Don Schunk in Familiar Surroundings at Omaha: Ex-Jockey-Turned-Trainer, Rider of Profile, Track Record-Holder, Daily Racing Form, 1951-05-22


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Don Schunk in Familiar Surroundings at Omaha Ex-Jockey-Turned-Trainer, Rider Of Profile, Track Record-Holder OMAHA, Nebr., May 21.— Theres a dapper little guy just an even five feet tall wandering around Ak-Sar-en Field these days with a satisfied grin on his face. The little guy, who weighs an even 110 pounds and could easily be mistaken for a jockey, is no stranger to these parts. His name is Don Schunk, and he hails from Menlo Park, Calif. Don arrived at Ak-Sar-Ben Field a few days ago with a large contingent of horsemen who shipped from California for the meeting which starts next Tuesday, May 22. There are several reasons why 36-year-old Don could wear that satisfied grin. First of all is the fact that he is one of the former jockeys who climbed up the hard way to become a successful owner and trainer. As evidence of that, he has brought to Ak-Sar-Ben five good runners, all winners, including Fonte Gaia, a recent victor at Bay Meadows; Beebee Show, Stalky, Fractured and Preface. But the chief reason for that grin is the heading over Ak-Sar-Bens track record for the mile-and-seventy-yard mark. It reads, "Profile; owner, J. F. Nazworthy; jockey, Don Schunk, 103 pounds; time, 1:41%; July 1, 1942." For nine years, that record has withstood the challenge of the crack route horses that have raced at Ak-Sar-Ben. Its no wonder that Don Schunk grins happily as he returns to try for new honors in a different phase of racing. As a jockey, Don won honors on many tracks. Among the stake horses he rode to .victory are the famous El Lobo, first horse to be flown by air to keep a turf engagement. Another was Faucon, who won the feature race at Del Mar in 1947, in Dons last engagement as a rider. In 1949, Don launched his career as an owner and trainer by purchasing "War Again" from comedian Lou Costello. The horse won nine races for Don that year. Since then, Don has owned and trained 25 different horses, and has scored at least one victory withv every one of the 25. Oma-hans may remember him in 1942 as -contract rider for Early Kelly, for whom he scored with Double Call and Memphis. He also won with Reigh Reigh and Bonnie Frame for Charles Grunder.

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