The `Good’ Larry Melancon

By Bryan Krantz

Back in the days when I was in high school, I would work in the racing office at Jefferson Downs in the mornings as an entry clerk. This was before the days of computerized databases and electronically keyed-in entries. Entry blanks were bound by red glue as thick pads and filled out in pencil. Each form filled out one by one, as the jockey agents and trainers drifted into the racing office to do business. Entries were made in individual stalls for privacy and usually in a hushed tone so no one could overhear the potential competitors filling the races offered for the race day to be carded several days later.

The jockey agents were a cast of Runyon-esque all-stars. “Sad Sal the Horseman’s Pal” who had spent time in “Mandeville”…the mental hospital, Roland “Buck Eye” Dagrepoint, Lloyd L. “Cuz” Nixon, John Giambelluca, along with others would keep things lively as they entered trainers’ horses for the day after securing calls for their riders. Some of the trainers would enter their own. There are hundreds of stories about those guys and those days, but the one for today begins in those days and came to a close Mar. 25, 2021.


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