Signs Are Encouraging: Vast Improvement in New York Racing Looked for next Season, Daily Racing Form, 1913-12-16


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SIGNS ARE ENCOURAGING 1 VAST IMPROVEMENT IN NEW YORK RACING LOOKED FOR NEXT SEASON. Expectation Entertained That Sport Will Be Lifted Out of Struggling Stage Important Accessions to Ranks of Breeders, Racing men will find much cause for encouragement in the following extract from the New York Sun of Sunday last: "There are not wanting signs that thoroughbred racing next year, though not likely to reach the high water mark of five or six years ago, will be u vast improvement over the season of 1913, and that the sport in all probability will be lifted out of the struggling stage. The feeling is growing that racing tinder the present regime is not conducted solely as a medium for betting and that the limit of hostile legislation has been reached, with the result that the undesirable element has been practically eliminated and the support or the turf left with men who are truly lovers of the horse. "Among the new figures who are bound to take a prominent part in tne racing game are two who by no stretch of imagination can be accused of being out for the money. They are 0. K. G. Billings and Price McKinuey, both formerly strong supporters of the trotters. .Mr. Billings, It is said, will go ill tor rating on a big scale in partnership with Frederick Johnson, a consistent owner who comes from a family of racing men tracing tiack; to the beginning of the sport iu this country. It may take this firm some time to establish Itself as formidable competl tors to Harry Payne Whitney and August Belmont, but there is no question that if money and earnest endeavor will accomplish results Mr. Billings soon will lie as prominent on the running turf as he was on the trotting tracks. "There will be something of an experiment tried In the Billings-Johnson venture, as the thoroughbreds will be under the care of Dr. Tanner, who supervised the conditioning of the harness horses campaigned by Mr. Billings. He will not be the first man to devote the knowledge gained in Grand Circuit races to the improvement of the thoroughbred, as John E. Madden, as keen, a judge of a horse as ever took part lu racing, first was known as a trotting horse man. That Mr. Johnson as well as Mr. Billings has confidence in the ability of Dr. Tanner to handle the job is evident, as in order to put him in control, the former dispensed with the services of John P. Mayberry, who did wonders with the small string raced by Mr. Johnson last summer. "So far as known at present, Price McKinney will devote his attention mainly to the breeding interests, bv no means the least important part of the maintenance of horse racing. It was noticeable last season that the elder difficulty in the revival or the sport that had been allowed to lapse for three years was the gathering of enough horses of class to present Interesting stake and handicap contests to attract a crowd that would be interested in the races rather than in the prospect of making a few winning bets. His influence may not be felt for a vear or two. but the gradual building up ot quality appears certain. Mr. Whitney has his own stud farm, with the recent addition of the great Peter Pan to help maintain a high standard, and it will be only in line with recent events if August Belmont decides to bring over Tracery, the grandest horse in England, to enrich the thoroughbred stock of America. Along this line the recent visit of John Sanford to France Is of Interest. The famous Hurri-cana Stud, like the others in this country, had been allowed to run down following the death of Gen. Stephen Sanford and the blow to racing by the Legislature. Now the announcement comes from Paris that Mr. Sanford has lieen buying heavily of breeding stock, and that while some would be kept iu France to maintain a stud farm there, the best of the lot would be shipped to the Hurricana Farm. "Good horses mean big stakes and there already is a noticeable improvement in the values of the events advertised for 1914. Saratoga, a moneymaker last season, has come forward with greatly increased offerings that are sure to attract the best horses of the east and west; but perhaps the most healthful sign of all is the proposed meeting for Syracuse, which bids fair to open under conditions that will insure racing of a character fit for metropolitan tracks. So far only one stake has been opened for the proposed meeting, which will be held during the State Fair, when big crowds are in the Salt City looking for amusement. All the leading racing stables will 1k represented In this weight-for-age event, and as a natural consequence other horses in the same stables will be shipped to the short meeting at Syracuse. The races there will follow close on the meeting at the Spa and a successful outcome will go far toward re-establishing the snort in New York State."

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