Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Eddie Arcaro, March 1976

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:01 - Bill Shoemaker / Best riders

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Partial Transcript: Uh, you saw him at Santa Anita

Segment Synopsis: Arcaro describes fellow jockey Bill Shoemaker, including an analysis of his jockeying style. Arcaro also lists the best riders that he has competed against throughout the years.

Keywords: Bill Shoemaker; California; Friends; Gordon Richards; Intelligent; Jackie Westrope; New York; Paris (France); Styles; Yves Saint-Martin

Subjects: Horse industry; Horse racing; Jockeys; Santa Anita Park (Arcadia, Calif.); Successful; Technique

00:04:53 - Races against Shoemaker / Boxing

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Partial Transcript: What, uh, one race do you remember, uh, uh, that reall--that may strike a chord in your memory, uh, where you and Shoe were competing against each other?

Segment Synopsis: Arcaro reflects upon the most notable races when he and Shoemaker competed against one another. Arcaro then praises Shoemaker's abilities as a jockey. Following this, Arcaro explains his strategy in attempting to beat Shoemaker. Lastly, the interviewee talks of Shoemaker's boxing achievements.

Keywords: Bill Shoemaker; Boxers; Capabilities; El Paso (Tex.); Fighters; Fighting; Guts; Jackie Westrope; Jaipur (horse); Match races; Poise; Telecast

Subjects: Ability; Belmont Park (Elmont, N.Y.); Boxing; Competition; Horse industry; Horse racing; Horses; Jockeys; Races; Santa Anita Park (Arcadia, Calif.)

00:12:03 - Jockeys / Riding style

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Partial Transcript: Things that make all riders that last, last are the people that you're connected with.

Segment Synopsis: Arcaro explains the slumps that all jockeys, regardless of their abilities experience. Subsequently, Arcaro examines the changes in riding styles in recent years in the United States (including Bill Shoemaker). Changes in horse whipping tendencies are also mentioned.

Keywords: "Riding long"; "Riding short"; Bill Shoemaker; Connections; Europe; Friends; Help; Leverage; Slumps; Strength; Ted Atkinson; Whip

Subjects: Adrenaline; Athletics; Horse industry; Horses; Jockeys; People; Stirrups; Technique; Time; Whips

00:17:42 - Shoemaker and Arcaro / Number of races

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Partial Transcript: When did you guys start, uh, running together?

Segment Synopsis: Arcaro talks of Shoemaker's early career, and their interactions during this time. Shoemaker's sense of style is also touched on. The increased number of races that jockeys are currently riding per year is then discussed.

Keywords: Allowance; Bill Shoemaker; California Child Actor's Bill; Clothing; Coogan law; Florida; Inflation; Injury; New York; Opportunities; Sam Snead; Sonny Workman; Styles; Winnings

Subjects: Fashion; Horse industry; Horse owners; Horse racing; Horses; Jockeys; Money; Races; Whitney family

00:25:15 - Best contemporaries / European racing

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Partial Transcript: Well, now you mentioned, uh, Westrope and Workman, and Shoemaker.

Segment Synopsis: Arcaro provides his opinion on which of his contemporaries were the best riders. Arcaro also briefly compares European horse racing to the American horse racing industry.

Keywords: "Ruled off"; Agents; Bill Shoemaker; Connections; Differences; Don Meade; Europe; Jackie Westrope; Talent; Trouble; World War II

Subjects: Horse industry; Horse racing; Horses; Jockeys; Legacy; Suicide; World War, 1939-1945

00:29:00 - Kelso (Race horse) / Abilities of horses / Successful jockeys

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Partial Transcript: Uh, you also got him the mount on Kelso. And he couldn't ride Kelso.

Segment Synopsis: Arcaro discusses the difficulties that Bill Shoemaker had with Kelso the horse (who later went on to have a successful racing career). Following this, Arcaro briefly talks of his philosophy on the abilities of Thoroughbreds. Arcaro then explains the differences in character and motivation between famous jockeys and talented jockeys who have not achieved fame.

Keywords: Allaire du Pont; Bill Shoemaker; Classic races; Difficult; Enjoyment; Harry Richards; Howard Grant; Ismael "Milo" Valenzuela; Kelso (Race horse); Passion; Style; Unlucky; Whirlaway (Race horse)

Subjects: Adrenaline; Competition; Horse industry; Horse owners; Horse racing; Jockeys; Thoroughbred

00:33:38 - Retirement / Riding

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Partial Transcript: You know when I quit, I left the three best horses in America.

Segment Synopsis: Arcaro reflects back upon his career, and remarks upon the rewarding aspects of his horse racing career. Arcaro then recalls when he began to ride Thoroughbreds, and compares his experiences to those of Bill Shoemaker.

Keywords: Appreciation; Australia; Bill Shoemaker; Decisions; Hard; Prestige; Quitting

Subjects: Aging; Coaches (Athletics); Friendship; Horse industry; Horses; Jockeys; Learning; Life; People; Retirement