A year removed from the most read story at This Is Horse Racing that was directly related to the passing of a legend, the most read TIHR story of 2015 is again about the life and career of one of the biggest legends the racing game has ever known.
The story was the proper obit for Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens, who died March 18 at the age of 85. Written by Joe Clancy and a collaboration of interviews and research done through the years by Joe, Sean Clancy and Tom Law, the story titled "A trainer unmatched, Jerkens dies at 85" put a career in perspective beyond the statistics and facts.
The story follows Joe's piece, "My sons want to go to a funeral" that was published shortly after the passing of Tom Voss.
The Jerkens piece also included some of the memorable quips and quotes from the legendary horseman.
"Jerkens kept coming up with important horses, kept winning meaningful races, kept being a mentor and a father figure to most anyone who wandered into his barns in New York and Florida. He became known as "The Chief" for the impact, the leadership, the position of honor. He was an all-time great, still plying his trade among peers half (one-third?) his age. Seeing Jerkens still active as a trainer was akin to watching Babe Ruth play major-league baseball as a grandfather.
"Forty years after that Hall of Fame nod, Jerkens was still winning races - three at the current Gulfstream Park meet. In 2011, he laughed when asked why he was still working.
" 'Number one, you don't know anything else. Number two, you play polo and do things that use up all your money so you have to keep working,' Jerkens said. 'You just get to where you like to compete, you like horses and that's why you keep trying. You have to be lucky. There's a lot of guys who try hard that can't get lucky. You also have to be lucky enough to do it every day. It's an every-day game. You can't play it once in awhile, you have to play it every day.' "
Check out No. 1 on our 15 for 2015 list of popular stories
The complete list of 15 for 2015 stories:
No. 3: Quiet at the Jerkens barn
No. 10: Lexington's hot ticket
No. 11: Rage for the sake of the sport
No. 12: Funerals and Field Trips
No. 13: The ultimate workhorse
No. 14: Horse racing in Georgia?