Jockey Notter a Rough Rider: Keenes Rider of next Year in Need of a Severe Check, Daily Racing Form, 1907-11-20


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JOCKEY NOTTER A ROUGH RIDER. i Keenes Rider of Next Year in Need of a 1 Severe Check. Washington, D. C., November 17. Much hotheaded talk resulted from "Joe" Notter.s handling , of Oraculum in the Columbia Handicap yesterday at Bennlng. The boy, who on several occasions , heretofore has ridden in much the same manner, was seen to distinctly carry out Dolly Spanker on the turn for home, then lay against him with his , horses head pointed diagonally across the track, and seriously bump the other. In spite of all this, Mr. Wilsons gelding recovered and came on, ! looking all over a winner until he was within fifty yards of the end, when Comedienne beat him out. Because Comedienne is trained by George Odora, who owns Oraculum, the incidents of the race brought out all the latent bad feeling on a track which needs only moderate provocation to arouse it. The metropolitan race-going public is a patient one, and seldom manifests openly its displeasure. Neither did yesterdays assemblage, made up chiefly of New Yorkers, for though many saw the rough riding, they did not make a demonstration because the aggressor was beaten. But it was when they examined their race cards and saw that Odom trains both the winner and Oraculum, that the aftermath assumed proportions of a scandal. The argument was made that the western custom of coupling in the betting all horses trained by one man, was the fairest to the- betting public and should be adopted by the layers and players in the east. The claim Was made that Oraculum had clearly knocked Dolly Spanker out of his chance of winning, and hence bis stable-trained companion should , not be permitted to benefit by it. Not that Odom had planned the rough riding, but that he benefited by it, was the .burden of the complaints. In order to help the Bennlng meeting, it has long been the custom for well-known trainers to bring on from New York in their cars horses owned by gentlemen who wish to race here, but whose trainers could not without inconvenience leave New York. Thus "Tom" Healey was in charge of Harry Payne Whitneys horses, including Royal Tourist, up to the hour that the stable was ordered re-shipped to New York on account of the death of Mr. Barney, an uncle by marriage of young Mr. Whitney. If this had not occurred, it was a possibility that Healey would have continued to direct the training of Royal Tourist for the Grand Consolation, the most important stake run here, notwithstanding that for his employer, Mr. R. T. Wilson, Jr., Healey also would be training Falcada for the same race. Such incidents as tills have been seen here before, but no one ever thought of making a scandal out of the matter because the . trainers have faith in each others honesty. No one for a moment would charge George Odom with a deliberate plot to order his jockey to foul a contender with one of his horses in order to help the chances of another. Still, the foul took place, and no one regrets the damage done to Mr. Wilsons interests more than the young trainer himself. It would be a bad beginning of his career as a trainer to go before the turf world with such a blot on his reputation. The real cause of the trouble yesterday was the "win, tie or wrangle" method of Nottcr, who, as already said in this letter, has more than once ridden just such races on New York tracks. The sooner the stewards here and in New Orleans, where he will ride during the winter, show Notter how dangerous such foul riding is to his employers interests, the better for the men who will be paying his salary. It would be a costly. thing to Mr. Keene, for instance, some day next season, if Notter, who is to ride for him, should be disqualified after just such an incident as that of today. Miller did much to provoke official action in the season of 1900, before be was finally punished for rough riding and, without doubt, he benefited by the lesson, for in 1007, his offenses in this respect were so few or so unimportant, as to cause no gossip whatever. The same lesson taught to Notter iu time to be efficacious, would prevent a lot of trouble, not only for himself, but for his employers. It is a fact that some of the feuds of the turf owe their origin to the unchecked zeal of noted jockeys resorting to any method to win, in doing which they destroyed the chances of opposing horses. "Tod" Sloan might still be a jockey of note if lie had never left England in August of 1900 to ride Ballyhoo Bey in the Futurity and Flatbush Stakes, both of which he won, but in the latter occurred the memorable foul riding in which a Keene colt was so much interfered with that the immediate result was one of the most sensational scenes ever witnessed in or about a stewards stand, though the auditors were few in number. It was Sloans zeal which precipitated this, and it may be" the fate of Notter to bring about a repetition of the regrettable affair unless the boy is given prompt notice to cease his rough riding. While the advocacy of coupling in the betting all horses trained by one man may never receive the endorsement of either the Jockey Club or of many horse owners, because of the great injustice it would work in particular instances, there is a way out of the complication which the much maligned trotting turf affords as a precedent. In certain contingencies two trotting horses trained by one man could not start in one event unless one was placed In charge of another trainer ten days before the race. Let something like this be done on the running turf, only extend the time to the morning of the day of the race, or at noon on that day. This will help to minimize the feeling that complicity existed, for it would make the trainer in charge responsible for the condition of the animal that day, the riding orders he. might give and other matters Which the rules of racing make a trainer responsible for. Then lot the jockeys of each horse be held strictly responsible for what they do in a race, and, with vigilant, but well balanced, stewards looking on, there would be little or no fault to be found. It has sometimes happened that two horses have started in a race trained by one man. One horse would be at a short price and the other at a long priee, yet the chances of the latter to win might be really as good as those of the favorite. It would be manifestly unfair to the owner of the long-priced horse to have both coupled in the betting, simply because lie chooses to put his horse in the hands of a man in whom he has faith. On the English turf there are many of the high-class trainers who handle horses for at least a dozen turfmen and frequently start two or more in a race, but there is never any scandal from this perfectly natural and proper privilege. J. J. Burke.

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