Santa Anita will honor the legendary trainer Noble Threewitt for his 92nd birthday in a special winners' circle ceremony on Saturday. One of the celebrants will be fellow trainer Leonard Dorfman, a friend and peer of Threewitt's for 55 years. Dorfman turns 81 on June 23. The duo often is seen together. They are racing's "Sunshine Boys."Threewitt actually turns 92 on Monday."I've known (Threewitt) since 1947," Dorfman said. "I went to work for him at that time. It was in the fall, right here (at Santa Anita). I worked for him about five or six years, then left and came back and went to work for him again."He's an excellent horseman. He's probably as good a horseman as anybody. He's not a guy who goes around making a lot of noise or anything. He'll sit back and let everybody else talk. He definitely is not a self-promoter and he's generous to a fault. I can honestly say that I didn't realize when I went to work for him, that I didn't know anything. He taught me a whole lot, really. He's as fine a person as you'll ever meet."Dorfman remembered when Threewitt won nine consecutive races in April of 1956."It was at Tanforan," Dorfman said, "and oddly enough, the horse that broke the streak -- and he was a favorite, too -- was a horse called Noble's Choice. He was the highest-priced yearling at Saratoga at that time, about $23,000, something like that. The horse was picked out at the sales by Robert S. Lytle, who named it after Noble."Lytle was the owner of the Threewitt-trained Correlation, who ran fifth as the favorite in the 1954 Kentucky Derby after winning the Florida Derby and the Wood Memorial earlier that year.Threewitt and Dorfman presently have only eight horses between them. Dorfman is down to three horses, Threewitt five.
But it's the passion for the game and the challenge that keeps them young at heart.