Golden Anniversary: Fiftieth Kentucky Derby to Attract National Attention, Daily Racing Form, 1924-02-27


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GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY Fiftieth Kentucky Derby to Attract National Attention. Already Heavy Reservations Being Made With Louisville Hotels for Eventful May Day. LOUISVILLE, Ky., Feb. 26. That the golden anniversary Kentucky Derby will be one of the biggest sporting events in America this year is indicated by the reservations already being made in Louisville hotels for the I" ig race. Every large hotel in the city, in-clubing the Brown, the new ,000,000 caravansary, with 700 rooms, reports early heavy reservations of rooms for Derby Day. , While this date has not been officially announced, it is said by those in the know to be Saturday, Way 17. This probably will be the second Saturday of the spring race meeting which likely, ..will start on May 12. This rule was inaugurated for the first time last year, as it had been the custom to run the Derby on the opening day of the spring ireeting at the Downs. In order to give the Eastern owners a chance to run their 3-year-olds in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico and later to start in the Kentucky Derby, the postponement of the Derby to the second Saturday of the meeting was agreed upon so that there would be no clash with the rich Eastern fixture. "While the nominations for the Derby and other stakes to be run at the spring and summer meetings at Churchill Downs and La-tonia closed Saturday at midnight, the official list of the nominations will not be out for a week or ten days. It is known, however, that the nominations for the Derby exceeds that of any previous year. Last year there were 107 nominations for the race and the year before 105. Since the conditions for the Derby changed several years ago, whereby one could nominate as late as February or March, the 3-year-olds named to contest in the race have been mostly tried racers and ones that had shown something in their 2-year-old form. Since those conditions prevailed it has made for the most sensational contest between the best three-year-olds in the country. MOST PROMINENT ELIGIBLES. Tlight at this time, before real tests in workouts and trials have been attempted, naturally the three-year-olds that showed the best in their two-year-old form, in actual racing, are public choices for the big race. Such colts at Wise Counsellor, Sarazen, St James, Big Blaze, Senator Norris, Mad Play, Stanwix, Bracadale, Transmute, Chilhowee, King Gorin II., Battle Creek, Black Gold, Wortbmore, and fillies like Tree Top, Dare Say and Glide, are given consideration. But as the eligibles get down to real work the problem of separating the wheat from the chaff will begin. Some colt or filly, of which the public is scarce acquainted, may show up and go on to carry off the honors. While anything untoward as this has seldom happened, this year may prove an exception. AVith such intense interest in the race and the importance of having the intended starters fit and ready to go the route, it often happens some of the early choices are "knocked out" by some mishap of training long before the day of the race. It is a most difficult task to prepare a three-year-old for such a race as the Kentucky Derby. Few trainers there are who know just when a horse is dead fit to go ever a gruelling mile and a quarter route early in the year. For that reason it has been the invariable rule that most of the Derby entrants are overtrained when they come to run in the Derby. It is recalled that in the Exterminator Derby it was thought to be a crime among the expert trainers to start a colt with which so little had been done as with Exterminator. Yet the son of McGee won the Derby easily. In this same race was AVar Cloud, which had just a few days previous to that Derby encompassed the route, in a trial, in 2:04Vand. This was the fastest Derby trial, ever recorded, yet on the day of the race AVar Cloud could not run a lick over the muddy course. CASE OF IX MEMORIAM. Last spring In Memoriam was a dead fit horse two weeks before the Derby was run iind there were more than a few who saw him in a trial at Churchill Downs a fortnight before the Derby, remarked, "That was his race for the Derby." It probably was, for In Memoriam did not run in pounds of what he had shown in several trials, Derby Day. He finished far back and never showed any Bpeed at any part of the race. It might be said that other colts trained at Churchill Downs had too much of it before the day of the Derby. Of course, the old saying that good horses make good trainers, still holds ; but, on the other hand, a good trainer can do more with a mediocre horse than a bad trainer. It is doubtful whether Zev would have beaten In Memoriam had both colts been in the same hands. That AVise Counsellor will be good and fit for the Derby is a sure thing, providing ho stands up. Of course, he is not going to be petted and run short for the race, as his owner and trainer, John S. AVard, is considered one of the best of conditioners, and "Wardie" was never known to "send a horse to the post unfit for such big stakes as the Derby. AVise Counsellor does not look a month off of a race right now. His back muscles have already begun to crease and he takes his exercise on a tanbark track daily with a zest that shows he wants to run, just for fun.

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