Gratitude is uncommon at the race track, but not to trainer Leon Blusiewicz.
Blusiewicz, owner and trainer of lsella, winner of vesterday's featured Carrolton Purse at Bowie, became interested in the breeding possibilities of a mare named Gallamar. He and Washington, D.C. restaurateur Peter Beler bought a son of the promising mare.
Blusiewicz named him Isella for A1 Isella, a maitre d' in Baltimore.
After the colt won his first race in impressive fashion at Bowie in October 1977, Blusiewicz was summoned to the track security office. Word that Isells, the man, had once been a book-maker had reached that office and officials wanted to know if there was a connection between the horse and the man.
Blusiewicz answered, "A1 Isella is my friend. I have not seen him twice in several years, but he helped me when I was a youngster running around East Baltimore. He helped with money when the house was cold and gave me advice. He cared about me.
"So when I bought a colt I thought I'd name him after a man with class, one who isn't getting any younger and rates a thank you from many people, especially from me."
The official said tersely, "Case closed,"