Career of Top Sergeant: Patience Brought Its Reward with This Hard Luck Plater, Daily Racing Form, 1924-01-06


view raw text

CAREER OF TOP SERG-ANT Patience Brought Its Reward with This Hard Luck Plater. Son of Cock o the AValk Became Badly Crippled Three Different Times Before He Finally Made Good. Among the qualities which the successful trainer of thoroughbreds must possess, patience is without a doubt one of the most important. During the baratoga racing season a few years back, G. E. Hall visited the Spa, and being well acquainted with yearling buyers Hall was engaged by E. J. Trantor, manager of the Fasig-Tipton Sales Company, to hunt out the buyers of different lots which were sold. Hall, always ready to take a chance in those days, kept his eyes open for youngsters led into the arena whose racing points appealed to him and were being sold at a bargain price. Frequently on lots catalogued at the end of an evening sale bidding is lax, the high-price buyers having obtained their choices and, being "filled" up, remain to witness the competition between the buyers of cheap lots. A big, upstanding chestnut colt by Cock o the AValk Fairy Ray was led into the ring on one of these occasions which struck the fancy of Hall. The bidding on the juvenile lagged, but was carried by 3 and 0 bids to 1924.sh00, at which figure he was sold to Hall, firm in his belief, "Here is a race horse." The colt was shipped to Bowie, where he was turned out for the winter. Hall named the youngster Top Sergeant and his training began at the Maryland course. TRIED AVITII GOOD ONES. In the spring of the following year Hall was convinced that he had made no mistake in his investment. Top Sergeants early trials were proof enough that his judgment had been good. Also that colt appeared to be one of the slow developing sort that impresses a horseman from day to day. Top Sergeant, little regarded by any but his owner, had his qualities tried after a few starts at Bowie trying to overtake AValter J. Salmons fast filly Careful during her two-year-old year at Havre de Grace and Pimlico. He never managed to head the flying daughter of Wrack, but Hall still had faith, so he shipped the son of Cock o the AValk to Aqueduct, where he showed additional impressive trials. Later in the season Careful, Trystcr, Prudery and others claimed the attention of the public as candidates for the Futurity of that year. Certainly no one ever dreamed of Top Sergeant, an unknown maiden, having a chance for the richest of the Belmont Park stakes, or were aware ho was eligible. G. Ernest Hall did. More, he actually had confidence in Top Sergeant, for the colt was showing him more speed with every workout. Early in September the castles Hall had built in the air of winning the big prize fell in with a crash. Top Sergeant, after a sensational preliminary trial for the Futurity, a half mile in 46 and the race now a few days off, bowed a tendon in his right foreleg. Hall shipped his two-year-old back to the Prince George County track following this mishap, returning himself to his home in Baltimore greatly disappointed. GOES AMISS AGAIN. After another winter at Bowie Top Sergeants tendon grew strong again galloping over the soft sandy loam of that track and in the spring confidence sprang anew in Halls heart. He had learned his colt was not quite good enough to be classed a top-notcher, but that he was a useful sort of horse, though his public performances prohibited his running in selling or claiming races. Indeed, at that time. Hall had refused 5,000 for his 1924.sh00 purchase. Shortly after this refusal Top Sergeant fell lame again in his bad leg while being trained over hard, fast tracks. Again followed a long period of idleness. Hall did everything possible in the way of treatment. He had every confidence in his horse if only he could be made to train soundly. Early last spring Top Sergeant was seen under colors apparently sound, and incidentally earned his oats, but he did not remain so for long, the weak tendon giving away for the third time. His owner was at his wits end. Despairing, he called in the most prominent veterinarian and inquired his opinion of the horses chances. The authority, after a careful examination of the injured limb, gave Hall little consolation. "How is the bankroll," he asked. "It is in worse shape than that leg," replied Hall. "Well," added the veterinarian, "it will mean another hard winters work trying to patch him up and I doubt if he will stand training again. My advice would be to sell him if possible." IIOAV SUCCESS CAME. J. F. Richardson learned of Top Sergeants condition and sought Hall out, having heard the horse was for sale. After considerable dickering Richardson became the new owner of Top Sergeant for 00. After careful treatment and preparation Top Sergeant was entered in a claiming race at Empire City during the fall meeting. In his first effort he raced unplaced, won on his next public appearance, then ran second in his next race, then added another purse to his credit. Top Sergeant was shipped to Pimlico, where he scored a victory, also winning races at Bowie, where Richardson turned down an offer of 0,000 for him. Surely the man who first purchased Top Sergeant possessed patience, and in ho small degree. Yet he did not have quite enough, therefore J. F. Richardson is reaping the benefits of Halls judgment as a yearling buyer. This is just one instance of this kind. The case of Donald MacDonald, with which P. T. Chinn became disgusted when the gelding was beaten on the grass course at Hamilton, Canada, is one. The Kentucky horseman sold Donald Mac-Donald to the late S. A. Clopton because his tendon looked suspicious after that race. Clopton entered him in a race, which he won, and continued on his winning ways, suffering only one defeat in his following thirteen races.

Persistent Link:
Local Identifier: drf1924010601_12_7
Library of Congress Record: