The magic is still there!
Allen Jerkens is an old man and he's always been on the eccentric side, and that seems to be all that matters to the vast majority of people who own good racehorses. When perception faces off with reality at the racetrack reality never seems to win. And that can be the only reason one of the greatest trainers ever has only 15 horses in his barn.With most everyone thinking the game has passed him by, the 83-year-old Jerkens did some of the finest work of his career last Saturday. He took a horse that cost $2,000 at the sales and couldn't finish better than fifth in three starts in the maiden ranks for other trainers and won a Grade I race at Saratoga with her. Emma's Encore's win in the Prioress at Saratoga was her second straight stakes victory.
He may be old and rumpled and he doesn't know any sheikhs. But he can train a race horse. There was a time when that mattered more than it does now.