Here and There on the Turf: Return of Exterminator. Importance to Racing. Losses at Fair Grounds. Work at Miami, Daily Racing Form, 1924-02-19


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Here and There on the Turf Return of Exterminator. , Importance to Racing. Losses at Fair Grounds. Work at Miami. Exterminator has come back This is cheering news for the entire turf world. The honest old gelding had been away from the racss ever since April 28 of last year, when he was beaten a nose at Havre de Grace in the Old Dominion Handicap. That was a race over a mile and seventy yards distance. Exterminator took up 132 pounds to the 101 pounds that was carried by Mr. Whitneys three-year-old Chickvale. The race was run through mud, and the son of McGee and Fair Empress gave his usual honest effort, but his weight in the going, though he has always been partial to soft footing, proved too much of a handicap. Johnson rode Exterminator and he just failed to catch Chickvale by a nose while he was finishing in a fashion to suggest that an earlier move would have landed him the winner. It was shortly after this that Exterminator went so badly amiss that he was thrown out of training. For "a time Willis Sharpe Kilmer had an idea of retiring the old gelding to Sun Briar Court at Binghampton, where he was to spend the rest of his days in ease and idleness. Never was there a horse that was more entitled to this consideration. But he was kept with the rest of the string and eventually the old fellow came back to a degree that induced Henry McDaniel to put him back into training. He was shipped to Tijuana with the others destined for racing over the Mexican course and by a flow and careful preparation he was brought back for his winning race of Sunday. It is probably too much to expect that McDaniel can bring Exterminator back to the form that made him the most remarkabb cup performer of his day or any day, as well as of American turf history, but he has been brought back. McDaniel saw to it that he was jiot started until he was in winning form. Then he did not ask too much of the son of McGee and Fair Empress, but it was an adequate test of fitness ; when the mile and seventy yards dash was chosen in which to beat such horses as Supercargo, Van Patrick, Pclly Wale and Dorius. This will not indicate that the old champion i has come back sensationally, but to come back : at all is what counts. Exterminator is in his j ninth year and, with the exception of his j enforced idleness by reason of infirmity, hi had been constantly campaigning, except for winter rest, ever since he was a two-year-old. . It was not until he was winner of the Kentucky Derby of 1918 that he came into his full I measure of greatness, but from that time he : improved race after race until he earned his way to the top of the heap. In 1922 he began his racing career in the three-quarters of the : Harford Handicap at Havre de Grace in April, , and with 132 pounds in the saddle beat as 5 famous a sprinter as Billy Kelly. It was admitted that the distance was too short for the ; eon of McGes to show to his best advantage. . ; i : j j . I : : , 5 ; . But he was the winner from a horse that was known to be much at home over the short eprinting route. He is the same Exterminator that won in the two miles and a quarter of the Pimlico Cup in 1919, 1920 and 1921 ; the same Exterminator that for four successive year? was the winner of the Saratoga Cup, at a mila and three-quarters, when he scored in 1919, 1920, 1921 and 1922, having a walkover , in 1921, and there were many other of the : distance races that went the same way. Exterminator all through his career has been ; one of those rare thoroughbreds capable of taking up all sorts of weight and racing successfully over all distances. It is small wonder that his return to racing means so much. Even though the horses that opposed him could not be rated highly, it was a test to show that the old fellow is not through. This race Sunday is a part of his preparation for the Coffroth Handicap. If McDaniel has patched up the ailing legs to make them stand the rigors of future training for that race, Exterminator will round out his winter season in a blaze of glory and will at once become a potential candidate for the 5,000 Dixie Handicap at Pimlico, for which he was nominated. The Fair Grounds meeting of the Business Mens Racing Association is worthy of better success than has attended the sport this winter. The racing itself has been excellent, but the patronage has fallen far below that of other meetings and the association is facing an almost certain loss at the conclusion of the fifty-five days of racing that comes to an end March 4. There is still a chance that with the carnival visitors arriving in New Orleans a different tale may be told at the end of the meeting, but it is doubtful if these visitors will make the racing of 1924 a paying venture. The Business Mens Racing Association does not conduct the racing altogether as a financial venture, but naturally it is desired that the sport shall pay its way. It is realized that racing means much to New Orleans in the visitors that are attracted. They are of direct benefit to the merchants in the long term of residence in New Orleans and the association is well repaid when the sport pays its way. And there is no reason why the racing should not pay its way. This year there have been many contributing factors to the lack of financial success. The chief one has been the unseasonable weather. It has been one of the worst seasons for out-of doors sport in many a year and, with such conditions, it is impossible to bring out adequate crowds, no matter what the attraction. It will be remembered that the weather caused a suspension for one day and that has only been necessary twice in something like twehtj or twenty-five years. Another reason is the "overhead." The association has been more than liberal in its purse offerings and it be- i comes necessary to have much more of a! gate to pay the piper than at either Tijuana1 or Havana. But the racing from the beginning has been of good class in every respect and de-1 serving of better patronage. There is every promise that the same high standard will always be maintained, and it is sport that docs good, even though it may prove ccstly to the sportsmen who are financing the meeting. Luke A. Cassidy is going forward with the work of construction at the new Miami race course, and from the way it is progressing it is promised that all will be in readiness long before the opening day of the first meet- ing. It is impossible to find a more dslight-i ful location for winter racing and, properly conducted, Miami should at once take a front place among winter race courses. Mr. Cassidy, with a full realization of the vital needs of the race course, is carrying on his work in a way that must be commended. Too often all attention is given to the build-i ing of a grandstand, while scant attention is given the track proper and stabling for the j horses. Mr. Cassidy is busying himself with the construction of the track and the stables first and the grandstand will be the last work. This is as it should be. A race course must be "seasoned," and that can only come from careful and early construction. The buildings need no seasoning. Too often the hastily constructed track is a menace to horses when there comes a spell of bad weather. The track has not been permitted to settle and there has not been enough care in construction. Under the Cassidy plan the track will be in a safe condition for the horses before the grandstand is built. The building of a track is something more than the mere laying of lines and levels and the building of an outer and inner rail.

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