The Six Furlong Drill - Laffit Pincay Jr.

Out of the gate: Back when you were still riding, could you ever have imagined a day when Hollywood Park would close? “I never dreamed this could happen. I will say that it was about 10 to 15 years ago that I noticed less horses were being bred, which was going to mean smaller fields, and the attendance was starting to go down, especially at Hollywood Park. But closing? No.”

The first quarter: This may be an obvious question, but we’ll ask anyway. Do you have a favorite Hollywood Park memory? “It would definitely be when I broke Shoemaker’s record. I remember that Shoe broke the record at Del Mar, and it was going to be my favorite memory wherever it happened.”

The half-mile: Once and for all can you address the urban legend that on a plane ride from the California to New York for a stakes race you sat next to Wayne Lukas and made a complete meal out of a peanut. “To tell you the truth (laughing), I did so many stupid things back then with food it’s very possible, even though I don’t remember it. Laz Barrera used to always make fun of how I would crumble up one saltine cracker and have that for lunch.”

The eighth pole: Does it make a difference to a rider when they come out on the track and there are 5,000 people in the stands or 50,000? “As far as riding the race, there is no difference, but it does mean something because it seems to be a lot more fun when you have a big crowd cheering down the stretch. It can also be a little depressing when you come out on the track and the stands are almost empty.”

The sixteenth pole: You did quite a few cameos in movies and television shows back in the 60s and 70s, does one stand out? “The one I remember most is when I played a restaurant host on the show ‘The Rockford Files’. It was just one day of work, but it was hard, especially remembering my lines.”

The finish line: Are there any riders out there right now who remind you of Laffit Pincay Jr. “Yes, Joel Rosario. He’s a very good rider and when he’s coming down the stretch he’s very strong without having to overuse the whip. I really enjoy watching him ride and he does remind me of myself.”