History of the Modern Turf, Daily Racing Form, 1924-04-30


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History of the Modern Turf Third Installment. At this point in our retrospect of the turf due consideration must be given to California and its contributions to the history of the blood horse. It would be an agreeable task to pro exhaustively into this particular branch of tho subject, for. notwithstanding coming late into the field. California has already had a part in the turf history of the United : States that, considering the years covered by | it. scarcely holds second rank to any other : ntate or section. | In its earliest days the Golden State manifested i little disposition for the race horse, : whether of the trotting or running family. Californians were engrossed in the all-absorbing ; search for gold, and energetically . engaged in other practical operations, so that for the time being rational sporting, , that required years for its full development, could scarcely be expected to meet with appreciation. , This condition of affairs, however, was not - destined long to continue. The large fortunes I that were soon accumulated in the hands of ; the California pioneers enabled their fortunate : possessors to find a relaxation in one of the most engrossing as well as one of the most expensive sports. j EARLY CALIFORNIA RACING. Even before the Civil War California had Bne in for racing to some extent. The ! people there, however, in these early days I were more concerned in the trotter than in the thoroughbred, and trotting mat -hes became frequent on tracks that sprung up all over the state — first in San Francisco, and ; afterward in other cities principal and towns. 1 | After the war interest in racing of both i kinds revived in California, as well as else- ! where in the country, and soon took the form of increased development in the direction of thoroughbred performances. Until 1ST.! there was no regular organization for the advancement of sports of the turf in San Francisco, which was naturally j I the dominant racing center of the laeifie coast. Racing had lx»en conducted up to that time purely as a private business enterprise, j j backed by individual sportsmen. As far j back as 1SG5, when Norfolk defeated I odi, j there had been some good racing from time ! to time, hut few. if any, really great races that could attract much, if anything, more [ than mere local attention. However, ra ing ! ; continued in San Francisco and at a few | other points in this somewhat desultory fashion for the next six or eight years. : PACIFIC JOCKEY CI.CB ORGANIZED. It was then in 1873 that the first organized effort was made to give direction to turf affairs on the Pacific coast. In the spring of that year the Pacific Jockey Club sprang into existence. Major Andrew J. Pryant. a successful business man. partial to the turf and well known in the community as a man • j of standing, became president. A purse of J-S.OeO was hung up by the club for a four-mile I and repeat race oi* n to all comers, and I in this Joe Daniels. Hubbard and Thad Ste-I I vens. famous California horses, and True i Plue. a good eastern flyer, contended. It was subsequently charged that this race was j fixed in the interest of Thad Stevens and Joe , Daniels, and when, in LS74, a purse of tlf.Mt was offered for a similar race, the same . f barges that the race was fixed were also i Iliad e. Another four-mile heat race for 0,000. I postponed from November, in 1S7." . was run I in February. 1.S7G. and engaged tlie attention of such champions as ML A. Utiles Foster. K. J. Paid wins Putherford. J. Simpsons Hack Hocking. A. S. Gages Katie ft— 0. M. A. Waldens Revenue Jr., Joseph H. j I Daniels Golden Gate and H. Welchs Chance. Crinstead. Wildiello, Springbok and Fancy j Ball were alsu ent. red. but did not run. The I , purse was carried off by Foster in two straight heats in 7:0s1- and 7:53. j DECLINE OF CONFIDENCE. There was the same dissatisfaction with j this race as with those that arveaiai it. *aJ gradually turfmen in other parts of the country became impressed with the id* a that racing aft.iirs in California wre not con-1 ducted in a manner calculated to reflect ■ credit upon the sport, or to warrant those who wer - m««t interest* d in the elevation j of the general standard of racing to give their countenance to it. It w.ts some years before the eastern turfmen regained their con tide :ie to the extent of becoming patrons of the track in the QbMea State. In the late nineties, however. • under the .supervision of a different class of men from those who were identified with it in the early sevenths, the turf on the| l*acific coast had assumed an importance second to that in no other part of the country. Courses now be ame numerous, especially in California: the purses and stakes were of a generous character that had made th -m attractive to the best thoroughbreds in the country, and the general management of affairs there had become, on the whole, as enterprising and as sportsmanlike as could be asked for. GREAT STOCK FARMS. Some of the greatest stock farms in the country, not surpassed in extent or importance by any of those in Kentucky or further east were flourishing in the late nineties, among them being the great Kane ho del l*aso of J. P. Haggin, and tlie Palo Alto of Senator Iceland Stanford. Further east, but ft ill relatively in the far West, there was the Pitter Roots Stock Farm of Marcus Daly at . Hamilton. Mont. Such men as Senator* George Hearst. Leland Stanford, J. P. Hag-gin, K. J. Paldwin and many others of not less distinction have given the California turf its highest standing. To sunny California have gone some of the greatest American thoroughbreds, anions them Salvator. Firenzi, Pen Ali. Pan Fox. King Fox and others. I ater importations s-uch as P amington. Ponnie Scotland. Australian, Glenelg and Phaeton, that have made BUch a distinct impression upon the American thoroughbred of that generation, shortly bewail to come to the front in a strong manner, j the full fruition of tin ir labors having been , seen iii i.iere recent times. !