Kirkpatrick & Co. Presents in Their Care: Secretariat and Sweat Taught Reid Everything She Knows
If only she knew then what she knows now. That may be Virginia Reid’s only lament as she reflects on her 49 years at the racetrack.
Reid, the wife of veteran Parx-based trainer Robert “Butch” Reid, is widely known as “Ginny.” She was only 19 when friends persuaded her to leave a job as a waitress in upstate New York to seek employment at Belmont Park. She never anticipated the great adventure that awaited in 1972.
Lucien Laurin hired her as a hotwalker, and she soon became acquainted with an exciting 2-year-old named Secretariat. She accompanied the blossoming superstar and his legendary groom, Eddie Sweat, on a memorable van ride from New York to Maryland for the Laurel Futurity. Predictably, Secretariat rewarded their time and toil with an eight-length romp, ensuring a happy, if bumpy, ride home.
Reid quickly came to admire Sweat.
“He was an amazing groom,” she said. “He loved his horses. He always had some kind of treat for his horses.”