History of American Thoroughbred, Daily Racing Form, 1922-12-04


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History of American Thoroughbred Fifteenth Installment. Black Maria won both heats of a Jockey Club purse race for 00 at the Dutchess County course, Poughkeepsie, N. Y., May 26, 1831, beating Joseph H. Van Maters chestnut colt Mark Richards and J. S. Snedekers gray horse Splendid. The track was heavy and neither of the other entries was able to push the winner, which led from the start to finish. Black Maria was defeated in her next race at the same course, October 6, for a Jockey Club purse of 00 in four-mile heats, when Colonel "William Wynns bay colt James Cropper took the first and third heats. Cropper was the favorite at long odds, the mare being amiss. Each heat was desperately contested, Cropper winning the first heat by a neck only, after being spurred all the way up the straight line. Betting was then 10 to I on him. Black Maria won tho second heat by two lengths, having a different jockey on her back. The one who rode her the first heat was obliged to carry a bag of sand to make the weight The issue of tho third heat was put upon a brush by Black Maria and she lost it by a throatlatch merely, two strokes more would probably have done the trick. At tho General course, Baltimore, Md., October 26, 1831, a weight-for-age post stake in which six subscribers at 00 each entered horses was run in four-mile heats. The race had an added value of ,000. The following horses were entered: Black Maria, Colonel John P. Whites Collier, Colonel V7. R. Johnsons Virginia Taylor, Colonel William Wynns James Cropper, General C. Irvines Busiris and Dr. William H. Minges Eliza Reilly. SIR HENRY ANT ECLIPSE. The amount of the purse, the reputation of the horses, together with the concourse assembled to witness it, gave to this race an interest scarcely inferior to that excited by the contest between Sir Henry and Eclipse. The course, from the surrounding hills, had the appearance o a vast amphitheater. Its whole area seemed covered with equipages, some of them splendid, mingled with troops of well-dressed men, on foot and on horseback. The sun shone with more than his usual splendor, there was not a cloud to be seen, heaven and the ladies smiled upon the l:rst efforts of the Maryland Jockey Club. How, then, could they fail? Their immense pavilions were crowded with spectators collected from every state in tho Union. The one appropriated to the ladies was occupied by hundreds of the gay and beautiful of that sex, without whose smiles the flowers of the brightest wreaths ever woven for victory would fade and be valueless. Their presence was felt as a security for the observance of those rules, the slightest violation of which would have been deemed a disgrace too deep for gentleman and too dangerous for ruffian to encounter. The horses were mounted and were off well together at a few minutes after 1 oclock. Eliza Reilly came out of the crowd and took the lead down the backstretch, followed at different distances by the others. In the last mile she was tackled by Virginia Taylor, which beat her the heat by a length in S :03. What Collier or Cropper did, or meant to do, nobody could guess, as they appeared to havo changed their minds some half dozen times, at one moment running and at another pulling. Busiris dropped just within his distanco. The boy on Black Maria was ordered to do the same, but, in spite of his utmost exertions and his running even, she came within a mile distance of the winning horse. Had she broken away with him in the last half mile, which I expected every minute to see, she would have won the heat in spite of tho teeth. Tho heat varied tho betting but little. It was still at the announcement. Collier against Cropper Collier against the field-Cropper against the black mare the field against either, etc Over the same course, October 29, 1831, In a free-for-all-ages, for a Jockey Club purso of 00 in four-mile heats Black Maria was beaten by Colonel Johnson3 filly Trifle. In this race Black Maria beat Colonel J. P. Whites Collier and Dr. John Minges Mayday. Tho following spirited account of this raca is from the pen of "Godolphln," written for the Turf Register of tho time : "Two to one on Black Maria against tho field and few takers. She was known to have fed but little and to be somewhat stiff and sore from her race of Wednesday. Still It was thought there was enough left in her to beat Collier, Mayday and an untried threo-year-old fourteen hands high. The start waa a good one. Collier and Mayday had the track for the first two miles and a half, closely followed by Black Maria and Trifle, Black Maria then came in front and kept the lead to the turn in the last half mile, -when, to the astonishment of everybody, Trifle made a brush and went by her two or three lengths. "Ralph was all aboard and did not know whether he was on his head or his heels. Whalebone and catgut could only bring the mare