With apologies to Jimmy Boyd, all Mel Stute wants for Christmas are
his $2 bets. Mel may not be a candidate for “Jeopardy” since he fell and
hit his head in a fall in West L.A. on Dec. 15, but the 85-year-old
retired trainer is still savvy about his first love, horse racing.
“My father’s doing pretty good,”’ said his son, trainer Gary
Stute, who won two races at Betfair Hollywood Park last Saturday. “If
you ask him something about racing, he knows the answer.
“But the questions they ask him in rehab facility in Pomona, he
doesn’t care about. We tell him there was no racing for two weeks, but
he says, ‘Well, Gulfstream’s running.’ Things he cares about, he knows
“But when he’s asked what day of the month it is, he’s not too
clear on it. They’re hoping to let him out right after Christmas.”
Mel Stute’s best horse in a career spanning more than six decades
was the California-bred Snow Chief, 1986 Preakness winner and that
year’s 3-year-old champion.
As for Gary, he was thrilled with two wins in one day. “For a seven-horse stable, it’s not too bad,” he said.