Here and There on the Turf: Beginning of the Kentucky Campaign. Todays Lexington Card Presages Fine Racing. Frank Bryans Estimate of Eastern Handicap Horses, Daily Racing Form, 1923-04-28


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Here and There on the Turf Beginning of the Kentucky Campaign. Todays Lexington Card Presages Fine Racing. Frank Bryans Estimate of Eastern Handicap Horses. The hosts of people in the West who have long been looking forward to the resumption of Kentucky racing have their due gratification today. Racing begins at Lexington with a card holding out promise of racing up to the standard of the most exacting. There are not lacking portents pointing to some great racing in the course of the Kentucky campaign. A prime factor in the matter is the excellent health of the horses throughout the winter and spring. Complaints on that score have been practically non-existent, pointing to a plentiful supply of sound and fit horses. The weather has been propitious and the racers have taken their training satisfactorily. Very pleasing all this to those who love to view the gallant thoroughbred in glorious striving. The principal feature at. Lexington today is the time honored Ashland Oaks for three year-old fillies. Among the seven named to go are three of absolutely the best fillies of last year in Milams fleet footed pair, Anna M. Hum phrey and Dust Flower, and Bradleys Blossom Time. Yet so uncertain are filly races in the spring neither of these stars may finish first, although public form confines the result to the three. Anyhow the race turns out, it is sure to be well worth witnessing. The other racing promises high class entertainment and altogether the Lexington meeting seems one pleas ant to attend. With the announcement of the weights for the Jennings Handicap, to be run at Pinilico Wednesday, Frank J. Bryans estimate of the merits of the fast ones of this year is shown. The Jennings Handicap is a three-quarters dash and while many of those in the list will not even be shipped to Pimlico, the weights are of interest by reason of this estimate by an experienced official. Grey Lag figures at the top of the list with 132 pounds as his impost and there is another from the ftame stable that comes second in the four year old Kai Sang with 130 as his burden. These both give Exterminator weight, for Mr Kilmers champion gelding is in under 12il pounds. Tryster, winner of the Paumonok Handicap last year and of the three Serial Weight for Age Races at Pimlico in the fall, has a burden of 128 pounds and Thunderclap is handicapped at 127. Knobbie is in at 126. Lucky Hour 122. Mad Hatter 121 and Little Chief 120. Thus it will be seen that of nine at the top of the list six are from the Rancocas Stable. But the big surprise of the handicap is the weight that has been allotted Zev, another from the Rancocas Stable and a three year old. He is required to take up 118 pounds and it can not be called to mind when a three year-old at this time of the year, has been so heavily weighted among older horses. This puts Zev at the head of the three year-olds and under that weight he is required to give Sallys Alley three pounds in actual weight, for 6he is in under 115, which, as a matter of fact, seems excessive but hardly out of line when compared with the weight assigned Zev. Dunlin is in under 111 pounds and his stablemate, Martingale, at 111, the same notch. Cherry Pie and Little Celt each have 112 pounds and Mr. Bryan evidently does not have the high opinion of Messenger that is held by others, giving him 106 pounds. Of course many of these will not put in an appearance and the weights are mainly of interest as Mr. Bryans estimate of their relative capacity. These free handicaps and free entrance stakes, while it is natural they should attract immense entry lists and, accordingly, add greatly to the work of the handicapper, are not entirely popular with the horsemen. When it entails no expense it is inevitable that there will be an immense return of horses that will not appear. All of them must be handicapped but, after all, the handicap does not mean much. With an entrance fee there is sure to be a close proportion between nominations and starters in late closing stakes, and it entjuls no hardship to have this small fee. It is always greatly to be desired that the starters represent a fair proportion of the nominations, and this can never be accomplished when there is no entrance fee charged. While the Kentucky Derby candidates are rounding into form by racing at Havre de Grace the Kentucky contingent continues to keep step in their private exercise and each day, as the big race approaches, come reports of private workouts that show the West will make a serious challenge for the big race. Races mean more than work in tightening up a horse for such a race, but the Kentuckians will have ample opportunity at Lexington to put on the finishing touches and then additional chances at Churchill Downs. Then there is the Preakness Stakes, to be run at Pimlico May 12, and those that race . well at the Baltimore track will take a long ; step toward the Churchill Downs race. The : arrangements of the date for the two races this year are excellent and it will be surprising if each race does not set a new record for its number of starters.

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