Agent Hacek Says He'll Stay in Southern Cal

(from Oak Tree at Santa Anita notes)
Harry "the Hat" Hacek has represented a virtual who's who of the jockey world as an agent. But he says he's home to stay in Southern California.

He has represented Eddie Delahoussaye, Steve Cauthen, Sandy Hawley, Chris McCarron, Darrel McHargue and Gary Stevens, each a member of racing's Hall of Fame, among many others.

His travels have taken him from his home in Chicago to points coast to coast. After a six-year absence, the colorful 57-year-old Hacek is representing promising apprentice David Cohen. This time, Hacek says he's here to stay.

"I have paid a price for my nomadic lifestyle," Hacek said. "But now it's time for me to draw a line in the sand and anchor myself. California is where I want to be. In the past few days I have declined an opportunity to work for yet another Eclipse Award winner, Jorge Chavez. Although I appreciate the recognition and opportunity, I want to go on record as stating that California will always remain my base of operation."

Hacek came by his nickname when a friend dubbed him "The Hat" in the early 1960s because of the unique and sundry chapeaus Hacek wore. "The nickname proved useful and I became identified with it," Hacek said.

"I have never been more determined to succeed and I use (fellow agent) Ivan Puhich as an inspiration. His performance at 78 years of age is unbelievable."