I only met J.J. Crupi in 2012, but since then every occasion we were together was a very joyful, triumphant and entertaining experience, from Roma and Marks in Ocala, to Lexington, to Il Gabbiano and the little restaurant by the Miami River Crupi loved so much; talking about Sassicaia, Brunello, scungilli and Italian horse racing, he was such a wonderful and generous man. With my Italian trainer and friend Agostino Affe, we named a horse Crupi the Best. He won twice in Roma, Italy and Crupi loved watching the video over and over and listening to the Capannelle Racetrack caller screaming, “Crupi the Best, Crupi the Best!”
J.J. was very proud of his Italian heritage. Once by chance I was at his farm’s clocker’s stand with some of the most prominent thoroughbred owners in the U.S. Crupi turned from his throne chair at the corner where he used to sit, gave a quick look and said: “Raise your hand whoever is not Italian!” Not a single palm went up. He turned his face again toward the racetrack so happy and fulfilled. My biggest regret: I never had a chance to take him to Italy with me.
My most affectionate thoughts and prayers to his beautiful family.
Watch Crupi the Best win at Capannelle below: