Here and There on the Turf: Johnson N. Camden Election Dixie Handicap Importance Black Gold and the Derby Training and Racing, Daily Racing Form, 1924-03-15


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Here and There on the Turf Johnson N. Camden Election. Dixie Handicap Importance. Black Gold and the Derby. Training and Racing. At the meeting of the Jockey Club, held Thursday, Johnson N. Camden was elected to membership. This was an election on which the Jockey Club is to be congratulated, not only in the man, but for what he represents. Racing has no more valuable devotee than Mr. Camden, and the important part he has played on the turf, both as a sportsman and a breeder, has made him a tower of strength to the sport. What is of equal importance, is that Mr. Camden has devoted most of his attention and energy to Kentucky racing, and it is well that Kentucky should have just such representation in the Jocksy Club. Maryland is adequately represented by Spalding Lowe Jenkins and William Woodard, while Samuel Ross, of Washington, might also be designated as a member of the same section. Price McKinney is properly a member from Kentucky, but no member of the Jockey Club has done more for the turf in any section than has Johnson N. Camden dona in Kentucky. It is right that the Jockey Club should, asfar as is possible, be a body that covers every racing territory. It assures a closer relationship between the big racing sections, and that is what is most to b3 desired. From time to time in this column the importance of .this relationship has been set forth for the good of all, and the election of Mr. Camden is of importance along those lines. The Maryland Jockey Club has chosen May 3 as the date for the running of the Dixie Handicap, the big 5,000 mile and three-sixteenths fixture that is to be revived this year. This is the race for which weights were announced February 1, after the entries had closed January 2. It was a return to the old plan of the early announcement of weights, and of great interest to horsemen generally. May 3 is indeed early in the year to ask a horse to race a mile and three-sixteenths, but the value is one that makes it well worth while to prepare the b:st for the race. With this earl- announcement of the weight? it has become possible for the trainer to defer the preparation of his candidate until the weights are announced. As a matter of fact, there could be no reason for putting a horse in training for a May race as early as February. But when the weights arc not announced until a week or ten days before the running of the race it happens too often that a trainer may hurry this or that candidate, only to find that with the publication of the weights he has been assigned an impost that he will not accept. All this labor of making the horses ready for the race goes for naught, and the horse would have been better off had he not been hurried in his preparation. The early announcement of weights will always be popular for various reasons, and I the Maryland Jockey Club did a big thing in coming back to the old plan. The Dixie Handicap is a revival of a stake race that meant much in Maryland many years ago, but it is a revival principally in name. It is sure to return to all its former greatness and its importance is reflected in the value of the added money that has been offered. The Dixie was originally known as the Dinner Party Stakes, and featured the opening of Pimlico in 1870, when Preakness was its winner. Even in those days the Dixie was of tremendous importance and value, when it was worth 8,500 to the winner. This was a rich race, indeed, for 1870, but it was a sweepstakes, and when it is decided next May it has been estimated that it will be worth 3,000 to the winner, with ,000 to the second horse, ,000 to the third and ,000 to the fourth. It is surely a prize that will bring the best in the handicap division together. With the running of the Louisiana Derby almost at hand it is to be decided at Jefferson Park, Monday there is no candidate that stands out as does Mrs. R. M. Hoots Black Gold. There are several that have bsen training well for the 5,000 race, and it is probable that the field will be of goodly size, but with many of the trainers the progress of Black Gold has been just a bit disconcerting. The son of Black Toney has been coming up to the race in a manner that pronounces him a truly high-class colt, and trainer Webb has shown a deal of skill in the preparation of his charge. Benjamin Blocks Thorndale has had moro seasoning by actual racing and has earned a right to ho end of respect. The Greentree Stables Rinkey has been doing exceedingly well, and there is good reason for her being the choice of some, but with them all it swings back to Black Geld and the question of whether or not he will be able to give away the weight next Monday. Training reports from Bowie and Binning suggest that when the horses come from win ter racing to try for the races that are to be hung up at the southern Maryland track they will not be meeting a band of soft horses. Each spring it is usual that for the first part of an early meeting the horses that are hardened by actual racing have a decided advantage, and frequently they dominate. This year it promises to be different. The winter training grounds will send many a fit horse to the race. Racing is the best training, but when it is possible to rest a horse and then bring him back fit after that rest he is better off than the one kept in constant training. The winter campaigner has every right to become a bit jaded and stale, while the one with the advantage of the rest is fresh and all he needs is fitness. He has infinitely more stamina and he is better calculated to go on and improve. Some winters it is impossible, by reason of the weather, to have horses ready when a northern training ground is selected, but this winter there has been excellent opportunity for galloping, and unless all signs fail, the Bowie meeting will see many a good hors2 in winning form that has not been seen under colors since last fall. The next list of stakes to be closed are the steiplechase fixtures of the Saratoga Association. At Saratoga each year the cross-country racing is of great interest, and while there was one meeting at which it was found necessary to call off some races, by reason of the indifference of those who should give that branch of .racing the best support, there is small reason to expect such a happening again. The country is particularly well supplied with jumpers for the coming year and it should mark a better return of that picturesque branch of the sport than has been had in many a year.

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