History of American Thoroughbred, Daily Racing Form, 1922-12-16


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History of American Thoroughbred Twenty-Fifth Installment. 1 The long pent-up feelings of the nearly j frenzied thousands who had been breathless , for some time now found vent and losers as well as winners, ladies as well as gentle- , men, shouted and applauded the magnificent contest, the glorious result and the gallant winner. 1 For more than twenty years the race of ! 3ciipse and Sir Henry, over the TJnion course, L. I., May 27, 1823, was the quickest on record. The shortest heat in that race was 7 .37 i. In Fashions race with Boston over . the Union course, L. I., May 10, 1842, the time was 7:325,4-7:45. George Martint fast race was run March 29, 1843, and the time was 7 :33, 7:43. It is a remarkable fact, as Le- . compte was by Boston Reel, that his sire should have run in the quickest race of Fash- ; ion, and his dam. Reel, should have won a race December 11, 1811, the time of which J was 7 :40, 7 :43. The subject is so fruitful of speculations in regard to time and blood that we must rein in our pen to suit our space, well satisfied that we have witnessed the best race, in all respects, that was ever run up to the time ; and that Lecompte stood proudly before the . world at its conclusion as the best race horse ever produced on the turf up to that time. The match against time, which came off over the Metairie course. New Orleans, is of such an extraordinary character and so astounding in its result that we devote to it all of the space at our command. The original challenge from the owner of Lexington was addressed to the editor of the Spirit of the Times and read : Although the mistake made by the rider of Lexington in pulling up at the end of three miles in the recent fast four-mile race at New Orleans was witnessed by thousands of persons, I believe it has not been referred to in print except in the last number of your paper. As Lexington will probably follow the fashion in making a foreign tour, I propose the following as his valedictory. CHALLENGER OFFERS CHOICE. I will run him a single four miles over the Metairie course, under the rules of the club, against the fastest time at four miles that has been run in America, for the sum of 0,000, one-fourth forfeit. Two trials to be allowed, and the race to be run between the first and fifteenth of April next. Arrow to be substituted if Lexington is amiss. Or, I will run Lexington over the same course, four-mile heats, on the Thursday previous to the next Metairie April meeting, against any named horse, at the rate expressed in the proposition subjoined. Or, I will run him over the Union course, at New York, the same distance, on the third Tuesday in October. The party accepting the race to receive 5,000 to 0,000 or to bet the same odds if Lexington travels to run at New Orleans. The forfeit is to be ,000, to be deposited with Messrs. Coleman and Stetson of the Astor House, when either race is accepted. If the amounts of the last proposition are too large they may be reduced one-half, with forfeit in the same proportion. The first acceptance coming to hand will be valid subsequent ones declined and none received after the commencement of the races at the National course. New York, June 2C, 1S54. R. TEN BROECK. The match against time offered above was accepted and notification made in the Spirit of the Times, as follows: We had the pleasure to publish exclusively in this journal one of the most extraordinary and interesting challenges, or, rather, series of challenges, ever made in the United States, one of which has been accepted. FORFEIT MONEY POSTED. The forfeit for the challenge against time has been deposited with our friends, Messrs. Coleman and Stetson, of the Astor house, New York. The gentlemen acceptors of the challenge are Colonel Calvin Green and Captain John Belcher of Virginia, who are well known in sporting circles. No match against time, of such interest, has ever occurred in this country. It will be seen by the challenge from the owner of Lexington, quoted above, that this journal was tiie first to allude to the fact that Lexington was pulled up at the finish of his third mile in the second heat of his second race with Lecompte. Whether Lexington could have beaten Lecompte in that race is another matter. It is our expressed opinion that if Lexington had been ridden in 1 j , , 1 ! . . ; J ; . that second heat by the jockey engaged for him the result might possibly have been different For the expression of this opinion we have been most grossly abused by three 1 correspondents of the New Orleans press ever since. Much good may it do them. Before entering into the reports and details ! of the match we have thought it would not be uninteresting to our readers to have the speculations of two New Orleans daily papers on the morning before the race. We quote from the Picayune: The most remarkable racing event of modern times, and indeed of all time, will reach its conclusion tomorrow, over the Metairie course. Lexington, a son of the world-renowned Boston, is matched to perform a feat which he has never yet accomplished and which Lecompte performed under perhaps the most favorable circumstances of good order of the course, fine weather, balmy atmosphere and his excellent condition. JUDGES AND TIMERS APPOINTED. We learn that a gentleman representing the Virginia party arrived in this city a few days ago, invested with pleniary powers. The judges and timers have been appointed and a better selection could not have been made than in his excellency, Gov. P. O. Hebert, Gen. S. W. Westmore and John G. Cocks, the president of the club, as judges, and the Hon. D. F. Kenner, Capt. W. J. Minor and Stephen D. Elliott, as timers. It is agreed between the parties that Lexington may be accompanied in his trial by a horse or horses and that any changes of . horses may be made that circumstances render necessary. This will, of course, increase the interest of the scene and give it the appearance of a regular contest Although the time, at four miles, made by Lecompte in his contest with Lexington is the point which the latter has to reach upon the present occasion, namely, 7 :2G, it may not be out of place to note the best time made by other horses of renown in the day of their supremacy upon the turf. Of these may be named Henry. 