History of American Thoroughbred, Daily Racing Form, 1922-12-06


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History of American Thoroughbred Seventeenth Installment. Wagner was a light gold chestnut with a roan stripe on the right side of his face and white hind feet. He was about fifteen and a half hands high. His ncad was singularly small, clean and bony, set on a light but rather long neck. Forehanded he resembled the pictures of his sire and was said to resemble him in his carriage. His shoulder was immensely strong, running well back into a good middle piece which was well ribbed home. One of the finest points about him was his great depth of chest. Few horses could measure with him from the point of the shoulder to the brisket. His arms were heavily muscled like Mingos with the tendons standing out in bold relief. He had uncommonly strong and wide hips, a good loin, remarkably fine stifles and thighs, with as fine hocks and legs as ever stood under a horse. Wagner had been in training ever since a three-year-old and had traveled over three thousand miles without three weeks rest that season. Mr. Garrison commenced cantering him just four weeks previous to this race. He had iiot even been turned loose in a paddock. CIIEElt G HE V EAGLES APPROACH. A murmur, which was soon lost in a suppressed cheer at the head of the quarter stretch, announced to the multitude about the stand the approach of Grey Eagle. As he came up in front of the stand his lofty carriage and flashing eye elicited a burst of applause which told better than words can express the intense and ardent aspirations felt in his success by every son and daughter of Kentucky. Clinton, his trainer, immediately stripped off his sheet and hood and a finer specimen of the high-mettled racer was never exhibited. He was in condition to run for a mans life. Mr. Burbridge has told us that of one thing he was confident his horse might want foot, but of his gameness he was certain. The correctness of his judgment the sequel will show. In the hands of Clinton, who, by the way, was a Kentuckian, Grey Eagle had never lost a heat. The previous October we won a two-mile sweepstakes over the same course in 3 :ll-3 :439i. A week afterward he repeated the race in 3 1S-3 :44. Two chestnuts next challenged the publics attention. The first was Queen Mary, a very bloodlike looking filly, with white hindfeet that a single glance would have shown to be a daughter of Bertrand. She measured about fifteen and a half hands, was well put up and, when running in good form, was a dangerous lady to trifle with. Hawk-Eye, as we remember him, was a heavily molded colt of nearly fifteen and a half hands high, with a star and white forefoot, without, however, the foot or endurance of his half brother Pressure. We trust he was not himself on this occasion or we should wish "neer to look upon his like again." He cut a sorry figure in this party. At half past one oclock, the jockeys having received their orders from the judges, the order was given to clear the course. Cato, called Kate, in a richly-embroidered scarlet dress, was put upon Wagner. He was a capital jockey and rode nearly up to his weight, 110 pounds. The rider engaged for Grey Eagle lost the confidence of his owners just before the race and at the eleventh hour they were obliged to look up another one. Stephen Welch, a rider of tlfree-y ear-olds, was selected, though obliged to carry thirteen pounds dead weight in shot pouches on his saddle. The friends of Grey Eagle, however, had entire confidence in his honesty and it is clear that he did his best. Weighing only eighty-two pounds, however, he had neither the strength nor stamina to hold and control a powerful, fiery horse like Grey Eagle. He rode superbly for a lad of his years, while Catos exhibition of skill and judgment would have done credit to Gil Patrick. The horses took their places in accordance with the precedence of their nomination for the stake. Grey Eagle having the inside track, Queen Mary second, Hawk-Eye third, and Wagner the outside. All being in motion and nearly in line, the president gave the word -go" and tapped the drum. Grey Eagle was the last off, while Wagner went away like a quarter-horse, with Queen Mary well up second. They were taken in hand at once, which allowed Hawk-Eye to take the place of Queen Mary on the back-stretch. At the three-quarter mile post Wagner allowed him to take the track. HAWK-EYE IX EARLY LEAD. Hawk-Eye led to the stand at a moderate pace, Wagner second and Queen Mary third. Hawk-Eye carried on the running for about a half mile farther when Gooding bid Cato "go along." The race mended at once. Wagner went up to Hawk-Eye and might have cut him down in half a dozen strides, but Queen Mary was still lying back and Grey Eagle had not yet made a stroke. Wagner came first to the stand and, at the turn, Cato having held up his whip as a signal to a crowd of rubbers and boys on Garrisons stable that "the old sorrel stud" was going just right, they gave him a slight cheer, at which "tVagner broke loose and made a spreadeagle of the field. The other jockeys were not a little startled at this demonstration of Wagners speed and each called upon his mount, so that opposite the Oakland house, near the three-quarter post, the field closed, Stephen here let out the phenomenon he so gracefully bestrode and like twin bullets the gallant gray and Wagner came out of the melee. At the head of the quarter stretch Stephen was