HIRSCH: Uh, Eddie, you rode this horse, uh, Whirlaway in the, uh, and
you won the Derby and the Preakness with him and now you're coming up
to the 1941, uh, Belmont Stakes.
ARCARO: Well, Joe, uh, really Whirlaway, uh, was not an easy horse
to ride. He was a horse that in all of his other races had to have
somebody lead him, and in the Belmont--the way the Belmont shaped up,
there were only four horses in the Belmont. So listening around the
jock's room and listening to the rumors around there, all of the other
riders were decided to take back and put Whirlaway on the lead which,
naturally, would bother you. Uh, Whirlaway, anytime Whirlaway ever got
to the front, he would bolt. (clears throat)
HIRSCH: Had he ever done that before?
ARCARO: He bolted every time that he'd ever gotten to the front, uh,
00:01:00other than the times that I'd ridden him, and I had only ridden him in
the Derby and the Preakness. So naturally, it worried me. I wasn't, I
wasn't about to get trapped by a slow pace, therefore, I practiced time
with a stop-watch in my hand, uh, every night, uh, so that I would be
capable and able of knowing how fast we were going in these. In a long
race, this is very important.
HIRSCH: You mean you'd sit home at night and, uh, hold--
ARCARO: With a, with a stop-watch. I would, I could talk to my wife and
carry on a conversation and almost, and almost stop a watch on twelve
seconds anytime, uh, uh, during the conversation. But anyway, I had
told my wife, uh, we, we had done this together for a couple of weeks
before the Belmont and I said, "If they go this first half mile slower
00:02:00than fifty seconds, or, or fifty seconds, forty-nine and four, forty-
nine and three, whatever in that area, I would let Whirlaway go to the
front." I couldn't, uh, if I was going to get beat, I wasn't going to
get beat strangling him.
ARCARO: And, uh, as the chart, as you can see in the chart, after we
went the first half mile in--
HIRSCH: Forty-nine and four.
ARCARO: --forty-nine and four, I let Whirlaway go to the front, and he
opened up seven or eight or ten lengths. Really the chart only shows
seven lengths, but at one time he was much further in front than that,
ARCARO: And although the chart, again, says that he had won easily,
believe me if it had been another sixteenth of a mile, I believe he may
have had a heart attack. (laughs)
HIRSCH: Is that right?
ARCARO: He was staggering.
HIRSCH: Was he really staggering?
ARCARO: Oh, he was just as dead as a horse could possibly be, but he
HIRSCH: You mean, uh, from opening up, you, you drove him to open up
that seven lengths?
ARCARO: No. I didn't. I didn't have to drive him, but Whirlaway had
00:03:00one punch in his life.
HIRSCH: Um-hm. And that was it.
ARCARO: And that was it, and it was just question in him really opening
up so far on these horses that he was running with who were really
ARCARO: But Whirlaway was not a true mile and a half horse, but he made
HIRSCH: Is that right? What was his best distance?
ARCARO: Well, his best distance was maybe a mile and a quarter if you
had a lot of speed in front of him.
HIRSCH: Um-hm. I didn't realize that. Well, your next, uh, Belmont
winner was, uh, the following year with, uh, Shut Out. There must,
there was quite a stirring with that, too, wasn't there?
ARCARO: Yes. Uh, I picked, uh, Devil Diver over Shut Out in the
Kentucky Derby and, of course, I, I thought I was doing the right
thing, and later on--
HIRSCH: He was sixth in the Derby--
HIRSCH: --was Devil Diver.
ARCARO: Devil Diver, of course, wasn't the best horse that day, but
later on in his life he went on to prove that he was the best horse.
00:04:00But, uh, he wasn't really in good form.
HIRSCH: He didn't run a good race in the Preakness either.
ARCARO: No, he wasn't, Devil Diver wasn't, uh, a good horse as a three-
year-old. He wasn't in good condition, but anyway I finally, uh, got to
ride--the opportunity to ride Shut Out in the Belmont, and he was the
best. He was truly the best because I had some trouble going into the
first turn and, uh, which of course going a mile and a half you have a
lot of time to overcome trouble, but his main contention was Alsab, and
they ran practically head to head from the five eighth pole clear into
the eighth pole just right together as a team.
HIRSCH: Were you driving your horse?