to a lap at the ending post. Trifle won the heat in 8 :00. Collier and Mayday lay up. This heat, though it varied the betting on the black mare, did not discourage the friends of Collier, who backed him to win against cither the mare or Trifle. Black Maria came to the post for the second heat; perfectly cooled out and looking still like a winner, but she was observed to be a little lame and to feel in her feet the effects of her former race. "Collier and Mayday were but little distressed and Trifle came from the hands of Coloney Seldens trainer in perfect condition. The four stripped again at the usual interval, which, at the South, was forty-five minutes. Collier and Mayday made the running for the first two miles, when Black Marias steady stride brought her alongside and in the next half mile ahead of both. The black mare kept the track, dropping Collier and Mayday fast and followed at a short distance by Trifle, which had also headed the other two. In rounding the turn in the last half mile Trifle again challenged and again went by the mare in the same place and in the same style as in the former heat, evincing no signs of tire and winning by a length in 7 :55. She kept up her stride and showed an endurance that astonished those who witnessed this extraordinary performance. In this heat Black Maria ran her twentieth mile of that week in 1:53." TRIFLES GOOD RECORD. Trifle came out in the spring of 1831 and ran on to the end of the campaign in 1834, during which she started twenty-four times and won eighteen races sixteen of them purses at three and four-mile heats, netting her owner 4,380. In 1S32 over the Dutchess County course, Poughkeepsie, N. Y., in four-mile heats for a Jockey Club purse of 00 Black Maria beat J. H. Formans Uncle Sam, Thomas Pcarsalls Medora, Mr. Abbotts Biding Sun and Joseph H. Van Maters Jane Grey. The track was heavy from rain, having teen plowed the fall previous. Black Maria won without a struggle, Uncle Sam having bolted in the last mile of the second heat, notwithstanding which he came in seoend. At the Union course, L. I., May 23, 1S32, Black Maria was beaten by Bela Badgers Flying Dutchman for a Jockey Club purse of 00, at four-mile heats. The betting was general at 4 to 1 on Black Maria, amorous notions in whose head interfered with the swiftness of her heels. She was so desperately enamored with the Flying Dutchman that she could not be induced to pass him. Long odds were offered on her for the race, even after the first heat, which she lost. In 1S32 Black Maria ran a spectacular race at the Union course, L. I., winning in the fifth four-mile heat. The other horses in the race were Dr. E. A. Darceys chestnut filly Trifle and the bay filly Slim, owned jointly by Bela Badger and John C. Tillotson. The times of the heats, were S:06, 7:55, 8:13, 8:39 and 8 :47. A ROOD REPORT OF THE RACE. Several interesting reports of this remark-ble race have been published, but the most accurate and srajihic one that has met our eye was penned by a distinguished member of the New York bar, a gentleman whose taste and judgment in everything pertaining to horseflesh was only equaled by the extent and variety of his legal acquirements. It appeared as a communication in the "Turf Register," in December, 1S32, and was to the following extent : "After the horses were brought upon the ground much anxiety was exhibited as to the event of the coming contest. The interesting little Trifle seemed to be the favorite among the betters as well as the spectators. Five to four, Trifle against the field, was current betting, and five to three, Trifle against Black Maria, was repeatedly offered and refused. Indeed, this offspring of the far-famed Yady Lightfoot seemed to have but few friends or well-wishers, comparatively speaking. "Bets were offered that she would not take a heat. Prepossessions in favor of Trifle appeared to exist among a decided majority of the spectators, and, as she was foaled south of the Mason and Dixon line, it seemed a matter of course that she was to win. Indeed, if unfailing spirits, beauty of form and a peculiar quietness of manner could supply the defect of size, Trifle would not be considered as such in anything but name." She was a race horse in every just sense of the word, but a race horse of the smallest pattern, not over fourteen and a half hands high, of just proportions, undoubted bottom and considerable power. Her color was a bright chestnut with a blaze, indicating spirit and blood. Black Maria, in size and general appearance, was in all respects unlike her rival. Her color is indicated by her name and her great size, strength and stride showed her to be a worthy daughter of a noble sire. Indeed, in her the blood of Eclipse and Lady Lightfoot are in no way disgraced, as this race will most fully prove. UNKNOWN TO FAME. Lady Relief and Slim were almost unknown to fame, but certain individuals were aware that the former had upon a previous occasion won the last half of sixteen