Favor Vosburghs Divided Handicaps: All Classes of Horses Would be Benefited and Better Racing Provided, Daily Racing Form, 1917-01-09


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FAVOR VOSBURGHS DIVIDED HANDICAPS. All Classes of Horses Would be Benefited and Better Racing Provided. By E 1 Cole. Now York. January 7.— If n canvass of the horsemen on all tracks were taken on tic proposition of Mr. W. S. Yosburgh relative to the ill Mil of handicaps into two or even three classes there is little question that it would meet with general approval. This view is taken from the fact that success has followed selling handicaps wherever they have 1« en carded, and selling handicaps appear to be the thread to take up to determine if classifying handicaps would meet the desired result. It can safely be said there are many owners who have horses that are just a trifle too good for selling races and not good enough for handicaps. They are not entered in selling races for fear of their being claimed or sold and in many cases are comparable to the fifth wheel of a wagon. With a division of handicaps such horses would become desirable propositions. Not only would these races give opportunity for horses to earn more than they dc but they would fill out a days card in many cases where the fields are light from scratches and tlier causes. Mr. Yoslmrghs proposition is to divide handicaps into two classes, all accepting the weights allotted above MB pounds to run in the first half and those accepting the lesser weights to run in the second race, with a raise in the weights of the second division ten iMUinds for three-year-olds and fifteen pounds for four-year-olds and more. The raise ic weights is suggested chiefly so that the better class of jockeys can ride. Conditions of this kind were inaugurated here in ISitl by Mr. Vosburgh and had not existing conditions and legislative turmoil coupled with the death of the late P. D. Withers interrupted it. it i:; more than probable divided handicaps would have been in vogue today. In Australia they are popular, being divided into three classes in the antipodes — heavyweight, middleweights and lightweights. Merit From Every Point of View. No matter which angle one takes on the question there is merit to it. In the first place it would Hit B the fields in the richer handicaps, as none but the best horses would take part in the first aivision. This would create more consistent racing and give the real good horses better opportunities to live to their form, not being hampered by the crowding and other impediments which arise in a tace. when from twelve to twenty horses are jr. the hands of the starter. It would act as a sort of "stop order" on handicappers when they have to load a high class horse down with so much weight. It is detrimental to his health and underpinning to make him carry a preponderance of weight sufficient to bring the top weight and the lowest weight as near together as possible, which is the duty of a handicapper. Another item of much concern is the improvement it might show in some horses by making them display their weight carrying ability which many owners are careful to hide. This of course alludes to the horses in the second division the top weights in which would have to carry 120 pounds. I.y this system of elimination owners would soon find out whether they had a cheap selling plater or a handicap horse in their stable without having to try him out in a selling race with the ghost of a bidder or a claimer ever before them. An Objection Answered. It will be argued that overnight handicaps answer this purpose. This objection is upset by the fact that frequently first-class handicap horses are entered in overnight events which destroy the chances of one of the lower division ever winning an overnight handicap. It is rare that lightly -weighted horses win handicaps of any description, it being a well known fact that a high -class horse and one of the lowest grade cannot be brought together with a reasonable allotment of weights. In other words. a handicapper to put weights on Sysonby and Ash Tan sufficient to bring them down to the judges a nose apart, would have to put the proverbial "ton" on one and a "feather" on the other. With a divided handicap the second-class division •would have none but second and third-class horses as competitors. Such races could also do much to keep selling platers in their class and when one began to show anything like handicap form he could be transferred to the handicap division instead of his being confined to his stall awaiting an opportunity to run in a high-priced selling race. In a few words, the division of all handicaps, overnight and otherwise, would open up a new sort of race for horses that are entitled to earn more money than they do as well as create greater public interest. There are instances where a cheap selling plater wins anywhere from five to ten races a year, while horses that can beat him only have "half or one-third the opportunities. Instead of having from twelve to sixteen horses in races like •the Brooklyn and Suburban, such races would be reduced to eight or ten horses of the best quality. There would be many more acceptances for the second division than there are and the race for the second division would be almost as interesting as the first. Naturally the division of the added money is a question for the secretaries of associations to do cide and is of minor importance compared with tie- satisfactory results that appear to be obtainable from Mr. Vosl.nrL-hs sn-ostion.

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Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800