Here and There on the Turf: Parke Fails to Slump. His Influence on Others. Difficult Task. Louisiana Derby Prospects, Daily Racing Form, 1924-02-09


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Here and There on the Turf Parke Fails to Slump. His Influence on Others. Difficult Task. Louisiana Derby Prospects. Jockey Ivan Parke does not appear to be a flash in the pan. There have been plenty of predictions that, after the youngster had accomplished the feat of leading the 1923 jockey list, he would encounter the inevitable slump from which other young riders, apparently equally promising, have never recovered. But Parke has not encountered any slump. He continues to ride his two or three winners a day at the Fair Grounds track and his winning mounts are not always the best horses in the race. He knows the fine points of riding and his mounts do their bsst under his guidance. At the end of last week Parke had ridden fifty-two winners out of 162 mounts for the percentage of .32. It appears from this that Earl Sande, who has been the leader of the. American jockeys on a percentage basis for some years, may have to look to his laurels during the coming season. Of course, Parke will encounter much stronger competition when he begins the regular season, but if he continues to show the qualities which he is displaying daily at Fair Grounds, even this should not interfere with his success. Some time ago in this column mention was made of the fact that the rise of a youngster like Parke always brings a flood of communications from boys in a.l parts of the country who possess an ambition to become jockeys. This flood has not stopped by any means. Almost evcrj day Daily Racing Form receives one or mpre letters from such aspiring young sters. Apparently a great many of these letter writers did not read the comment that was made in this column before upon the arduous life that must precede a chance in the saddle. The percentage of youngsters who enter racing as stable boys and ever reach the point of having a mount in an actual race is decidedly small. Chances for moderate success in many other callings is much greater. It is inconceivable that a boy who has never had any experience with horses should learn enough about riding within a short tim.2 to justify his use as a jockey. Years of experience are necessary before a trainer would even consider giving a new rider a chance in a race. The life of a stable boy, as has been pointed out, is neither easy nor pleasant. The average youngster of the present day is not accustomed to arising with the sun nor is he accustomed to doing the equivalent of a days work befora the usual hour for breakfast. Most of these boys who want to become jockeys have seen a Parke or a Sande doff his cap in acknowledgement of the plaudits of the grandstand. They have seen a rider sweeping down the stretch to win in a nose finish. They have felt the thrill of such racing scenes and have felt a natural craving to become a part of this life. But have they considered what distasteful tasks these boys have had to do day in and day out before they were accorded the coveted S opportunity to ride? Have they considered that these boys who are receiving the plaudits of the crowds today are a selected few from the hundreds of stable boys who began their turf careers at the same time? Have they considered that the great majority of these stable boys of yesterday arc still stable boys today? News comes from New Orleans that Black Gold, the probable favorite for the coming Louisiana Derby, is training wel at Jefferson Park. Black Gold was the sensation of last years two-year-old racing at New Orleans and during the Kentucky season that followed he showed form which is not generally associated with winter track juveniles. He has not been raced this winter, but is now being pointed for tha 5,000 feature that will be the high point of the short spring meeting at Jefferson Park. His chief rival on form shown during the racing at the Fair Grounds will probably be Benjamin Blocks Thorndale, which has been a consistent winner through the winter. TI12 Louisiana Derby is rapidly winning its way into a position" as the most important of winter stakes. A number of the forty threc-ycar-olds that have been named for it are to be named for the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby as well. Probably few of them will start in either of the big races that are run early in the regular season, but those few, because of their advanced training, may have a fair chance against the horses that did not go south for the winter. Recent bad weather in the cast and middle west has undoubtedly had its effect on the training operations of these candidates for the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. Many of the three-year-olds wintering in Kentucky have been out on the tracks several times a week for exercise throughout the cold season to date. Since the first of the year a number of stables wintering at the Long Island tracks have been able to exercise their horses regularly. The present spell of bad weather will probably result in delaying the start of serious outdoor training, but there is still plenty of time to have these three-year-olds ready for the early season events. The trainer who is able to bring his Derby and Preakness candidates to top form by the running dates of these races without rushing them unduly is fortunate. Intensive training for these early stakes often ruins a horse for later racing.

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