RIP John Forbes (479 Views)
Posted by: TGJB
Date: February 02, 2021 03:25PM
... who, among other things, came up with the term “bounce”, describing what it looked like on the sheet, back when I was still with Ragozin.
Dennis Heard and I were the ones who convinced John to move to Jersey from Maryland. King Leatherbury was training our string down there, we liked Maryland trainers, and asked King to give us the names of some good young ones who might consider moving to Jersey. He gave us three, John was one, we interviewed him at the Meadowlands. He showed up in a tan corduroy sport coat with patches on the elbows, looked like a preppie. We ended up hiring him, and he ended up winning about a hundred training titles in Jersey, and eventually being elected head of the horsemen’s group.
John trained for me later as well, after I started TG and was managing Ed Wachtel’s stable. We used two apprentices— Johnny V in NY, and a girl, Julie something, in Jersey. At the time she was going out with Steve Brown, one of John’s assistant trainers, the other being Pat McBurney.
I’ve worked with a lot of good trainers. As a pure horseman, John was as good or better than any of them. There was more correlation between what he said about a horse— getting better, ready to tail off, time to get out— than anyone else I ever worked with. He once told me he didn’t like the way a horse was standing when he took a piss in the test barn— and he was right, the horse had a problem that was surfacing.