Here and There on the Turf, Daily Racing Form, 1924-03-26


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5 r Here and There C on the Turf 7 9 Government of Eacing. No Director-General Needed. Code Between Governors. Trainer Webbs Big Job. From Washington there has come a demand for a commissioner general of racing. A high ; official who would be to racing what Kennesaw Mountain Landis is to baseball and what Will Hays is to the moving picture industry. This j proposition might find some who would proclaim it a good one, was it not for the fact that with the suggestion itself there is an un- , warranted attack upon the Jockey Club. It is an attack that is mostly innuendo and so utterly unfair that it is not worthy of serious consideration. The Jockey Club has from time to time withstood such attacks and it will probably withstand this one without losing any of its prestige. Without holding any brief for the Jockey Club and admitting that there have been occasions when the high chiefs of the turf have erred, until it is possible to name a better organization of sportsmen to govern racing it does not do to tear down the present authority. As a matter of plain fact, the Jockey Club only exercises its authority in its own district and there is no reason for the errors of Kentucky, Maryland or anywhere else being blamed on the men who sit in judgment in New York. The Maryland Racing Commission is supreme in Maryland, just as the Kentucky Racing Commission is supreme in Kentucky. Thus arc the three great racing districts wisely governed. It is the usual custom for each body to recognize the rulings of the other and this reciprocity is a bond that must never be severed for the best interests of the turf. There have come occasions when the rulings of one were not entirely upheld by the other, but they were few and far between and the unity between the racing governors of the different sections will always in the main be upheld. There are some minor differences in the rules of racing for the different racing bodies, but in the main they are identical and the differences are of little moment. The general proceedurc in rulings is that an offender must first clear his skirts where he offended before he makes application to any other body for recognition. The fact that he is acquitted where he offended is usually all that is required to make him eligible for recognition everywhere else. And this is as it should be. It would bring no end of confusion if it were possibte for the offender in New York to go to Maryland or Kentucky and be welcomed with open arms. And there would be the same confusion if New York refused to concur in the rulings of the other governors of racing. The unfortunate happenings in the case of I H. Guy Bedwell all began in the Carroll Shilling case, and Shilling was disciplined at a track that was operating under the jurisdiction of the Jockey Club. Though the Jockey Club refused to grant Shilling a license to ride, in punishment for his offenses, the case ; j , I was taken to Maryland, where a hearing was granted. It was a violation of the code that had been observed among all the governing bodies. Shilling was later granted a license to train in New York and there was a final settlement of the whole matter without the feared breach between the Jockey Club and the Maryland Racing Commission. Had it not been that the Shilling, case was taken into Maryland, where there was no jurisdiction, there could have been none of the trouble that followed his case and the later activities of Bedwell, as well as his own individual offenses. No body of racing governors has any right to review the acts of another body. It "is not done by the Jockey Club and it is not done by the Kentucky Racing Commission. It was done in Maryland, but at that time the commission was a new one and it is best to think that no discourtesy was intended. The Maryland Racing Commission was led to believe that Shilling was being persecuted and on those grounds took its action. Racing docs not need a one-man court. It needs no high commissioner and no matter who the man might ba that was named for the high office, he could not accomplish the results that arc obtained by a close relationship between the three existing bodies that have the government of racing in their hands. It is admitted that the relationship between the three cannot be too close, but each body has plenty to do within its own territory and it would be altogether too big a job for the biggest man to undertake to govern racing wherever horses are raced. The Jockey Club is in no manner responsible for Kentucky or for Maryland. The Jockey Club has nothing whatever to do with the racing at New Orleans. -But all of the sections must work for the good of all and it needs no director general to tell them what they should do. Kennesaw Mountain Landis has been a tremendously big man in baseball and he has governed wisely and well, but his territory is decidedly limited when compared with the wide range that is taken in by racing. The sport does not need this one-man control. What is needed is more respect for the governing bodies that exist. There was general sorrow at the report of Gadson D. Bryan, Jr., being stricken with paralysis while on his way from New Orleans to Bowie, where the racing season is to open next Tuesday. Mr. Bryan had a hard winter in his handling of the racing at Jefferson Park, brought to such a satisfying close with the running of the Louisiana Derby on March 17. His various duties at that meeting doubtless left him a bit fagged at the end of the meeting and he was a shining mark for a breakdown. Fortunately reports from Mobile, where Mr. Bryan is confined, are of a cheering nature and it is expected that he will be about again before many days. Trainer Webb has made the trip from New Orleans to Churchill Downs, Louisville, with Mrs. R.-M. Hoots Black Gold, winner of the Louisiana Derby and a candidate for the Kentucky Derby, to be run May 17. The son of Black Toney and Useeit made the long trip in a freight car, because it was impossible to obtain other accommodations, but that does not seem to have worked anjT harm. Report is that he traveled comfortably. and it goes without saying that he is further advanced than any other of the Derby candidates. The fact that Black Gold was such an easy winner of the Louisiana Derby, with his weight up and over a track that was deep in mud, testifies to his fitness. It is just possible that he better off if he was not so fit at this time. Trainer Webb has hia big task before him now. It is a bigger task to keep a colt on edge from March to May 17 than to make him ready for a given date. Black Gold will have to do plenty between now and May 17 to keep on edge and it is only a hairline between being on edge and going stale. It is to be hoped that Webb will bring Black Gold to the post on May 17 in his best condition, but he has a big contract.

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