Here and There on the Turf: Tanforans Spring Meeting. a Sporting Proposition. Breeding in California. Influence of Morvich, Daily Racing Form, 1924-02-17


view raw text

Here and There on the Turf Tanforans Spring Meeting. A Sporting Proposition. Breeding in California. Influence of Morvich. News conies from San Francisco that Tanforans previously announced spring meeting will open Saturday, April 26, and continue for twenty days, closing Sunday, May IS. There will be no change in the policy of the Pacific Coast Jockey Club in regard to betting. Every precaution will be taken to prevent violation of the present California law in this regard. This is at it should be. The Tanforan fall meeting was a success from a sporting standpoint, because it was absolutely clean and legal. It was not a success financially, because a race meeting cannot be conducted with profit on a no-betting basis. The purpose of the sportsmen who instituted the revival movement at Tanforan, however, was not to make money. These men realized that it would be impossible to run a financially successful meeting without betting, but they realized also that the best propaganda in the world for favorable legislative action would be a practical demonstration of racings popularity" even without wagering. Good horses took part in that first Tanforan meeting and the crowds that turned out were large and enthusiastic. They were not large enough to pay the expenses of the meeting, but that was not expected. It is not likely that as good a class of horses will take part in the spring meeting at the San Bruno course. At the time of this coming meeting racing will be in full swing in Kentucky, Maryland and New York. The horses which are now racing at Tijuana will be well scattered and it is not likely that the Tanforan meeting will attract any great number of stables which do not stay on the coast throughout the year. But the San Francisco public will be better educated to the sport, and it is likely that the crowds will be even better than at its fal meeting. It has been decided to race on Sunday, with Monday as a day. of rest. The one Sunday of racing at the fall meeting was such a success that the management de cided on this move for the spring meeting. In the eastern part of the country this action would not have been advisable perhaps, but the public attitude in such matters differs widely in various parts of the nation and there is no doubt that the management of the Tanforan course sounded public opinion adequately before making this decision. This Tanforan experiment is one of the most significant developments on the American turf within recent rears. It is a demonstration of the fact that true sportsmanship has not died among racing men, and it is a promise of better things for the future. Much has been written of the great importance of California to the American turf in the days of E. J. Lucky Baldwin and J. B. Haggin. Those days are gone and the great thoroughbred nurseries which made thej far West celebrated on the race courses of the country have long been dispersed. But a new generation of breeders and a new collection of stock horses are now working steadily toward a revival of Californias old lories as a thoroughbred production center. This revival of interest in breeding in California has been of gradual growth, of course, but it probably would, not have reached its present stage of development so quickly if it had not been for ths lucky arrival of Morvich. Morvich was bred at A; B. Spreckeh Napa Stock Farm. He came East with others of the Spreckels two-year-olds in the spring of 1921. Little was thought of him. He started in a selling race at 50 to 1 and scored easily. He won a coupb of other races before he began to impress anybody particularly. Then he went on to score eleven straight victories during his two-year-old career. The publicity which California breeding received through the exploits of Morvich did morcto stimulate interest in that industry in the Golden Gate state than anything else could have done. The various breeders who have established breeding farms in California since that time might have picked other locations if it had not been for the fame of Morvich. The fact that Morvich raced his way into comparative oblivion as a three-year-old makes no difference in this respect. His work as a publicity agent for California breeding was already done. If California produces more such horses in future years the turf historian of that era may overlook the fact that Morvich, which will perhaps have been partly forgotten by that time, was the instrument of destiny at a critical period in the history of the Golden Gate states breeding revival. But there can be no doubt that ths spectacular rise of this colt was of surpassing importance in this respect. Publicity is an enormous influence in these days. So far as breeding and the turf are concerned there is no more effective waj- for a state to attain the ultimate in publicity than to produce a sensational performer. Kentucky occupies its present position as a breeding center because it continues to send sensa- tional performers to the races. If a half dozen years should go by without the appearance of a high-class Kentucky-bred horse on the race course the Blue Grass state would lose this prestige. But with such a galaxy of stars at its various stud farms this it not :A all likely. So far as climate is concerned, California undoubtedly possesses all of the attributes of . an ideal thoroughbred nursery. AH stock horses j now at service in the Golden Gate state are not as yet of exceptional grade, but they will ! improve as the industry grows and a revival of racing on a sousd basis in California will go far toward hastening this development.

Persistent Link:
Local Identifier: drf1924021701_2_2
Library of Congress Record: