Here and There on the Turf, Daily Racing Form, 1922-11-16


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Here and There on the Turf Maintained Interest in Racing. Racing at Washington a Desirable Thing. Extension of Breeding Following Racing. The continued interest in racing in the waning dajs of the season is little short of remarkable. With only racing over a half-mile track to offer as an entertainment for the Marylanders, the little Marlboro course each day brings out immense crowds. Washington being nearest to the track is a large contributor, but as far as Baltimore is concerned the race train has had to be increased in size to handle the travel and late comers have a chance for a seat. Maryland is now truly the home of the thoroughbred and Baltimore alone would readily support a much longer season of racing. Of course, the wisdom of adding to the racing season in Maryland is a debatable question and the Maryland state commission has already seen fit to make one reduction in its duration. It is hardly possible there will be any further curtailing of dates in 1923, although when the first cut was made it was intimated that it would be followed by others, until racing was pruned down considerably. What is devoutly wished by horsemen is that there should be a way made for a revival of racing at Washington. The race course at Benning still houses thoroughbreds and ever since racing has been banished from the District of Columbia the track has been a favorite training ground. It probably would be a beneficial thing for the turf and the breeding interests if the great sport itself could be returned to the capital of the nation. Benning was the scene of many notable turf battles before its gates were closed to racing and in the flourishing days of the Washington Jockey Club it was an important cog in the circuit. After a long meeting at New Orleans the stables would move up to Benning and that was the curtain raiser for eastern racing. In those days the New York season began on April 15 and the racing at Washington fitted right in to fill the gap between New Orleans and New York. In those days Maryland did not possess its prominence in racing of the present day. In fact, Maryland then cut scant figure in the turf. But Maryland racing has grown until the loss of Benning is not as serious as it otherwise would have been. Still, it would be a wonderful thing for the thoroughbred if he could again be welcomed in the District. With the various racing revivals that arc going on and the constant widening of the horicon of the American turf, it is too bad there cannot be racing in the countrys capital. From time to tune there have been movements proposed looking to a restoration of racing at Benning, but they have all died aborning and., now that Man-land has so adequately filled in the gap in the circuit both spring and fall, less is heard of a Washington revival. Then, since racing there was destroyed by the Congress of the United States, it would be difficult to revive it without favorable action in advance by the supreme lawmaking body. Active interest in racing has worked a great good in Maryland and its neighboring states in its incentive to breed better horses. Several thoroughbred farms have been established as a direct result of high-class racing and the encouragment that has been given the breeders. This is far reaching in the influence it has on horses of every description, not alone the thoroughbred. Many a good thoroughbred is doing service in Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania purely by reason of the wonderful growth of racing in Maryland. The service stallions are not confined to matings with thorougnbred mares. They are doing big things in improving the coldblooded strains and their influence will be important long after they themselves are only memories. This has been true of wherever horses are raced. It is always found that in time there is a decided improvement of the farm and general purpose horse. Hunters are of better quality; the polo ponies are better, and the army horse is of an ideal type. While the racing venture of Messrs. OHara, Bryan and Bryson in Mexico City last winter was far from being a financial success, it did a real and, possibly, lasting benefit to Mexico in furnishing the thoroughbreds that were left there. They should vastly improve" the native breeds when their racing usefulness has passed. Already some of the purchasers of the American horses have begun breeding operations. The same improvement was done in Cuba, by reason of the racing at Oriental Park. There it was a greater benefit, for racing had been established years before and it has constantly grown in importance. Now there are producing thoroughbred farms on the island and it may not be long before the Cuban thoroughbred will take a prominent place. With the constantly growing racing circuits there is a corresponding increase in the production of the thoroughbred horse and the thoroughbred horse is much more than a mere plaything.

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