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PLEASING OPENING DAY AT FORT ERIE Great Crowd Sees Rancher Defeat Liberty Loan in the Fourth of July Stakos. Fort Erie, Ont., July 4. The Niagara Racing Associations meeting opened this afternoon before one of the largest gatherings that ever visited the Fort Erie course. The club furnished an attractive feature in the Fourth of Jul Stakes and it brought to the post the best field of horses that has started in a race in Canada this year. It proved a stirring contest and G. M. Hendrie furnished the winner in his good handicap horse Rancher, which beat A. K. Macombers three-year-old Liberty Loan by a neck. Rancher was well ridden by Parringtou, who saved him behind the leaders until rounding the far turn, where he moved up and easily passed the pacemaker, Wcsty Hogan. At the end the winner had to be ridden out to outstay Liberty Loan. The latter ran a remarkable race considering the lumps of weight he was conceding to every horse in the race. On his showing this afternoon the Canadian Derby, which will be run on the closing day of the meeting, looks like a gift for him. Todays was the eighth running of the Fourth of July Stakes, and its condensed history is as follows: Year. Winner. A.Wt. Jockey. Val. Time. 1910 Sager 3 115-Musgrave .,150 1:42 Jf. 1911 Plate Glass ..5 123G. Burns .. 1.150 1:42 1912 Lovetie 5 112 A. Sehugr. 1.150 1:42 1913 First Sight 3 100 P. Moody. . 1,155 1:47 1914 David Craig ..3 114 J. Hanover. 1,155 1:44 1915 Waterbass 4 118 W. Andress 1,015 1:59 1911 Runes 4 111 T. Parton. 1,710 1:47 1917 Rancher .......5 120 T. Parton. 2,740 1:43 Gainer, winner of the second race, was returned to the stable of his former owner, G. K. Phillips, who claimed him for 1,150. After Gainers victory nt Hamilton on Monday, Bedwell claimed the horse from Phillips. The race won by Gainer, which was run as the second race, was sent out in the entries as the sixth race. The original second race, entries to which closed nt the track this morning, was programmed as the sixth race. Horses Arrive from New York . Tracks. John Powers arrived last night with the W. P. Orr string. .The- horses left -Long- .Island Monday afternoon and were hot unloaded until two oclock this morning. In the same car came R. T.. Mc-Keevers Ting-a-Ling, Brumley and Fear. Other arrivals included the II. II. Hewitt string, W. F. Dortchs and two, the property of A. K. Macomber, in care of M. Barnard. The Kentucky delegation included a division of the Howard Oots string, Tom Scott, Jphn Whitlow, W. I. Bernhardt and G. Knebelkamp. J. C. Goodman is expected with his horses in a couple of days. E. S. Welter acted as one of starter . Dades assistants. He took the place of William Snyder, who left to do the starting at Grand Rapids. Edward McBride returned from Baltimore, where he went to superintend tho erection of a private training establishment on u piece of ground he purchased back of Pimlico. G. E. Phillips was among those who got in from Hamilton with his string. Phillips formerly held the contract on the good apprentice Koppleman, whose sen-ices he transferred to his father a few weeks back. While being loaded at the chute outside of the Hamilton course, the racer Blaise got loose from his attendant and galloped down the railroad track. He crossed a couple of culverts and finally wound up in front of one of the police stations about three miles from the track. Subject, in the same stable, broke through the flooring of the loading platform and suffered some cuts and bruises.