Here and There on the Turf, Daily Racing Form, 1922-10-26


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Mere and There on the Turf Eastern View of Latonia. Sportsmanship of a Racing Crowd. English Folks and Racing. Match of Three Suggested. A man used to the ways of racing in the East has been taking in the Latonia meeting and been duly impressed. Here is what he says about it: "The gradual decline of interest which often marks the closing weeks of a racing season is altogether lacking at Latonia. Monday the skies were overcast and a chill wind swept down upon the track from the neighboring hills, but the stands were well filled and there was as much enthusiasm over the races of an overnight card as one might expect over out-standnig stake races. "There is a reason for this sustained interest in Kentucky racing and one does not need to seek far to find it. The Kentucky Jockey Club is furnishing the public with clean entertainment, well arranged, well supervised and well conducted. Each official, each employe, is efficient, conscientious and interested. Each is a cog in a well-oiled machine. "The program is a compendium of information for the public. Jockeys, scratches and equipment are shown in each race and a supplementary table gives the jockey, weight carried and equipment used by each starter in his last previous race. "The work of starter A. B. Dade is also worthy of particular note. Field after field leaves the post in perfect alignment and the spectators take it all as a matter of course. They are accustomed to seeing perfect starts. All this makes for confidence and steady interest in the sport. "There was a feature of Mondays racing at Latonia which will mean an added interest in next Saturdays Covington Handicap, with ,000 added, at a mile and three-sixteenths. This was the return of Jefferson Livingstons Firebrand after a long absence. "Firebrand ran as a 0,000 horse should to beat Lady Madcap easily in the overnight feature at a mile and a sixteenth. A. L. Kirby, who took over the Livingston horses recently, has brought the big son of McGcs back to his best form and there is little question that the colt will give a good account of himself in Saturdays race. Firebrand has been a frequent disappointment all through the year, with only occasional flashes of the form which made his reputation. In spite of this, there are few who will dispute the assertion that he can hold his own with the best when in form. "There arc plenty of other good horses in the Covington Handicap to make Firebrand extend himself and there should be no dearth of thrills in the running of the race." There was an unusual manifestation of true sporting feeling on the part of the racing crowd ! at Latonia Tuesday. The occasion was the run-off of the dead heat between W. II. Halls Sway and A. W. Youngs Fantoche. This run-off, incidentally, was the nearest approach to a purely sporting affair that has been seen on an American race track in many years. Nothing was at stake but first money and yet the two horses were sent out on the track to fight out the race for a second time as in the old days of heat races. The finish which resulted in bringing the run-off was a thriller. Sway, after racing into a long early lead, began to lire badly in the stretch and both Fantoche and Paris Maid were drawing up to him rapidly in the last sixteenth. When the finish line was reached few in the stands could split the trio. The judges declared a dead heat between Sway and Fantoche and Paris Maid was scarcely an inch behind them. The big crowd was in a turmoil Even the old timers were more or less in a quandary when the run-off was forced by the insistence of Fantoches trainer, Will Perkins. So far as anyone could remember there had never been a run-off of a dead heat in this country under the mutuel system, but the officials were not caught napping. Meanwhile the crowd remained almost intact to watch the run-off. Even to the unexperienced, Sways distress at the end of the race proper was obvious. The natural sympathy for the under dog swayed the spectators and the Hall veteran was roundly cheered as he took the lead at the start of the run-off. The enthusiasm was maintained all through the race, although it was plain to see that Garner had a stout pull on Fantoche and could get to the leader whenever he so willed. The cheering as Sway crossed the finish line some lengths behind his rival would have done credit to a big stake race. The last previous run-off of a dead heat in Kentucky occurred October 30, 1909, at Latonia, when Woolwinder and Old Honesty had their noses on a line at the finish. The dead heat was run off and Woolwinder won. That was no precedent for Tuesdays incident, however, and the Fantoche-Sway race is believed to be the first run-off of a dead heat under the mutuels, at least in Kentucky. In book-making practice it was customary to pay off on the result of the run-off. J Since the mutuels have been in operation in Kentucky all purses and dead heats have been divided, except in cne instance. On that occasion, May 5, 1913, at Lexington, H. H. Emmons, after his Rudblfo had finiihed on even I terms with H. K. Knapps Yankee Notions, insisted on a run-off. The tatters trainer, W. K. Karrick, refused, however, and forfeited his portion of the money to Emmons. The last dead heat prior to that of Tuesday in Kentucky occurred last year at Latonia when Col. Taylor and Meliora were the participants. The purse was divided in that instance. Horse racing has been pronounced the favorite sport of England, this being the verdict of a voting contest that was conducted in aid of the Red Cross and St. Thomas Hospital. We of the turf would not wonder at such a verdict, but it must be remembered that the English are a sport-loving people and they have various sports from which to choose. There soccer was generally supposed to hold the foremost place in the favor of the people with their various leagues. It is to England what baseball is to America, but horse racing won and the thoroughbred and his deeds come first in the estimation of the amusement-loving people. This is just another pleasing sign of the times and a further evidence of what the turf means as an entertainment. While match races are contrary to the rules of the Jockey Club, there is no denying that these "specials" are of great racing interest. They are always real sporting propositions and get back to the time when horses were raced mainly for sport. Mr. Vivadou is the latest with a challenge for his sterling two-year-old filly Miss Star. This good filly proved her worth on various occasions and the owner of the Riviera Stable wants to have her wipe out her defeat in the Hartsdale Handicap at Empire City. That race was won by Robert L. Gerrys Cyclops and Mr. Vivadou wants another chance at the son of Heno. He would make the special for a substantial sweepstakes and has also intimated that he would like to have Mr. Kilmer start Sallys Alley, winner of the Futurity. It will be remembered that Mr. Kilmer was desirous of starting Exterminator in the notable special between Man o War and Sir Barton, but failed to have it framed so that his gelding could be one of the starters. He is just as confident he has the best two-year-old in Sallys Alley as is Mr. Vivadou that Miss Star is queen of the fillies. Altogether, a three-cornered special between these three two-year-olds would be vested with great racing interest.

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