ARCARO: Well, both of us were driving because it really was practically
a two-horse race although there were other horses in the race. These
two were the two, they kind of stood out over their, their opposition.
00:05:00But anyway, Shut Out, right at the finish, drew out, although the,
again, the chart doesn't show it.
HIRSCH: Was he all out to win? Was he--?
ARCARO: Oh, yes.
HIRSCH: He was a pretty tired horse, I guess.
ARCARO: Yes, he was a real tired horse, but he was a true mile and a
half horse. Shut Out--
HIRSCH: He was a true mile and a half.
ARCARO: Shut Out could go, you know, a couple of miles, I think, if he
HIRSCH: Well, now your third, uh, Belmont winner was Pavot in 1945.
ARCARO: Well, that was kind of--
HIRSCH: What do you remember about Pavot?
ARCARO: That was kind of an interesting, interesting horse to ride.
Uh, I had written Pavot in the Preakness, and, uh, Oscar White who
was training him told me, "Eddie, uh, Dave Gorman had just ridden
this, this horse in the Derby, and told me that he, he wouldn't stand
whipping left-handed or right-handed. So, uh, don't hit him." And me,
00:06:00like I sap, I guess you'd call me a sap, I didn't try hitting Pavot in
the Preakness until he got right down near the eighth pole, and when I
hit him, he took off.
HIRSCH: You mean in the Belmont?
ARCARO: No. I'm talking about the Preakness before the Belmont.
HIRSCH: Uh, well, George Woolf rode him in the Preakness. You didn't
ride that, uh, in that, uh, Belmont, I mean in that Preakness. '45--
ARCARO: Maybe, oh, I'm thinking of the wrong horse. There's another
dur-, there's a, oh, I'm thinking of a, wait a minute. I won another
Belmont over here. Uh, I'm sorry, for the same man, by the way.
HIRSCH: For Oscar, uh, White? Was it, uh, oh, yes. That's right. One
ARCARO: One Count. (laughs)
HIRSCH: Well, no. Uh, Pavot, uh, Pavot didn't run too well in the
ARCARO: No. I didn't ride him in the Preakness, and I, and I had had no
connection with Pavot really until the Belmont.
HIRSCH: Which is probably why you got the mount because you didn't run
00:07:00the two of them?
ARCARO: No. Maybe, uh--
HIRSCH: Uh, you opened up right as they, after going a mile and a
quarter you seemed to, you remember that race? You're restrained in the
ARCARO: Well, but actually that's the quarter pole--
HIRSCH: Yeah. That's the quarter pole--
ARCARO: --there on the chart. And, uh, there was a lot of pace in the
race, and I, and I, and he was an awful hard horse--
HIRSCH: The Doge set the pace.
ARCARO: There was an awful lot, uh, yes. That's correct. There was a
lot of speed in the race.
ARCARO: If you can see going a mile and a half, they went the first
quarter mile in twenty-two and four and forty-seven. Of course, then
they'd back down a little bit and then settle off to, like, a mile and
a half race, but there was a lot of sprinters in the race. There were
HIRSCH: Brookfield was a sprinter wasn't he?
ARCARO: Right. There were no real true mile and a half horses in the
race, again. Uh, it was really my first experience with Pavot so--
HIRSCH: Did you, uh, do you recall, he won by five lengths. It must
have been a pretty, uh--
ARCARO: Oh, he won awful easy once he went to the front at the head of
ARCARO: He had no problem.
HIRSCH: He was only the second choice to a horse named Jeep.
ARCARO: That is correct, so you can see that the field was weak, and it,
it was a weak mile and a half field. There is no real mile and a half
horses in there.
HIRSCH: Well, now your next, uh, Belmont victory was in '48 with a horse
ARCARO: That's right.
HIRSCH: What about Citation's Belmont as opposed to his Derby and his
ARCARO: Well, Citation was so great, Joe, that my only problem and I
cornered it before I rode him, the only way that he could ever lose was
to fall, and he almost fell leaving the gate. He stumbled--
HIRSCH: Did he really?
ARCARO: He stumbled awful bad right away from the gate and, in fact, it
tells that in the charts. Cit--
HIRSCH: Stumbled at the break.
ARCARO: Stumbled at the break and horrified me.
HIRSCH: Well, which of these, uh, three races was the easiest? The
Derby, the Preakness or the Belmont?
