Here and There on the Turf: Passing of Billy Kelly the Sentimental Value of a Trophy, Daily Racing Form, 1922-09-16


view raw text

Here and There on the Turf Passing of Billy Kelly. The Sentimental Value of a Trophy. The passing of Billy Kelly from active racing removes one of the foremost of American turf idols. Like many another good gelding, the son of Dick Welles and Glena wore exceedingly well. In his five years of usefulness he was started sixty -six times, was thirty-eight times winner, fourteen times second and six times third. That leaves only eight times that this remarkable racer was worse than third. Truly a wonderful record, when it is considered that he was campaigned early and late over various distances and over every condition of track. His last appearance under silks was in the three-quarters of the Harford Handicap, at Havre de Grace, on April 15 of this year. In that race, under 132 pounds equal weights with the mighty Exterminator he put the son of McGee and Fair Empress to a drive to beat him a length. Commander J. K. L. Ross is to be complimented about having retired his great gelding to his farm for a life of ease to the end of his days. This decision was reached after the old fellow developed into a bleeder. But, even with that affliction, .what a selling plater he would make! That would be his fate in many; another stable, but Billy Kelly has earned his rest and it is his good fortune to be owned by a sportsman who has a full appreciation of him and his long term of honest ssrvice. Sam Hildreth has a two-year-old that he is racing for the Rancocas Stable this year that is a close relative to Billy Kelly. This is Curtis, the same that took the measure of two of the supposedly good two-year-olds of the year Thursday in Newmarket and Flagstaff. Curtis is a son of Dick Finnell Glena. Dick Finnell being a brother to Dick Welles, the sire of Billy Kelly, makes Curtis just about as close to being a brother, without actually being one, as is possible. Curtis has shown something of the electric speed that made Billy Kelly so famous. It is still too early to even suggest that he will be anything like the race horse Billy Kelly proved himself to be, but he has made a fairly good start and Hildreth will find out just how fast he can run. He has a habit of finding that out and, if Curtis is another Billy Kelly, he could not be in better hands to have all of his qualities displayed to their utmost. Curtis comes from a racing family, for Billy Kelly was not the only one bred along the identical lines that made good, though none other attained the popularity and prominence that came to Commander Ross gelding. It was his honesty and reliability that made this old sprinter such a prime favorite with the racing crowds and he is remembered along with Davy Johnsons Roseben, best and chief of the sprinting geldings that made glorious turf history. The Brook Cup Steeplechase, so gallantly won by the sterling old mare Soumangha, has a cup of the value of 50, while the race had an added money value of 0,000, but Mrs. Whitney, the fair owner of the Green-tree Stable, will treasure that cup. It is the cup that she sent her two horses to the post for, and the possession of the cup furnishes a thrill for years to come that cannot be measured by money. A trophy is valued by the owner who races his horses for profit rather than for sport. That is, by a big proportion of them. This was brought home forcibly at a little meeting which was conducted some years ago at Arlington, across the Potomac from Washington. It is a half-mile track and there were three races a day in conjunction with a horse show. For the occasion there were several cups, hung up by sportsmen who fathered the racing end of the entertainment. The horses that were racing were, for the most part, recruited from "the bushe," but there are many real sportsmen who race in the bushes. One of these cups was won by a sportsman from the bushes, and his whole outfit screamed for money. He had been doing the :st he could with his cheap ones and purses were few and far between. After his horse was a winner and he climbed into the stand to receive the trophy he was informed that if he would rather have its money value there would be 00 added to his purse. The suggestion was made on account of the evident poverty of his racing string, but this sportsman and he was a real one was insulted. "I should say not !" was his indignant rnswer to the suggestion. "My missus will put that cup on the sideboard and tell all the neighbors that my old horse won it while President Wilson was in the grandstand." Such was the i case, for President Wilson was out for that day of racing. That cup meant more to this particular sportsman than many hundred dollars and, as he left the stand hugging it to him, he icmarked belligerently, Td like to see son.eone get this cup from me!" That is the sporting spirit, and it is a spirit that should be fostered in these days. Cups have more than sentimental value. They are calculated to educate sportsmen. Of course, it has to b? more or less born in a man, but there are plenty of sportsmen left to appreciate the trophy. Why not have more trophies ?

Persistent Link:
Local Identifier: drf1922091601_2_2
Library of Congress Record: