. Trust me, I ‘have’ to use PCs and Macs in my work and the difference in ease of use is simply incredible. Go to a Mac shop and play around with one, you’ll be hooked. Ha ha

        • Lynda King says:

          Hey Davids, I disagree quite often with trainers’ decisions including Baffert.
          I belong to several discussion groups about horse training in general and one is lead by a gentleman who bred, raised and trained Lippit Morgans for decades in a variety of disciplines. Quite often the Thoroughbred comes up in the discussions. At one time the Thoroughbred was used for a variety of disciplines, not just racing but cross country, dressage, show ring jumping; endurance and they were ridden by Army Generals in war both here and in other countries. The overall consensus is that the Thoroughbred in the United States at least has been ruined by the training methods, the drugs, and the way they are stabled. For anyone who purchaes an OTTB, it takes months to get all the drugs out of their system, for them to settle down so they can be cross trained and to get them “well” mentally, physically and emotionally. But that of course is a discussion for another day I guess. Just a shame though that the Thoroughbred is shell of its former self.
          Agree too about Jack Christopher but I guess the powers that be wanted to stretch him out.
          As to computers, I agree Macs are the best. In fact, our first home computer system back in the mid 90’s was Mac.
          I have looked at the Macs but in all honesty they are too expensive for me now. There was a time that I could pay a thousand dollars for a computer, laptop or tablet etc, but not now. Sure you can buy a renewed (refurbished, used) computer for around 300 including Macs but that is no go for me. Bought a “renewed” computer several years ago and is in fact the desktop that the motherboard is going out on. Learned my lesson on that one. Buying a renewed computer is like beyond a previously owned car..someone got rid of it for some reason and you very well could be buying another person ‘s troubles.
          Have to agree that tablets are handy. Was working on something in the yard today and ended up taking the tablet out in the yard to look up something on the internet.
          Guess it sounds like I have my heels dug in regarding tablets but not really…just not ready to give up my mouse, keyboard, 15 inch monitor etc for something I have to hold and that makes my old shoulder, neck injury and carpal tunnel flare up, LOL

          • Davids says:

            Yes Lynda, friends of mine have had thoroughbreds/quarter horses for dressage and have said the exact same things although they also say how intelligent the thoroughbreds are keen to learn. The training and stabling, unfortunately, will never change unless more facilities like Fair Hill are commissioned. Being restrained in a box most of the time obviously is detrimental to a horse’s psyche. With the drugs, there is optimism, that societal demands will force horse racing to change or be forced out of existence. Not in our lifetime but it will come.

            You’re right about second-hand computers, another person’s problem. Mind you, I sell my iPads/iPhones back in excellent condition and working order and get a good price for them. The iMacs I donate to schools or give them away. Good luck, with getting a new computer though.

            A silly thing I did last week was hold the iPhone and fall asleep listening to racing tips/chatter, when I awoke my hand was in agony – strained something- couldn’t hold any weight for a week. Crazy, all I was doing was holding the phone upright. You learn something new, every day. I’m addicted to daily exercise so you can imagine my frustration/annoyance. Lol.

            • Lynda King says:

              Davids that is wonderful that you donate your computers to schools! So many children, especially those in high school or attending junior colleges or community colleges here in the Unied States simply cannot afford computers which are a must today. They end up having to use the ones in libraries and of course there are usually a lot of others waiting to use them as well.

  3. Matthew W says:

    Tremendous Eddie Read win today by #12 Master Piece, big price—he won big—but it was a nail biter, because Cali stewards looked at an incident RIGHT OUT OF THE GATE—where the #12 came in slightly….Steve do you recall Tight Spot, in the Del Mar Derby doing the same thing, and they dropped him…I thought they were going to use that race as an example how to judge THIS race—two bad calls—but after 11 minutes they gave the 4 length win to the…..winner.

  4. Matthew W says:

    If ya haven’t seen today’s 8th race, at Del Mar— watch #7 Justique…..

    • Davids says:

      You’re right, Matthew, Justique is magnifique!! Bernardini is becoming the ‘Buckpasser’ broodmare sire of the 21st Century. The daughters of Bernardini are worth their wait in gold.

  5. Nelson Maan says:

    I thought it was fitting to mention the excellent performance of Tawny Port in yesterday’s Jim Dandy.

