Here and There on the Turf: The Translate Case. a Wise Ruling. the Bennett Bill. a Needed Organization, Daily Racing Form, 1924-02-22


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Here and There on the Turf The Translate Case. A Wise Ruling. The Bennett Bill. A Needed Organization. The action taken by the Fair Grounds stewards in the case of Translate was exceedingly strict. There is no dcubt, however, that the officials found evidence enough of sharp practice to justify the ruling off of the horse, his owner and his trainer. Cases of this sort are always regrettable, but such prompt action by the officials should have a salutary effect on racing. Reversals of form are bad things for the turf, even when they are the result of temperament on the part of the horse, but when there is any hint that they are caused by any other factor, drastic action against the offenders is necessary. Winter racing often is a fertib field for off-color racing. The platers that make up the fields as a rule arc inconsistent at b2st. That is tli3 reason that they arc platers instead of stake horses. It is possibb for a horse to run a wretched race one day at a winter track and come back a day or two later with a smashing victor without arousing a great amount of comment. This condition cannot exist where the stewards of the meeting are vigilant. Part of the duties of the stewards, an important part, indeed, is to watch the racing for form reversals and other incidents that indicate illegal manipulation. When such incidents occur, the officials must act completely jnd decisively. The Trantlate case on the face of it did not appear particularly flagrant. The hor?e ran one good race, then a particularly bad one and then came back with another gocd one. The stewards investigated and undoubtedly discovered some things which have not been made public. Their action has done much to clear the racing atmosphere. New Orleans racing has been singularly free from unsavory incidents since the reorganization of the Business MsVs Racing Association. The drastic ruling of the stewards in the case of Translate is further evidence that the sport is being properly conducted. New Orleans is too important a winter racing point for any risks to be taken in such respects. Turfmen themselves would much rather see racing barred from a community than allowed to go on if improperly conducted. There will always be unscrupulous individuals engaged in every profession. It is just as important for the officials of a race meeting to protect the sport against such people as it would bz for the officers of n banking institution to protect their depositors against the operations of an embezzling cashier. It is a significant fact that a churchman , was among the defenders of racing before ths Kentucky Senate Committee Wednesday in the hearing on the Bennett bill to repeal the pari-mutuel law. He was the Rev. Thomas L. Settle, pastor of the Church of the Good Shepherd at Lexington. He was one of many defenders of the sport before the committee, and, following the meeting, it was generally predicted at the Kentucky capital that tbi senate would definitely dispose of the Bennett bill when it is reported. The opponents of racing have not covered themselves with glory in their political maneuvers at Frankfort. They have resorted to all of the cheap tactics at the command of an unscrupulous lobbyist, and there is ample evidence to give credence to the story that the House majority for the bill was obtained by promise of support for a measure which otherwise would have been beaten. Similar pressure has been exerted in the Senate, but latest reports from Kentucky are that the majority in favor of racing h still intact in the upper house. The supporters of racing in Kentucky waited until the House had passed the B;nnett bill unexpectedly before they began the work of fighting these "reformers." They should hava organized against the depredations of thes? "reformers" long before the "reform" became an actual threat to the existence of the sport in Kentucky. It has been pointed out in this column many times before that the lack of organization is a tremendous handicap to the opponents of these narrow-minded cranks who consider every form of amusement their fair game. In a state like Kentucky, where racing and breeding are of such prime importance in an industrial way, the liberal-minded people who favor racing should maintain an organization permanently, to watch the activities of the "reform" element and take necessary steps to guard against them. After the example of the Bennett bill passage in the House, Kentucky liberals will have no excuse for allowing themselves to be lulled into a feeling of false security again. It was thought when the present legislative session began that racing was safe against any attack. If the racing advocates had been as watchful as they should have been the "reformers" could have been blocked before they obtained their present partial success. The influential and socially prominent men who make up the breeding and racing committees of the Blue Grass should lead a movement to effect a permanent and active organization to fight the "reformers" in Kentucky. These narrow-minded busybodics do not deserve the advantages which they enjoy at present as an organized minority fighting an unorganized majority. It is to be hoped that the present efforts to jam the Bennett bill through the Kentucky senate will be defeated in spite of the fact that the supporters of racing did not begin to fight until the "reformers" had won a battle. But the racing interests should not allow themselves to be caught napping again. An active, fighting "anti-reform" organization is the answer. The activities of the "reformer" can never be successful against organized opposition.

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