Jay Cohen, Santa Anita's popular horn blower, is back on the beat at Santa Anita today after missing some three months battling a face-paralyzing ailment called Bell's Palsy.
Cohen, 63, has been a fixture at Santa Anita for the past 31 years, treating fans to their favorite tunes upon request, telling what are best described as “corn-ball” jokes and performing magic tricks when not beckoning horses to the track with his signature 'Call to the Post,' but Bell's Palsy put an end to those glorious moments, at least until now.
“I'm about 80 percent as far as playing the trumpet goes,” Cohen said, “but the Bell's Palsy has been gone for weeks. I've been extremely lucky with a huge amount of support medically and from fans who sent letters wishing me well.”
Cohen took advantage of his down time to learn additional magic tricks for his many patrons. “My time off gave me a chance to come up with some new tricks,” he said.
“I'm good enough to come back to work, and I can tell you, I've played the trumpet when I've felt worse. I'm back and nothing's going to stop me now.”
Or to paraphrase a lyric from the song 'Nothing Can Stop Me now,' Jay Cohen has “found a dream worth fighting for . . . “
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