The racing world Sunday mourned the passing of colorful and charismatic agent Harry (The Hat) Hacek, who died Saturday afternoon in a hospice facility near Hot Springs, Arkansas, not far from Oaklawn Park where he had lived in an apartment.
He was believed to be in his early 70s, according to fellow agent Vic Lipton, “my best friend for 30 years.”
Among riding greats Hacek represented through his career were Steve Cauthen, Eddie Delahoussaye, Kent Desormeaux, Garrett Gomez, Sandy Hawley, Darrel McHargue, Craig Perret, Larry Snyder and Alex Solis, “and he started most of them from scratch,” Lipton said.
Hacek had been in failing health for some time, suffering from diabetes.
Said agent Jim Pegram, currently representing Tyler Conner: “I learned a lot from Harry the Hat when I first started in 1990 at Golden Gate Fields. He took me under his wing, and he was a legend, no question, a total legend.
“He was the ultimate race tracker, for sure.”
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