Ill-Founded Rulings at New Orleans: Mountain Victim of Newspaper and Betting Ring Scandal-Mongers, Daily Racing Form, 1908-01-23


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ILL-FOUNDED RULINGS AT NEW ORLEANS. Mountain Victim of Newspaper and Betting Ring f Scandal-Mongers. Maw oilcans. La., January 111. — The recent turf I lrM. here. Slowing out of what is now termed the I old Hiinesty lasadeua-Uyan-Mounlaiu affair, has I bronchi ii the surface ouee more the old time-worn i * proportion thai the friends of racing are often its ; w nsl enemies. The- official result of all the turmoil was Minply this: Ryan left here and went to his i home in Cincinnati on personal business, it was J claimed. The judges ruled that Mountain would not I ■« eHgMe to ride on either traek during the re- i maind r at the season. The storm that eventually centered aroiinil Kyau and Mountain, began, as such things usually do. in the betting ring. Apparently Kyau had been winning money, with the natural -o.-olary that the betting ring had been taatag limncy. Immediately it licgau to be whispered about that Ltyan was •doing business"— that be had jockeys en iiis stall, and when the Old Houcsty-Iasa-dciia race came up. and ltyan beat the ring out of a lii ,| money on. the victory, easily achieved, by the way. of old Honesty, and Mountain rode a bad-looking race on Pasadena, the horse failing to | er-form anywhere near to his usual racing quality. Mountains name was at once connected with that of Kyau. Some of the newspapers endeavored to make a sensation out of Ryan and a mark out of Mountain. Through all this unsavory hunch of inconsiderate rumor no official announcement was made that either Ryan of Mountain had been guilty of fraud. None of the hotting people, and none of tlie bookmakers, or bookmaker.- eat rks. came forward, so far aa careful invest igatiou has becu abb to reveal, with any single item of proof of wrongdoing on the part of either of the parties involved. And yet to listen to the nightly talk In "the paddock." as i ne lobby of oue of tin- leading hotels has come to i.e tuown. one might imagine that in the particular instance Ryan and Mountain might have been guilty of every crime in MM calendar from patty larceny to manslaughter. The writer has no apology or •mum- to offer for either Ryan or Mountain, if fither of them needs apology or excuse. He is not championing the cause of either. He is merely pomiing out that the entire matter, so far as any eai-t facts have developed, has had no other substructure thau that of gossip. | It is had .enough when - enemies of pacing make capital of t lie shortcomings of the sport, but what shall lie ,nd of men — owners, trainers, layers and playcta — who. whenever they lose a bet raise the ery of wolf? These are men who all make their living out of racing. Instead of lending their voices continually to wails of fraud they might better be employed ill counselling patii-nee until tangible evidences of fraud have been forthcoming. In this connection the writer i» reminded of an incident in one of the early conferences leading to the formal ion of the Eastern Jockey Club, at nearly all of which, in a newspaper .-apaeity. he was present. Prominent and iniluential leaders of the eastern turf had tired of the rule, or rather lack of rule, of the old Board of Control, and clearly foresaw the menace to racing that aaiatai in the management of the sport as conducted in New Jersey, and par-tieularly the all the year around racing that was carried aa at GuttenlM-rg. They realized that something had to be done to preserve the sport to New York stale. Alter an agreement had been reached among the metropolitan raeataj interests, a meeting was called to be held at the Hoffman House. At this meeting practically all the prominent turfmen in New York were present, with the ex-reptlon of August Belmont. Mantis Daly, who had the previous autumn won the rutin ;t- with o-den. was in attendance, and while Mr. Daly did n.. I Vi .1 like uiiing In turf politics in a mailer thai iniirel. eoueerned New York state, y.t expressed some pertinen; opinions, sharply criticized wealthy American turfmen wlio raced their f I I I i ; i J I i stables abroad, and concluded bis remarks with the statement that "he would rather win a selling race in this country than a Derby in England." This, however. Is by the way. The sense of the meeting crystallized when James R. Keene expressed pronounced views as to the running of horses at DO to 1 one day and even money the nest, which was of frequent occurrence at Guttenberg, where some of the heaviest betting ever known , in this country took place. Mr. Keene was carried away by his argttinent. and made some assertions which probably he would not have made in calmer moments. The trend of Mr. Keenes remarks impressed his auditors that racing was in a very bad way. as undoubtedly it was at that time, but more especially bis strictures on the morality of the turf. Colonel V. *P. Thompson, then president of the lead trust, and only recently identified with racing Ihrouirh his purchase of the famous Brookdale Farm, followed Mr. Keene. Colonel Thompson modestly expressed his uiifamiliarity with the rules and pree.-.lents governing racing and said: "Gentlemen. I am tot well informed to offer an opinion as to the soeailed thieves and burglars of the turf, or as to how to hold them in check. As a business man of many years experience, however. I have found that you cannot very well conduct business aa a theory of doubt and suspicion. Confidence must be at the bottom of business enterprises, and while ii may be that fraudulent practices exist on the turf. :t would be very disheartening to believe that all the people connected with racing were crooked." The writer cannot recall Colonel Thompsons exact wonK but that was the gist of his remarks, and they made a profound impression. His broad-minded regard for turf interests might well fit present conditions not only in Louisiana, but elsewhere as well. Suspicious circumstances connected with racing ought to meet with prompt and vigorous investigation at the hands of the officials, but if the officials are able men and alive to the necessity for clean turf government, outsiders might well afford lo forego idle talk and unfounded rumor that in many instances lead to miscarriage, of justice and in all cases do racing untold harm. S. 1$. Wcems.

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