Here and There on the Turf: Opening of the Season.; Lexington and Belmont.; Naming of Horses.; Progress of the Stars., Daily Racing Form, 1924-04-23


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Here and There on the Turf Opening of the Season. Lexington and Belmont. Naming of Horses. Progress of the Stars. Saturday is a big day for the turf. It will mark the opeuing of the Kentucky racing sea son at Lexington and the curtain raising United Hunts meeting at Belmont Park. Havre de Grace will continue its meeting and that will mean racing in Kentucky. New York and Maryland, to say nothing of the smaller circuit. It is the real opening of the big season and seldom has there been a turf year that is as rich in promise. Lexington racing has been eagerly awaited by the Kentucky contingent. Many of the stables that raced at New Orleans shipped back to Kentucky and have rested their horses for this Lexington opening. Others that have been in winter quarters at one or another of the Kentucky training grounds have fit horses that will be brought out and not a few of the star« of the year will have their first racing at Lexington as more or less of a preparation for more important engagements at Churchill Downs and Latonia. Lexington has a thoroughly entertaining book for its racing. It is more of a home affair than the other Kentucky tracks and. while it does not measure up to Louisville or Latonia in the value of its offerings, it ha« long been a tremendously important racing point. The United Hunts meeting at Belmont Park has grown to such importance that it may be looked upon as the real opening of the New York racing year each year. Time was when the United Hunts did not enjoy the same im ! portance. but it was not exactly the fault of the sportsmen who worked so earnestly for its success. But it was a meeting that was confined almost exclusively to the amateurs. And there were no end of amateurs that needed scant allowance from the professionals. But there was a thinning out of the rank* of the gentleman riders. The world war took a dreadful toll in this and in every other country. Steeplechasing. so essential for the development of the amateur riders, lost its interest by reason of the lack of good horses put to jumping. Tie sportsmen who remained faithful to the spoil and lent their time and money to the efforts of the United Hunts Association to give its meetings finally came to the conclusion that there must be more of a professional atmosphere. The amateurs were still well taken care of. but races were opened to all comers and framed where the professional riders might be employed. Steeplechases were still made an important part of each program, but there were added flat rare- for various classes This is what will be offered at Belmont Park Saturday and the assurances that have been received leave no doubt of better fields than have ever before gone to the post at a United Hunts meeting. Too much cannot be said about the im portance of the naming of young thoroughbreds. Lach year at this time there comes to the races two year olds bearing clumsy names that mean nothing, while on occasions they verge on the vulgar. Fortunately it is seldom that any of these unfortunates that have to go through life as I Wish I Win, Bar ney Google, Cant Say No, In the Bag and the like ever attain a measure of greatness that makes the name of any consequence one way or another, but every man should look on his two year olds as a possible champion. It would be little short of a calamity if a ! horse bearing any one of these outrageous ap pellations raced to greatness. And it is possible to have names that mean something. Names that suggest the family and at the same time euphonious. This has been shown year after year by the names chosen for the Harry Payne Whitney colts and fillies. Some of those that will be seen this year are Ragtime, a son of Peter Pan and Tanya : Lawless, by Peter Pan-Ruth Law; The Bat. by Whisk Broom II. — Fly by Night II. ; Spec tacle, by Johren — Pageant; Reminder, by Chicle — Remembrance ; Heckler, by Whisk Broom II. — Pankhurst ; Noah, by Peter Pan — First Flight; Coronation, by Johren — Inaugural ; Backbone, by Whisk Broom II.— Stamina; Teapot, by Broomstick Mrs. Trub bel ; Maud Muller, by Pennant - Truly Rural : Mother Goose, by Chicle — Flying Witch ; Bankrupt, by All Gold — Quicksand; Overall, by Peter Pan Frillery, as well as others that fit just as well. James Butler is another who suggests the breeding of his young horses by the names chosen and at the same time he has never been guilty of a name that does not mean some thing. It is not so much of a task to find names and the pity of it is that under the rules governing naming there is no prohibition against those that are an actual offense. Day by day the three year olds of high aspirations at Belmont Park continue to impress by their gallops in preparation for the big engagements of the year. Mrs. Vanderbilts unbeaten gelding, Sarazen, and George D. Wid?ners St. James, two of the best winning two year olds of last year, are the ones attracting the greatest attention, and each has ! advanced to a point where an early racing I effort would be possible. Max Hirsch has done a bit more with Sara zen than has been done by A. J. Joyner with St. James, but each has accomplished everything that has been asked with a da«h and ambition that tells of rare good form. In doubtedly Sarazen will be seen under colors before St. James is called upon to race and he will probably be raced at Pimlico before he is shipped to Churchill Downs for the Ken , tucky Derby, his first big engagement. That ; date falls on May 17 and in the opinion of . many good judges the only problem will be to keep the swift running son of High Tim- and Rush Box on edge. This good three year old has been engaged in all of the big handi caps and, though his being unsexed bars him from many rich races, he will have opportune ties enough to m?ke him one of the great winners of the year, should he race up to the promise of his preparation.

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