„■ arniiiRton. howevtr, bad quite established , hills* If by the success of his son Parole, in England, and the work of the others of his . I roceny in the United States. The dislike of . him that was felt by many on account of the apparent delicacy or want of institution in 1 his stock, fast disappeared, in view of his . success when he encountered the ruined anjaaaj of the old American stock, kia Hue : | : | i : ; . , , - I ; : j ! I ; 1 | i ! j I j j j j ! [ ! ; | : • j I I I i j , . i I I j I j , I j j ■ j • . j , , . . 1 . racing qualities attaining the best results in conjunction with more substance and constitution. His sons, Aristides, Lyttleton. Lynchburg and Enquirer, also earned golden opinions for themselves and their sire. Longfellow. too, had some good performers, and Ten Proeck was perpetuating in the stud the fame of his sire, imported Phaeton. Imported Aus- tralian, which had always stood in the shadow of Lexingtons greatness, was be- ginning to be recognized more and more at Pis true value, and was making it clear that the Australian line was bound to be quite as permanently linked with the future great- ness of the turf in the United States as that of any importation in modern times. In the nineties it was remarked that in no degrade in the history of horse racing in this or any other country had there been witnessed such a remarkable growth as that which had been seen in the United States during the preceding ten years or more. beginning, say. in the later seventies and extending well toward 1890. During this time it seemed as though it was impossible to satisfy the public with racing. New jockey-clubs and horse associations were organized all over the country, and there were few impertant cities that did not have one or more new courses opened, while the historic-racing centers, the history of which extended Lack over a generation, seemed about to renew their youth. The horses that were in training had doubled, tripleel and quadrupled in number. and wealthy sportsmen were again contributing their money and influence to the jbteeding and running of th° thoroughbred. This rne.; ected growth teally started in the later seventies, abundant proof of which is derived frcm the recorels of those years to which we have just referred. TLKF RECEIVES SETBACK IN 1873. In a measure this development was a re-j flex d the phenomenal activity that marked .ho. r.istcry of that racing perioel in the six-, ties which was so consielerably dominated by the famous American Jockey Club. The turf received a considerable setback from the financial panic of 1873, but scon after-j ward began to reciter with a bound. Al- though this lenewed activity was seen in a sreat measure in many widely separated parts of the country, it was especially no table in the North. The Monmouth Park Association, which had faden se.nie.vhat from its earlier h.gh estate, came urd?r tew management, and its cours? was improved so that the varied attractions which it offered and the wholesome changa in the character of its direct-! ors attracted an attendance larger and of a better class than ever before in its hS-j toi-y. Old habitues stili recalled with pit assure tin famous inacgural at Long Pranch in 1870 when the Americus Club, led by William M. Tweed and headed by the Seventh Pegiment band, diel honor to the ao-I carton, but later supporters of Monmouth felt that tin: famous e-*»urse was in worthier hands than ever before and better calcu ate 1 to advance the interests of high-class spoit. The American Jockey Club, which had not be n quite able to maintain the pace that it hael set for itself and for all its rivals, or to hold through all these years to the brilliant social Character that originally distinguished it, felt the impulse e»f the new-order of things. It was roused to life and activity, so that its meetings were made more interesting and important than they had been in many years. NEW RIVAL TO OLDER COURSES. A new rival to the old courses about New York was established in the Coney Island Jot key Club, with its adniir;;lle grounds at Shepsl.e id Bay. Some of the gentb-men who had helped to make the success of Je- rome Park were the promoters e f this new enterprise, and their wisdom in turf affairs was fully demor.strateel by the inauguration of some of the great fixtures that have since become historic and recognized as among the supreme attractions of the turf of this country. In the South and West and on the far Pacific coast turfmen continued to come forward in increasing numbers, anel race courses in those sections carried em the sport in a generally enterprising and admirable! manner that contributed to the enjoyment of those who loved to s*c the thoroughbred in his best p rformanoes. Nevertheless, it still! remained indisputable that, for completeness and perfection of appointments, care and thoroughnr M of management and the exceptionally bhrh character e f racing that was rwMaathj offered, no course in the country surpassed those *»f Jerorr-.e Park, Monmouth Park and Sheepshend Pay. The supremacy of New York — which had bt-e-n unchallenged ever since the American Jockey Club, Saratoga anel their competitors entered the field — was more generally conceded than it had been at any preceding period in the history of northern racing. Under the favoring conditions that then existed the turf of New York became