told to "pull him steady" so that, before Wagner reached the stand. Queen Mary had changed places with Grey Eagle, notwithstanding her saddle had slipped on her withers. Hawk-Eye was already in difficulty. Grey Eagle set to work in earnest entering the backstretch, first outfooting Queen Mary and then challenging Wagner. From the Oakland house to the head of the quarter-stretch, the ground is descending and from thence up the straight run to the stand, a distance of perhaps six hundred yards, it is ascending. CATO CALLS 0 WAGXER. At the half-mile post Cato called upon Wagner and, the critical moment having arrived, Stephen collared him with the gray, on the outside. For three hundred yards the pace was tremendous. Grey Eagle once had his head and neck in front and a tremendous shout went up, but Wagner threw him off so far in going round the last turn that, halfway up the stretch, Mr. Burbridge ordered him to be pulled up and Wagner won cleverly. Queen Mary dropping just within her distance, 150 yards. Hawk-Eye was nowhere. Time. 7 :48. The disappointment and mortification was so great that for the first twenty minutes after the heat Queen Mary was freely backed against Grey Eagle, while so far as Wagner was concerned it was considered a "dead open and shut" Before the forty-five minutes had elapsed, however, a reaction took place in favor of Grey Eagle. Not a Kentuckian on the ground laid out a dollar on Wagner. From the first the few individuals who were disposed to back him on account of his blood, his form, his performances and his condition had not staked a dollar. Their judgment prompted them to back the southern champion, but they would not bet against Kentucky. Talk of the pride of South Carolina ! Why, the Kentuckians have more of it than the citizens of all the states in the South put together. GREY EAGLE COOLS OFF BEST. All cooled off well, but more especially Grey Eagle, which appeared not to mind the run a jot. He went to the post in good order for a bruising heat. He extended himself with a degree of ease in the second heat and changed his action in a manner that convinced us that the sweat had relieved him. Wagner, which resembled Boston in many other respects, showed all that placidity and calmness of look and motion which characterizes "the old White-nose." Great odds were offered on him for the race, but small amounts only were staked. Grey Eagles noble bearing and gamecock look as he came up to contest in a second heat for the meed of honor and applause was the theme of universal admiration. Second heat. The tap of the drum sent them away with a beautiful start. Wagner led off with a steady, businesslike stride, while Grey Eagle, as full of gameness as of beauty, waited upon him close up. It was instantly evident that Mr. Burbridge had changed his tactics. The moment Stephen had Grey Eagle into straight work on the back side he made play for the track. After a terrific burst of speed for one hundred and fifty yards he came in front. Keeping up his stroke he soon made a gap of four lengths and, though AVagner drew upon him a little in coming up the rising ground toward the stand, yet lie passed it far enough in advance to warrant the hearty plaudits of his friends. As if inspired by the cheers of the crowd and the tokens of unalloyed gratification exhibited by the galaxy of radiant beauty in the stands Grey Eagle kept up his murderous rate throughout the entire second mile. Wagner lay up close and there was no faltering, no flinching, no giving back on the part of either. The stride was over twenty-two feet, perfectly steady, strong and regular with no dwelling, no floundering, no laboring. QUEEX MARY DROTS OUT. Grey Eagle made the running to beyond the half-mile post on the third mile, and the pace seemed too good to last. From this point the two cracks made a match of it, in which Queen Mary had as little apparent I concern as if out of the race. Near the j j Oakland house Wagner set to work to do or j ; die. "Rowel him up!" shouted his owner to j Cato, while Garrison, at the head of the quarter stretch, was waving his hat to him I to come on. The rally that ensued down the descent to the turn was desperate, but Wagner could not gain an inch. As they swung round into the quarter stretch they were lapped. Both horses had a taste of steel and catgut as they came up the ascent and, on casting our eye along the cord extending across the course from the judges to the club stands. Grey Eagle was the first under it by a head and shoulders. At the turn Stephen maneuvered so as to pass Wagner on the outside and soon after drew out clear in front, looking j so much like a winner that the crowd, unable j to repress an irresistible impulse, sent up a cheer that made the we-rkin ring for miles 1 around. The group on Wagners stable again bade him "Go on !" but Cato was quietly biding j his time. He seemed to feel that patience has won more dollars than haste has coppers, and that there was but a solitary chance of winning the race out of the fire. To prevent a walkover at Poughkeepsie Mr. Stevens finally allowed his trainer to put her in conditio. She had only a weeks gallop-1 ing exercise, fctHvever, before she was brought to the post. She ran under so strong a pull throughout the heat that those who saw the race, including her owner and trainer, are firmly of the opinion that she could have made a better race at four-mile heats than she had ever done before or up to the time of her withdrawal from