How the Macomber String is Stabled: Most Elaborate Training Quarters in the Country is Established at Belmont Park, Daily Racing Form, 1917-07-22


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HOW THE MAC0MBER STRING IS STABLED. Most Elaborato Training Quarters in the Country Is Established at Belmont Park. New York, July 21. Belmont Park now is in a position to boast of what is probably tlie best, most completely equipped and most thoroughly tip-to- date training barn on this continent and A. K. Macomber, who has done many particularly fine things. for the American turf within the last two and a half years, is the owner of it. Less than two years ago Mr. Macomber became known to the American turf through the purchase of a choice band of thoroughbreds from the English turfman and horse breeder J. B. Joel, the selections having been made by that accomplished trainer and all-around horseman Walter Jennings, long and favorably known to American turfmen from tlie Atlantic to the Pacific const. Most of them, if not all, came of the Amphion family, of which Mr. Joels famous Derby -winner Sunstnr was one of the most distinguished scions, and without doubt the most distinguished horse iii Mr. Maconibers first importation was tlie then two-year-old Star Hawk, .dark bay by Sunstar Sweet Finch. This colt, though not large, was counted one of the finest individuals ever brought to tins country and in 191C he ran a brilliant race for the Kentucky Derby in -which he finished an extremely close second to George Smith -after having iiad nil sorts of bad luck in the running. Although Star Hawk had been well thought of for this race, a majority of the horsemen feared that he was not big enough to carry stake weights over a long distance, but liis performance the first time out showed that his rare quality Was a sufficiently desirable racing asset, easily to overcome any possible lack of weight and sturdy conformation. Mr. Macomber Proves Himself Real Sportsman. After this canie a long string of particularly unlucky races for Mr. Macomber and his liorses and it seemed that they were bound to just miss first place in every race in which they started. Many predicted that the latest addition to the contingent of horse owners, and one who gave promise of being one of just the right sort, would become discouraged by such a run of bad luck, but their fears happily proved absolutely groundless, for the new turfman from the west was a real sportsman in the best sense of the term. He did no whining, did not blame his trainer, nor did he seek to make any change in his racing establishment. All he did was to buy more horses and the host he could find regardless of price, and so when things began to go his way, no turfmen in the country were more gratified at his successes than his past potential rivals. Everybody said that Mr. Macomber deserved all the good luck that could come to him. Walter Jennings, too, came in for liberal congratulations, for he did not become sour or pessimistic. He had faith in his horses, for if anybody knew what good liorses should look like and how they should act, he did, so he, too, just "took his medicine" aiid patiently waited to see his judgment and horsemanship vindicated. He simply went on buying good horses and promising yearlings and never lost faith in tlie stars of his stable. It was near tlie end of tlie season when the greatest triumph came to the Maconiber stable with tlie victory of Star Hawk in the Realization, a race for real horses over a real race horse distance. There was rare quality in the band which finished behind him, but Star Hawk simply smothered his rivals in the early part of the journey and had them all "drunk" in the final half mile. Maconibers Liberality Found in Building of Stable. Another evidence of Mr. Macombers liberality and enterprise is to be found in the building of the groirt. training barn at Belmont Park, to which reference already has been made. The California turfman wanted a home for his horses, which should bo worthy of them and accordingly he gave the well-known, and successful builder John Olson ii commission to build him a first-class training barn for fifty thoroughbreds and now the,, result is to be seen in tlie splendid training quartersvwhich have been erected just, below the field stdiandand hear tlie premises of tlie Turf and Field GfuU-lgrounds. It consists of two large barns, each 300irfeet long, which are connected at each end withfe twenty-foot loop and tlie whole structure, including the loops, may be said to be under one roof,-or roofs, which are linked together by uninterrupted connections. These structures enclose a court 300 feetlong by 100 feet wide, -which will be planted with choicest fruit trees, many of which already are well matured and It will be laid out in such a way as to make it a delightfully ornamental feature of tlie property. Both these rectangular barns face toward Hempstead avenue and the covered training track, of which the loops form an essential part, runs along tlie east side, or back of the barn nearer Hempstead avenue and then, after rounding tlie loop, passes along eastward of, or back of, the barn farther from the avenue, while the other side, or front of tins barn, faces the enclosed court previously described. Thus it will be seen that, while tlie training track passes outside of the east barn, it passes between tlie west barn and tlie court, so that horses may be sent along the training track at a lively clip; others may bo standing in front of their boxes or walking, up and down the covered walk in front of their doors without lieing in any way disturbed by those working on the regular track. August Belmont Suggests Ingenious Arrangement. Then again, when the main track is not in use, uninterrupted circuits of eacli barn may be made by the horses occupying them, when the are taking walking or slow jogging exercise. The arrangement is an ingenious one and one which Was suggested to Mr. Olsen by the chairman of the Jockey Club. Apart from this, the whole structure is that of Mr. Olsens design. The roofs, which are of asbestos, are rather lofty, so s to afford excellent lighting aiid ventilation, while the boxes are large, handsomely and smoothly finished inside and out and admirably appointed in every respect, each barn being furnished with roomy and well-designed and finished tack and feed rooms, which are located hear tlie center. The materials aiid workmanship are of the best and wholly in keeping with the character of the structures. Convenient to these barns is a large kitchen and boarding house, two stories high arid 80 feet long by 20 feet wide, the dormitories being ou the upper floor, while the lower floor is devoted to the trainers private quarters and office, the living room and kitchen. This building is also well built aiid nicely finished, absolutely iti keeping with the other feature, of this splendid training establishment. There is still another building 18 by 30 feet, which will serve the purpose of boiler house and lavatory for the -employes. The stable force consists of fifty-six men besides trainers and jockeys. The training track is 14 feet wide in the straight sides and 18 feet wide in the turns, or loops, and it is laid with a heavy coating of fine sandy loam, overlaid with rich black loam. It is not surprising that John Olsen should feel especially proud of this great training barn which lias been pronounced by the widely experienced trainers at Belmont Park to be in all respects the finest and most desirable they have seen.

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