all in Legends

His best horse may have been gray, but for the most part there was no gray area when it came to people’s feelings about trainer Grover Greer “Bud” Delp.

The Maryland native was outspoken, irreverent and controversial. He had a personality that divided people into two separate camps: those who loved him and those who had no use for him.

The common ground, though, was respect for his ability as a trainer.

“She’s amazing… She can sprint; she can go a distance… She’s getting better every race… She’s the best filly in the country right now.”

She never lost a race against fillies and mares. She was a two-time champion, winning some of the most prestigious races in her division, as well as a couple of big ones against males. She never raced outside of New York, but demonstrated her versatility by winning races at six different tracks within the state.

Her name was Maskette, and as her accomplishments suggest, she was fast, talented, durable, and downright unstoppable when at her best.

Jockey Jeff Fell knew what a good horse looked like. He’d ridden plenty of them—Pleasant Colony, Timely Writer, Winter’s Tale, Private Account, It’s in the Air, even Alydar. He knew, as did horsemen and racing fans and bettors across the country, that Conquistador Cielo was a good horse, possibly even a budding superstar.

Allen Jerkens took out his trainer’s license as soon as he turned 21, and he only waited that long because his father forbid him to do so any sooner. He enjoyed solid success almost from the very beginning and won his first stakes race in 1955 with a horse named War Command, whom Jerkens had claimed for $8,000. Seven years later, he agreed to become the private trainer for Jack Dreyfus Jr.’s Hobeau Farm. Though Hobeau Farm didn’t always deal in the most fashionable of pedigrees, it did provide Jerkens with volume. And Jerkens certainly had a knack for getting the most out of his horses.

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