Bargain Yearlings of Other Days: Morello and Raceland, Bought for a Song, Turned Out to be Champions, Daily Racing Form, 1919-12-08


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BARGAIN YEARLINGS OF OTHER DAYS Morello and Eaccland, Bought for a Song:, Turned Out to Be Champions. Something about bargains in horseflesh picked up in years gone as related by a veteran of tiie turf, who tells of a mare racing at New Orleans, which was saved from an untimely death and lived to produce a filly that proved n sensation on the turf, is here told in the old turfmans own words: "The first and only time that I ever saw her was at the old Fair Grounds track at New Orleans. She was a starter in a sprint at three-quarters of a mile one January afternoon and, while running in a prominent position, she was carried into the fence and her shoulder was torn fearfully. As she stood trembling and bleeding, unable to walk, her owner with tears in Ills eyes, removed the saddle and bridle and was about to shoot the mare when a young man stepped up and begged for her life. " Ill put her in slings, he said, and I think I can save her. Dont kill her. "The Kentnckian who owned the mare wished the young fellow good luck and walked away. The best veterinarian in the Crescent City was consulted and a temporary house was made out of boards only a hundred feet away from where the accident occurred and for two months the mare hung suspended in slings. She could finally walk, but was lame. "She was so well bred that she was valuable as a brood mare, and her young owner, whose father was an official of the track, was on the lookout for a chance to mate her with some of the fashionable sires of the thoroughbred region of Tennessee or Kentucky. One day a man who owned a good son of the English horse, SL Simon, came to the course and while in conversation with the father of the young man who owned the mare the youngster plucked up courage enough to say that the blood lines of his mare would match those of the premier stallion of the Teniiesseean. GRANDDAUGHTER OF HERMIT. "A few questions developed .the, fact that the mare was a granddaughter of the great English horse. Hermit, and an invitation was extended to send the crippled mare to Tennessee. A year later a handsome chestnut filly walked by the matrons side. Shewas perfect in.-contnur and wns-con-sidered one of the choicest weanlings on the place. "When the foal was about six weeks old a magnate of the turf, whose name is known wherever thoroughbreds have raced in this country for the last thirty years, came to New Orleans on a yearly pilgrimage. The young chap obtained an introduction to this man and told him about the mare and foal he had in Tennessee. Would he see them? A few minutes conversation brought an offer of ,000 for the pair provided the millionaires stud groom approved of them. "A wire was sent to Lexington that afternoon and two days later word came from Nashville that the mare and foal were as represented and the youngster felt mighty proud when he pocketed the check for ,000 which closed the deal. "You all know that the Astoria Stakes at Graves-end was one of the sportiest events of the year. It was a special stake for two-year-old fillies and besides the money value there was a handsome piece of plate for the owner of the winner, who gives a dinner to the other subscribers and some friends. It was modeled on the lines of the famous Gimcrack Stakes at York, and I think there is scarcely a man who lias ever won it who doesnt consider the honor of being host on the. occasion gf much more moment than the mere winning of the plate or money. ASTORIA STAKES AT HER MERCY. "This was especially true of .the millionaire who bought the crippled granddaughter of Hermit and her filly. The season at Gravesend was yet young that year when it was rumored that the race for the Astoria Stakes was at the mercy of a certain chestnut filly in the stable of a western owner, and when the day on which the race was to be decided came around the westerner was on hand in his private car, accompanied by a party of friends, among whom was the fair-haired girl after whom the Astoria candidate had been named. It was only an easy gallop for the handsome youngster, whose mothers life had been saved by .the Louisiana boy, and she went right along picking up other stake races until in the autumn upward of 40.000 had been placed to her credit. "She broke down before she was a three-year-old and was sent to the Kentucky stud of her owner, where she remained until his death. He"willed her to his brother, who in turn tired of racing and sold her to another rich man, whose property she now is. This strapping fine colt is her best produce to date, but she is a young mare yet and great things are in store for her, no doubt." "Fortune plays some fuiiny pranks in racing," interjected another racing man. "There are cases every year of turfmen with large breeding establishments selling yearlings from tlielr farms which give sound beating to the best that are retained. "The instances of supposedly uufashioiiably bred youngsters that have sold creaply turning out world-beaters is long. HUNDRED -DOLLAR YEARLING. "Morello was a hundred-dollar yearling that became a champion, and I doubt if the American turf ever saw a better race horse than this big son of Eolus. He was a raw-boned, rakish fellow when he was led into the sales ring as a yearling, and the fact that lie was bred in Virginia was probably the reason young Doswell of that state bid on the colt. "Nobody apparently wanted the lumbering yearling, and when the young Virginian, who was a neighbor of the Hancocks, who bred him, found pluck enough to offer 00 some persons laughed behind their hands. The colt had a big curb and was generally unprepossessing; but this ugly duckling became ii swan all right, and when he appeared the following spring at Washington lie was in a class by himself anil won his first two races with such ease that the attention