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The Loss of a Canterbury Friend (2/6/2008)

Bob Tomasetti1927 – 2008
We lost a horseplayer and a friend last week. Many of the regulars at Canterbury end up with descriptive nicknames and because he walked everywhere, we called him Walking Bob. If your route to the track on any given day involved heading east on 4th Avenue you likely saw Bob Tomasetti making his way to or from Canterbury on foot. Bob was well known by many in the clubhouse. He worked the crowd like no one else. Agree or not, you always knew, as with many an Iron Ranger, where he stood on just about every topic. Bob wasn’t a whale of a bettor by any means. But he had a method and he stuck with it; and it worked. he was a win bettor. He played trainers and occasionally owners. Bob was on the Ness bandwagon before Jamie’s ascent. Years ago he tabbed the high-percentage and then relatively unknown John Shireffs in So Cal. He was along for the ride when Wiggington had a run. Steve Hobby once provided a $100+ winner. Until his death last week, Walking Bob was playing trainer Scott Raley at Portland Meadows.The draw of a racetrack of course is the gambling but it also has a social component. It is indeed a fraternity. While one may be scoffed at for a certain play, the art of handicapping and playing the horses is what brings us, judgment-free, together.While horse playing is our common interest it is not what defines us. In the end we are remembered for the person that we were. And in my book, Walking Bob was a good soul and one of a kind.