Selecting Winner of the Derby: No Easy Task This Year with So Many High-Class Eligibles Training Satisfactorily, Daily Racing Form, 1918-04-21


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SELECTING WINNER OF THE DERBY ] No Easy Task This Year with So Many High-Class Eligibles Training Satisfactorily. i Louisville. Ky., April 20. — With the forty-fourth running of the Kentucky Derby a little less than . three weeks awnv speculation as to the outcome of , the big event is becoming keener with each succeed-ing day. Past |ierformanccs of the eligibles are lie-ing closely studied, while the rejMirts of their latest work and the manner in which they are undergoing their strenuous course of preparation for the great race of the local rear are scanned with avid interest. , Selecting the winner of this years renewal is no ! easv task. There are so many eligibles of high class, and several of them are so evenly matched in ! the essential attributes of speed and courage and j ability to carry weight, that it would seem any one of the number can be set down as having a royal chance to win. Sun Briar. Papp. War Cloud and Jack Hare Jr. are the choices of eastern turf folk, while Escoba. Freecutter, Jas. T. Clark. Everest MM James Foster are the potential ones among the patrons of racing in Kentucky. There is also sunport for some of the fillies, which, this year, are numerically stronger and of better quality than the filly entry list of former years. Bbsie oGrady. Mary Maud. Enfilade and several other youngsters of that sex devel-iqieil high-class speed as two-year-olds on eastern tracks, and Atalanta, Ocean Sweep and Viva America did the same in Kentucky. Olive Wood and Plum raced with credit, both at Saratoga and in Kentucky. But it is so difficult to guess what a filly is going to do after she nasses her first season of racing. It seldom happens that a two-year-old filly trains on as Beldame. Artful and Regret did in their several years. It is true that Regret upset traditions when she scored in the Derby three years ago. Since that year no fillies have started in the race, although the sex was represented in the eligible lists of iMith the vears 191ft and 1917. At the present writing Willis Sharp? Kilmer s Sun Briar, most highly regarded of the foreign-bred colts, and the main hone of the easterners, and Kenneth D. Alexanders native-bred Escoba. principal reliance of the Kentuckians. are absorbing the bulk of public attention, being respectively first and second choices in ante-post speculation. Both colts have been in training at the local tracks for some weeks. Sun Briar at Churchill Downs, where the battle will be staged May 11, and Escoba at Douglas Park. Both colts are in skillful hands, and if they do not go to the nost fit and ready it will be through no fault of their trainers. They will both be given the best kind of a ride if they start in the Derby. W. Knapp. the Kilmer stable jockey, will he astride Sun Briar, while Joe Notter will be astride Kseoha. Two more capable riders could not have been secured. SOME TO START AT LEXINGTON. Sun Briar and Escoba, together with several other Derby aspirants, will make their first public apiiear-anee as three-year-olds at the f-irthcoming Lexington meeting, where they will Ik- engaged in one or two races prior to the running of the Derby. Much imjiortance attaches to these contests, as they may he the means of either making or undoing those thus engaged. And. furthermore, they may serve to prove or disprove the contention .advanced by some critics that Sun Briars ringliones will prevent him from traversing a long distance of ground. Other questions that have been engrossing the dis-i ussion centering around Mr. Kilmers grand colt will also probably be answered. They relate to his ability to take up weight and maintain his s|iecd over long distances of ground, and his ability to win on a fast track. The critics aver that Sun Briar is the offspring of a sire noted in Great Britain for getting sprinters mainly, while public form shows that the colt was never successful when raced over a fast track. A. K. Maeomhers War Cloud, which may Win the Derby for the foreign-hreds should Sun Briar fail, will not have the benefit of a race prior to his Derby engagement, as he will not lie sent to Lexington. Instead the colt will be shipped from Belmont Park direct to Churchill Downs, about ten days prior to the contest, where his training will be completed. Those who saw War Cloud race in New York and Maryland in the late summer and fall have a notion that Mr. Macomber stands more than a good chance to score in the Derby. War Cloud is a son of the brilliantly successful English stal-liou Polymclns and Dreuiuy. He is not as robust a colt as Sun Briar, but he has a stayers pedigree and proved that he can stay. When he defeated Tipnity Witchet and other good youngsters in the Walden Stakes in Maryland he ran the mil. in 1:40. which was good for a two-year-old carrying 125 iHiunds. It would not surprise the turf critics in Kentucky to see War Cloud win the Derby. It is in his favor that he did little racing last year and this late in the season. He will have the benefit of having J. Loft us in the saddle in his Derby engagement. All in all this years Derby presents an open aspect and there isnt a question but what the race is going to furnish a stamina -sapping contest that will be worth going miles to see. _* .

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