From the Streets of Brooklyn to Trainer to the Stars: John Parisella's Lifetime of Celebrity Connections

From the Streets of Brooklyn to Trainer to the Stars: John Parisella's Lifetime of Celebrity Connections

by Denny Dressman

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Overview


JOHN PARISELLA grew up in Brooklyn, the son of a bookmaker, and began making daily trips to Aqueduct and Belmont while still in high school. Though initially afraid of horses, by the mid-1980s he became the first Thoroughbred trainer ever under contract for $1 million a year. He trained horses for almost a half-century, his success rate at times hovering between 40% and 50%. In the 1970s, during an appearance on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson, he was dubbed Trainer to the Stars, a title that describes his lifetime of celebrity connections driven by an unusually engaging personality. During years when racetracks were numerous and the Sport of Kings attracted large crowds nearly everywhere, he earned the respect of horsemen across America by turning many seemingly lame also-rans into winners and champions.

At the same time he became the friend of, and enjoyed many adventures with, numerous celebrities including basketball coach Rick Pitino, baseball icon Mickey Mantle, colorful Joe Pepitone and mercurial owner George Steinbrenner of the New York Yankees; Bono, lead singer of the pop music group U2; comedian Don Rickles; and actors James Caan, Telly Savalas, Jack Klugman and Don Adams. He s also the stepfather of reality TV star, best-selling author and wealthy businesswoman Bethenny Frankel. And throughout his flamboyant career he generously offered a helping hand and financial assistance to countless persons with whom he came in contact. FROM THE STREETS OF BROOKLYN TO TRAINER TO THE STARS recounts this fascinating life and career through countless stories told by the man himself and those who shared the incredible experiences with him.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781733520409
Publisher: Hit the Mark Books
Publication date: 06/11/2019
Pages: 238
Sales rank: 506,223
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author


DENNY DRESSMAN concluded a 44-year newspaper career in June 2007, retiring from the Rocky Mountain News in Denver after 25 years. He began his career as a sports writer at The Kentucky Post and the Courier-Journal & Louisville Times. He was inducted into the Denver Press Club Hall of Fame in 2008. Dressman served as president of the Colorado Authors League, the state s oldest professional writers organization, for two and a half years, through June 2018. He resumed writing books in 2005, and his ninth book, Beyond The Camps From Japanese-American Internment Nightmare To American Dream was published in April 2018. This biography of horse trainer John Parisella is his tenth book.

Table of Contents

Paddock

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Starting Gate

Son of Brooklyn. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Street-smart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Understanding Charlie’s Boy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Pepi and the Yankees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

An Unlikely Path . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

Campo’s Protege . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

Photo Finish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

First Turn

‘Trainer to the Stars’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

John’s ‘Bonnie’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64

‘Bethenny Parisella’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72

Ups and Downs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83

Backstretch

Claim to Fame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97

Running for the Roses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105

The Boss . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115

World Record . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120

John’s Jockey. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128

Far Turn

NBA Insider . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137

Bianchi’s ‘Beard’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153

Kentucky Calling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164

Gabbysaydada . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172

Homestretch

Glory Year . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181

The Racing Game . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190

Lifesaver. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195

Winner’s Circle

God’s Odds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209

A Dream Come True . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 216

Family Album . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 220

Through Others’ Eyes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222

Author’s Note . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 225

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