miles and they looked for sport, unexpected by others, if it should happen that the first two heats were not taken by either Trifle or Black Maria. The latter, it was known, had the foot of Relief, as they had met on the first of the month at Poughkeepsie and contended together for a three-mile purse, which was taken by Black Maria with great ease. As the trumpet sounded for the horses to come up to the starting post they severally appeared, exhibiting their various tempers by their individual behavior. Black Maria, which had the inside track, showed neither alarm nor anxiety. She was as calm and unimpassioned as if she had been a mere spectator and this coldness of demeanor won no golden opinions among the spectators. Trifle exhibited high spirits, brought down to the proper level by judicious breaking and training. A slight tremor ran through her frame and an impatient lifting of the forefoot now and then showed that she was alive to the coming struggle. Lady Relief, on the contrary, was all fire and animation, ready to break away from her groom and dash through all obstacles for the sake of victory. Slim exhibited an impatient spirit and seemed by her anxiety to show herself a descendant from that Childers which always ran without whip or spur. At the tap of the drum the four went off well together, Relief taking the lead within the first quarter, closely followed by Slim, then by Trifle and lastly by Black Maria. The first mile indicated a waiting race, as all their riders had their horses under the hardest pull, each waiting on his antagonist to take the lead. Trifle, impatient at such trifling, began to make play and this aroused Black Maria, which was trailing along quietly behind the whole. "With a few huge strides sho brought herself up to the front, passed tho field before she came to the judges stand and was followed closely by tho gallant little Trifle, which stuck to her liko an accompanying phantom. At the beginning of the third mile the leading horses made play and during the whole of it Black Maria held tho lead, followed closely by Trifle. Relief and Slim were as, as we believe, not willingly at a most respectable distance in the rear. After passing the judges stand and entering upon the fourth mile and after passing the turn upon the southerly side of the course, Trifle made a dash at Black Maria and ran her so hard down the descending ground upon the straight side that her sable antagonist, perhaps not unwillingly, gave up the track, which was taken by the southern lady and kept, with apparent ease, round the turn until you come to that part of the course which looks up toward the judges stand. Here, at a moment when all opinions had given Trifle the heat, Black Maria went at her and, before you could count one, shot by Trifle like an arrow and won the heat with ease. There was a considerable gap between herself and Trifle and a much greater one between the latter and the hindmost horses. Here, then, was disappointment on all sides. Black Maria was not to take a heat, or which, at all events, had not foot enough to brush the speedy little Trifle, had beaten the field in the last quarter mile in what she was not supposed to possess, namely, speed. Indeed, we think that the rider of Trifle committed a mistake in making his dash at Black Maria in the beginning of the fourth mile. As he had commenced a trailing pace his obvious policy was to wait until he came to the last turn and then run up to his antagonist on ground where he had a decided advantage from the size and form of his horse, and finally make his run upon the straight side coming in. Had he followed that course in the first heat, as he did in the second, we might possibly have a different tale to tell, for Trifle obeyed the spur well and was a hard horse to beat upon a brush. RIDERS POOR JUDGMENT. But, by running at Black Maria, on the northerly side of the course, he distressed his mare, enabling his antagonist to come round the turn under a strong pull and make a run j at him at the moment he was least prepared j for it. Time, 8:0G. 1 In consequence of several days rain the course, though good, was unusually heavy, so much so as to make a difference of several , seconds in the time of a four-mile heat. Tho top of the ground was not perfectly firm and, j consequently, the foothold of the horses was yielding and insecure. On a fast track the time of each heat would have been considerably reduced. Notwithstanding the unexpected success of Black Maria, she seemed still to have a few real admirers, although her owner and his friends stood manfully by her and kept their spirits up to the betting point. Trifle was still the favorite and it was a settled thing that Black Maria was not to win the money. Lady Relief, at this moment, had not attracted much attention except from one circumstance. Her saddle, which was a small one, slipped from under her rider, who, nevertheless, as his girths had not parted, stoutly kept his seat upon her bare