OReilly on Racing: Philosophical John S. Kroese Relies on Luck and Good Humor, Daily Racing Form, 1958-05-15


view raw text

OReilly on Racing Philosophical John S Kroese Relies on Luck and Good Humor HumorBy By TOM OREILLY OREILLYBELMONT BELMONT PARK Elmont L I N Y May 14 Ttiere are few pleasanter experi ¬ ences than spending an hour in the spacious paneled office of that jolly Dutchman1 John S Kroese pronounced Cruze in downtown Manhattans GaffneyKroese electrical supply corporation building at 5153 Leonard St on the morning after one of his thoroughbreds has won a race at Bel mont Park A medium sized quickmoving blueeyed pink and balding gentleman in his sixties Kroese kept wisecracking and laughing into a tele ¬ phone that rang con ¬ stantly On the previ ¬ ous day his good colt Sir Robby had won Belmont Parks ancient and coveted Withers Stakes Grinning he heobserved observed observedThey They all call yup to congratulate you youan an then try to sell ya insurance Hello Into the phone he chuckled happily I know he paid 3720 No I didnt have havea a dime on him Takin home 19362 was wasgood good enough for me You cant win that thatkind kind o money bettin bettinAlways Always Has Been Lucky LuckyHanging Hanging up he laughed Yknow I send it in pretty good when I like my horse But yesterday we didnt know whether to work Sir Robby for the Peter Pan at Belmont Park or the Hartford Handicap at Lincoln Downs or to run him in the Withers Stakes Finally we decided to run and maybe hed get paid for the work He did Well Im a lucky fella Always have been beenHello Hello He was on the phone again Reaching into a vest pocket he pulled out one of five goldtopped ballpoint pens and reached for a sheet of paper on which were listed some 30 stocks stocksHmm Hmm thats good he said marking a figure beside one of them He made some more figures and then said saidNow Now dont sell Im a buyin guy Dont like to bet on losers Nup didnt have a dime on him That purse was nice enough Hanging enoughHanging merrilyWell up he observed merrily Well that beats work Markets actin all right Played it all my life Been real good to me Have a drink drinkPart j Part of a paneled wall came apart to reveal a beautiful bar the wallpaper of which contained recipes for every cocktail from an angels kiss to a zombie Other panels of the office hid a motion picture screen There were also Ann Collins oils of Sir Robby and Marullah as well as shelves filled with various racing plates and cups including the silver trophy that goes with Monmouth Parks Sorority Stakes won by Marullah in 1958 Kroese by the way is a Monmouth Park director directorDid Did Not Finish Grammar School SchoolWe We sell equipment to railroads big contractors and industrialists he said as if explaining the bar been at this stand for 27 years yearsKroeses Kroeses parents were imigrants from Holland who raised him in Yorkville He never finished grammar school but did master accounting shorthand and typing at the old Merchants and Bankers school on 59th and Madison Ave As a small boy he climbed high poles to hang wash for 10 or 15 cents cleared sidewalks of snow for the same price and was a regular play ¬ er in the silver books at Billy Lakelands backstretch stand at Brighton Beach race track trackIve Ive been clipped at threecardmonte hidethepea and the loopedbelt game he said laughing Once I was walking across 125th St and a man picked up a diamond ring right in front of me He said you saw me pick up that ring Lets hock it Youre in for halves He knew the hock shops were closed of course and finally sold me the ring for 10 when all I had was 15 I took it home proudly to my mother and she boxed my ears say sayContinucd Continucd on Page FortyTwo 1 1 OReilly on Racing Continued from Page Three Threeing ing cant you tell glass when you see it Now I can canHe He did a bit of boxing at Bill Browns gym on 23rd St and ran for the old Mott Haven A C after coming out of the Navy where he rose from seaman 2nd class to chief petty officer In the fleet supply service he managed Teddy Hubbs a good featherweight of the day and father of Bobby Ruffin the well known lightweight At this time he was a star salesman for the Manhattan Electric Company In 1919 he gave the late Ed Springer a Yorkville trainer and former jockey 1500 to buy two horses from John E Madden They did fairly well He bought a few more platers and then when the stable went sour I laid off and chalked it up to experience experienceIn In 1924 he married Peggy Gaffney an Irish colleen from Scranton whom he met on a moonlight sail up the Hudson In 1932 he formed the GaffneyKroese Cor poration with his brotherinlaw Gaffney returned to the steel business a few years later and Kroese has been on his own ever since The company advanced from a gross business of 109000 the first year to 2510348 last year yearThe The company started doing better than 1000000 annually in 1941 and in 1943 he registered his red and black silks to be carried by Sonnet Key and Fiddlesticks purchased from Jim Healey He has been racing constantly ever since His biggest blow came when Tocoli for whom he had paid 30000 and four more of his horses all uninsured were lost in a Belmont Park barn fire He also had an unprofitable experience with six Argentine horses pur ¬ chased for 200000 in 1953 1953Well Well Inr a craps shooter he said philosophically and since 1954 with Sid ¬ ney Smith as trainer Ive done rather well He purchased the late William Woodwards horses excepting of course Nashua for 205000 in 1955 and in 1956 sold all but four for 310000 In 1956 his stable won 87557 Last year it won 95302 95302He He cant decide whether Sir Robby whom he claimed for 7000 or Little Her ¬ mit whom he saved from the Woodward purchase is the best horse he ever owned ownedWell Well see he said smiling The mar ¬ kets up The stables winning and the girls still smile at me What more can a fella ask askWhat What more indeed

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1950s/drf1958051501/drf1958051501_3_1
Local Identifier: drf1958051501_3_1
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800