Here and There on the Turf: A Regrettable Incident. Unfair Riding Tactics. Herz Sale Postponement. the "Reformer" Again, Daily Racing Form, 1924-02-20


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Here and There on the Turf A Regrettable Incident. Unfair Riding Tactics. Herz Sale Postponement. The "Reformer" Again. Incidents such as that which brought about-the disqualification of Al Stebler at the Fair Grounds Monday are always regrettable. If jockey Zander was simply incompetent and unable to prevent his mount from swerving to such a dangerous extent, he should be kept out of the saddle just as surely as if his act was deliberate. McDermott escaped injury, but only by n lucky chance. Accidents which appeared less Ecrious at the time they occurred have oft2n resulted fataliy. A rider who deliberately places the life oi an opponent in danger by rough riding should receive the most drastic punishment which the stewards are empowered to impose. A boy who is unable to control his mount should not be allowed to ride. There are too many riders in these days who consider the winning of a race far more important than fair play and obedience to the rules. Thesa jockeys are as great a menace to the turf as can be imagined. Racing could not endure if the rules were net enforced, and if a jockey is allowed to escape the penalty of his misdeeds on one occasion, he will flout turf law more flagrantly at the next opportunity. Rough riding is a species of unfair practice which is thoroughly reprehensible, even when it does not place an opponent in real danger. It is an effort to defeat the primary purpose of racing, that is, to ascertain the comparative prowess of the horses engaged. Racing ceases to be a sport when illegal tactics are used for the mere purpose of winning. The will to win is an important part of a jockeys makeup, but it is just as bad as the will to lose, unless it is the will to win fairly as well. A jockey who possesses the elements of real sportsmanship would fed no satisfaction in a victory which he had obtained by rough riding or other unfair tactics. It will be noticsd as a general thing that the riders who flout the racing laws are those who are unab!e to win on merit. Ivan Parke is seldom guilty of anything which could be called rough riding. His temperament is such that he has no inclination in that direction. He is a thorough sportsman in spite of his youth and he would not gain any satisfaction from a victory which he knsw he had scored through unfair tactics. The announced postponement of the Short Grass Stud sale because of unsettled legislative conditions in Kentucky came as something of a surprise to turfmen and breeders. In spite of the fact that the Kentucky hous3 passed the Bennett bill repealing the pari-mutucl law, there has been little fear for the safety of racing in Kentucky. Nevertheless the situation has undoubtedly caused considerable uncertainty to develop in the Blue Grass state and the postponement of the dispersal was probably a wise move. Even such a threat against the sport as this Bennett bill might have an adverse effect on the bidding at the sale. Within a period of thirty days all doubts as to the fate of racing in Kentucky will probably have been removed and the sale can be carried through without the danger of unnaturally low .prices. The postponement of the sale should bring before the eyes of Kentucky state senators who are to pass the Bennett bill the fact that enactment of such a measure into a law would mean millions of dollars of losses for the blood stock breeders of the state. The closing of the Kentucky race tracks would be followed by the closing of many of the thoroughbred nurseries which now make up such a large part of Kentuckys industry and commerce. Such a development Avould affect Kentucky seriously, of course, but it would also have an effect on the entire breeding industry of the country. Racing and breeding have both expanded wonderfully in the last few years. The sport has been revived successfully in communities that have been without racing for a considerable period of years. Breeding has expanded to take care of the increasing demand for thoroughbreds. Kentucky is one of the main centers of rac-! ing and breeding in the country. In breeding Kentucky is pre-eminent and the big stakes of the year on the tracks of that state attract visitors from all sections of the country. Ths prosperity of the turf means more to Kentucky than to any other one state in the Union. Yet the foolish "reformers," who are too narrow minded to feel any pride in the fact that their native state holds a position of leadership in a great industry, would wipe out the value of these racing and breeding properties overnight by the passage of the Bennett bill. No sane person, unless he happens to be a psychoanalist, would attempt to fathom the psychology of the "reformer." The processes of mind which would lead to such conclusions as those reflected in the legislation sponsor2d by these people are as inscrutable as the scheme of the universe. Perhaps science soma day will produce a cross section of a "reformers" brain, disclosing the fact that vinegar is its chief component part.

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