12/10/2013 1:42PM

Dick Jerardi: Glorioso is one heck of a trainer - just ask him

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Eighttofasttocatch gets his 10th stakes win in the Broad Brush Stakes last Saturday at Laurel Park.

In a sport with great characters, there are few more interesting than trainer Ron Glorioso, the former Pennsylvania state cop. Glorioso, 72, is never going to be at the top of the standings at Parx Racing. He rarely has more than 12 horses in his barn.

But give the man a horse who can run, and he knows how to find the winner’s circle. He’s been doing it for almost 40 years. His former wife was credited with the first 280 wins of Glorioso’s career, but he certainly was a major factor in them.

Since his name went on the program in 1985, he has won 675 more races. By Glorioso’s count (and given the sport’s sketchy records from decades ago, his count might be accurate), he recently passed 1,000 career wins.

“This has been done without a lot of horses, mostly eight to 10” at a time, Glorioso said.

The most horses he ever started in one year was 257 in 1998, when he had his most winners, 36. It is all about opportunity.

“I’ll bet my house nobody could do what I’ve done with the horses I’ve had,” the always-understated Glorioso said. “I’ll call anybody’s bluff.”

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He mentioned a filly named Asadorable, a foal of 1986 who was conditioned by another trainer but whom Glorioso was sure he could turn into a winner.

“Her last 10 starts, she had been beaten 20 lengths or better,” Glorioso said.

She was owned by a man for whom Glorioso trained. He called the owner and said, “Give her to me. If she doesn’t win the first time, you don’t pay me.”

The owner kept the filly with the same trainer for one more race.

“I’ll give you a better deal,” Glorioso told the owner. “If she doesn’t win the first time I run her, you don’t pay me for the other six I have in training for you from the day I get her to the day she starts. You get the seven horses for free. But if she wins, I want to double my day rate retroactive. In fact, I guarantee you she’ll win a stake, or you don’t pay me, period.”

According to Glorioso, the filly was beaten 47 lengths in her next start. Glorioso then got the filly. The owner did not go for the deal, but Glorioso said Asadorable won first out for him and eventually won a stakes and placed in several others.

And there was Hot Little Dish, who was beaten in a $3,000 maiden-claiming race at Fairmount Park. Glorioso had trained the horse’s mother, Lady On Ice, a foal of 1981 and a multiple stakes winner.

“That filly was a dead cripple when I got her,” Glorioso said. “And she ran her eyeballs out for me.”

Glorioso remembers Hot Little Dish winning “13, 15 races, something like that, almost a third of her starts.”

His memory is excellent. She was claimed for $3,000 at Fairmount on July 14, 1994. She started 30 times for Glorioso, winning 12 races and $125,000 until her final start March 20, 1997. She ran at what was then called Philadelphia Park, Penn National, Delaware Park, Aqueduct, and Belmont Park.

Glorioso grew up in North Philadelphia and was a cop for five years. Then, he made his way to the track. He won’t be leaving.

He was injured in a serious car accident in March 2011, and though Glorioso said the accident slowed him down, it has not stopped him. In fact, anyone who knows him realizes that there is no way he can ever be stopped.

Maryland beats West Virginia

Maryland-bred star Eighttofasttocatch was in against West Virginia-bred star Lucy’s Bob Boy in last Saturday’s $100,000 Broad Brush Stakes at Laurel Park. Eighttofasttocatch is almost as unbeatable at Laurel as Lucy’s Bob Boy is at Charles Town. Well, the horse on his home track won easily, while Lucy’s Bob Boy struggled home seventh of eight.

Eighttofasttocatch got his 10th stakes win and his third straight this fall after wins in the Maryland Million Classic and Jennings Handicap. Even without his customary clear lead, Eighttofasttocatch once again lived up to his name.