It’s Angel Cordero Jr. bobblehead giveaway day at the Spa, so the logical procedure is to interview Angel Cordero Jr.
Which presents a problem; Angel Cordero Jr. does not “do” interviews. He will offer an affable – if somewhat distracted – smile, and he will shake the hand of any friendly journalist with whom he is well acquainted. But even the most intrepid reporters find it difficult to pry newsworthy information from the retired jockey. When questioned, he shuts down like a clam.
The “King of Saratoga” needs a press secretary.
Still, Cordero can be coaxed. The trick is to begin an innocent conversation, or to simply follow him around as he wanders down Todd Pletcher’s shedrow or climbs aboard Pletcher’s horses or sits outside Pletcher’s barn.
At least it’s not hard to figure out where he’ll be.
Today Cordero is amiable – and un-quotable, as always.
Reporter (meeting Cordero in shedrow): “Are you excited about having a bobble head made in your honor?”
Cordero (walking to car): “Excited? I don’t know about ‘excited.’”
Reporter (following Cordero to car): “Well, I’m sure you still have a lot of fans, even though you’re not racing.”
Cordero (digging through mound of papers in front seat): “I guess so.”
Pletcher (riding up on stable pony): “Today’s your big day, Double O!”
Cordero (slamming car door): “Yeah, I’m gonna have a great day, signing like a thousand autographs.”
NYRA Press Release: “I think it’s an honor to be a part of this,” the 64-year-old Cordero said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
This morning, maybe not so much.