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Jolley Keeps Low Profile at Saratoga

For a Hall of Fame trainer, Leroy Jolley couldn’t keep any lower profile on the Saratoga backstretch. With just two stalls in trainer Steve Margolis’ barn, Jolley isn’t exactly in town to make a big impact; he shows up every morning and has a good feeling about his 2-year-old First Samurai filly, Lady Samuri, who was nominated to the Adirondack but ran poorly in her debut.


“I missed a couple years here and there, but I’ve been coming here since I was here with my parents,” said Jolley, fit and strong at 74, on Saturday morning.


Jolley took out his training license in 1958 and earned his fame training the likes of Ridan , Kentucky Derby-winning filly Genuine Risk, champion Foolish Pleasure, the great 2-year-old star filly Meadow Star, Honest Pleasure and What a Summer, among others.


He also trained two Whitney Handicap winners, Nearly on Time in 1977 and Track Barron in 1985, and has some good memories of the race, particularly when Nearly on Time upset the great Forego.


“With Nearly on Time, it was very, very sloppy and Forego was an overpowering favorite, but he couldn’t run in the mud because he was so big,” Jolley said.


Jolley also said the best Test winner he ever saw was Go For Wand, who won the great sprint for 3-year-old fillies in 1990.


“She had been off a couple months and faced 12 and carried 124 pounds and went seven furlongs in 1:21,” Jolley said, recalling the race like it was yesterday.


Asked where he lives, Jolley said, “Wherever my horses are. We come up here (to Saratoga ) in May and stay until November. It’s a very good place to train. The Oklahoma is probably the finest, safest training track in the country.”


Near the end of a long, breezy conversation Jolley was told he was just 10 wins away from 1,000 for his career. He cocked an eyebrow.


“Really?” he said. “I hope I make it.”



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Older Comments about Jolley Keeps Low Profile at Saratoga...

Thanks for the great memories, over the years.

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