My sentamentality says Papa Clem today at Churchill Downs

May 02, 2009 | Nestor Aparicio

For those of you who are long-time listeners to my radio show, you know that I have my own “favorite” today in Louisville in the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby. You probably also know how much I love the Derby and how it’s my favorite sporting event to attend (and I’ve pretty much been to them all).

So, today, I gave our WNST.net horse racing blog expert Gary Quill $20 to bet on Papa Clem.

Clem Florio was a longtime horse racing analyst and boxer who worked at The News American and The Washington Post. He was recruited from Miami back in the 1960′s by John Steadman.

Florio was one of the most colorful and kind men I ever got to know in my days as a cub reporter. Every year from 1992 til 2001, Florio would appear on my show the day before the Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes to handicap the race and tell old stories.

He was truly a “one of a kind.”

So, today I’ll be thinking about him.

And, of course, hoping to yell Florio’s favorite phrase at “Papa Clem” as he comes down the stretch on the rail.

“OHHHH, you baby doll!”

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