so firmly fixed in its royal position at the head of the line that it has been able to hold itself there ever since. GROWTH OF NORTHERN TURF. It may sometimes seem to the casual observer that the turf historians of this perie d are inclined te» give undue prominence to that branch o the subject pertaining par-ticulaily to New York. A little thought. he weer, and even a cursory examination will show that the North, in every respect av 1 that of breeding, had taken the place that was occupied by the South anel the West in the first half of the nineteenth century. In the late nineties the great stuel farms were still retained in the section e.f which Kentucky was the center, and in California and nearly all that branch e f the turf business still pertained to those loe-alities. In •vary other re-spee-t New York dominated and had long eh.minate-el the turf e f the e-ountry. It would l e an agre-eable task to trace farther, year by year, the eareer of tlie American thoroughbred and the events of the race course by which he had made himself celebrated in the third dee-ads of the period to which ee nsideration is here bem; fives. The future historian will find there much that is interesting and valuable. Tne career of the turf in the eighties was rot altogether as satisfactory as its most Bl de-tit admirer and suppc rters could wish, but there were brilliant yiari when great Ioims gave us wonderful ehsplays of their ineillc as had ever been seen, and such ac- .CoiiUnued on andixuxuili yuse.j | HISTORY OF MODERN TURF Continued from thirteenth rage. .. five millionaire owners as Belmont, Hearst. |j!ftggln, Lorillard. Cassatt and others were foremost in the pursuit of turf honors. The pport was represented by such distinguished f wt,ers as August Belmont, George W. I oril- lard, Leonard W. Jerome, Pierre Lorillard, J»w er brothers and others of New York; J. A Crinstead, H. P. McGrath, J. Jackson, Ji, G. Thomas and others of Kentucky; J. B. |Xalone, J. S. McCall, J. G. Greener and others of Tennessee; O. Bowie, I. A. Lynch, 15. A. Clabaugh and others of Maryland; T, W. Doswell of Virginia: E J. Baldwin of California, and representatives of such other States as Missouri, Illinois, Louisiana, New jersey. Texas. Georgia, the Carolinas, Ohio »nd Pennsylvania. In one particular year, 1SS1, there were jiinety-three establishments, representing [ jiineten states, engaged at Saratoga alone I fandr the summer meeting at that popular report. Over 1,200 horses were then in training in these stables and during the season fully 700 horses were run in the East. By reason of death or otherwise, several Of the most energetic and most useful supporters of the turf in the North and West ■were withdrawn from the field and, for the time being, the much-dreaded spirit of commercialism that has so frequently forced its ■way upon the race course, much to the detriment of the sport, began to make its periodic appearance. Later on, however, the ranks of the genuine turfmen were reinforced by fresh blood and by the return of some ©f the older leaders, who, for a time, had In-en conspicuous by their absence. The accessions were numerous and important, among them being such gentlemen as "William Astor. Frank A, Hhret Marcus lJaly. Foxhall Kcene. A. F. WalcotL Pierre J.orillard. Jacob Ruppert, Charles Fleishman. August Belmont, Perry Belmont, Oliver H. Belmont and the Dwyer brothers. This was the era particularly of such famous cracks M Eole. Miss Woodford. Loisette. George Kinney, Drake Carter. Leo. Bob Miles. Himalaya. Freeland. Bushwacker. Leonatus. Badge. Hindoo, and his son Hanover, Kingston and others whose names are a legion. HIGH-PRICED PERIOI. Soon there were developed what has been fairly denominated as "the high-priced period of tbe American turf." when gentlemen of unlimited wealth vied with each oth"r in forming large stables and in paying big prices for the roughbreds. both of native and of foreign product The almost incalculable benefit derived by the turf from the enterprise of these public-spirited gentlemen scarcely ne»d be dwelt upon in detail here. The labors of such eminent turfmen as Belmont. Withers, Hapgin. Lorillard. Scott. Thompson and scores of others will live long in memory and will forever be recognized as the most potent influences that have led up to and brought about the condition of the turf today. It was common to pay thousands for horses then where hundreds had been paid before, and our men of means seemed to he in a fair way to emulate the spirit of their forefathers, and to follow the examples of so many of their English cousins, with whom racing is not only a passion but a dignified pursuit as welL Some of these new-found allies lost their interest shortly, but their venture* had due effect and must he regarded as valuable contributions to the turf activity of the period. Tn this connection we must not pass over without, at least, brief reference to the disposal of several large stables that were features of this period, and that in many ways wre suggestive of the new aspect that turf affairs were taking, particularly from the financial point of view. The sale of the Nursery Stud of August Belmont in 1891 was p.rhaps the most important in the list of these affairs. It showed a magnificent collection of the choli est thoroughbred blood that money could bring together and brought the aggregate sum of 1924.sh.10,500, a total that exceeded tlvat of the famous breaking up sale of Lord Falmouths stud in 1R84 by some JTO.OOO. nit bough the average of the English sports-man* sale wm somewhat higher than that of Mr. JVlmont.

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Local Identifier: drf1924043001_13_1
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800