one more time in the winners’ circle

By Dick Jerardi

Bob Corsini decided he wanted to win one more race. So he called the racing office at Delaware Park looking for a trainer. He got a list of three names and the racing office notified the trainers. Scott Lake had a break during training at Parx so he called; the first one on the list to make the call.

Corsini’s last winner was in 1963, a mere 57 years before. He is 88-years-old.

“I just want to get in the winner’s circle one more time before I pass away,’’ Corsini told Lake.

So Corsini got a license and put $30,000 in his account. Lake claimed Confessor, a 4-year-old gelding, for $20,000
on July 6 at Delaware Park off a winning effort.

The trainer then entered the horse in a race that was off the turf so Confessor was 3-5. He was a vet scratch after the post parade.

Lake worked with the horse; ran him in an optional claimer at Delaware on Labor Day. Confessor was 6-1. He battled for the lead the whole way, repelled several challenges in the stretch and won by a half-length while getting an 84 Beyer Speed Figure, a point off his career best, in his 25th lifetime start.

Lake was at Parx for Pa. Day at the Races so he watched the race on television.

“I’m screaming `come on for the old man, come on for the old man,’’’ Lake said.

He called Corsini in the winner’s circle.

The owner told him: “I can’t talk right now. I’m crying.’’

Who wouldn’t be?

“I always liked Scott Lake,’’ Corsini said.

So when Lake called, there was no need for any other calls. He was hired.

Corsini, a housewares salesman who traveled all over, lives in Ridley Township, Delaware County. He was always a horse racing fan.

“I’d be home a week, then I might be a week out in Pittsburgh,’’ he said. “I’d be a week in Baltimore and Washington…When I would be in New York, I would go right by Belmont Park and somehow the wheel would turn. I’d end up at the track. When I was in Baltimore, I would go to either Pimlico or Laurel. While I was working, I would pass and make a few little bets. I’m not a big bettor. I’ve been betting since I was 18-years-old and I’m still a lousy handicapper.’’

But he owns a winning race horse.

The horse’s name is perfect. Corsini’s son Joe is the Chief Financial Officer for the Diocese of Wilmington.

“Catholics go to confession,’’ Corsini said.

Of course they do.

BJP Stable is named for Bob Corsini and his son Bob, Corsini’s other son Joe and daughter Julie as well as Corsini’s late wife Patsy and their daughter Patti.

Corsini, his brother and some friends claimed their original
horse by each putting up $500 in the late 1950s. The horse won four or five races and made a little bit of money for the partners. They had few more horses, some that won, others that did not.

“I told my kids before I die I want to get back into horse racing,’’ Corsini said.

So he did.

He was sitting on a bench watching Confessor win the race
and then greeted his horse in the winner’s circle.

“Outside of my children being born and my wedding, it
was probably the happiest day of my life,’’ Corsini said. “Can you imagine an 88-year-old guy crying?’’

He has a picture in his basement of perhaps his last winner prior to Confessor, a horse named Thespian who won at Delaware in 1963.

“I hope it’s not another 57 years,’’ Corsini said.

Of course, he is thinking about getting another horse. Winning will do that to a person, even if it’s been 57 years between wins.

“I’m up in years so you never know what’s going to happen,’’ he said. “For me to get that win at my age, unbelievable.’’

And he relives it anytime he wants

“Every once in a while, I open up the laptop and I watch the race again,’’ Corsini said. “Isn’t that super, just to see it? It’s beautiful, absolutely beautiful.’’

It is, indeed.

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