Here and There on the Turf, Daily Racing Form, 1924-03-04


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Here and There on the Turf On "Winter Racing. Expanding the Circuit. The Mardi Gras Handicap. Value of the Derby. The Challenge Trophy. If the racing at Tanforan eventually results in the permanent return of the sport to California and the projected addition of Miami to the turf centers of the country, there will t2 a vast difference in the winter season for the thoroughbreds. Many, have predicted that should Miami be all that has bzen promised, it would sound the J death knell of Havana and at the same time would furnish powerful opposition to New Orleans. It has also been predicted that .with racing firmly established in California the track at Tijuana would be seriously crippled. All of this might corns to pass, but, as a matter of fact, there are horses enough and sportsmen enough who race through the winter months to furnish entertainment at five tracks simultaneous! y. Entries have seldom b;fore been so heavy at Havana. New Orleans has been throwing out enough horses almost every day with a seven-race program to fill another card. Then at Tijuana with eight, nine and even ten races there have been horses enough to go around. This all would indicate that, so far as horses are concerned, there need b2 no fear of too many winter tracks, even though California and Miami came into the winter circuit. Another angle is that both Tanforan and Miami would attract many stables that have never been attracted by the existing winter courses. That has been shown by the character of horses and horsemen that have already patronized Tanforan in its wonderful campaign to restore racing on the Pacific coast. "With Miami it would mean that many turfmen who play about in Florida every winter while their horses rest on a snow-bound track would take horses along to help while away the winter months. Havana, New Orleans and Tijuana could readily hold horses enough to go on indefinitely with their racing seasons with the admission of these two new racing points. Of course, with five instead of three racing courses to choose from there would be the competition that comes in the conduct of the sport. There would naturally be a bid for ihs best horses and that, after all, would make the winter season just that much more attractive to the horsemen. Purely on a question of revenue, California would have to offer big inducements to attract horses from the East, while Miami, with its climatic, geographical and social advantages, woT.d be the natural playground for most of th best stables in the East. But Miami would have to match the best of the tracks in the character of its racing if it was to hold such and patronage. It remains for the established tracks to keep up with whatever pace that is set to remain in the parade. Not so many years back the winter tracks brought together only horses of ordinary class. It was the season when the little fellows had a chance to pile up purses that would carry them along when the competition became keener and the better horses were brought to the races. In other words, to race through the winter months meant the picking of soft spots for cheap horses. That day has gone by and now there is small room for the really cheap horse on any race track. Of course, from time to time, both summer and winter, there comes a race where these horses have a chance, but the stable that has to depend on cheap platers to pay the bills never gets far. There are the smaller circuits where the slow ones find profitable fields of endeavor, and :t is just possible that, with the constantly growing winter circuit, there will come tracks where they may be kept going, but the point is that each winter the class of horses that arc kept m training is improving. It is well that such s the case, and there is room for five winter race tracks when the meetings are properly conducted. It has been shown that there is an abundance of horses, and the increased breeding activities year after year makes It desirable to afford as many reputable race courses as possible. Wednesday the scene changes to Jefferson Park, and indications arc that the second meeting of the winter at the Shrewsbury course will probably be better than the meeting that extended from Thanksgiving Day -to the end of the year. It has already been told how on only two occasions in that meeting was the track designated as fast. For the last few days the weather has been delightful and, while there was scant hope for the Mardi Gras Handicap, the closing feature at the Fair Grounds today, it has come about that the going is at its best and there is no threat of rain when this is set down Monday. This Mardi Gras Handicap has ten that have accepted the weights, and there does not seem to be any good reason to expect any withdrawals before post time. The race is a ,000 offering, over a mile and three-sixteenths distance, and is a race that is a fitting one at this time of the year. J. McMillans Flint Stone has earned his right to the top, and Best Pal is second in the estimation of the handicappers, just a pound better than Harry Payne Whitneys Revenge. Then right through the list to the lightweights Llewellyn, Cloughjordan and Thimble, each has shown speed enough to warrant going to the post. It should result in one of the best races of the meeting. It would be a wonderful thing for American racing if an international match race between the best three-year-olds of England, France and the United States should become an annual affair. The three-year-cld stakes of the early season, already extremely popular, would have added interest if their results had some bearing on the selection of a defender or challenger in international competition. International competition has done much for tennis, track and field athletics, boxing and other sports. It could do fully as much for racing. There is a sound reason for this. A sport which is confined to domestic participants attains immense popularity at times, but everywhere the presence of a foreign competitor in a sporting event attracts the interest of the public as nothing else will. There is still a feeling on the part of most people that a foreigner, horse or man, is a i being apart, something strange and unusual, I which it would be well worth time and effort to see. Each individual, if he were accused of feeling so, would deny it, but it is somz such feeling as this, nevertheless, that draws the crowds to any sort of a sporting event in which foreign participants appear.

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