ARCARO: Well, Citation had no problem in any one of them, of course. He
00:09:00was just so much the best that you, you just can't believe it.
HIRSCH: I guess the Belmont might have been the easiest. He won by
ARCARO: Well, but the Derby was awful easy and so was the Preakness
really. He just never had any problem with any one of the three.
ARCARO: In fact, anybody could have won him, won the Triple Crown on
that type of a horse. He just, there was no problem with him.
HIRSCH: Well, now your next Belmont victory was with a horse called
ARCARO: Now this is--
HIRSCH: What do you remember about One Count?
ARCARO: This is the horse that I tried to tell you about before. I'd
ridden, I, I didn't ride One Count in the Preakness. Uh, a boy called
Dave Gorman rode One Count in the Preakness, and Oscar White, he
trained this, uh, or in the Derby rather. I rode him in the Preakness.
HIRSCH: Yeah. You rode him in the Preakness, and you finished third.
ARCARO: That is correct, and at one, and Oscar told me to be sure and
00:10:00not hit him because Dave Gorman said that he wouldn't run from the
whip, and when I, I listened to orders--
HIRSCH: Okay. You won the, you, how you won the, oh, no. That's the,
that's the wrong year.
ARCARO: No. I didn't win the Preakness on him.
HIRSCH: Uh, you rode a horse called Battle Morn for Cain Hoy in the
ARCARO: In the Derby. That is correct.
HIRSCH: Uh, One Count, uh, well, I don't think he even ran in the Derby,
did he? No. But he ran in the, uh, no. That's got the wrong damn year
here. Oh, you won the Derby that year with Hill Gail, and, uh, Hill
ARCARO: No. You still have the wrong Derby.
HIRSCH: No, that's '52.
ARCARO: '78? Oh, oh, I see.
HIRSCH: This is the Preakness. Uh, One Count finished third in the
Preakness and you won the Belmont with him.
ARCARO: Yes. I won, but who wo-, who rode him in the Derby?
HIRSCH: He didn't run in the Derby apparently. You won the Derby with
Hill Gail, and One Count didn't run. That's right.
ARCARO: Well, evidently then, uh--
HIRSCH: Hill Gail didn't run in either of those two races; the Preakness
or the Belmont. I guess he might have been hurt.
ARCARO: No, but see, but Gorman had ridden this horse before and told
Oscar White that he would not run from the whip.
HIRSCH: Well, that must have been another race.
ARCARO: Couldn't have been either the Derby or the Preakness.
HIRSCH: No, so it might have been the Withers Mile or something.
HIRSCH: Peter Pan or--
HIRSCH: In any case, what about his, uh, race in the Belmont; One Count?
Uh, you said you were cautioned not to use the whip?
ARCARO: That is right, but I, I had the privilege naturally of riding
him in the Preakness, and I'd never hit him. In fact the chart will
show or should show where he was laying third, dropped back to forth
and I, then I, as long as he was going to be beaten, I tore into him
left handed and he took off, and I really believe I should have been
closer or won the Preakness had I have known that he would have, would
00:12:00come from the whip. And I told Oscar White this, and naturally I rode
him back at the Belmont and if you'll notice--
HIRSCH: He won that.
ARCARO: Blue Man, when Blue Man moved up alongside of me in the Belmont,
I switched over and let Blue Man get right alongside of me, head and
head with me, and when I switched over and I hit him left-handed, he
really won the, uh, Belmont kind of easy. Won by about two or three
ARCARO: Won by about two and a half lengths, but he really was drawing
away and was as much the best at the finish.
HIRSCH: Well, all right. Now your next Belmont victory came in the,
with Nashua. What do you remember about Nashua?
ARCARO: Joe, if it were all that easy it would, I probably, as old as I
am, I could still ride.
HIRSCH: By nine.
ARCARO: He just had no problem at all. Whew. Just laid second, and,
and was, uh, was so much the best that he had to go to the front.
There was no pace in the race, and he went to the front and won
HIRSCH: Was there any, of course it's all looking back, but, uh, is
there any way that you could have won the Triple Crown that year with,
ARCARO: I don't know. Swaps was an awful powerful horse in the Derby
and, of course, Swaps didn't run in the Preakness.
HIRSCH: No. Or the Belmont.
