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Mark Gerard dies at 76; prominent racetrack veterinarian
Mark Gerard dies at 76; prominent racetrack veterinarian

When Mark Gerard was studying to be a veterinarian at Cornell University, he helped make ends meet during the summers by working as an exercise rider at Belmont Park on Long Island in New York. One of the horsemen he worked for was the Hall of Fame trainer Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons. Across the street from Belmont was Esposito's, a rickety bar that was like a second home for many racetrackers. Esposito's also served a cheap breakfast, for a buck and a half, and Gerard could be found there many mornings, wolfing it down. "He couldn't afford a nickel more," the late John Esposito, owner of the bar, once said. "We'd give him free Cokes to wash it down. I...

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