Mike Penna, Dan Bella, Phasic Tipton discussed on The Horse Racing Radio Network Podcast
Good evening, or maybe even good morning, depending upon which part of the world you are tuning in to today's show on Sirius two 19 XM two O one and so many of you also now choosing to listen to trainer talk and many of our other weekly talk shows via podcast all over the world on our website at horse racing radio dot net and various major podcast platforms. And I really want to thank you first and foremost for being part of our HRM family each and every week. It is truly a pleasure to be able to bring these shows to you every week throughout the year. I of course, in Mike penna, baron in the backstretch, happy to have you in the saddle with me once again for the next hour on the show trainers listen to. It is trainer talking. It's all presented by our friends at phasic tipton here on the horse racing radio network. Well, you know, 50 years is a long time. And it's a really long time to be doing the same job. And when today's guest first started working on the racetrack, the year was 1972. And to put that in perspective for you, Richard Nixon was president of the United States. Don McLean's American pie topped the music charts all in the family and Sanford and son were the top two television shows, but godfather had just come out and was the most popular movie of that year. The cowboys under coach Tom Landry defeated Don Shula's dolphins in Super Bowl 6 and a gallon of gas about this cost 36 cents. Secretariat had yet to become secretariat. He was only a two year old while his stablemate revered was busy winning the 1972 Kentucky Derby. That was also the time when a very eager and very determined teenager first arrived on the woodbine backstretch. 50 years later, he still showing up at that same barn area and at 66 years young. He's as passionate as ever about the sport he loves. Please join me in welcoming trainer Dan Bella to train her talk presented by phasic tipton. Dan appreciate the visit, my friend. Hello, how are you? Doing really well and really excited to hear your story. You know, you think about what you have accomplished in these 50 years. 860 career winners. Nearly 30 $9 million in purse earnings and you're a two time sovereign award winner as Canada's leading trainer. Boy, could you ever imagine when you first walked on to the woodbine backstretch that things would end up where they have? No, not really. I mean, let's be honest, they start out as a kid, you're living on the back side, your work and your groom and your walking hot and you know you're getting on some horses and your work your way up. But the dream for everybody, that stage of your life is to win a queen's plate and to train some horses and to fulfill all those dreams and to be that lucky and to be around great horses. You exceed your expectations and you're very lucky to do that. You know, Chris leman over at woodbine, who is in the publicity department, wrote a really nice article about you and about your career it came out about two weeks ago or so. And one of the things that he pointed out was that your introduction to horse racing came through your uncle. Tell me a little more about that. Well, my best friend when I was a kid was my cousin Mike and his father was my uncle Jim. They were vegetable farmers outside of the city and we used to spend our Sundays out there on the farms and I used to spend my whole summer there working on the farm and we had a great time. And he was absolutely passionate about horse racing. You know, back then, the racing farm was only, you know, maybe ten sheets of paper, but he used to go out and get the farm during lunch time and then after dinner he'd sit down in his chair and he'd read before him and eat market and we used to shoot the board area for the races there in the summertime and it was a big deal for me. And that's kind of where my passion for the horses started. He would always own a piece of a horse or a horse or whatever he could afford. But that's where it all started. He loved horse racing. And I caught a bug right away back then. I've got pictures from, I don't know, the early 60s at fort Erie in the summertime. Yeah, it was a lot of fun and that's where I got started. As I was reading that and just listening to you now I was thinking about the relationships that I have with my uncles and I have a couple of uncles that really enjoy going to the races. We have gone to multiple racetracks together. And you know it's so special to be able to spend that time with your family and do it in an environment and participating in a sport, even if it's just handicapping and betting on the races to do it in a sport like horse racing is just so, so cool. Well, sports 50 years ago sports were different. Also, there were more characters in sports back then. The extremes were a little more we've gotten a little more placid with what we do in sports nowadays, maybe you could call it a little more professional, but we've lost maybe a tiny bit of our flares. Some of the characters back then some of the jocks, Chris Rogers and sandy Holly came along a bit later. Avelina, Gomez, who was one of the greatest riders that ever lived and they interacted with the people on the back side, much more than. And what the betters and yeah, there was a lot of flair to all sports then, but horse race it was a big deal then..