This is a man with quite a history...
Did you want to be a jockey? "No, I wanted to be a cowboy."
First job: "I only went through the eighth grade. I was always playing hooky. I went to work on a dairy farm. I took the cows out in the hills and grazed them. I went to the track when I was 14. I was under contract. You were supposed to be 16, so my mother signed the papers saying I was 16."
Where did you first ride? "Caliente, in Tijuana. There was no racing in California then."
Best trainer: "Bob Wheeler. In my book, he was a hell of a horseman. Bill Molter. And Charlie Whittingham was as good as any. I knew Charlie since we were little kids. We went to grammar school together."
Best jockey: "Bill Shoemaker, without a doubt. He was just a natural. He was one of the smartest riders, too. You'd hardly ever see him in trouble. He got me started playing golf. He was one of the best friends I ever had. George Woolf was amazing. He could be off for two months and ride a mile-and-a-quarter race and never take a deep breath. He was fit all the time.
You won the Derby as an agent. "Yes, I was Henry Moreno's agent in 1953 when Dark Star upset Native Dancer. We were riding for Capt. Harry Guggenheim, who raced as Cain Hoy Stable. He owned Dark Star. He won the Derby Trial, but I didn't think he had a chance in the Derby. I watched the race on television in New York. Afterwards, me and Charlie Whittingham and our wives drank 'til 2 a.m."
Best horse seen: "Phar Lap was it for a while, but I'd have to say Secretariat. And this mare who won the other day, Zenyatta, I've never seen a mare like that."