MEL STUTE REMEMBERS THREEWITT AS NOBLE MAN
Noble Threewitt was more than a fine trainer with unprecedented longevity. He was a champion of the underdog, working diligently throughout his life to improve conditions for the faceless masses racing could not function without save for their dedicated efforts.
""He was always thinking of the backstretch help,"" said 83-year-old trainer and peer Mel Stute of Threewitt, who died last Friday at the age of 99. ""He deserved the recognition much more so than myself or (Charlie) Whittingham. Noble was always thinking of the other guy and putting him first.""
That may be why Stute was lacking when asked if he had any anecdotes about Threewitt, who trained for more than seven decades before retiring in 2007. Stute knew Threewitt most of those years.
""Noble was always too serious,"" said Stute, Pomona's career leader in training victories with 187 and the inaugural member of Fairplex Park's Hall of Fame in 2003. ""I joke with everybody, but Noble was always serious, and when he said something, he meant it.
""I was supposed to do an interview three years ago at Del Mar with (late brother) Warren, Noble and myself, as the oldest trainers at Del Mar. Noble was having a serious problem with his eye at the time and he never showed, and afterwards, he must have apologized to me 10 times.
""He was a good man and did so much for horse racing, more so than any other trainer that I've ever known.""
FAIRWELLS: A private family service will be held probably this weekend for Threewitt, according to his grandson, Chris Chinnici . . . Martin Pedroza needed 17 wins over the meet's final six days to break his record of 51 set over 17 days in 2004. Pedroza was named to ride in all 10 thoroughbred races Wednesday. He was on morning line favorites in four of them . . . Caracortado, who broke his maiden in a $40,000 claiming race at Fairplex Park last year and went on to win five straight races including the Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita, is back breezing at Hollywood Park after being idle since running seventh in the Preakness last May 15. ""Ideally, I'd like to get one race into him before the Malibu (at Santa Anita Dec. 26),"" said trainer Mike Machowsky, who saddled Earnednevergiven and A Plus Topper to finish first and second in Sunday's fourth race . . . Of the six mules entered in Friday's first race, Fairplex track announcer Trevor Denman had a leg up on committing five to memory fairly readily. Their names: Bar JF Party Girl, Bar JF Rock On, Bar JF Hot Ticket, Bar JF Red Ticket and Bar JF JJ. Only Sis-Q Mayten was too stubborn to conform.