Form Goes Topsy- Turvy: Result of Year S Latonia Championship Entirely Unexpected, Daily Racing Form, 1922-11-16


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"FORM" GOES TOPSY-TURVY. the ca Result of Years Latonia Cham- sh is is pionship Entirely Unexpected, k Xockministers Performance, However, a pc Notable Achievement, a Record-Smash- th Ing Display or Speed and Stamina. ac a a a fBT SALVATOR. wi will There are, assuredly, such things as "form c players." In response to their demands that . entity known as a form-chart was first de- ; of vised, and in response to their further de- line 111 mands Daily Racing Form itself came into .. to to existence, and, after a career of over a quar- . hi ter of a century, is today not only "going fr strong." but stronger than ever before. With b: by these facts in evidence one can only futilely oi of surmise what the feelings of the form players m must have been when the result of the La-Jal tonia Championship came in. n No form player, no form chartist if I may j al coin a word could have been prepared for al such a result Bunting or Lucky Hour was j av the "form" of the race, and of the Jones pair j V it was Surf Rider which was fancied by the 0i astute. Nobody could "see" Rockminister, j save a few who could not forget the excellent C race he had run in the Realization, and even these could not also forget his subsequent failure on three occasions to "bring home the coon skins." Tet he won and won in tl admirable style. "Handily," says the chart, and "going away." Nor was the perform- li ance a cheap one. By no means. A new rr American record was established for the try- h ing distance as distances go these days to of a mile and three-quarters. With 126 d pounds on his back, receiving nothing from ti any of the others, Rockminister finished in j i1 2 :55, displacing the mark of 2 :5G which f Exterminator had set up at Saratoga two years ago, and on that occasion Exterminator, while carrying the same weight, was two years older. But this is not all. The per- e formance of Rockminister equaled the best s cn record in England, the 2 :55 of that t grand colt Pommern, made at Newmarket t in September, 1915. Pommern was then also r a three-year-old and he carried the same t weight as Rockminister, 126 pounds. His ii in performance occurred in that historic "clas- I sic," the St. Leger, which, on account of the r World War, had been temporarily trans- t fcrrcd from Doncaster and called, for the t nonce, the September Stakes. a a The Latonia Championship is the nearest t parallel to the St. Leger we can boast and c it is gratifying to have so fine an achieve- 1 ment as Rockministers placed upon its reg- t ister. The pace from the word was very i fast quarter in 23, half in 47, three- a quarters in 1:12, mile in 1:37, mile and a quarter in 2:03 and mile and a half in. 2:29. To withstand such a pace, being 1 at no time more than five lengths back of the I lead, and win "going away" signalizes ajJ feat that any three-year-old of the "great" category might be proud to have accredited him. ft is true that the pace at the back end fell off terribly; the last mile in 1:42 " as against the first in 1:37 tells the story. All but the winner must have been very 1 weary, for the last quarter was in only 26 "seconds, worse than a 1 :45 rate. Of : Bunting the chart says that he was "utterly exhausted at the end." How many a favor- ite has been, and over a shorter course ! Bunting has one of the most expert trainers j that ever was connected with the American ; turf, but it seemed strange to many that he , waited so long before shipping to the scene , of action. Bunting arrived at Latonia but : little more than twenty-four hours before he j went to the post. It might be true that he had no yet rested out from his long railroad , journey." Also he emerged from the strug- J gle visibly lame. HARD TO RANK UPON "PUBLIC F0113I." , If there was ever a year when Americas , best three-year-olds were harder to rank, I , upon "public form," than those of 1922, it i j was before my time. When colts beat each other back and forth so consistently, it is j axiomatic that they are a poor lot. But it ; must be said in behalf of ours of this year j i that they have run some excellent races. Nobody can call the Latonia Championship a bad" race. Nobody can call the Realiza. tion a bad race. The Kentucky Derby may have been, and doubtless was one. Pillorys performances in the Belmont and the Freak-ness were excellent. So v.