Page 85 - The Rankin Family and Harness Racing
ISSUE : Issue 45
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1987/6/1
they're trained by. Here, somebody who's betting--they don't look who's training the horse. They look who's driving the horse. (And yet, you would say.) Well, you have to have a good driver. There's no sense training a horse and then give it to Joe Blow to go out there and park it! You have to have a good driver. (But the role of the trainer?) It's more important than what people give it credit for. Donna: I think that's coming, though. Tra? ditionally in this area most drivers trained their own horses, So therefore when you were looking at the driver, you were also looking at the trainer. I think it's starting to be separate. (So when someone rents a spot in your sta? ble, they're hiring you as a trainer. Do people ever come back at you and say, "You spoiled this horse"?) Darlene: I must ad? mit, I never had that. (Do they ever say, "You made that horse"?) People in Sydney don't hand out compliments. You just kind of--if it's bad, then it's bad, and if it's good, it'-S good. There's no big deal either way. I claimed a few horses and they did really well for me. People would leave their horses with me after the other horses raced better. So that was compli? ment enough. When we talked to Donnie Rankin, the horse Donmar Rain had been to the races 7 times, and had won all 7. The track record at Tartan Downs is 8 wins in the first 8 starts. At the same time, the horse was moving up through the classes, and her next race would be against some of the fastest horses in Sydney. As it happened, Donmar Rain lost the 8th race by less than a head. But this will give an idea of the kind of things that were on Donnie Rankin's mind when we talked. Donnie Rankin People are asking, "How fast can he go?" or "How good is he?" And to be quite hon? est, I don't really know. Every time he's called upon, he'll do it. But I guess you might say he's lazy. When another horse comes up to challenge him, he'll go on. And if that horse falls back and another one comes to challenge him, he'll go on a- gain. But if he's not challenged, he's not pulling, or eager to go or anything. When he has to go, he'll go, A lot of racehorses, once they get racing they get kind of hot--it's a job, you see them pulling them back, trying to rate them. You don't want to go the first half too fast and bum them out. But he rates his own mile. He doesn't go till he feels it's necessary--till the horse comes up be? side him. Which is great for him--he's not going to kill himself, so to speak, (But at the same time, even after 7 races, you don't know yet what he can do,) Yeah, exactly. If he was anxious to go all the time, you'd have an idea: I was holding him back that time but I wasn't this time. But you're never really holding hin back because he just goes when he has to, (What has he done so far at the track?) Well, the competition in Sydney early in the winter is not so tough. The better horses are laid up. So his first few races, although he won very easily, you know, it wasn't against real stiff competition, so it didn't really impress me that terribly much. Although I liked the way he did it-- SAVE YOUR WINDSHIELD! STONE DAMAGED WINDSHIELDS RESTORED FOR FREE! Your Insurance Company Pays All DAY 564-4527 NIGHT ('' Now full auto glass service, if your windshield is beyond surgery MAIN CLINIC: 6 LIBERTY ST., SYDNEY (Free House Calls) The Windshield Surgeon (85)
Cape Breton's Magazine