Tribute To Hot Walkers
By Michael Fenrich
This scribe was once a hot walker. I used to hot walk horses for D.Wayne Lukas and Todd Pletcher. I was at both stables for a short time in the mid 1990’s. I am very grateful because I had the opportunity to walk the horses and now I write about the sport I enjoy and gives me peace each day.
When I was with Lukas the stable won the Belmont Stakes with Editor’s Note. It was a great experience to be with the barn and winning the prestigious Belmont Stakes.
On the mornings I worked they gave me the late great Lord Carson to walk, it was an honor to walk him. Lord Carson and I walked well together and he pulled me to his water bucket. I am so proud to see all of his offspring run at different tracks.
I haven’t walked horses since than, every time I go to the track as a fan and as a freelance horse racing writer now I see the hot walkers I used to work with. I never forget them because they taught me so much when we worked. I learned a lot from them. When I do see them they say hello and they remember me. It makes my day when they acknowledge me again after not working with them for so many years. They are so humble that they remember me now.
During this global pandemic and new normal of not visiting the track due to no spectators and racing being suspended also I miss my fellow hot walkers. I am thinking about the backstretch community utopia and hot walkers each day. I want to applaud them now for taking care of the majestic horses during this time of uncertainty with the Coronavirus Covid 19 pandemic.
It may take a while before we can go to the track and all but when it does happen again it will be great to see the hot walkers.
Thank you to the hot walkers for your friendship and for taking care of the equines during this world health issue. When we do meet again that hello will go a long way.