Here and There on the Turf: Fluctuating Three-Year0old Form Lucky Hours "Comeback," the Improvement of Prince James, Daily Racing Form, 1922-09-26


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Here and There on the Turf Fluctuating Three -Year-Old Form. Lucky Hours "Comeback." The Improvement of Prince - James. The eastern three-year-old situation has changed with kaleidoscopic frequency. First came Benjamin Blocks Morvich. He had to be first by reason of his two-year-old excellence. Then, when he won the Kentucky Derby, he became one of the most widely advertised horses this country has seen in many a day. Whiskaway was next and, as a matter of fact, he still holds a forward place, but after he left the Whitney Stable he was, in a measure, forgotten and Barnes, who is training him for C. W. Clark, has not brought him j back to the form that induced his purchase, j Snob II. flashed to the front, but it was only a flash and, like Whiskaway, when he was sold by John Sanford to J. S. Cosden, he seemed to lose his form. Serenader did not go far along the road to fame until hs slipped into the discard. Ilea was through with his climb early, and Pillory, although he began the campaign auspiciously when he took the Preak-ness Stakes, has not gone much farther toward the three-year-old crown. Surf Rider, while his beginning was not exactly auspicious, raced his way into a certain amount of fame, but not championship fame. Then take the others that finished back of Morvich in the Derby, and not one of them can even be considered now when discussing the best of the age. They were, besides Surf Rider, Bet Mosie, John Finn, Deadlock, My Play, Letter-man, Startle, By Gosh and Busy American. And also the ones that followed Pillory home in the Preakness the stake race that was run the same day have now no claim to real fame. They were Hea, June Grass, Pirate Gold, Galantman, Champlain, Spanish Maize, Hephaistos, 0:1 Man, Miss Joy, St. Henry and Rebuke. These two fields made up what were considered the best available three-year-olds on May 13 and not one of them means anything now in seeking a champion; Of course, it all gets back to the sickness that swept through the stables both east and west. There were notable absentees in both of these rich races, and some of them are only coming back at this time. Lucky Hour is one of them. Bunting was another and Kai-Sang a third. Whiskaway j was not ready and, all in all, these races of May 13 were only of racing importance by reason of the historic and added money value. May 13 is early in the year for such races and time and again a good one ha3 been knocked out of the entire racing season through an effort to hurry its training. But they are races that will continue, and it Is doubtful if the I date will ever be set back much later than ! May 13. The sickness that visited the stables this year may be reflected in better . four-year-olds in 1923 than could otherwise have been j j j expected. It prevented the early drilling of ; many three-year-olds and they were laid away until entirely recovered and back to robust health. It permitted them to mature and grow strong, and that makes for good, durable four- year-olds. It is seen, in the cases of Bunting and Lucky Hour, what the enforced rest meant, . and there are others that, with the scant racing they have had this year, have that much better chance in the racing that is to come next year. And now comes Lucky Hour with his bid for top honors among the eastern three-year-olds of 1922 and it is a powerful bid. His defeat of Harry Payne Whitneys Futurity winner Bunting at Havre de Grace Saturday was so decisive that there will have to be a readjustment of all the estimates of the eastern three-year-olds. It was a handicap, and Lucky Hour was in receipt of five pounds from Bunting when he took up 122 pounds to 127 on the Whitney colt, but he gave Bunting a length and a quarter beating. Many who watched the running of the Realization Stakes, when Kai-Sang, under equal weight, beat Bunting, are of the opinion that Kummer made too much use of the Whitney colt and that under different tactics he would have been first instead of second. If this contention is correct, then, taking a line through the Potomac Handciap at Havre de Grace, Lucky Hour at once jumps up to the top line of the three-year-old class. But this is open to argument. All through the Realization Stakes, while Bunting was showing the way, Kummer had him under mild restraint, and it is a question whether or not any kind of riding would have reversed the result. Few colts have had more misfortune than Lucky Hour this year, but, after all, the misfortunes have much to do with his present excellence. When he was just about recovered from an early spring sickness he was kicked on the head by Southern Cross while at cantering exercise, and for a time it was feared the injury had ruined him for racing. Roy Waldron deserves a great deal of credit for his patient management of the colt through all this, and the fact that he was temporarily thrown out of training, while it barred him from many rich opportunities, makes possible bringing him to the post at this late date a fresh and good horse, when some of the others are beginning to show signs of staling. This really should not apply to Bunting, for he missed a greater part of the racing season himself, but Kai-Sang has had plenty of racing. There has been nothing to indicate that he has staled, but just now he is bothered with a foot injury that prevents his being right at his best, so that, altogether, unlucky Lucky Hour is really lucky Lucky Hour in the twilight of the racing season. Prince James, the four-year-old son of King James and Lacona, by Potomac, winner of the Aqueduct Handicap on Saturday, is a striking example of the now and then wisdom of permitting a colt to develop thoroughly before rushing his training. This slashing big colt was not sent to the races until mid-season of his three-jear-old form. His first race was at Saratoga, August 10 of last year. That was a three-quarters dash, and he was unplaced. He followed this with another race over the same distance, in which he was unplaced, and from that time he has been raced but once without being placed. He was first in six of his races. Last year, after finishing first, he was disqualified and the race given to Cote dOr. His first race this year was on June 19, at Aqueduct, in a mite and a sixteenth dash, in which he finished third. He has won every other race of the year. Four of these races were over the mile distance at Saratoga, and the fifth his crowning performance was when he set a new track mark to win the big handicap of Saturday. Prince James was a 0,000 yearling, and right now he looms up a magnificent handicap prospect over useful distances. Just how he will carry -high weight is still problematical, but he is a big, strong horse and from" now on will ba treated with more respect.

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