Here and There on the Turf: Promise of 1924 Season. Three-Year-Old Prospects. Zev and in Memoriam. Handicap Division Recruits, Daily Racing Form, 1924-02-12


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- Here and There on the Turf Promise of 1924 Season. Three-Year-Old Prospects. Zev and In Memoriani. Handicap Division Recruits. With the approach of the new racing season there is every indication that the public will be treated to a wonderful succession of brg and spectacular turf events. The 1924 stakes which have already closed have shown healthy increases over previous years and it is expected that those which are still open will enjoy similar growth. The early part of the season is always filled with interest because of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes. During the winter the experts have plenty of time to examine the records of the two-year-olds for the previous season and to separate the sheep from the goats on the strength of these past performances. The fact that the running of the three-year-old classics usually turns all of this expert opinion upside down does not deter the experts in the least. Two-year-old form is at best an uncertain guide to the quality of three-year-clds. As the distances lengthen out a great many speed sensations suffer eclipse and as great a number of horses with less speed and more bottom race their way into prominence. The experts know this, but the urge to express an opinion is great and after all few remember what the expert has said after his findings have been reversed by actual racing. On the other hand, if he happens to have I been right, he has the opportunity to call attention to the fact in a subsequent series. This year practically a!l of the winter attention has been confined to three candidates for three-year-old honors. These are Sarazen, the unbeaten; Wiss Counsellor, the Kentucky speed marvel, and St. James, the largest juvenile money-winner of last season. All of these horses have their own particular claims to consideration. Sarazen was never really extended in scoring his ten straight victories. He did not meet some of the real cracks of the year, but he raced impressively against those that he did meet. Wise Counsellor, among other accomplishments, ran the fastest mile ever" recorded by a two-year-old in Kentucky. St. James won the Futurity under the crushing .impost of 130 pounds. Sarazen and Wise Counsellor went further in the direction of proving their staying qualities than did St. James, as both won over the mile distance. St. James was retired for the season after his Futurity victory and he never rased over a longer distance than six furlongs. The chief rival of these three on last years form appears to be Mad Flay, the brother to Mad Hatter, which races for the Rancocas Stable. This celt ran a smashing race to be second to Wise Counsellor in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs on the clay of the Zev-In Memoriam match and he was going much more strongly than the Ward colt at the finish of that mil;. He is bred to Etay and the longer distances of three-year-old 5 r c G 7 1 . 2 . 3 4 ; ! . . . . I racing may give him an opportunity which he did not enjoy as a juvenile. Mad Play may develop the sulking tendencies which have characterized his older brother. Mad Hatter had everything that a great horse should have except an equable temperament. It is. temperament alone which has made him such an uncertain racing proposition. Time after time he has followed a great race with a decidedly poor one until no student of form can forecast his vagaries with any degree of certainty whatever. After the. three-year-olds have gone through the mill of those big early season races there will undoubtedly be a great clarification of the situation in that division. Sarazen, Wise Counsellor and St. James will either have justified their respective partisans by fighting it out between them for the honors or they will have been dethroned by some comparatively unknown three-year-old. Then the racing public will turn toward the promised treat of the autumn season when the French crack, Epinard, is scheduled to appear in a scries of three races on American tracks. Before Epinards arrival Zev and In Memoriam will have had ample opportunity to settle their argument for supremacy which was left more or less in the air by the close of last seasons racing. This unsettled question between these two four-year-olds will lend much interest to the handicap racing of the coming season. The handicap division had fallen to a low stafe toward the end of last season. The real stars among the older horses had raced their way into retirement for one reason or another and the big races for the division fell prey to second-raters throughout the fall season. If Grey Lag will stand training this year he will undoubtedly come back to defend his laurels against new rivals. Zev, In Memoriam and possibly a few others of last years three-year-olds will be really important additions to the ranks of the handicap horses. Then thera is a chance that old Exterminator can be patched up to try again for his old place among the stars. The appearance of Man o Wars first crop of two-year-clds will be watched with great interest. Breeders and horsemen generally will be anxious to find out whether the Riddle champion can transmit his speed and stamina to his progeny. From all accounts there seem to be plenty of promising youngsters to make things interesting for these young representatives at Man o War in the juvenile, division.

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