Richard Mandella on the basics that make racing work

Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella is not in his tack room office between sets at Del Mar this morning. Instead, the son of a blacksmith is at the end of the long indoor barn, artfully sweeping a rasp across a back hoof of a two-year-old Storm Cat filly. When prompted, he says, simply, “The basics are what make this game work. Believe me, basic horsemanship will hold you in good stead. It's the most important thing. Knowing that a horse is shod as correct as he can be, that the blacksmith's doing a good job You? Embarrassed, he downplays his handiwork. No, I tinker around, that's all. I don't do it every day. And it doesn't make me any better than anybody else.

Frances J Karon
 (14 October 2008 - Issue Number: 10)