    He tracked closely Early Voting and Zandon and rallied decisively in lane one to finish only 2 lengths behind the current leader of the division, Epicenter. Zandon had to work hard to withhold the son of Pioneerof the Nile by just a half length; but the Preakness champion, Early Voting, was not able of fend off the final kick of Tawny Port.

    John Fort and Brad Cox should be very happy about the consistent progress of Tawny Port.

    Tawny Port proved that he belongs with the best of his generation, and he will be one of the favorites in the Pennsylvania Derby.

    • Steve Haskin says:

      No one TV mentioned him even though he was right there

      • Nelson Maan says:

        I see not commenting on Tawny Port’s performance as a kind of lapse as there were only four brilliant 3-year-olds gallantly competing in the Jim Dandy…

        Anyway, Irad Ortiz did a great job but Tawny Port deserves recognition for his big effort in a race setting that did not benefit his running style at all…

    • Davids says:

      Nelson, I wouldn’t be jumping to a conclusion that Epicenter is the leader of the three year old division. Which Grade 1 race has he won? Grade 2 prep race wins doesn’t cement the ‘title’ as leader of the pack. Hold your powder until the Travers Stakes has been run and won. Zandon, was obviously ridden close up to see how this would workout in the Travers Stakes. I’d hazard a guess they will return to his previous style for the big race.

      As much as I like the chances of Charge It in the Travers Stakes and would consider him the big fish in a muddy pond at present, he lacks a Grade 1 win as well. Many may consider Cyberknife the leader with good reason, he has Grade 1 wins to back that choice or Taiba?

      At this stage, Nelson is championing Epicenter and David is championing Charge It we can’t both win and we could both be far from the mark but it does make racing fun, yes fun. Good luck, mon ami.

      • Lynda King says:

        Right now Cyberknife comes off as the leading 3 year old colt.
        Epicenter needs a grade one.
        I see Charge It, Cyberknife and Epicenter in the mix for 3 year old.
        Taiba still has the chance to make some noise.
        Cannot forget the filly Nest though she will most likely run in the Distaff.
        Been out of commission, desk top computer croaked….motherboard.
        Stuck using this tablet for now which I cannot stand. Too much AI on these things.
        Thankful for it however until I scrape up 500-600 for a new desktop.

        • Davids says:

          Ah ha, Lynda is championing Cyberknife!! I’m not sure if Cyberknife will turn up I can the Travers Stakes, the Pennsylvania Derby seems more likely. Should Cyberknife win the Pennsylvania Derby it would be difficult to topple him unless one of the three year olds wins the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

          My iPad is the preferred means of ‘communication’ these days. Lynda you may learn to love the tablet. However, if it’s not an iPad you have my sympathy.

  6. RAY UNGER says:

    is Jackies Warrior the best medium distance horse since Dr Fager?

    STEVE :Dr Fager was the first horse I fell in love with.not too many folks remember him anymore!
    thanks for your good work and wonderful articles and books

    Ray

    Ray Unger

    • Steve Haskin says:

      Thank you Ray, Those who saw Dr. Fager sure havent forgotten him, and he has a mystique to thosee who didnt see him.

    • Matthew W says:

      Well, we don’t know, he didn’t run in the Met Mile he ran instead in the True North… Speaker’s Corner and Flightline ran in the Met, and Life Is Good can run some.. .Jackie’s won a gr1 yesterday, he was the only gr1 caliber horse in the race, middle distance is a mile, mile and sixteenth.

    • John Goggin says:

      Nope. Not even close.

    • Spaldeen says:

      How about Wise Dan?

