09/06/2009 3:30PM



IMG_1950 On this day of the 2009 Pacific Classic, this photo is shared in tribute to Go Between, winner of the 2008 Classic, owned by Peter Vesgo, trained by Bill Mott and ridden by Garrett Gomez.

Go Between defeated Well Armed that day by a neck after a grinding run from deep in the field, into Well Armed's comfortable three-quarter split of 1:12 and change. It was a great exhibition of two seasoned old pros doing what they did best. 

Go Between 's death last January, from a some kind of cardiac seizure, was one of those lightning bolts of stark reality that reminds even the toughest practitioners of the breed's fragility. Had Go Between been the same horse this year he was last year, a defense of his Pacific Classic title certainly would have been a target for Mott and Vesgo.

Instead, his memory has been preserved these 12 months by Vegso's colors on the centermost jockey in the Del Mar walking ring, the first thing you see when you enter. At the end of business Sunday, another color pattern will be ready to take its place. For now, even his smallest  fans think he looks pretty good in red and white.

Jay H More than 1 year ago
Richard H -- Yes, and takes after her mother thank goodness.
Richard Helfman More than 1 year ago
Could that lovely young lady hugging that rather stiff jockey be the daughter of the "retired Hall of Fame jockey" that you mentioned in your 9/14/09 blog entry?
Laura More than 1 year ago
Go Between was a dear friend of mine. I would visit him frequently at Payson Park. He would snort and stamp his feet impatiently when I was slow unwrapping the peppermints he loved. He wasn’t the type of guy who appreciated affectionate gestures such as forehead rubs and hugs. He would toss his head as if to say “Get off me, I’m not into that emotional crap, just give me another peppermint.” He also loved to play “tug-o-war” with the plastic coated chain in front of his stall. He would pick it up with a daring look in his eye and encourage his visitor to grab the chain and pull. On what would be my last visit with Go Between, I took some photos of him. He kept goofing off and finally, I said, come on, be serious for a minute and quit clowning, would you? He instantly struck a beautiful pose. I’d be happy to share the photos. Please email me at lross@ironmaidensthoroughbreds.com
yuwipi More than 1 year ago
Lovely piece. I can remember the first year they ran The Ruffian, 1976. There was a 30 minute show in NY each Saturday that covered the feature race. They began that program with several minutes of video highlights of Ruffian's career to the background music of Striesand's "The Way We Were." I was at a house party. There was not a dry eye in the place. So many seem to fall. This year at Saratoga Finallymadeit was lost. Tough game that can get you down. If poster Gary Lynn is correct about the young lady next to the jockey statue it would explain her looking like a certain jockey i witnessed doing the "macarena" with great enthusiasm several years ago at Saratoga outside the riders quarters. Special photo regardless.
hialeah More than 1 year ago
Rachel does have the game by the throat because her connections went for the gold while Zenyatta took the easy route within her own division and in a tiny geographic region this year. Z is the SoCal Female Poly Champ. Rachel is Horse o' the Year for everywhere else.
Jay H More than 1 year ago
Gary Lynn -- Not reluctant, stunned, but grateful for the attention, especially when Julie was the real draw. Thanks for sharing memories of John S.
Gary Lynn More than 1 year ago
It's already been year...and four since Folklore's win? I loved Go Between that day. My calculated closing figs for him at the distance were so good! The time passages makes the thirty-eight years since i was introduced to John Stewart's music seem like another age. It was. Thanks for your personal reflection. I have passed it along friends of mine, fans of his. You may remember me as the fellow who asked and reluctantly autographed my racing form while I was standing in line to have my (actually, her) bobblehead signed by your better half at the Turf Festival in Inglewood several years ago. Might I add that the line was much longer that it would have been had your roles been reversed! We later chatted about my friend and owner's steed Christian Soldier leading Skip Away through a quarter in the Islein Cap. Ironically, that statuesque, carrot-lover passed away on the farm about the same time as Go Between. You seemed a bit taken aback at my request that day, but not as surprised as Miss Julie (a favorite work and she was at the time) when the same request was made of her at ACRC in 1983. My firend Sal Sanzo was sportscaster for the NBC affiliate at the time and I "furthered" his involvement in the sport. Good times. John Stewart times...."And here she comes!....Sweetheart On Parade".Goosebumps. I'm going to assume that the young lady pictured next to the red and white silks is a special 'sweetheart' to the both of you. Goosebumps. Life is good. Thanks for your(pl.) work. My best regards. And how about the weekend my bud Bobby B. just had!
bob fron elmont More than 1 year ago
The shame is the only real champion on west coast wasn't given chance in pacific classic. Zenyatta probably would have won easily. No guts no glory
Paseana More than 1 year ago
I also loved Go Between, Jay, and was just devastated when he was taken so suddenly! It's the 2000 Pacific Classic day which I remember every year for two completely opposite reasons. The really great reason is that it was in that year's PC that Tiznow tipped his hand with his strong 2nd (as a 3yo) to that Del Mar denizen Skimming. The rest is history! But the day was marred by the tragic accident on the undercard that took the life of one of the most promising Theatrical fillies I've ever seen......Candace In Paris. The day will always be tainted with sadness because of her.
Qev More than 1 year ago
Baffert was right about the Plasti-Turf, it makes great horses look mediocre and mediocre horses look great. I'm just glad that he was able to use his insightful observation to his own advantage. Richard's Kid is better than the likes of Einstein, Rail Trip and Colonel John on this stuff eh...laughable.