ARCARO: Nor the Belmont, but Swaps and Nashua were, uh, awful close.
ARCARO: Uh, that year they were just, I don't know. I think either
one of them could have had a good day and beaten each other, but Swaps
happened to have went to California. Nashua stayed in the east, and he
won the Preakness and the Belmont. But, uh, who knows if they'd have
run against one another, I really believe they would have beaten one
another all, all, all that year.
HIRSCH: Well, now, uh, you also rode in the Belmont of uh--(pause)--you
00:14:00realize. What about, uh, Bold Ruler's race in the '57 Belmont?
ARCARO: Well, Bold Ruler's race, Bold Ruler was not a mile and a quarter
horse to start with, but he had no chance. He may have won other
Belmonts where there was no pace in the race, but Nerud, uh, Johnny
Nerud who trained, uh, Gallant Man ran a horse in there called, uh,
Bold Nero to go head and head with him and had a jockey on him that got
alongside of Bold Ruler that hollered and screamed all the way which
gave me no chance to rate Bold Ruler at all. So, uh, in fact, Bold
Ruler finished third. It was really a brave effort on his part because
he--not being a mile and a quarter horse, I thought, I thought that
he held on very well. And, and the amazing thing, Joe, Nerud screamed
like, uh, like about fourteen Indians when, when they ran, uh, that
00:15:00race this year.
HIRSCH: The Woodward Stakes.
ARCARO: The Woodward, yes, when he said, uh, it wasn't fair, but he did
that right back in that Belmont. That was his--
HIRSCH: Well, now you rode a race in the Belmont in '59 when you fell
with Black Hills. What, uh, it looked to me like he was beginning to
move, uh, when he went down. Do you remember that?
ARCARO: He really over-stalled and stole, and really stole field but he
would have won that Belmont because I had, uh, Shoemaker moving around
the field on Sword Dancer, and, and I was getting through and, uh, was
in front of him when I was moving. And, uh, of course this was turning
into the quarter pole when I moved into third, and of course everything
blacked out about that time because he broke his leg and--
HIRSCH: What, did he hit a slick spot on the track and, uh--
ARCARO: I really don't know, Joe. I just know that everything crumbled
underneath him. He, he didn't even stumble. He just fell on a, all in
00:16:00a heap. Yeah, so--
HIRSCH: You don't remember a thing?
HIRSCH: Um-hm. Well, now your last, uh, Belmont ride was in 1960 on a
horse called Venetian Way. What do you remember about that race?
ARCARO: Well, Venetian Way looked, kind of looked like a winner at one
time, but he faded away.
HIRSCH: He had the lead, didn't he, after a mile and a quarter.
ARCARO: That's right. That Irish horse, of course, was awful powerful
in that race. He ran right by him and beat him awful easily.
HIRSCH: Um-hm. Well, uh, now, uh, let me just, uh, stop this for
[Pause in recording.]
HIRSCH: Eddie, uh, what is the principal difference between the Belmont
as it was run the last, uh, four or five years at Aqueduct and the
Belmont as it will be run this year for the first time at the new
ARCARO: Well, Joe, riding a horse a mile and a half in our country, I'll
00:17:00put it that way, uh, over, uh, the Belmont racecourse which is a mile
and a half in circumference over Aqueduct which is a mile and an eighth
in circumference is quite a bit of difference because going a mile and
a half at Aqueduct, over Aqueduct, you must come by the stand twice.
And, uh, many times a horse gets so riled up, uh, going by the stands
the first time that it doesn't give you the real opportunity to rate
HIRSCH: Could that have been the problem with Kauai King? Uh, do you
remember Kauai King's Belmont when he went--
ARCARO: That is correct. Or, let's face it, Chateau gave that, uh,
the day that he won the Belmont was a great example. Uh, Candy Spots
coming by the stand the first time was, got all excited quite a bit
at the Belmont. Maybe Shoemaker may have been able to settle him down
00:18:00because you would have only went by the stands once.
HIRSCH: Well, does the, do the fans kind of jazz that horse? Is that--
ARCARO: Well, there's a difference because you start, you start, uh,
at Aqueduct, for instance, going a mile and a half. You start on the
back side and you come by the stand. Most horses who don't have the
greatest intelligence in the world think they're finishing, uh, which,
of course, they're not.