  7. JOHN RUBINO says:

    CHOPPED LIVER PARM EH??? THERES A UNIQUE BLEND OF CULTURAL GASTRONOMY THAT MIGHT WORK…
    BEFORE I CLOSE OUT THIS MINI JOURNEY, MAY I HIGHLY RECOMMEND BILLY CRYSTALS MOVIE “HERE TODAY”. IT WILL TOUCH YOUR HEART THE WAY YOURS HAVE TOUCHED OTHERS… BILLY IS A MENSCH (THAT MUCH YOU HAVE IN COMMON)…
    I FINALLY GOT THE COURAGE UP TO TELL YOU THAT YOUR INDUCTION CEREMONY BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE AND A SMILE ACROSS MY FACE AS BIG AS A CONEY ISLAND HOT DOG (OR IN YOUR CASE, A CHOW MEIN SANDWICH)… FOR A KID FROM THE STREETS OF BENSONHURST (OUR STREETS) WHO TOILED SO LONG AND HARD TO ACHIEVE HIS GOAL AND TO FINALLY REACH THE PINNACLE OF SUCCESS IN SUCH AN ESTEEMED INDUSTRY IS TRULY NOTHING SHORT OF AMAZING…GOD SPEED TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY…
    STEVE HERES TO…PUNCH BALL/STOOP BALL/STICK BALL/BOX BALL/TRIANGLE/SEWER TO SEWER/KICK THE CAN/SKULLY/
    RING-A-LEEVEE-O/ & JOHNNY ON THE PONY…….SEE ‘YA ‘ROUND……..BROTHER.

    • Steve Haskin says:

      That really means a lot to me John. Thank you so much. It has been quite a road. I still dont know how I got here.

      You pretty much covered the gamut of street games. Played ’em all. Let’s see what I can add. Off the wall, Hide and go seek, curves. king queen, hit the penny, We were all fanatics of the board game All Star Baseball, and there was Electric Football, and Bask-ett.

      It’s been a lot of fun reminiscing. Thanks for the memories.

      • Steve Haskin says:

        BTW, my favorite TV show was Brooklyn Bridge. If youve never seen it it’s on You Tube. Takes place in your neighborhood. The lives of the kids paralleled mine so much. It was so well done and eally brought brought back memories.

      • Matthew W says:

        Steve I had the All-Star Baseball game, and made up a league of teams and played the games! By the way I’m texting this at Del Mar, have not been here in over 40 years, came to see Mandaloun up close, nomatter if he wins he’s one heckuva good looking horse! Trained here, looked all over…..huge crowd, women dressed like Sat night…..they scream when race starts, and I keep thinking a horse fell!…..

        • Steve Haskin says:

          LOL. We made up a league too. We even kept score. The biggest fun was making up the startibg lineup.

          • bruce says:

            Ok as long as we’re on the subject of board games, how about Strat-O-Matic Baseball?! We had soooooo much fun playing that game!

          • Matthew W says:

            If I recall….Pete Rose had a huge “13”, which was a single…..they didn’t have many of the top players, but I remember guts like Willie Horton, and Jim Northrup…..

  8. JOHN RUBINO says:

    OUR GO CARDS SURE OPENED UP A NEW WORLD OF INDEPENDENCE. I BYPASSED THE MAD RUSH AND STOOD ON THE CONCRETE FOUNDATION BEHIND THE LAST ROW ON ONE END. CLOSE ENOUGH TO BANG ON THE METAL ROOFING TO CREATE NOISE. ATTENDED THE NHL OLD TIMERS ALL STAR GAME IN ’84. A BANQUET THE NITE BEFORETHE GAME WAS AT SHERATON MEADOWLANDS AND ALL THE GREATS YOU MENTIONED WERE ALL THERE. MET STAN MIKITA IN OF ALL PLACES THE MENS ROOM. TALES OF HAWKS HOCKEY NEVER SOUNDED SO GOOD AS RETURNED TO OUR TABLES.
    WHAT EDDIE SHACK (THE CLOWN PRINCE…AND MY FAVORITE PLAYER) WAS DOING AT AN ALL STAR BANQUET WAS BEYOND ME……..WOW!!!! 2 ND ROW BEHIND THE BASKET???? YOU GUYS WERE CLOSE ENOUGH TO GET SWEATED ON :)…REMEMBER THE CHICAGO ZEPHYRS???…HOW BOUT OPENING WEEK AT SHEA ’64
    I’D CLIP 20 BORDENS MILK COUPONS WHICH GOT YOU IN FREE UP IN THE NOSEBLEEDS. WENT WITH MY CLOSE JEWISH FRIEND .
    WE SWITCHED OUR BAG LUNCHES.HE GOT THE CHICKEN PARM…. I GOT HIS CHOPPED LIVER..NEVER WERE TWO FRIENDS MORE IN HEAVEN…..

    • Steve Haskin says:

      First and second row and we were almost always in the first row. That banquet souds amazing. Mikita and Mahovlich were my two favorite players by far. Next time try the chopped liver parm.