back, his feet in the stirrups, with the saddle before him. It was observed, however, that she ran with great spirit and what she might do the wise ones could not tell. BLACK MARIA STILL CALM. At the start for the second heat Black Maria appeared calm, as was usual with her, when Trifle and Lady Relief were all animation. They went off as if the heat was to be won by running instead of waiting, as in the first heat. Relief took the lead, followed by Slim, then by Trifle, while Black Maria brought up the rear. Ere they had accomplished one mile Trifle had passed Relief . and Slim, while Black Maria, taking advantage of the rising ground as you come up to the judges stand, thundered by them all with her long strides and took up her station in front, closely followed by Trifle, while the others again dropped behind. Indeed, the pace at which they were running seemed so unreasonable to Miss Slimm that she concluded she could not keep such company any longer. As she could not run away from them by pursuing her course upon the track, she wisely abandoned it altogether at the end of the third mile and quietly walked off the course. Black Maria, in the meantime, led Trifle with apparent ease round the second, third and fourth miles until you come to the run in. Here her rider, instead of giving her the persuaders, turned his head around to look at his antagonist. He was not long in finding her, for Trifle, close at his heels, went at him whip and spur, gradually gaining every step. Black Marias rider begins to "look wild." She is at her throat latch and the judges stand not six feet off. She makes a desperate effort and head and head they pass the stand a dead-heat. Here again all were at fault. One party cried out to the rider of Black Maria: "Why did you not stir yourself? One blow of the whip before you came to the distance post and you would have won the race." "I had no whip, sir ; Maria wont bear it. It discourages her. She must run under a pull with the spur as an admonisher." Again a thousand rumors were afloat. Trifle was gay as a bird, in no way distressed. In the meantime Lady Relief was little thought of, but a Jerseyman was heard to say: "Well show em some of the Eclipse pluck yet, before weve done." At the sounding of the trumpet for the third heat Trifle and Relief came up in great spirits, while Black Maria seemed in no way ambitious of another trial. But she was always cool and, as her mode of starting was reluctant and slow, nothing could be safely argued from her spirits. At the tap of the drum Trifle and Relief went off from the score, leaving Black Maria some distance behind. In the course of the first mile she lessened the gap between herself and the leading horses and was well up to them. Lady Relief was now leading. The horse which had attracted so little notice had taken the lead upon the fourth mile and away she ran. keeping the track in spite of them alL While she was leading, well ahead on the last quarter-mile stretch, the boy, from some unaccountable circumstance, pulled her up at once and Trifle shot by and won a heat. Time, 8:13. Black Maria was well up during the whole race, but she now fell into complete disfavor. It is the writers opinion that Lady Relief could have taken the heat if she had been urged up to the judges stand and that she ought to have won it. As it was, Trifle, which well deserved her honors and the admiration of her friends, had been victorious. She had run twelve miles, winning the twelfth, and the game little creature appeared as fresh as ever. It was now settled that she was to win the money, although it might be that Lady Relief, which was fast rising in favor, might make her ran for it. Indeed, the latter did not seem in full vigor until she had run two heats and now her nostrils opened and she pawed the ground as if just brought upon the course. They are saddled for the fourth heat and here is to be a struggle until sixteen miles from the beginning are accomplished. Black Maria is in no way distressed. Off they go. Lady Relief takes the lead, followed by Trifle, and then Black Maria. Miles arc passed over and yet Lady Relief is ahead. "How is this? Cant Trifle pass? Is the Jersey marc ahead?" She is, indeed, and ahead likely to be. A better, truer, tougher and more spirited piece of stuff never was sired by old Eclipse. She takes the track from the score. Trifle goes at her but cant do it. Three miles and a half are accomplished and Black Maria has passed Trifle and is close at the heels of Jersey. Now they come up the straight side. The black is at her and Lady Relief comes up and laps her shes at her shoulders, but they pass the stand and Lady Relief takes the heat by a neck. Time, 8 :39. "Huzza for Jersey " rings over the course and a look of pity is cast upon the gallant little Trifle, which had done her utmost. "Black Maria wont come again," says a wise one, with a knowing look. "I dont know about that," says a Yorker. "If she had run twenty yards farther