Odd Peculiarities of Race Horses: Thoroughbreds Frequently Form Fondness for Dogs, Cats, and Other Animals, Daily Racing Form, 1917-08-17


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ODD PECULIARITIES OF RACE HORSES. Thoroughbreds Frequently Form Fondness for Doss, Cats, and Other Animals as Stable Companions. Fads and fancies of racehorses they might be called in the whims and humors of the thoroughbreds. They are as numerous as those of persons, and their being understood is as essential to their happiness and to their success on the turf as is humoring of an operatic star by her manager, or one with any artistic temperament by those most concerned with ultimate success of the ultra-particular one. Usually the fads and fancies of racehorses take the form of fondness for some animal or particular person. Ofttimes, however, it is in the form of a violent dislike for sounds, color, or for persons. There is not a person who had witnessed the big races on the metropolitan track when the colors of the late James It. Keene were so prominent who was not familar with the Kecnes pudgy stable pony, a dull gray little chap. When first the pony came to the barn he was used indiscriminately by stable boys sent on errands. After Sysonbys advent, however, he became quite the most pampered thing in the racing string. The immortal son of Melton Optime loved that pony better than he did the colored boy Marshall Lilly, who rubbed him and fed him. If the pony was out of his sight, the big racehorse which possessed a heart twice the size of a normal horses heart, and lungs of like capacity would be restless and uneasy. After Sysonbys death the pony was inconsolable for a week or more, but soon transferred his affections to Wild Mint, and afterward to the star of each particular year. Colin, the matchless Commando "colt, was the ponys greatest chum, and in their warming-up gallops before the big races the real runner would lay off the ponys pace and then, a few strides from the wire, would try to pass the gray dumpling by one of his matchless sprints. Pony Once Boat the Great Colin. Once when Dumplings passed under the wire ahead of Colin, the big race horse came back to the paddock for his final grooming, actually, with a sheepish look in his face. Needless to say, the regulars applauded the feat wildly. Not a horse car left the great training tracks at -Sheepshead Bay and Gravesend for the winter campaigns without some sort of an equine pet aboard. Goats, rabbits, a parrot, dogs, ponies, special stable hands and even a rooster went along. Famous horses abroad also have had their pets, as witness the cat which traveled with Best Man, a noted performer on the English turf a decade ago; the pony Pretty Polly fancied, and without which she would not extend herself a bit in her morning gallops, unless lie stood approvingly by. Sceptre, too, another great mare on the English turf, had a pet pony, as did Robert the Devil. The last named racer invariably gnawed good liaturedly at his pets tail so that the appendage was in a constant state of raggedncss. Trainers are quick to recognize the likes and dislikes of their charges and to humor them. Time and time again, a boy has been discharged just because the horses were restless when he was about, and many a stable hand, whose habits are none too desirable, is kept in steady employment just because some star racer in the string does his best work for him. Waving a red rag at a bull is a byword of many years standing, but blue seems a color most race horses dislike extremely why, of course, none can tell. High-strung us are all thorou hbreds, unusual noises, too, affect their racing qualities. Some, however, fairly revel In the blare of the band on a big race day, and seem to know the cheers of the crowd, as the drive for the .finish comes, are meant as actual inspiration for them. Straining every muscle to get past the wire first, many a game horse gives just one ounce more to his effort as the frantic shouts of spectators reach his ears "game as a real race horse."

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1910s/drf1917081701/drf1917081701_3_3
Local Identifier: drf1917081701_3_3
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800