Loftus the Best Rider: His Percentage Highest of Those Riding Last Year, Daily Racing Form, 1919-01-26


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LOFTUS THE BEST RIDER His Percentage Highest of Those Riding Last .Year. Conceded to Be Most Finished Horseman of the Present-Day Jockeys. XEW YORK, X. Y., January 25. The question of competent riders for the years racing is now occupying the attention of owners and trainers. Iist years racing furnished a true test by which thi! better jockeys could more decisively be determined than usual, owing to the cessation of racing in Canada, which enabled the best to meet the best more frequently in New York. Maryland, and Kentucky. Heretofore the riding of many jockeys has been confined to certain localities, so that returns at the end of the year were somewhat deceiving, as a rider would at time stand so far out. from the others in a district where his services wen always in demand, with practically the pick of the mounts, thereby hanging up percentage figures that were gained at an advantage. The year just passed was somewhat different, owing to "the limited racing, which brought riders closer togcthi. enabling the statistian to gather a loser line on the merits of the riding material in Ibis country. As the value of a rider is nearly :iUva.v considered as much as a horse by the rank and file of speculators, the appended table of the leading group of jockeys will give some idea almost at a glance of their relative value according to their iercentage. While John Loftus heads the list in the percentage column and is generally conceded to lie about the lst rider in this country, his high percentage lignres were gained by his opportunities to ride ooU hoxses. .while, other, jockeys Jike.Rpbinson Lyke. rcnsor ana "Sande " have"" had to accept un-selected mounts and ride all horses belonging to their contract employers. This means a loss in percentage. There seems to be what one mifjlit term three classes of riders, Loft us being conceded the post of Jioiior and the peer. He possesses more than ordinary intelligence when on a horse, and has proved times nut of number his ability to outride a threatening opponent when on probably the second best horse. Hardly has there leen an instance when he has been beaten on the best horse. Xo specific case can be recalled. This is one of the proofs of p. rfeet horsemanship. Itarely Has he been seen to riake an error of judgment, no matter what conditions may arise during the running of a race. He s.Hms to know what to do at the right moment ; ud what not to do. His judgment of pace and when to utilize it has always been significant in his work, and his strong, masterly finishes have been the admiration of the crowds which have seen him pull a race out of the fire many times when it looked to be lost. In a few words. Loftus is acknowledged to be the most accomplished horseman or the day. FEW IN FIRST DIVISION. Xext to Loftus on the list is It. Pauley. It was not until last fall that Pauley made his appearance fin eastern tracks. His high percentage was made on western tracks of more or less note. But he is an experienced horseman. He is anything but a boy, having been riding for some time, and is a much better jockey than is generally conceded, though he can hardly be classed with F. Robinson, Ruddy Elisor, Lawrence Lyke, W. Knapp. A. Sehut-tinger or K. Sarnie. These, together with Loftus, irppear to constitute the first division of jockeys, with possibly Robinson. Elisor and Lyke a trifle better than the remaining three, but only a trifle. After these conies G. Walls, II. Lunsford, C. Fair-brother, W. J. OBrien, It. Pauley, J. Howard, W. Crump and E. Taplin. The latter Is a better horseman than bis percentage shows. He had a bad season in 1918, accepting any mount he could get, which did not add to his percentage column. Two others that might be mentioned as being out of luck were Buxton and John McTaggart. Both are better than the figures indicate. But the aforementioned group might be classed as the second division. After those mentioned there is little to choose as regards ability, all being more or less competent, though many have to have the lest horse by a goodly margin to insure their being successful. They are anything but steady horsemen with the intelligence and horse sense possessed by riders like I-oftus, Robinson, Ensor, Lyke, Schuttinger and Sande, and nearly all having a shortage somewhere. Some are not game, others bad post riders, a few not sufficiently quick of thought to grasp an opportunity when it is presented, while the majority have not the ability or strength to help a horse when he most needs help. Xine-tenths of the lower division lack some essential quality to make them first-class riders. They can sit on a horse, it is true, but they must have plenty of luck to win races when riding against their superiors. There may be some good riders not mentioned in the list that have not had opportunities, and which has many times been the case In turf history, but they are usually exceptions. The list, therefore, has been compiled from results only and observation of the technical work of the leaders. , . Of the rising generation of jotkeys C. Robinson appears to be making a name for himself, and Cassitv has done well at Xew Orleans. There will probably be other developments at both Xew Orleans nud Havana before the winter season is over, and it is nresumed Butwell will be added to the ranks again now that his war duties have been fulfilled. If he comes back to his best form he can be added to the second division. t Following is a list of the most promising riders for the 1919 season, classified according to percentage, the figures being compiled from the list of leading jockevs of 1918 published in the American Racing Manual of 1919: Jockev. Mts. Won. P.O. J. Loftus 120 37 .30 !. -Pauley h. Lyke !! JJS .24 L. Ensor 0S 117 .23 K. Sande 7?T -- W. Humphries 114 2j .22 F. nobiuson S4 18.. .21 Fairbrother l.r4 31 .20 W. Crump 1-M 30 .20 II. Cassity 175 34 .19 II. Lunsford .....and0 1;m .18 A, Schuttinger ....317 5S .18 W. J. OBrien 27S 50 .18 J. Howard 007 100 .17 a. Walls 508 95 .17 Jockey. Mts. Won. JtR. W. Knapp .. 1G 29 .17 E. Denny ... 143 24 -17 C. Kummer 439, 09 .10 L. Mink 210 34 .10 G. Byrne ... 155 25 .10 A. Pickens . 190 30 .15 F. Smith 375 55 .14 M. Garner J 297 42 .14 L. Stalker ..J 255 35 .14 J. Dominick 195 2S .14 J. Dominick 195 28 .14 J. Dreyer j. 191 20 .14 J. Rodriguez v 5S0 7 .13 L. McAtee ...i 409 54 .13 E. Taplin j 304 41 .13 J. Pitz i 292 38 .13 H. Thurber ..J 258 3-1 .13 L. Gentry 407 50 .12 W. Kclsay 309 44 .12 R. Simpson 359 44 .12 R. Ball 310 37 .12 II. Erickson 279 34 .12 C. Mergler 277 34 .12 F. Murphv 204 -12 D. Connelly- 591 07 .11 A Johnson 541 59 .u J. Moonev 41S 40 .u T. Rice ." ...302 39 .u M. Buxton 309 30 .10 J. McTaggart 252 20 .10

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