she would have taken the heat." She is distressed," is the reply. Distressed maybe she is. I saw her lay her ears back and lash out her hind feet after the boy dismounted from the sixteen miles as if her sinews were whipcord. WAGERING AT A STANDSTILL. Here was an interesting point. Five heats in all were to be run and twenty miles to bp passed over. "The like was never seen on this course before," says a Long Islander. "Bottoms the word how go the bets?" At a standstill. Trifles distressed, but Lady Relief has more life in her than anything that ever ran sixteen miles before. Up they come for a fifth heat. Lady Relief all fire. Trifle sorry and Black Maria now begins to paw the ground. This she had not done before. Off they go. Relief is ahead, Trifle after her and Black Maria allowing no gap. She sticks to them like a spirit and in the nineteenth mile the gallant little Trifle is reluctantly compelled to give it up. The Eclipse mares are obstinately determined to play out the play and the little chestnut is taken off the track, completely done up. Now comes a struggle for the honors of a twentieth mile between two half sisters whalebone both and "never give it up" is the word. Black Maria pushes up the straight side as you enter upon the fourth mile with a stride that counts terribly upon the steps of the lady, which has relief now in nothing but name. The black is so close upon her that she almost touches her heels. She pushes round the turn and goes at her on the straight side like a quarter horse. They brush ; down the straight side with invincible cour-1 age, but that long, untiring stride is too ! much for Lady Relief. Black Maria gives , her the go by, takes the track keeps it in spite of all exertions leads round the turn and thunders toward the judges stand, in hand, untouched by whip or spur, passes the goal for the twentieth time and wins the race. Time, S:47. Neither of the Eclipse mares appeared much distressed, and they ran the last mile with the greatest spirit and stoutness. Lady Belief was a mare of the most extraordinary bottom. She seemed to become fresher after twelve miles, and then runs off as gay as a lark. As for Black Maria, she was literally "too fast for the speedy and too strong for the stout." She ran the twentieth mile with a freshness and vigor that surprised everybody and tho spectators at last actually conceded that she was game. Of the three placed first in this memorable race Black Maria was the first to recover, though for months she was but a shadow of herself. She came out in the following May against a strong field and Avon, while Trifle j was crippled and laid up until the Sep- J tember season of the ensuing year. Lady Relief, as game a filly as ever started, and true as steel to the last, died within a few weeks from the effects of a cold and exhaustion. Who that was present that day ond marked the meek expressive glance cast up toward the judges by one of these doomed ones Black Maria when brought up to struggle through a fifth heat, has forgotten it to the day of their death? BLACK MARIA BEATS GOHANNA. On the same course May 28, 1833, the then seven-year-old Black Maria raced John M. Botts Gohanna, John C. Craigs Virginia Taylor, Joseph H. Van Masters Jackson and Thomas Pearsalls Alice Gray into defeat in three three-mile heats. Every inch of this race was well contested. Black Marias 5 :48 in the third three-mile heat marked the record for that time. The time is the more remarkable when the fact is considered that it was the old mares first appearance after her race of twenty miles the previous October. Alice Gray, a filly of fine speed, though unfortunate in this race, subsequently placed herself near the head of the northern turf. She eventually became a brood mare, owned by Walter Livingston. At the Dutchess County course, Poughkeepsie, N. Y., June 7, 1833, Black Maria took two straight three-mile heats, beating Alfred Shermans De Witt Clinton and R. Jacksons Henry Archy. Time, first heat, 5.42 ; second heat, 6:04. The time of the first heat would probably have been several seconds less had the field been able to drive Black Maria. As it stands it was one of the best in the annals of the American turf of the time. After her race in May Black Maria was ordered by Mr. Stevens to be thrown out of training, but Bill Patrick had her out after dark or before daylight every time opportunity afforded without danger of detection and cantered her on the sandy road leading across the mouth of Spring Creek, never venturing to bring her out on the private training track. During one of these noctural gallopings some wag in the secret frightened Bill half to death one evening with, the information that Mr. Stevens was coming down to tho mill, and picking up a grist actually carried it home on the mares back. This occurred within less than a fortnight of tho day of her race.

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Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800