Here and There on the Turf: Kai-Sangs Present Status Changed Racing Customs. the Public Loves a Stayer, Daily Racing Form, 1922-08-17


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Here and There on the Turf Kai-Sangs Present Status. Changed Kacing Customs. The Public Loves a Stayer. The Saranac Handicap of Tuesday, as it turned out, was not a real test of the high rating placed on Kai-Sang by Handicapper Vosburgh. The Rancocas star three-year-old ran an impressive race behind his stable-mate. Little Chief, under his top impost of 133 pounds, but none of the horses which finished back of him was of the first flight. Since the Travers, to be run Sautrday, has penalties and allowances, Whiskaway will be giving away considerable weight to Kai-Sang in that race. If the Clark purchase wins in spite of this it will show that he is far better than Mr. Vosburgh rated him in the handicap for the Saranac, in which he was assigned 132 pounds, one pound less than Kai-Sang. That Kai-Sang is a dangerous contender for three-year-old honors will not be denied by anyone, but that he is the best of the fine band which were assigned weights, though they did not start, in" the Saranac still remains to be proved. With the Saranac running a matter of history, there still seems to be no reason for revising this statement. On the turf, as elsewhere, it is seldom indeed that lightning strikes twice in the same place. Last year the Rancocas Stable enjoyed the ownership of the three-year-old champion Grey Lag. It is extremely unlikely that Kai-Sang can give to his stable such a high honor for the second year in succession. Altogether it is quite a change from the old days of the American turf. This must have been brought home repeatedly to turfmen who have been reading the "history of the American thoroughbred," as published from time to time recently in Daily Racing Form. The stories of those ancient matches and sweepstakes when proud owners would back the racing abilities of their respective thoroughbreds with their own money on the slightest provocation seem rather strange in these days when only a rich prize offered by a racing association will bring the best horses to the post. Then a chance remark by an owner to the effect that he had "the best three-year-old in the country" was all that was needed to make him the target for challenges from all and sundry who disagreed with him. The stakes were made up, the day set and the horses brought out to test their mettle under the most grilling conditions possible. Three-and four-mile heats, and may the best horse win. The thoroughbred stock developed in this turf school had to be sturdy and rich in stamina, otherwise the law of "the survival of the fittest" quickly eliminated the weak ones from competition. The present generation of sprinting thoroughbreds would have had little chance to carry on, as breeders of that day had little use for speed without stamina. This is brought out by the fact that little is known of the stars of that sprinting race known as "quarter horses" in the old days, while the names of the great long-distance horses, such as Sir Archy, Grey Eagle, Boston and Lexington, have gone down into history as glorious memories of a past age. And while races at short distances dominate the racing picture at the present, the public fancy still inclines to contests over a long distance. It is notable that while sprinters of the Tryster type are much favored by the offerings of the various associations, long-distance horses like old Exterminator enjoy far jjreater popularity and are much more likely to be remembered, when all of the present thoroughbred generation is past and gone.

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