Here and There on the Turf: United Hunts Program.; Fitness of Rancocas Stable.; Freeholds Playground.; Sectional Pride in Horses., Daily Racing Form, 1924-04-26


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Here and There on the Turf United Hunts Program. Fitness of Rancocas Stable. Freeholds Playground. Sectional Pride in Horses. Never before in its history has the United Hunts Racing Association attracted as notable a card of entries as these for the races at Belmont Park this afternoon. It is the opening of the racing season in New York and an occasion that has beer looked forward to eagerly ever since the announcement of the racing dates. In other years the entries have fre quently been voluminous, but the fields of scant size. This year it is to be hoped that a larger percentage of those entered will be seen under colors than ever before. Such will be the case if the horsemen keep the promises that have been made John McEntee Bowman, president of the association. At the get-together dinner Mr. Bowman was assured both entries and darters. He has the entries and it is up to the horsemen to see that he has the starters. The United Hunts Association is worthy of all the support that can be offered by the horsemen. This association and kindred ones did giant service to the turf in 1911 and 1912 when the big tracks of New York were closed. The Hunt meetings were conducted and kept alive the interest in racing. These meetings in those black days for the sport were con ducted at a considerable loss, but the sportsmen paid and uncomplainingly went through with every promise. H for no other reason than to pay tke debt, the horsemen should lend every help to this racing. But the sums that are offered at this time are well worth racing for and apart and aside from the obligation that is owed the United Hunts Association the races are worthy of generous support. Those who were at Belmont Park Thursday morning came away firm in the conviction that the Rancocas Stable was again destined to play a most important part in the racing this year. This stable led all others for three successive years and, while it is early to make a prediction, there are many willing to wager that Samuel C. Hildreth will again keep the stable at the top of the heap. The horses were brought from the New Jersey farm well advanced in their preparation I and when they were shown at Belmont Park Thursday morning they were a truly impres sive band. Most of them are rrady to race right now and they show that healthy glow and the robust health that is peculiar to the Hildreth horses. Word comes from Freehold that the work of making ready for the seamen of racing at I j that delightful New Jersey course is going along rapidly. About all that had to be done this I year was the addition of a steeplechase course ■ and that is being constructed under the per ; i sonal direction of W. A. Gorman, than whom ! there is no better architect of cross country j courses. And the Freehold track is not altogether confined to racing. It boasts of ons of the best golf courses to be found in the country, while there has been a baseball diamond constructed in the infield for the use of the Freehold team. The baseball season will begin Sunday, when Freehold is to meet the New Brunswick nine. This makes the picturesque course a real sporting ground and aside from the racing, which is the big thing, it is a tremendously popular playground for the citixens of Free kold. I I j I ■ ; i ! j The dates for the race meeting have not yet been announced, but it is probable application will be made for dates at the end of August and continuing into September. Sectional pride is a tremendous benefit to the turf. It is well that it should be, for it is born of sentimentality and there can hardly be too much sentiment for the good of the sport. Love of the horse and admiration of his deeds is the lasting support of the turf and, while it is a sport with no horizon, it is well that there should be this sectional devotion to the home product. It is the real sporting spirit and one that has existed for all time and will exist as long as there are real sportsmen and real horses. Back in the earliest days of racing there was more of this spirit and there were many famous old races of the North against the South; the champion of the North against the champion of the South. Some of the old men of the turf can still remember the controversy over the merits of Kentucky, Asteroid and Norfolk, all three year-olds in 1864. Kentucky was the eastern cham pion, with Asteroid the Middle West choice and Norfolk the California champion. There was more interest because of the thres sections being represented and to this day there is still difference of opinion as to the merits of those three great horses. There would not have been the same interest in the meeting between Zev and In Memoriam if they both represented the same racing territory. With hardly an exception the Kentuckians remained loyal to In Memoriam, while Zev was the New York champion. This vear Kentucky has its Wise Counsellor, whil? New York has its Saraien and St. James, I to say nothing of Mad Play and a few others. But Wise Counsellor is not alone in the de-i fense of the honor of his state. There L many another sterling three year old making ready in Kentucky, but it offers so much added , interest to have the contenders for the crown come from different sections.

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