EXCLUSIVE: We interview Bungee the handicapping horse
Bungee provides Rich Glazier his closing day selection.
Longtime racing fan Joshua Miller doubles as a horse whisperer and provided this interview. Any similarity between anything in this interview and any actual fact is, we can assure you, purely coincidental.
Every year for the last 15 years or so, Delaware Park racing analyst Rich Glazier has called upon his avatar, Bungee – a small, stuffed toy horse – to provide handicapping selections for selected turf races run at Delaware Park. Most years, Bungee’s selections have returned a modest positive ROI; but this year, he is running on all cylinders, with a hit rate hovering around 50% and an ROI that is through the roof. Our correspondent caught up with Bungee on the backstretch recently, and filed this interview.
The Racing Biz: So, Bungee, let’s start at the beginning. Where were you born?
Bungee: Foaled. I was foaled and raised on a farm in Middletown, Delaware. That makes me Delaware Bred and Delaware Certified.
The Racing Biz: Delaware Certified? That’s a purse enhancement program for thoroughbreds. Are you a thoroughbred? I always assumed …
Bungee: Well, my sire was a teaser stallion …
The Racing Biz: But do you have any papers, a foal certificate or something?
Bungee: What are you, the Jockey Club?
The Racing Biz: I’m just saying …
Bungee: Look, I’m a second cousin to Zippy Chippy.
The Racing Biz: That’s not something I’d want on my resumé, Bungee.
Bungee: Hey, he’s got a Wikipedia page. You got one of those?
The Racing Biz: We have a website.
Bungee: Anybody can have a website. You gotta be somebody to have a Wikipedia page.
The Racing Biz: I think we’ve gotten a little off-topic here. Why don’t you tell me how you met Rich Glazier.
Bungee: That’s kind of a funny story. Back in 1977, I was working ….
The Racing Biz: 1977? That would make you over 40 years old!
Bungee: But I’m only 6 in dog years. Anyway, back then I was working as a stable pony for Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons …
The Racing Biz: Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons died in 1966.
Bungee: Did I say Sunny Jim? I meant Preston Burch. So, we were down in Florida at old Tropical Park ….
The Racing Biz: Tropical Park closed in 1972.
Bungee: Did I say Tropical Park? I meant Calder. Anyway, as I was saying, we were down in Florida, and Rich was hanging around the stable area looking for inside info to help his handicapping. The seventh race that day – it was on July 7th as I recall – was a turf race, and one of the last Round Tables was entered.
The Racing Biz: Round Table – one of the great turf sires of all-time.
Bungee: So says Rich. Well, he bet his last $700 to win on that horse, number 7.
The Racing Biz: What happened?
Bungee: Horse ran 7th. Rich was tapped out, couldn’t afford his motel bill, so I invited him to bunk with me in my stall. We’ve been working together ever since.
The Racing Biz: When did you two first start making professional selections?
Bungee: Later that year at Hialeah we were hired by the Morning Telegraph to make selections under the pseudonym “Roamer.”
The Racing Biz: The Morning Telegraph ceased publication in 1972.
Bungee: Hunh. That explains why we never got paid.
The Racing Biz: How did you guys end up at Delaware Park?
Bungee: Greyhound bus.
The Racing Biz: No, I mean how did you get the gig as racing analysts?
Bungee: After Maryland went to year-round racing in the early 80’s, management felt they had to spice up the product, as it were, due to all of the additional competition. So they made us an offer we couldn’t refuse.
The Racing Biz: Which was …?
Bungee: Two bus tickets.
The Racing Biz: I see. Is there anything you’d like to add before we end?
Bungee: Yeah. You know that thing, where it never rains on Saturday at Delaware Park?
The Racing Biz: Yes.
Bungee: That’s not Rich. That’s all me.
The Racing Biz: Okay Bungee. It’s been interesting. Next time I’ll interview Andy Serling.
Bungee: Next time I’ll talk to Isaac Chotiner.
The Racing Biz: Oh, one last thing: who do you like on closing day?
The Racing Biz: Did what?
Bungee: No, dummy. That’s the name of the horse. He’s in the third race, and you can take that, at least, to the bank.
Trainer Eddie Gaudet won the 1991 General George, and now 30 years later, his daughter Lacey Gaudet hopes to annex the G3 Fritchie with Dontletsweetfoolya.
The unraced Dis Ones On Fire is the lone West Virginia-bred nominated to the Triple Crown. What’s owner-breeder-trainer James Locklear’s plan?
Latest Memorable Moments in the Mid-Atlantic: Derby-Preakness winner Carry Back delivered one last big performance to cap his Hall of Fame career.
Trainer Michael Jones, Jr., enjoying a strong start to 2021, is following the good advice he got from his grandmother, pioneering trainer Sylvia Bishop.
Two-time stakes winner Dontletsweetfoolya is heading into next weekend’s Grade 3 Fritchie with a secret weapon — a new goat friend named Doris.
Whether horses are breaking from the gate, waiting for the fall of the flag, or following the mobile barrier, racing starters seek teamwork.