HIRSCH: You mean they'll ease themselves a little bit?
ARCARO: No. They, they try to take off. They, they think that this is
the finish and they go hard. Now the, uh, once they leave the stand
then they must go naturally another mile or a mile and a quarter.
HIRSCH: Confuses them there.
ARCARO: They really, really get mixed up, but going a mile and a half,
you break in front of the stand and, naturally, when you come by, the
only time you come by the stand again, you really are finishing.
HIRSCH: So, uh, then, for a horse that's a little rank, it would be a
little easier at the new Belmont Park?
ARCARO: Oh, much easier. In fact, you could, uh, you can almost hunt a
00:19:00speed horse if you're not, if you're let alone and nobody running with
you head and head. You can al-, you could almost, uh, after you go by
the stand and go into the first turn it's like being out in the country
at Belmont. Partly they relax, and I really believe they could get
further going a mile and a half over a mile and a half track.
HIRSCH: You mean, uh, a speed horse has a better chance in the Belmont
at Belmont than he would have in the Belmont at Aqueduct?
ARCARO: That would be my opinion, yes.
HIRSCH: Is there any other, aside from this business about horses
getting raced past the stands twice, is there any other aspect of
riding after regarding the turns, uh, in which a big track like Belmont
Park would play a factor?
ARCARO: Well, actually, uh, uh, naturally the, the turns being big and
wide, it's very easy to run around two or three horses on the turn
00:20:00and not lose as much ground because it's, it's a wider, it's almost
HIRSCH: Well, doesn't that help the best horse, then?
ARCARO: The best horse, if you're really on the best horse, he should
win at Belmont Park whereas at Aqueduct or other tracks you kind of get
into a situation of management, and there's more management involved.
HIRSCH: There's more strategy in riding and generalship?
HIRSCH: Well, I think that's quite a, what about the, uh, the, uh, the
Belmont, uh, uh, winning the Belmont as opposed to winning the Derby or
the Preakness. Is there any, anything that you might want to say about
that? Did it mean anything to you in particular as to--
ARCARO: Well, the Belmont is a great classic to win no, no doubt, Joe.
Uh, it's, uh, I really believe, though, that if you're on the best
horse in the Belmont, you should get home opposed to being on the
00:21:00best horse in the Derby or the Preakness. You may not get the, you
may not win in them two races whereas, whereas if you come into the
Belmont on the best horse you really should win because the track and
the conditions set it up for the best horse winning the majority of
HIRSCH: Well, now there are several Derbies in which, uh, they could
have gone either way with you. For instance, the, uh, the Derby,
uh, uh, with Phalanx which, uh, possibly you could have won. Do you
remember that? The one that Jet Pilot won.
ARCARO: Yes, I do. Right. I believe I should have won the Derby on,
on Phalanx. Had the same race have been run at Belmont Park, I'm sure
that I would have won it.
HIRSCH: Was there any Belmont that you should have won that you didn't?
ARCARO: No. Not, not Belmonts.
HIRSCH: Not Belmonts.
ARCARO: Not Belmonts, but I really believe if I look back that there
could have been a couple of Derbies--
HIRSCH: Couple of Derbies and possibly a Preakness or two?
ARCARO: No. Not a Preakness. I never, I played lucky. I never had any
bad luck in the Preaknesses, but the Derbies I had some bad luck in a
00:22:00couple of them where I think I should have won them. But then again,
I think that I won a Derby that I shouldn't have won. I really believe
that I won the Derby on La-, on a horse called Lawrin, that I shouldn't
have won. The first Derby I ever won was on, uh--
HIRSCH: Why do you say that?
ARCARO: Well, I got through on the entire field, and I really believe,
I really believe that the Dauber should have beat me in that particular
HIRSCH: Yes. You won by a length and, uh, well, you opened up three at
the head of the stretch.
ARCARO: Right. I got through on the whole field, and he came around
HIRSCH: Saving much ground. Yeah.
ARCARO: Right. I, I got through. In fact, I even got through on the
leader which was a pretty good horse called Menow.
ARCARO: But, uh, you can have luck on a mile or a mile and an eighth
track which really at Belmont I really, I have to believe that the best
horse should win.
HIRSCH: Well, Eddie, thank you very much, and, uh--
[End of interview.]