Emperor of Norfolks Derby, Daily Racing Form, 1915-10-29


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EMPEROR OF NORFOLK S DERBY. grand old pepper trees .- , „«i. one one of those •■■ I ndeincath t . J" . Baldwin ranch at ,,„, abound on „,:ln,hos draping Anadia. Cal.. "*■"■.■ if j„ sorrow, is a Bin d •■■ toward the si-ai „ , penealh the soil narked • •- ■";1f,on,nd„ ■ihe greatest race hj.rses he the l-ones ° /,.„„„,,,.. the many tunc winner ever known in, ,h or", of Norfolk. Those who and noted *J**5gr S. tatkaaMt as he was ■aw this SSSnJSmmmt aeBji hat notice and bb l.-d fr.m his "rt«l • /,,, JilsMisitioii ho possessed. Irs predate the Y," J, heart ne and bight eje. His character sto ut playful i|man ,is1|. ana « iM-autiful curly inane onm|rrt* to think ness would """"•t.n"t ;„ But such was not the he had a mean «»"P**Kh0,"D strung and seemed to ?£«£* hVniWuice and UU .urroundia, for his stall was built in a barn that was shaded by palm trees and drooping peppers, with a jierfect carpet of tiowors of the California variety. Being led from his stall, he would snatch his halter, as if anxious once more to try his speed. He would wheel around and rear ami kick vigorously like a two-year-old colt. But a word from his neeM and he would become as docile as a kitten. "Whoe, Kmperor." th- groom would say to him. and iminedi-al iy the animated pi tee of racing machinery would become as gentle as a pet rabbit. To gain his friendship all one had to do was to show him a piece of sugar, and he would follow even the great est stranger around the paddocks of the ranch from one end to the other. His trainer. Tom Cook, has freoucntl.v said that Km|K-ror of Norfolk had more sens. than mauy human lioings. When this noted race horse diiil all the big and little residents of Arcadia felt his loss as one does a house pet. Even the children on the ranch shed tears, for it was their wont to watch him and carry him little delicacies from the family sugar bowl and apples from the mothers cupboard. Hardened as was "Lucky" Baldwin to scones of bloodshed mid strife, much of which he went tiiroiijih in his earlier years, he broke down completely when told of the death of his favorite stallion, lis if he had lieen one of his family. The incident recalled many of his great turf achievements of which the winning of the American Derby of isss was one. In those days the American Derby was the classic of this country. It was of as much importance to an American horse owner as is t lit; "blue riband" of the Fnglish turf. To win the Derby was an honor Hlid the height of a turfmans ambition. Why then should not Mr. Baldwin have had ■ soft spot iu his heart for the Kmperor of Norfolk, which siaui|Kd the final s;-al of his turf ambitions by winning the great American classic? It was a memorable day at Washington Park. Chiingo. in the year ISSS. when seven of the best horses in the country tiltil out of the paddock gate to parade to the post for the Derby wilh an estimated assemblage of iHi.OfiO or more lovers of a horse race packing the grounds from rail to rail iu the grandstands and in the infield. These horses were ridden by seven of the most famous jockeys of the day. including Isaac Murphy. Hamilton. Armstrong. Taral, Stoval, Lewis aud last, hut not least, "Andy" McCarthy. The cheers that rang out from the vast throng lasted until th" horses had reached the starting post on the hack stretch, for the race was over a mile and a half course. Mr. Baldwin had two entries, baaeret of Norfolk and Los Angeles, the former carrying 123 pounds, with Isaac Murphy in the saddle. That reliable trainer, "Bob" Thomas, had prepared Emperor of Norfolk for the race and had careful lv timed his work. So universal was th«-opinion that he would win the race that odds of 4 to 1 were bet on his chances. Thomas knew the horse and his extraordinary ability so will that all he said to Murphy as he lifted him into the saddle was to let the horse do as he liki-d. that be knew as much about the race and prohablv more than cither his rider or trainer. Be knew that Isaac Murphy and Emperor of Norfolk made a team without equal. While the horses were waiting for a start and maneuvering. Mr. Baldwin and "Bob" Thomas stood side by side on the clubhouse stand. "Emperor looks to be mighty fit for the race." remarked his owner to the trainer. "I dont think he could be in lietter condition.