of the smartest horsemen at the track was challenged. "The late William M. Sinseriy. a Philadelphia newspaper man, was told about the son of Eolus by Frank Van Ness, than whom there was not a more shrewd observer on .the running or trotting turf. The late John K. McIonald was another smart turfman who regarded Morello as a potential champion, and it was a race between them to see who should buy him. McDonald sent a man to pay the asked price. ,500, but he found that Van Ness had forestalled him by a few minutes. "It was a big turn for young Doswell. He had won two good races with, a colt that cost liliu 00 only ten months lxfore and bad then disposed of lii tn for ,500. Van Ness was not afraid of the curbv hocks which blemished Morello. Speed marks, lie called them, i"1 straightaway prepared Morello for what was a most sensational career. "Those who saw the ldg bay colt win the Futurity have always referred to it as the most remarkable race they ever saw. The eolt had been sufferng from distemper and ten days before the race it was a dollar to a doughnut that he could not he prepared for the big race, wortli upward of 0,000 to the winner. Van Ness, when racing trotters, had done some remarkable tlilugs.. a few of which were not according to Hoyle, and when he Continued ou second page.J BARGAIN YEARLINGS OF OTHER DAYS Continued from first page. sent Morello to the post for the Futurity with the youngster showing plainly that lie was then suffering from the ravages of distemper, the smart fellows shook their heads and prophesied that Morello would choke and perhaps fall before the race was half over. "Jimmy Rowe. who started the race, said that the colt coughed a dozen times while at the post, and Billy Hayward, the veteran jockey -vlio had the mount, often said before his death that he expected to have to pull the youngster up before half the dstance was over. That sick giant, however, was good enough to toy with one of the best fields of two-year-olds out that year and, although many of us had bets on other candidates, we threw up our hats and cheered madly when the gallant colt marched to the front in the last furlong. "It was the most remarkable achievement I have ever seen, for it must not be forgotten that there was- an imiHist of 118 pounds in the saddle. Morello must have been steel and whalelxmc, for lie got no let-up that winter, but was raced at New Orleans and then on through the west, winding up the following winter in California." "Raceland was another hundred-dollar yearling," broke in a listener. "Joe Cllman, who is almost a memory now as a plunger, was the lucky purchaser of the big angular gelding by Billet, and if Joe hart kept Raceland during his entire racing career and bet on him exclusively, he wouldnt have died broken financially, a rumor has it OLD BONES HIS NICKNAME. "Like Morello, Raceland had a curb, and like Mo.rello he was rejected because of it. Old Bones was Ids nickname, and he gained fame in the colors of IJllmau, the elder August Belmont and finally with Dwyer, for whom he won a fortune in stakes and purses, besides an uutod sum in wagers, for the unhandsome gelding was as true as steel and would run as straight as a string under punishment; in fact, ho was as nearly a piece of machinery as you could find in the thoroughbred ranks." "Price cuts no great figure for an untried performer," remarked a bystander. "The Dwycrs used to pay tremendous figures for the brothers and sisters of their great hoses, but they got tired of it. when on one occasion they gave more than .0,000 for a batch of yearlings and out of the lot got not a single stake candidate; in fact, I think they won a few selling races witli some of their gold bricks, high among which was Joe .Blackburn, a brother to the famous Luke. Joe was the worst I ever saw, and McLaughlin wore out a dozen good whips trying to make him run. "One of the first lemons in the thoroughbred line ever secured by anybody was King Thomas, the big brother to Ban Fox, for which the late Senator Hearst paid ?3S,000. King Thomas could run about fast enough to beat Albert Coopers buggy horse and when he shuffled around Sheepshead Bay in the mornings old Albert would shake his head and mumble something about foolish people1 with more money than horse sense. About all that King Thomas had to recommend him at any time was bulk, and you can have too much of that when it comes to carrying it a mile and a quarter, or. even in some of the great three-year-old prises like tiie Realization Stakes." PROCTOR KNOTT OVERLOOKED. "You all overlooked a pretty good tiundred-dullar boss when you didnt mention Proctor Knott." spoke up a Keutuckian. "I remcmbah the day Sam Bryant made you all sick with him at Sheepshead Bay. You all were some sick when old Sam jumped the wliitefaced gelding out in the Junior Champion Stakes at Monmouth Park, but the Futurity was what the Frenchman would call the coop rte grace for you New Yorkers; who thought Salvator was the classiest boss out that yeah. "Yes, sub, that gamecock on the back of Sams jacket was flappin his wings when Pikey Barnes, the lxst little niggah ridah in Kentucky, put it on Salvator and Isaac Murphy.- Murphy, of cohse, was a Kaintucky niggah. too, but while lie was a finished ridali and a great judge of paee lie couldnt finish like Pikey, and we all got the money. "It made Sain Bryant spruce up, an perhaps he wasnt some class fob some time, round Lexington! Poah old Sam. lie was fond of bosses an he was game to the last, going to the race; track to see the colors when the doctors told him he might die on .the way." There was a light in the Kentuckians eyes as he finished which meant much. It told more eloquently than words that in his opinion Bryant hurt risked his life in a goort cause and that there are few better things ihan a struggle between thoroughbreds trained to the hour when they meet j in a fair field with no favor. New York Sun.

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