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Let's Go Blogging

A couple of weeks ago Jim Mulvihill, the new Director of Communications, asked me if I would be interested in writing for this blog.  Without hesitation I immediately said I'd love to, but I'm ashamed to say that I really wasn't sure what a blog is.  I did some investigating and I think I am now ready to go blogging.  Heck, I'm 53-years-old and I just learned how to send text messages and finally figured out what LOL, LMAO and ROTFL mean.  The only reason I know what BFF stands for is because of the old lady in the cell phone commercial.

I'd like to introduce myself to the readers of these Fair Grounds blogs.  My name is Rick Mocklin and I've been around the Fair Grounds and Louisiana racing for a long time.  I don't know if that's a good thing or not, but I do know that I've seen a lot of changes in racing over the last 36-plus years.  Through this blog I'm going to report on racing, its participants and some of those changes.  I'm gonna write about owners, trainers, jockeys, officials, agents, horses or any other racing personel and personalities that might be of interest to the racing bloggers out there.

To refresh some old memories, some of you may remember me from the announcer's booth at Jefferson Downs.  I started calling races at J.D. in September of 1974 at the ripe old age of 17, and except for a stint as a trainer for a couple of years, I was around to call the last race of the J.D. era on November 2, 1992.  The late Melvin Guerra trained the winner and I remember the race like it was yesterday.  Go Go Gunner won the race by the length of the stretch and I said "It's Go Go Gunner and he's going, going, gone."  Fair Grounds regular Corey Lanerie, who was just a baby Cajun back then, was on him. 

As for this historic race track, I've had the pleasure to work with some real characters like Allen "Black Cat" Lacombe, Buddy D., Claude Williams, Ronnie Virgets, Herb Holiday and Tony Bentley.  I backed-up Tony in the Fair Grounds announcer's booth for a long time and I did a lot of the television work on-track and with the local stations.  I also worked in the publicity office for a number of years under Raymond Beard and Eddie Madary..  They too, were good teachers, as I worked my way up to the Director of Communications.

Since 1995, I've worked a a jockey's agent and my clients have included Randy Romero, Jorge Velasquez, Corey Lanerie, Gerard Melancon, Donnie and Lonnie Meche and now, Fair Grounds newcomer Richard Eramia.  Being an agent allows me to be in contact with the horsemen on a regular basis.  I'm happy to report that racing still has a lot of "good people" that the public doesn't get to know or hear alot about.  I'm ready to relay some of their stories and information to you.

My first "real" blog report will be on-line in a day or two and will be about one of those "good people".  I'm going to do a few minutes with Joe Scheurman, better known as "Coach Joe" around the track.  Joe is one of those down to earth "what you see is what you get" kind of guys.  He is the head coach of the Delgado Community College baseball team and in my opinion one of the best local handicappers around.  Not only is he a good handicapper, but he's a second generation horseplayer, something not found too often in our business.  More on "Coach Joe" in a segment called Handicapping 101 - The Ol' School Way in a couple of days

I'm going to try to do two or three reports a week, so if you've got something you'd like me to report on please send me an e-mail through the Fair Grounds e-mail address and I'll git er done.

Don't forget about our Friday, Saturday and Sunday racing schedule which continues for the next two weekends.  Come on out and take advantage of our great New Orleans weather and pull for your favorite Fair Grounds horses and jockeys.

I'll talk to you in a couple of days, so until then, good luck and good racing.