New Jersey: Gordon Glisson Active at Garden State; Was Americas Champion Jockey in 1949; Career Interrupted by Serious Injuries, Daily Racing Form, 1958-05-12


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New Jersey By Fred Gallant Gordon Glisson Active at Garden State Was Americas Champion Jockey in 949 Career Interrupted by Serious Injuries InjuriesGARDEN GARDEN STATE PARK Camden N J May 10 The local jockey colony is graced this year with the presence of a new face in Gordon Glisson leading rider of America in 1949 and he should be a welcome addition to these parts assuming that his jinx is not pursuing him Glisson a blue eyed blonde haired chap with a good sense of humor has been riding for some 10 years but it is no exaggeration to say that over that span he has missed a good three years with a rash of injuries But in the last couple of seasons since he underwent treatment from Dr Alexander Kaye for two ruptured discs in Jiis sacroiliac he has been able to pursue his trade with some regularity Gordon accumu ¬ lated the greater part of his 270 winners the year he was national champion while riding in New York but for the most part he has followed his career on the west coast This would lead one to believe he was a native son of the Golden State which is an error of about 3000 miles in geography geographyGlisson Glisson was born in Winnsboro South Carolina in 1930 When he was 15 he journeyed across the conti ¬ nent with his mother and brother to Seattle where his mother was employed in the Boeing aircraft plant At this time Glisson took a job pearl diving which is a euphemistic term for dish washing in an Italian res ¬ taurant While he was engaged in this adjunct to the culinary arts Glisson was spotted in the restaurant by trainer Ralph King Commenting on Glissons small size he remarked the lad should be a jockey Glisson thought the advice good and suggested King teach him King obviously regretted his rash statement and would have no part of it But I pestered him for two weeks recalls Gordon going out to his stable at Longacres every day and he finally put me on I had ridden some farm horses around Georgia but they were cotton pick ¬ ing ones That winter I worked on his ranch near Seattle and started galloping horses after school The next spring I worked horses at the track and spent a whole year doing that thatFirst First Mount at AkSarBen AkSarBenThen Then in 1948 I went to Phoenix Ariz and J Kel Houssels the Nevada turfman bought my contract I still had not ridden in a race though and the first was at AkSarBen that year I cant remember the name of my first mount though I ought to he re ¬ marked He does however know his first winner which was Ernie C at Longacres After that he went to the bushes around Nevada before returning to California His apprenticeship in the rough and tumble small tracks paid off and Glisson was launched on the start of a successful career Proceeding to Golden Gate he became the third leading rider there then went on to top the lists at Tanforan and Santa Anita In 1949 he won the Santa Anita Derby on Old Rockport and headed east to ride the same colt in the Derby and Preakness It was then he erupted on the New York scene Glisten with Glisson was the slogan around New York as the blonde youngster went on the become leading rider of the country countryThe The next year he went to Santa Anita and broke his back in a spill He was out for half a year When he returned it wasnt for long he was sidelined with a broken collarbone And so it went for the next five years It seems tliat I spent most of my time in a hos ¬ pital or recuperating commented Glisson Every five months a horse went down in front of me and I got it A catalogue of his injuries in addition to a broken back includes a fractured arm two broken collarbones and two ruptured discs in his back The only thing sound about me is my legs said Gordon wryly I never broke them As mentioned above treatment by Dr Kaye finally got Glisson back to health arid he has been going along in his usual workmanlike way in the past few years Glisson has ridden in almost every sec ¬ tion of the country with the exception of New Jersey and Maryland The former state will see him in action all season Citation the Best Despite Defeat DefeatIn In addition to the Santa Anita Derby Glisson won the 100000 Hollywood Gold Cup on Rejected and over the years was on such crack hordes as Citation Ponder Armed Bewitch Determine Poona II and Miche What was the best horse I ever rode It was Citation Did you win with him he was asked No I got beat answered Gordon And I took off of the horse that beat him That was Roman In and he set a traqk record Citation was just coming back after a layoff of over a year and his leg was bothering him He was between horses and tried to bolt and gave me a pretty rough time But he was much the best and only got beat about threequarters of a length lengthGlisson Glisson came to Florida last winter and rode with a modicum of success there One of his best efforts was on Lincoln Road who was only narrowly beaten by Tim Tarn in the Florida Derby a race that was rerun exactly to script in the Kentucky Derby Lincoln Road may have been the winner of the Florida Derby if he had not propped in the stretch apparently shieing at the starting gate It was at Gulfstream this year that Glisson employed some of his wealth of experience to toContinued Continued on Page Fourteen NEW JERSEY JERSEYBy By FRED GALIAM Continued from Page Seven Sevenwin win the Juvenile Stakes on Star Ruler There was such a big field in this race that some of them had to be started out ¬ side the gate Star Ruler among them Theres a knack in handling walkup starts commented Glisson and I had hadbeen been taught by Eddie Arcaro In a walkup start the trick is to have your horse in motion forward So I kept hanging around in back of the gate until starter Bryan Steele started hollering blazes at me I knew he was going to pull the break soon so I started moving up I was near the outside fence and when he let the field go I was a jump ahead of them We won by fouf and a half lengths lengthsUntil Until recently Glisson had been living in Arcadia Calif and just a few months ago sold his ranch in Chino His three children Gary Larry and Linda live on the coast with his divorced wife Standing four feet Iiy2 inches Glisson rides at 110 pounds Its usually tough for a rider to get started in new territory horsemen on a circuit preferring to ride boys with whom they are familiar But Glissons reputation should be enough recommendation to get him rolling and once he demonstrates his wares his name should appear with fre ¬ quency on the program His agent here is Ronnie Bullock

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