Here and There on the Turf: The Vosburgh Plan. Its Obvious Advantages. Selling and Claiming Races Evading the Rules, Daily Racing Form, 1924-01-06


view raw text

Here and There on the Turf The Vosburgh Plan. Its Obvious Advantages. Selling and Claiming Races. Evading the Rules. It would be well if at the coming meeting of the Jockey Club there would come an endorsement of the new handicap plan of Walter S. Vosburgh. It is a plan whereby there will be a classification cf the horses on the amount of winnings, and it would tend to at once fix the different classes that would work at great good in the handicap division. It will do no harm to again briefly explain the Vosburgh plan and th3 advantages that would come from its adoption. Mr. Vosburgh would classify the horses, with the top. class probably winners of 5,000. That is to say that only those horses that had won 5,000 or in excess of that amount, would be eligible under that classification. Of course that means a single race of such value. A second classification could b3 made of those that had won in excess of 2,500 and less than ,000, whils there could be a classification for nori-winncrs cf ,500. These classifications should pratty thoroughly take care of any horses that aspire to : the handicap division, and at the same time it would prevent the top class from bsing cluttered up with a lot of. cattle that did not belong in the top division. The benefits of this classification plan are so apparent that they hardly need any further explanation. It would at once make possible the furnishing of great contests in which the champions of the year would not be compelled to take up excessive burdens just to make room for horses that did not belong in the race. The fact that a horse docs nto bslong must be taken into consideration by Mr. Vosburghin making his efforts to bring them all together to the best of his ability. In this he has been singularly successful, but it is so frequently that he is compelled to ask the best horses to carry an unusual weight to ht the bad ones have a chance. When the horses are classified, as he suggests, the good ones will only meet the good ones, and there will not be the same reason for a wide range in the weights. Those that do not measure up to the best class will be amply taken care of in the other classifications, and it is likely that almost any handicap could be started at the scale weight at the top and bring about better contests than have been possible under the conditions that make the handicaps open to every class. There always will be horsemen who consider their geese swans, and as a matter of fact it is rather a commendable fault, but it b on2 that gives the handicapper no end of trouble. These horsemen will still be ab.c to i have their cheap platers race in handicap company, rather than where .ithoy belong, but it will not be at the expense of the good handicap horses that have broken down from time, to time -under heavy wciihts just to i make room for these platers. : i i It is hardly within the province of the Jockey Club to order these classified handicaps. That properly belongs to the individual associations. It is up to the secretaries themselves to frame the conditions to make the handicaps possible, but an endorsement of the plan by the Jockey Club would make certain the adoption cf such a plan. There does not seem to be any reason why a racing secretary could not write- handicap conditions to conform to the Vosburgh idea, and it is assured that the plan will have a trial this year. Unfortunately a fair trial would bring results that would make such handicaps almost universal. The graded handicaps of the Maryland Jockey Club at Pimlico have furnished good races, and that grading is done by the handicapper himself. This Vosburgh plan makes the grading automatic and any time there was a near champion which became eligible for one of the low class handicaps he would naturally have to carry an excessive weight. Those cases would be rare, and it is a handicap scheme that would readily adopt itself to fair classification. Much of this is up to the secretaries themselves, just as the application of the rules for the racing of selling platers that went into effect in 1923. The amendment to the rules of racing did away with the auction clause and made the races claiming races and races in which any starter might be claimed for his entered price. Unfortunately, while this amendment was enacted, the old selling race rule that permitted of an auction of the winner after his victory was retained. There was no good reason for the retaining of this rule, ami the racing secretaries who do their full duty will frame their programs for the platers as claiming rather than selling races. Attention is called to these rules at this time for the reason that stake programs are being prepared by many of the associations and the stakes that were formerly selling stakes should all be mads claiming stakes. That is the only way they can truly conform to the reform that was sought when the rules were arranged last season. The best of stakes that have been announced by the Empire City racing meeting at the Yonkers track in July, the stakes that were formerly selling stakes have been made claiming stakes and in that the association has lived up to the spirit and letter of the rules. It is hoped that the other associations will follow the good example of the Empire City Association when they make their 1924 stake announcements. There is nothing the matter with the rules of racing, but there is frequently something the matter with the manner in which they arc applied at the various tracks. One rule that is frequently evaded is the prohibition against having more than one race at a hsser distance than a mile for horses other than two-year-clds. When this rule becomes effective in a racing season secretaries have been guilty of filling in with as many as three races for two-year-olds. Unfortunately there is no provision as to how many races must be offered for any age division, and it is always easy enough to fill a cheap sprint for the two-year-olds. The intent of the rule, of course, is to furnish interesting programs and at the same time a program of races best calculated to offer adequate tests. There are other evasions of the rules by racing secretaries from time to time and, as a matter of fact, selling races have been offered since the adoption of the amendment that in effect made them taboo as against the new. claiming race that- was substituted. So that after al the classified handicaps and various other reforms are often" right up to the associations themselves. "

Persistent Link:
Local Identifier: drf1924010601_2_2
Library of Congress Record: