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Friday, June 8, 2012

RIP Arnie Burdick

I was saddened yesterday morning when opening up my morning Post-Standard like I did for a number of years in the same kitchen in Syracuse, N.Y. to see that longtime sports columnist and editor Arnie Burdick had passed away. He was the editor during my high school glory days when my high school hoops team (ranked 19th in the state) was being covered with aplumb by the Syracuse Herald-Journal.

Why is this relevant on a horse racing blog on the eve of the Triple Crown?  He was an avid horse racing fan....from Bud Poliquin's eloquent obituary column yesterday morning:

"And, often garbed in his seersucker jacket and forever armed with a professor’s vocabulary, he wrote about all of it.

Including, as it turned out, the horses, too. Why, so enthralled with horse racing was Burdick that he honeymooned with Mimi -- who, like him, had lost a spouse to a long and debilitating illness -- in Saratoga Springs during the running of the 1967 Travers Stakes, thus mixing pleasure with pleasure.

“The only time I ever saw Arnie cry,” said (his wife) Sherry, “was when a barn burned down in Kentucky and something liked 18 horses were killed. That was it. The only time.”

The Old Scout was enshrined in the Syracuse Hall of Fame in 1996 and he served right up until this year as the tournament information director (for 29 years!) at the Heritage tournament in Hilton Head, S.C., usually played the week after the Masters.  He retired to Hilton Head in 1984 and lived there at the time of his death.


Belmont Notes.  The Space Gal and I head to the Big Apple today to catch the late stakes races and I have a post up at the Sports, Ink blog on the Brooklyn Handicap. I will be live blogging the stakes portion of the Belmont card at the same site mid-afternoon tomorrow.

Saturday is shaping up to be quite the day in sports with a Triple Crown opportunity, Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Heat and the Celtics and Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals at the Rock in New Jersey, not too far from Belmont Park.  Super Saturday, indeed.



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