‘I Loved That Man’: Huey Barnes Gives Emotional Eulogy For Barry Abrams

Family, friends and race trackers spanning three generations paid their final respects last Monday to Barry Abrams in a graveside service at Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills.

The popular former trainer passed away on Oct. 9 at 66 after a courageous 15-year battle with cancer, never showing a hint of self-pity.

Amid the emotion, Santa Anita horn blower Jay Cohen, in traditional fox hunt regalia, gave Abrams his final call to the post.

Huey Barnes, an 87-year-old African American who came to California to work as an exercise rider for Charlie Whittingham in the 1950s when racial discrimination was still a sty in America’s eye, with public restrooms and drinking fountains for “Colored Only,” delivered an impromptu and moving eulogy.

Barnes is still going strong today working at Santa Anita as an assistant starter.

Abrams was born of Jewish ancestry in Russia where his father, Lev, earned his living as a butcher, but a darker skin pigment and a disparate faith didn’t prevent Huey and Barry from becoming fast friends, each an ardent fan of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Their relationship was based on what matters most: character, values, loyalty, honesty, trust and respect, not skin color and religion.

In his final years when it was no longer safe for Barry to drive, Barnes picked him up at home and drove them to Laker games.

“When they were over Barry would always find some hole-in-the-wall spot to eat, one I never heard of, and I been out here for a long time,” Barnes said.

“Then next game he’d take me to another spot and I’d ask him, ‘Where do you keep finding these places?’ He loved horses, the Lakers and food, and it made him feel good when he could share them with me.

“I loved that man.”

Common interests and an absence of prejudice nurtured their uncharacteristic and unyielding bonding of more than four decades, this black man from Brooklyn and this white man from Russia.

Race was never an issue.

The word only came up when Barry had a horse running in one.

The post ‘I Loved That Man’: Huey Barnes Gives Emotional Eulogy For Barry Abrams appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

DYFD Winter - 300x90

Comments are closed.