7 :37 ; Grey Medoc and Altorf, dead heat, 7 :35 ; Boston, the fastest heat he ever ran and won, 7:40; Fashion, 7:32;! ! Miss Foot, second heat, 7 :35 ; George Martin, with Reel, the dam of Lecompte, in which she broke down, 7 :33 ; Fre Trade, 7 :33. Reube, the winner of many races and an aged horse, did that which has not yet been surpassed. He ran and won a heat, with all his proper weight, in 7 :40 at his ease. We could name many others in this connection, but these will suffice. We incline to the opinion that time alone is but at best a fallacious test of superiority of a race horse unless, as in this instance, it beats the best ever -made. It would have been no easy matter during the lifetime of Colonel William R. Johnson, the well-named "Napoleon of the Turf," to convince him that his favorite mare, Reality, the granddam of the renowned Fashion, could not have beaten all the horses which appeared on the American turf in his day. Yet, in her palmiest days, no remarkable time was recorded. Her only record is superiority over those of her day. There are so many contingent circumstances which may be connected with the success of this unexampled exploit, any one of which might turn the tide against the horse, that it will require more than an ordinary degree of judgment, and important aid of brilliant sky, balmy southern breeze, elastic, smooth course and the unexceptionable condition of the horse, must all be brought to bear in his behalf to insure success. That all of these attributes may operate favorably is our fervent wish. The temerity of Lexingtons owner in sending this challenge to the world, in the ! face of a recent defeat, when the unparalleled I time of 7 :26 was made, forms an event in : the annals of the American turf which time cannot obliterate. Should success attend the effort he will 1 have the proud satisfaction of possessing the i champion of America. The Daily Crescent published the annexed I paragraphs the same morning: DAY OF RACE ARRIVES. The day has at last arrived and also the ! horse, when a wager not equaled In audacity r and an effort never before attempted in this i or any other country, will come off. Lexington, the renowned hero of the Great Post : Stake race, is to try and surpass the un-equaled time made by Lecompte a few days ! ! . ! ! I : 1 i I ! r i : ! after, to mark on the racing calendar figures r below 7:26. The confidence of Mr. Ten Broeck in his horse must certainly be considerable to in- t duce him to put up 0,000 on accomplishing s what no other horse has been able to accom- v plish and surpassing the best time the turf v has ever known. c He is experienced, however, as a turfman, I and as apt as any other to form a correct t judgment Many of the most knowing turf- o a men have come round to his opinion and r endorsed his expectations. To enable Lex- t ington to win there must be a number of c concurring favorable circumstances; his con- f dition must be perfect ; he must be ridden i with the greatest skill and track and day r must be most favorable. We believe Lex- ington will win his match against time and t still we do not think he will beat Lecompte. t Notwithstanding the high authorities In favor of Lexingtons winning, we differ from 1 them all and hold it improbable that the best time ever made is to be beaten except under t extraordinary circumstances. That which has been done may be done again, but it is i not equally clear that the best that has ever been done may be excelled. It will take an 1 extraordinary animal to come up to 7 :26 and time ever made Is to beaten except under I it. The day has, however, arrived, and all i doubts of opinion will be settled ere sunset i We assuredly hope that Lexington will be successful and earn new honors for Boston and Metairie. j Hegiras 1:42, Berrys 3:36, Little Fleas 5:22 and Lecomtes 7:26, all done J in New Orleans, beat the world. We can , only run against our own time now. : We understand that the track is in ex- i cellent order now and that the horse is in line condition. The day promises to be propitious and the attendance is sure to be i largs. The champion will have a fresh horse i started out on each mile to keep up his i ambition, which will increase the interest of the sport We will record the result to- . morrow morning. , THE GREAT RACE. The following account is taken from the New Orleans "Picayune," April 3, 1855: The most brilliant event in the sporting annals of the American turf giving, as it has, the palm to the renowned Lexington, came j off yesterday over the Metairie course and j its result greatly surpassed the most ardent j hopes and enthusiastic expectations of the , friends of the winner and lovers of the turf. The day was the loveliest of the whole season. As the hour appointed for the great contest approached the town was all astir with the excitement incident to the occasion, i Vehicles of all sort were filled with them from the last paving stone to the gates of i the course. The displays in equitation during that busy part of the day, which may be defined as "going to the races" were al- i most as amusing and exciting as the greater : event, for witnessing which so many thou- ; sands were intent. It being the first event of the season there was the usual bustle at the gates, the distribution of members badges and the strangers badges, the admissions to the different stands. From the character of the event an unusual rush of carriages, cabs, buggies, wagons, saddle horses and foot passengers were in evidence. By 3 oclock the course presented a most brilliant appearance. There were representatives of every section of the country and almost every state In the Union. The field inside the course presented a most animated appearance and the feeling In favor of the gallant Lexington was general and decided. As the predestined hero of the day appeared on the course in company with his stable companions, Avhich were to be partners