* was the reply. "He seemed to know that he was being especially prenared for a big event. Many a time 1 have looked into his eyes ami they seemed to say to -,ne, "When is this big thing coming off. boss?" Then he would turn his head toward the tack room, as much as to say. "I am ready if you are." I tell you, Mr. Baldwin, the Emperor has brains and plenlv of em. and I dont think any one will ever know just how fast he can run or how far he will carry his speed. He never seems to be extended." The cry. "Theyre off." stopped further conversation for the moment, but it was only a false break. Then Baldwin asked Thomas what instructions he had given to Murphy. "I told him to just hang around until he thought it time to whisper to the horse. That was all," was ••Bohs" confident reply. "Do you mean to say you did not tell hira just what to do and where to make his moveV" asked the owmr. "Thev both know when 1o move." was the answer. The "words had hardly died away before the horses made a move and the starters flag had given the signal that the race had begun. A horse called While was first to show in front, followed by Los Angeles and The Lion, the others being strung out pretty well with Emperor of Norfolk among the trailers. These positions were maintained until entering the backslretch. where The Lion made a move and went to the front, folowed by White and Los Angeles. To those who did not know it looked gloomy for "Emperor of Norfolk. All this time Murphy was sitting as comfortably BB Kniperor of Norfolk as if he had been idling hi--lime iu his old fashioned arm chair by the fireside, li,. was apparently content with the way things v .-re going. So careless did he seem that it brought out"" an expression from Baldwin 1h:it was more fin lain than elegant. "What is that nigger doing? Does he never mean to make a move or is he going to wait until BBS race js over?" asked Baldwin of his trainer iu a rather excited manner. "Dont worry, boss." answered Thomas in I most confident wav." smiling as he said it. "That Ik-- " shouted Baldwin, getting mor- and more excited as the race proceeded and as he watched Murphy, who wus still hanging back on the leaders with as little concern as if he was riding a cheap selling race instead of a prize worth more than 4. WX and the honor of winning the derbv. "What does be eaaaet that horse to do." he shouted, "make up five or six lengths in an eighth of b mile?" "Let him alone and dont worry," tantalizingly answered Thomas. "By the Lord Harry, do you know what this race means to me ami t my friends? That Jeekes lias no license to be so fur behind as he is. He can never make up the ground." "You dont know your own horse," quietly answered the trainer. The horses were now Hearing the home turn, and Ihe change that occurred in the positions will never Ik- forgotten by those who saw the race. What Murphy said or did to the Enineror of Norfolk could not be heard or seen, but the colt seemed to flypast his opponents as if thev were stricken with paralysis. In less than one hundred feet he went by the leaders, one by one. and took command iu such a resolute fashion that the contest narrowed down into a one-horse race in a few seconds. The crowd went wild. Hats, umbrellas, gloves and almost every conceivable thing in the garment line floated in the air. Once In the lead. Murphy rode as confidently as if be was taking nark exercise. Not a hand or heel did he move. "and amid a scene of wildest excitement he won the race practically pulled up. Baldwin wi|M d the perspiration from bis brow with his old red bandanna handkerchief :..nd. turning to his trainer, shook him by the band, remarking: "What a horse and what a rider." Emperor of Norfolk trotted back to the jmlu-cs" stand lo report, and Both withstanding he had ran a mile and a half in 2:4 i... over a slow track, he did not take a long breath. His trainer took hold of his bridle and stroked his nose and then patted him 0:1 the neck. "Well, old boy." said he. looking ihe Emperor in the eye. "now you know why you have been getting the liest California BBv and the finest oais — you have w.m the Derby." And Emperor of Norfolk pricked up his ears, pawed the ground and nodded his head as if be imiler-• tood. — Kxchange.

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1910s/drf1915102901/drf1915102901_3_2
Local Identifier: drf1915102901_3_2
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800