-as Whiskaways ; in the Kentucky Special. If any one colt had won all these races, Man o War would today be a back number to those of facile enthusiasm and short memory. The trouble is that the six different events have been won by five different colts, and as between the five which is the best nobody knows. As regards which is the worst, there is no dispute about that. The reply, all together, to that query would be "Morvich." And yet one little year ago Morvich was being hailed with delirious outbursts of acclaim as one of the wonders of tho world, etc., etc. how quaintly it reads nowadays if one turns back to it! Morvich is probably not nearly so bad a colt as he is now being made out. The "revision downward" that expert ? opinion of the son of Runnymede and Hymir has .experienced is perhaps no nearer correct than the "brass band and cinema" blare of a few months since. As for Pillory, Bunting, Whiskaway, Kai-Sang and Rockminister, to summarily dismiss them as a "bad lot" seems to me neither just nor justified. Some of the things they have done fails to color such an assumption. Yet j when we seek what is customarily referred to as an "outstanding" colt among them, where is he? Let echo answer. In some respects the result of the Latonia Championship resembles that of this years St. Leger, its English prototype. In that race Lord Lonsdale started two colts, Royal Lancer and Diligence. Both his lordship and his trainer considered Royal Lancer at least fourteen pounds the inferior of Diligence, yet the latter ran unplaced and the former won decisively, after which lie crossed over to , the Emerald Isle and added the Irish St. Leger to the English, showing that his victory at Doncaster was no fluke. It is apparent that the son of Spearmint is a much better colt than, previous to this two triumphs, he was considered by the critics and many of them are now saying that had 1 he been a starter in the Derby he might have been a big factor in it. ROYAL LANCER A STAY! It. As portrayed by the camera of Rouch, the celebrated English photographer of race horses. Royal Lancer is a real staying type : In conformation, with notably good bone and I the ca sh is is k pc th ac a a wi will c of line 111 to to hi fr b: by oi of m n al al av V 0i C tl li rr h to d ti j i1 f e s t t r t ii in I r t t a a t c 1 t i a outline of a colt that would be apt to show well over a distance of ground. A capital portrait of Rockminister appeared in Daily Racing Form not long since and it shows him to be a grand individual. There more to him than to Bunting, Whiskaway, Kai-Sang or almost any other of the stake three-year-olds of 1922. He has, in slang parlance, "two ends to him," with great power at each ; a good middle piece between them, a head and neck of masculine character and stout underpinning. He is also colt of fine size. I cannot help believing that Rockminister when retired to the stud make a genuine addition to the desirable stallions of "the Blue Grass." His sire, Friar Rock, was one the best of the sons of Rock Sand, whose seems destined to live, a condition much be hoped for. And Friar Rock, being himself a good race horse and good sire, is from a dam of others, imported Fairy Gold, Bend Or, the dam of Fair Play, the sire Man o War. Mallard, the dam of Rockminister, besides being a Star Shoot mare, is also the dam of this years Suburban winner, Captain Alcock in the connection it is also interesting to recall that Friar Rock also won the Suburban. Not only that, he was the first, and is thus far the only, three-year-old to achieve a "double" in the Suburban and Brooklyn Handicaps. As he also won the Belmont Stakes and the Saratoga !Cup, Friar Rock scales high both under the handicap and the "classic" tests. Rock-ministers maternal line runs direct to old Maggie B. B., and, as the years go by and the generations increase, the merits of the family founded by this daughter of Australian and Madeline, by Boston, become ever more apparent. Mr. John E, Madden, the breeder of both Rockminister and his half brother Captain Alcock, as well as of their dam, Mallard, has always manifested a partiality for the Maggie B. B. tribe, which his results from the use of its members have fully vindicated. OWE OBLIGATION TO ROCK SAND. A large number indeed, all things considered, a very large number of thoroughbred stallions have been imported into this country in the last twenty years and devoted to that most laudable enterprise, "the improvement of the breed of horses," but of them all only a few have accomplished much speeding this "consummation devoutly to be wished." According to my lights, we owe more to Rock Sand and Star Shoot than all the rest of them combined, and it is pleasing to have these two strains united in so good colt as Rockminister has shown himself to be. His preference for a distance was developed last season in his two-year-old form and as he comes from a staying line there seems reason to believe that he may ripen into a genuine cup horse that rara avis of the modern turf.

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