Pathos of the Race Track, Daily Racing Form, 1915-10-29


view raw text

, , • , , , 1 I , , ■ ■ 1 PATHOS OF THE RACE TRACK. "The biggest ami best chap I ever knew about the race courses." said a veteran racing man, "was Have. A squarer in::u never stepped iu shoe leather and how he loved his parents and sister. His one ambition in liie was to win money enough to make tliein comfortable. A dozen times he had a snug sum put by. hat whenever he took the final plunge which would win enough to give him the amount he considered necessary, the fates turned traitor. It was the same with Ihe stock market, too: nothing stood for him. There was a place in Canada near where Dave was born which his mother had always admin-d. It was known loeallv as The Pines. Dave had long regarded the place wiiii covetous eves. The broad manor house of white brick and the red roof were conspicuous for miles and when the train from New York bore him home for Christmas, Dave told me it was the view which fascinatid him most. lie said that he had always hoii-d to he able to own it some lime, and one winter when he was home he confided his ambition to his parents and sister. The place was for sale at the time. "He had liought for a couple of hundred dollars the previous autumn." resumed the speaker, "an undersized yearling by a horse that was regarded in Kentucky as having more speed than stamina. Nobody thought enough ot the colt to bid for him. and my friend Dave got him practically without opposition. He turned him over to a friend to train. and anioug the hundreds of colts and fillies biing broken in Seotembcr. he was not heard of, all eyes being centered on the gallops of the youngsters from the big stables which every year furnish ninety per cent, of the stake material. One morning, however, before sunup. Destruction — that wasnt his name, but it meant the same thing — got away from tlie boy ami worked an eighth through the stretch that made the trainer think his watch was playing pi auks on him. "He told Dave about il. Fearful lest nnvboily should see a repetition of the fast trial they took Ihe colt to the Monmouth Park coarse in New Jersey. 11 portion of which was still utilized for training purposes, and there llestruetion showed that the trainers watch told no lies. Then and Ihcre a plan of action was agreed upon. The winter was to be spent in the endeavor to form the runt into a race horse of size and |iower. Dave spent the bulk of the season in New Jersey and we saw little of him around the old OMlsey House, where he could always be found evenings when he was in town. Destruction grew amazingly and one fine afternoon in March when I was asked to go down and Nxik him over I didnt recognize in the stout, high-headed colt the weakling of a few lnonMis hefore. "The days were warm from ten oclock to three on the Jersey coast and the sandy soil enabled the colt to be out on the track much sooner than any of the thoroughbreds on Long Island and as a consequence when the season opened Destruction was ready for the fray. The trainer was anxious to start him in an overnight race, but Dave was patience itself and the meetings at Morris Park ami Oraveseml passed without Destruction sporting silk. My friend wagered carefully all Ihe way through tnitli meetings and when it came to Sheepshead Bay he was a winner to the extent of perhaps 0,000. There was a stake on the grass for two-year-olds to be run there, and as Destruction was eligible for it the trainer worked him one morning on the turf and found that he bad a colt that could run faster even on the turf than over the dirt course, a most desirable condition, as any racing man will tell you. "The night before the race Dave came to me." continued the narrator, "and handed me $."5,000, asking me to put it on Destruction the next day. regardless of price. He counselled me at the same time to have a good bet down for myself, hut as Hie Keeae and Belmont stables were represented by their l est colts, voungslers which had won good races. I was skeptical and liegan to argue with him. He held up a warning hand, and knowing that my arguments would fall on dumb ems I desisted. I got an average of S to 1 for the money the next afternoon and found Dave perched high on the grandstand in a seat he generally occupied when fee was betting a chunk. I handed him the sheaf of tickets, remarking 0,000 to $."..000. but he waved tiieni back and pulled his hat lower over his eves Bad watched the colts as they came trooping: from the paddock on their way to the post. There was a bakers dozen of them, and Destruction wore the ominous number 1:: upon his saddle cloth. He was niimher one at the post, however, and when they got away it was before the day of the starting gate Destruction beat the flag and showed in the van as the field bunched for the run up the hackstr tch. lwer tilted the hat and the big, knotty hands were clinched til the white knuckles seemed ready to start the skin. The strong jaws were firmly set. " Keep him up. boy. dont let them pocket yon.* he whispered half aloud. At the turn two colts challenged and Destructions rider, a mulatto, gave the colt two smart blows of the whip. Head and head the trio came on: nose and nose and cheek by jowl they bounded into the straight, horses and riders struggling uobly. Destruction -was still on the rail and in making the turn he had the advantage of his competitors. His splendid head was thrust far forward as he ran. and when the stretch was well entered his adversaries were straight as a string. Inch by inch be forged to the front, and when the finishing line was readied Destructions neck and slioulders showed clear to the girths. "I looked at Dave in those last strides, ne sat ■is 1 hough turned to stone until the numbers went up. and then two great tears raced down his cheeks and splashed upon his big bands, which were closing and unclosing convulsively. " Come on. he muttered. I want to send a message." "When we reached the telegraph office he sezed a pen ami tried to write, but his hand would not be controlled. He passed the pen to me, saying ■Write: • -To Mrs Charles * * Canada. " •Destruction has won and The Pines is ours. "Im not ashamed to confess that as I signed bis name a BNV or two dropped from somewhere and the blank was wet when it reached the haud of tlie operator, to whom it meant nothing. "I hadnt won a quarter on the race, bnt I had been up to Daves home and had heard them all talk ahaat The Pines, and I had a mental picture of the trio, father, mother and daughter, when that message came announcing the victory of Destruction. They all live at Tlie Pines now. and Destruction is there too in one of the amplest paddocks and his children uphold his fame on many tracks in tlie Cnited States and Canada." — New York Sun.

Persistent Link:
Local Identifier: drf1915102901_3_6
Library of Congress Record: