Mexican Racing Sidelights: Judge Murphys Incisive Story of Southern Turf Pioneering, Daily Racing Form, 1922-03-07


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| J t , ; I J • j • I ! : ; , ! i . | , , , MEXICAN RACING SIDELIGHTS a Judge Murphys Incisive Story of Southern Turf Pioneering. ♦ Social and Racial Customs Which Were Overlooked — Betting, Horsemanship and Politics. a BY JOSEPH A. MPRPHY CITY OF MEXICO. Mexico, February 28— With the forty day meeting of the Jockey Club Inter-aacieaal de Mexico practically over, it is time for retro-pection and analysis. We have lost some money. We have made a lot of friends. The money lost will come back with interest. The friendi are an asset c/T inestimable value. It was not to be expected that we could upset in forty days the traditions of a oenlmy. The first Sundav we raced we had 2.000 people, the bull fight 25.000. Last Sunday we hail 4.000 people, the bull fie lit 3.500. That is progres-. The bull fights luive two lasses of patrons, sombre and sol shade and sun. hey pay ten pesos in the shade and four in llie sun. We have captured the sombre fellow. In another year we will get sol. The resident manager of one of the richest banks in Canada teed me yesterday that in twenlv vents there has not been such real financial depression as in Mexico at this time. They are making loans as high as per cent. Small banks are charg-ing 2 per cent a month. This prohibitive inter est has stagnated all business. This is partly a reflection of similar conditions all over the world and partly because moneyed interests are hoarding money and marking time to see what is to happen. The passport restrictions were lifted too late to help us much and with Cuba. Tijuana and New Orle.un free from all restrictions we were throttled with red tape. We gave our proposition the acid test this year. We made some mistakes ourselves. Each week day all business closes at 1 oclock and remains losed until 3:30. it was natural to think that by opening al 1:30 we could have a half holiday each day. Hut the Mexican must eat antl will eat to the exclusion of everything else. If a Mexicans house was blown up during the midday meal and the dining room left uninjured he would finish his meal before he investigated the cause. We hanged our hour to 3. Even that is too early, although we were nearly in the dark some nights. If six races could be run off between 4 and 5:30 it would be ideal. MEXICAN RACING AND SOCIETY. Pacing also fell into a delicate social situation. The present government is fiom Sonora. It has its social set and clientele. The real monev of Mexico City, however, is held by the old regime, the aristocracy of Diazs time. After we had raced a while it was hinted to me that we were not getting the real people because they had not been propel lv Invited. A committee of social leaders suggested that we make Thursday "Society Day" ami sent! special invitations to the set that socially maintains an armed truce with the social activities of the government. We drew the exclusive set to us Thursday and from that other days. We then found that there was an exclusive organization known as Charros. the wealthy ranchers of Mexico, hat had not been sufficiently coaxed. We gave :Imii Sii-idays. They reciprocated by running their Chnrra ponies, came our dressed up like circus horse* and gate us free and interesting exhibitions of rop-ing and other things. We have hail millionaries on horses thase a steer, catch him by the tail, give him a twist that sends him topsy-tnrvy. It was [great sport for the millionaire arid crowd. I have no way of knowing what the steer thought of it. Then we should have hail a pro rated ring of hooks in addition lo the mutuols. This is only my personal opinion and does not commit the naasMa-•ion to any future policy. In fact. I am onite sure that some of my associates disagree with me. A ring in which the association had an interest would be fatal to pahllc confidence, but a pro rated open ring would have stimulated the sport. Where the volume if betting is small there i~ no incentive to l."i more than a few dollars, as the weight of a substantial bet will kill the price on a hoise. Then, too. there is no paper money in Mexico. It js ali geld and silver. If a man wanted to bet 2,000 pesos on a horse he would need a cart and mnle. The "iron men" take no markers. We would have hail triple the betting with some books inducted by men of responsibility. I have always been a consistent advocate of mntneia, and am still, but I also believe in fighting the devil with fire. MEXICAN JOCKEYS A SCREAM. The present crop of Mexican jockeys are a scream. Thick of thigh and leg. short of body, each must, at some time, have wallowed a ramrod. They leave the post with blood-curdling yells that make ones hair s.and on end. That is the only danger in them, however, either in skill or otherwise. The first Mexican race one of them went to the post with a curb bit and overcheck. He was at the "ighth post in the race. The Mexican learns fast, however. His rider went to the discard early and American jockeys rode Mexican horses after the first week. The Mexican, however, is a natural horn horseman, particularly those with Indian and Spanish blood. Their boys are ideally built for jockeys; splendid shoulders and chests and small hips, if the owners have patience first-class riders -an be developed, but they must be taught early to bend their backs and cut out the war whoops. The Mexican horse of the better type has a lot of quality. It is of the pony type, but all horse, and there Is a marked similarity to the picture horse of the Arab. Shome show a strong infusion of thoroughbred blood. They can run fast, too, but three furlongs seems to be their limit. They are fed on barley, bran and alfalfa. They are sleek and round as butterhalls. I have never seen richer coated or better conditioned horses any place. We have suffered from some rough touting of some of our own people. Jockey James ltussell, whom We brought here to ride the lead pony, in collusion with a trainer agreed to "fix" some races for a member of the Japanese legation. He took 500 pesos to "fix" five riders. His first winner tiie Jap bet 1.000 pesos. There was 110 chance for the horse to lose on form and with all trying the Jap won 250 pesos. His next three "fixed" races refused to stay "fixed" and "set back" 2,500 pesos he cried. We ruled Russpli off, put the trainer away from harm and gave the Jap some needed advice. Jockey Hollaway also gave some valuable information anil took "French leave." We revoked his license. Jockey Kstrada rode several races, went to New Orleans and announced that he had ridden eleven winners and a lot of placed horses, thus tpialilying for the Ananias Club aud also eating himself* out of his license. This all cleared the atmosphere considerably. Every official and every horseman who knew how to conduct himself decently will take back only pleasant memories of Mexico City. We have had the most courteous treatment. Our starts, finishes and decisions have been met in real sorting spirit. We have lived reasonably and well and American whisky, ten years in wood, can be had delivered to your room at flf per gallon Page Pussyfoot Johnson. This is a racing story and not a political dissertation, but I cantiot refrain from looking into the future and airing my opinion based on the frank views of wealthy Mexicans. There is a general itlea that if Hoosevelt was alive and President. Mexicos troubles would he at an end. On what this is based I do not know. More "cave man" polity in the White House and "treat em rough" diplomacy might fit the Mexican ideas better. When a man spreads sedition here he is arrested at night. Iried before midnight and shot at daylight. We throw up our hands in horror. When a man preaches sedition in our country he is made fat and sleek at Atlanta and released before his teiin is up. The Mexican shrugs his shoulders and laughs. We have widely divergent ideas. If they could be harmonized on common ground order uiigbt be brought out of chaos overnight here.

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