the turf. The time of the third mile in the second heat was 1 :50. Three miles at that rate would have surpassed any performance known at her time. We can scarce doubt, from the proofs of Black Marias powers of endurance, that she might on that occasion have kept up the rate of her first heat, 1 :54, one other mile, making the four in 7 :3G. Henry Archy, her competitor in that race, never had a great turn of speed or he would have been distinguished, for a horse of more undoubted stamina and thorough gameness was never brought to the post. Black Maria lost her next race at the Union course on October 5, 1833, to Thomas Pear-sails Alice Gray, which took both four-mile heats. It was a fine race and Alice Gray-proved herself the better horse, though Black Maria beat her before and twice afterward. In the first four races where they met they were quits, each having twice proved the winner. Over the same course on October 31, 1833, Trifle, Alice Gray and Black Maria ran an exciting contest which resulted in a victory for the first named. The reputation of the three mares entered in this race excited a great sensation in sporting circles and immense sums were laid out about them. A JOCKEYS CARELESSNESS. Relying upon the tried gameness of Black Maria Air. Stevens ordered Gil Crane, his jockey, not to make a stroke for the first heat, but to drop just within the distance. Trifle and Alice Gray made play from the score and maintained it to the end. In coming up the straight side home on the last quarter Crane carelessly pulled Black Maria back so far she was shut out by the distance flag eighteen inches. He was taken off the mare and discharged on the spot. In the great twenty-mile race the dead heat made" by Trifle was thought to be entirely owing to his heedlessness. The following year, on the same course, May 9, Black Maria was defeated in three four-mile heats by Captain R. F. Stocktons Shark, which won the last two heats. Other horses in this race were Major James M. Sel-dens Charles Kemble, Alice Gray, Samuel Lairds Henry Archy and John M. Botts Eolla. It was a stoutly contested and spir I j j j ; j I ited race. Shark was sold soon after for the largest sum paid in this country for a race horse at the time, 7,500. Some odd dozen of the celebrated "Bingham" wine was also talked of, but Mr. Craig would not sell. Failing to secure a few dozen in this way, Captain Stockton, at the club dinner shortly after, offered to run his colt Monmouth against Mr. Craigs Fanny Cline, a match of two miles, laying ,200 against twelve dozen of the Bingham, This, too, was a failure and in a double sense, for though Fanny Cline won the match and the ,200, Mr. Craig, upon examination, found that his vault had been entered and that a great part of his stock of favorite wine was missing. Shark was withdrawn from the turf after the fall season of 1835 and made his first two seasons as a stallion at Taylors Ferry, Ya. In 1838 he stood at Charlotte Court House, in the same state, and eventually located on Long Island within view of the scene of the never-fading victories won by himself and the glorious race from which lie sprung. Charles Kemble, the winner of the first heat of this race, after running at all distances and beating some of the best horses of his day, was last heard from at Chestertown, Md. Black Maria won her next race handily, defeating Henry Archy and Fanny Cline at the same course in three-mile heats, June 5, 1834. The track was heavy and Black Maria was the favorite. Again Black Maria was victorious at the same course October 8 of the same-year. She beat Alice Gray and Monmouth after a race of three four-mile heats, taking the two last cleverly. Alice Gray was the favorite, at long odds, after the first heat. Black Maria let out a kink, however, in the second and third heats. Monmouth, the following season, won two races at three-mile heats. In 1S36, with 121 pounds on his back, he won a race in 3 :56, 3 :48. He finally passed into the hands of Captain Y. N. Oliver of the Eclipse course, New Orleans, but was so knocked up by his long journey South as never to have shown to advantage again, though a horse of fine speed. Alice Gray beat Black Maria October 31 of the same year and over the same course in four-mile heats, taking both with ease in 7 :59 and 8 :12. Three weeks before Black Maria beat her as handily in much better time. On November 13, 1834, over the Eagle course, Trenton, N. J., Major James M. Sel-dons Charles Kemble beat Black Maria handily in three-mile heats. The winner was considered the best three-mile horse in Virginia of his day. It .should be remembered that Black Maria beat him a long way off, running four-mile heats in the spring of that year. The last performance of Black Maria before she was permanently withdrawn from the turf was at the Union course, May S, 1835. She was nine years old at the time and finished a good second in a Jockey Club purse race of ,000 in four-mile heats. Henry Archy won the race. After distancing Monmouth and beating Henry Archy three times in their prime they took advantage of her condition and paid off a portion of their old scores in the race. OConnell soon after passed into the hands of P. C. Bush of St. Louis, who ran him successfully in the West at all distances. To Be Continued.

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1920s/drf1922120601/drf1922120601_11_1
Local Identifier: drf1922120601_11_1
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800