Annie Savoy and Steinbrenner ….

NOTE: Annie Savoy (not her real name) has been a friend of this blog since I started covering the New York Mets. We have corresponded off-line and I have learned of her fascinating background in the world of horse racing. She emailed me this story this morning with the intent of me sharing it with you.

George Steinbrenner and me –

I think this might be the right time to mention one of the times I spoke with George Steinbrenner. It was at the traditional dinner dance held the evening before the 1980 Belmont Stakes, at Belmont Race Track in New York where I was running a horse in the Belmont stakes for the first time.

The Belmont is the third of thoroughbred horse racing’s Triple Crown Races, the first being the Kentucky Derby and the second being the Preakness. These are the class races open only to three year old horses whose prize money to date has made the top ten list for their class.

Ever traditional, the dinner dance attracts the owners, trainers and jockeys who will be on the program for the Belmont Stakes as well as various other noted horsemen and women. It’s a very nice, formal event.

Right before the dancing started, George Steinbrenner who owned Kinsman Stables in Ocala, came over to our table to see me. Always the gentleman, he gave me a hug and said “my wife told me to be sure and wish you luck tomorrow from both of us – she has the same name as you do, so we follow your horses with special interest”. He then took a seat at our table, and talked with everyone there about horses, not baseball.

I’ve never forgotten that night, nor the George Steinbrenner I knew from the racing business and still saw around the major races and Saratoga in August.
Nowadays, George is finding success with another sport in another venue, and I want to wish him good luck this week, and hopefully a return to good health.

He deserves it all.

4 thoughts on “Annie Savoy and Steinbrenner ….

  1. This interlude is certainly unexpected, but it leads to a mystery: What is Annie Savoy’s real name? Steinbrenner tells her his wife “has the same name as you do” — but his wife’s name is Elizabeth Joan, often cited as just Joan. So which is it, Elizabeth, or Joan?

    Enquiring minds want to know!

  2. Further sleuthing les me to the horses in the 1980 Belmont and their order of finish:
    Temperance Hill-1st
    Genuine Risk-2nd
    Rockhill Native-3rd
    Super Moment-6th
    Joanie’s Chief-8th
    As to which might have belonged to “Annie Savoy” — I have had no luck digging that up. My initial suspicion was that Rockhill Native sounded very much like Rocky Hill, which isn’t far from “Annie’s” alleged home in CT — but the only info I was able to find on that horse seems to show he was owned by some Californians. And wouldn’t you know it — there’s a Belmont Stakes program which can be downloaded as a PDF and includes the newspaper summaries of every race, which list the owners…but the resolution is so bad, the fine print is impossible to read. So close!

  3. Jeff – I’ve asked John to send you my email address – so we can ‘talk horses’ offline.