Here and There on the Turf: Requiescat in Pace President Wilsons Horse. Empire City Stakes. Another Riding Star, Daily Racing Form, 1924-02-07


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Here and There on the Turf Requiescat in Pace President Wilsons Horse. Empire City Stakes. Another Riding Star. Flags fly at half mast at the Fair Grounds, New Orleans, Oriental Park, Cuba, and Tijuana, Mexico, the three tracks at which winter racing is being conducted. At 3 oclock Wednesday the turf world joined with the entire American nation in paying tribute to the memory of the late President Wilson and with heads bared uttered a silent prayer for a great American gentleman, scholar and statesman, who, like the first president of this republic, the immortal George Washington, loved the thoroughbred and saw no harm in 1 witnessing ths- noble animal in contests of " speed and endurance. Requiescat in pace. An interesting talc is told how Woodrow Wilson, during his first term as president, took to horseback riding as an exercise and a relaxation - from cares of state. When the President came to the White House he was known as a good walker and a fair golfer. Under the tutelage of his personal l physician, Admiral Gary T. Grayson, he became , t a horseman of no mean ability and nearly r every morning found him in the saddle for an l hour or more. The matter of securing a suitable mount for the President was not easy. A horse that was safe and had a good gait at the walk, trot and canter was the type sought, and Admiral Grayson, who is an accomplished horseman, finally found. the animal he wanted in Virginia; ; in the region of Front Royal, where the federal government has for some vears had one of its ! experimental stations for horse breeding. The horse in question, which afterward was known as Democrat, was six years old, a son of the famous thoroughbred sire Octagon, which Major August Belmont, chairman of the Jockey Club, gave to the United States government when the Front Royal station was established. Octagon was a son of the French sire Rayon dOr, and his dam was Ortegal, by the renowned stallion Bend Or. The breeding of the dam of Democrat cannot be authenticated, but students of horse breeding would declare, judging from the quality of her son, that she had some warm blood in her veins. She must have been at least half bred and perhaps three-quarters bred. Democrat is a rich chestnut in color, with three white legs and a star, stands a trifle over 15.21; hands and is a perfect type of the sort of horse the United States needs for cavalry remounts. His feet and leg3 arc of the best and his broad forehead indicates unusual brain power. His neck is long and well shaped and his oblique shoulders run into a strong back that is coupled closely to broad, ve!l-rounded, powerful quarters. Very properly he is branded No. 1, and all those who have to do with him say he is a perfect horse in every respect. He has a quick, brisk walk with that pendulum-like swing of the tail which denotes the right kind of stifle action. His sloping pasterns guarantee a springy trot ; ! and he goes from a walk to an easy canter that made his distinguished master forget every- . thing but the joy of being alive. It is a coincidence that the charger of th? late Earl Kitchener also was named Democrat. He was a .famous racer and was foaled in New Jersey, the property of the late Pierre Lorillard, i j who sent him to England, where he won many great stakes and was generally acclaimed the i best two-year-old of his year. At that time Lord William Bsresford was Mr. Lorillards partner on the turf, and it was he who presented Democrat to Earl Kitchener. Democrat was ridden at the Delhi Durbar and other functions and was greatly admired. He was a son of the American stallion Sensation and the well-known producing dam Equality. The growing importance of Empire City racing is strikingly emphasized in the nominations for the stakes to be run at Yonkers during the 1924 summer meeting. The entries for this years feature events number 1,564, a substantial increase over the 1,495 in 1923. Quality has not given way to quantity in this gratifying increase, for nearly all the best horses of their respective divisions have besn included in the nominations. Time is not far distant when Empire City was not so generously patronized, many owners after spring campaigns at Belmont Park, Aqueduct and Jamaica passing up the Yonkers course and resting up their charges during July for the August meeting at Saratoga. There are some who still follow this plan, but there is no scarcity of material for Empire City and last year the July meeting at Yonkers was a big success. Early indications are that the 1924 meeting will be even greater. . i j Jockey Ivan Parke, the reigning sensation of the American turf, began his eventful career at Tijuana last winter. There is another youngster riding at ths Mexican track this win- ter that is looming up prominently as a pros-! pective saddle star. He is S. ODonnell, who had his first mount at Omaha last year. Since the first of the year ODonnell has ridden forty-two winners and is second to Parke on the list of the thirty leaders. From all accounts ODonnell is a most promising prospect and as real good riders are scare his performances during the remainder of the Tijuana meeting will be closely watched in hope that another Parke may have been found.

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