Tuesday, March 23, 2010

GONE TO THE DOGS - Super Trainer Introduces Himself

Wayne Simpkins was the first super trainer that I ever worked for. Word got around the compound fast that he was coming and I was intrigued by the fact that all the "old timers" were in awe of him. Their reaction to the mention of his name was one of fear and glee all rolled into one. Fear because they fully expected the kennel to take off the second he hit the compound and glee because the man could party with the best of them. Apparently I had a rockstar coming to be my boss.

A good trainer is treated like a rockstar at the track. People swarm to buy them drinks and dinner and they hang on to every word hoping for a good tip. Women throw themselves at them. They are treated like celebrities. Some of them even have fan clubs. I learned early on to not get involved with a trainer on a personal basis. They have a habit of hiring young girls and passing them from kennel to kennel when they tire of them and most of the girls are too dumb to see what's happening to them.

I was doing afternoon turnout when up struts Wayne Simpkins. He was a ruggedly handsome man with blonde hair curling around his ears, dreamy brown eyes and a deep, gruff sounding voice. He really did have a nice smile. He looked me up and down as he introduced himself, "I hear I got the best help in the compound."

I smiled back, " You do. I hear my dogs are goin' to fly now that you're here."

He smiled again and said, "that's the goal, you know, you are really very pretty" He looked the dogs over in the turnout pen taking everything in with just a glance, "You seem to have everything under control. What time's weigh in?"

"six o'clock," and I added, "I'm married."

"Ah, I see," he said as he straightned just a hair. "Well I've got to go make myself legal. I'll see you at weigh-in," he started to walk away. Then he turned and said, "I hear you been a little overworked. As soon as I get settled in we will see about getting you some time off."

I smiled back as I said, "that WOULD be nice. I haven't had a day off in 3 months."

"I know," he said, "that's what I hear and we are going to put a stop to that."