Half a Centory in Racing, Daily Racing Form, 1914-11-25


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HALF A CENTTRY IN RACING. Half a century identified with the sport is surely some stretch of time, but it is close to that period since Judge C. II. Pettingill first interested himself in racing. After his regiment had been mustered out at the close of the Civil ar, lie held the opinion that the climate of the soutli agreed with his northern blood, and went into the slioe lousiness at Charleston, S. C, in 1S09. It was there that he became acquainted With P. M. Burcli and, forming , a racing partnership, they campaigned "quarter" horses for a number of years with some success. From raciug on the small circuits it was but a step onward to obtain material and try for bigger game. So Burcli and Pettingill finally became known as partners, who won their share of turf laurels wherever they rated their horses. When nsked recently which hoi-sis, In his opinion, were tlie best he ever owned, Judge Pettingill replied: "That is a hard question to answer off hand. Duke of Moutalhan, which was a half-brother to the Duke of Magenta, was a mighty nice hor.se.. He won the Washington Cup at the Ivy City course two years in succession for me. Then there ,was Fair Count, which won the Stirrup Cup at Sheepshead Bay when he defeated Monitor and Eole. both cracking good horses." It was some years later that Mr. Pettingill became identified with William Thompson, who was known as the "Duke of .Gloucester" and was the ruling spirit of the South Jersey Jockey Club. In all probability there never was a man on a race course in America who performed so many .different duties in connection with the sport as. Mr. Pettingill did at the Gloucester track. He was the starter, made up the program, attended to the scratches and, in fact, did everything except collect the money at the gate and ride the horses. The Hrst race meeting at this course in 1S90 lasted for a -period of 171 days. Then there was a let-up. In the fall of the same year the next meeting began, extending into 1891 and covered 271 days. Then the Law and Order Society became active, aiid the lid was clamped down in the state of New Jersey. In 1S92 Mr. Pettingill officiated as starter at the old Garfield Park In Chicago, where he remained until the track was put out of business. He stayed around Chicago for a while, finally signing a contract to do the starting at Washington Park, the course over which the Janious American Derbv was run. In 1S93 it was won by Snapper Garrison on J. Eu Cushings Boundless, with the mighty St. J Leonard second and the great Clifford third. This J race was worth 9,500 to the : vhhc Drefcilfl never in the history of the American turr was ltiH delay at the post so exasperating, due to the cbaH taking methods of the jockeys. The horses uH at the post for one hour and tifty-llve minutes, aH as the judge now says, it was probably the iniB trying time in his official life. Judge Pettingill also started at Lntonia. Louis-" ville. Nashville and New Orleans, handling the Hag at these tracks until he contracted to do the starting at the Tanforan course, just outside of San Francisco, Prince Poniatowski being the ruling spirit in the organization which owned and operated that plant. He officiated at this track during the winter months up to the time that Thomas H. Williams, owner of the Oakland track, bought out the Princes Interests. Subsequently ho became officially connected with the Oakland track and served until 1911. when Governor Johnson, of California, signed the bill which put a quietus ou the sort in that state. Judge Pettingills time during recent winter seasons has been taken up by officiating as presiding judge or steward at winter meetings holding licenses from the Jockey Club. He has been a judge at the New York tracks for more than 20 years, being assistant to the late Clarence McDowell and later to C. J. Fitzgerald. When the latter resigned Pettingill was promoted. "The up-to-date starting methods now In use are a big improvement when one thinks of the days of big fields, with no barrier and every jockey trving to leat the flag." Judge Pettingill said in a recent interview. "Some people believe that the Futurity field of 1902, when John A. Drakes Savable defeated Lord of the Vale and Dazzling, in which 2r. youngsters sported silk, was the largest on the big New York tracks, but there was another time that season when 20 two-year-olds went to the starting post. I caunot recall now the name of the winner, but I am certain of the fact."

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1910s/drf1914112501/drf1914112501_2_5
Local Identifier: drf1914112501_2_5
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800