for a time in his toils, his bold, reaching, elastic step, his unequaled condition and his fearless, defiant look conscious of superiority and of victory gave strength to his backers that all was as it should be. Of the temerity of his backer and owner, Richard Ten Broeck, in standing before the world and bidding defiance to all the previous performances ever marked by a horse, we have before spoken as our feelings dictated. His extraordinary self-defiance, based upon well-directed judgment and sound sense, cannot fail to place him in the estimation of true sportsmen as the leader of the host He knew he had an animal of unflinching game-ness coupled with lightning speed, and bravely did his gallant ally respond to his call. The betting was large. Lexingtons appearance made him a favorite and before starting it was a firm 100 to 75 against time, and but few takers. The greater portion of the betting had been done in town and there were but few left who dared to brave the lion in his lair. The conflicting opinions which had been generally expressed in regard to the terms of the match and of its mode of performance, caused general excitement. Each party, in turn, expressed his views as to the right of the points discussed, namely, that of allowing horses to start with Lexington to urge him to an increased speed, and the propriety of giving the horse a running start. The judges, however, ended the matter by deciding that he could do both. The decision gave general satisfaction. Gil Patrick, upon Lexington, now prepared for action, and, as he started up the stretch upon his proud courser to do that which no other horse had ever attempted, the man and horse formed a beautiful and perfect picture. He turned him around just below the drawgates, and, as he reached the judges stand, when the drum tapped, he was at the pace which it was intended he should run. RUNS FIRST HALF MILE IN :33. To our mind he was run too fast the first mile, which he accomplished in liHVi, the first half mile in 53. Upon reaching the stand it was intimated to him to go slower which he did. Joe Blackburn was started behind him at the beginning of the first mile, but the respectful distance he kept in his rear must certainly have done him an injury rather than a benefit, for at no time was he near enough for Lexington to hear the sound of his hoofs. The pace in the second mile visibly decreased. Arrow, which had started before its commencement, waited about thirty yards behind Lexington. In the third mile Arrow closed the gap and Lexington, hearing him, was a little more anxious and slightly increased his pace. Upon entering the fourth mile Arrow was stopped and Joe Blackburn went at him again, but, as in the first in- j stance, he kept so far back that no benefit i could result to Lexington, Lexington now darted off in earnest, run- ning the last mile in 1 :45. He reached the head of the front stretch in 6:55, running its entire length in 24. The whole time of the four miles was 7 ildt carrying 103 r t s v v c I t o a r t c f i r t t 1 t i 1 I i i j J , : i i i i . , j j j , i i i : ; pounds, Gil Patrick being three pounds overweight That the course was in admirable condition we nosd not assert, but that we have seen it in better order for safety and timo we think we may assert The writer of Oils was not present when Lexington and Lecompte met and can therefore make no comparison. He agrees, however, that the extreme hardness of the track might prevent horse from fully extending himself, which must have been the case with Lexington yesterday. He lost his left fore plate and half of the right one. Gil Patrick, at the draw-gates in the last mile, had no little difficulty in keeping him on his course, Lexington making violent efforts to swerve to the right, where it was soft and heavy. With regard to the time no doubt can be entertained, as the official was slower than any other. Outside, by many experienced timers, the race was run in 7 ASM. The excitement attending the progress of this remarkable race cannot be described. It was intense throughout and to those who had no opportuhity of taking note of the time, Lexingtons deceptive, fox-like gait could not have given them hopes of success. The joy-ousness and hilarity everywhere visible which followed the announcement that Lexington was the victor showed the feeling of tho majority of the vast assemblage. It must have been a source of the highest-gratification to the rider of Lexington that he guided him through his perilous journey successfully, despite the prophecies and hopes of defeat that attended him. In this connection we may fearlessly assert that through a long career of usefulness and success of more than twenty years on the turf the name of Gilbert W. Patrick, better known as Gil Patrick, the rider, has never been tainted with even the breath of suspicion and that the bright escutcheon of his name remains untarnished. That this great race will go down to generations yet unborn as the fastest time ever made is the honest conviction of tho writer. TIME. First mile 1 :47V4 Second mile 1:524 Third Mile 1:51 Fourth mile l:4Ssi Thus ended the second act of this remarkable drama, but the play itself was not so to end, for the gallant champion whoso time has been so defiantly challenged, and so bravely beaten, came up once more in his proper person to try the fortunes of the field. LEXINGTONS THIRD VICTORY. The third event in Lexingtons glorious career was the great race at New Orleans when Lexington was victorious in one heat, covering the distance in 7 :23 1-2, the fastest time then on record. It was not strange that this match should command more attention than an ordinary race. The antecendents of Lecompte and Lexington were brilliant beyond comparison and the improvement which each had shown at every successive trial led 10 an almost wild belief that some new miracle of time would be performed in the impending meeting. There was much, too, in the annals of the turf connecting itself with the present position of these horses that was calculated to add immensely to the interest. To Be Continued.

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