Here and There on the Turf: The Kentucky Derby. Crowd at Churchill Downs. Canadian Season Opens. Windsor Stakes, Daily Racing Form, 1924-05-18


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Here and There on the Turf The Kentucky Derby. Crowd at Churchill Downs. Canadian Season Opens. Windsor Stakes. Another Derby has been run and, like all the others, there will be many who will insist that it was not the best horse that won. That is peculiar of all the big races of the turf and it is well that it is so, for it keeps alive partisan devotion to this or that horse. It makes no difference whether or not the arguments are sound, it is well to have the arguments, and just so long as there is loyalty to the horse there exists the most powerful weapon to offset any attacks that may be directed against the sport. In the thrill of a Kentucky Derby, a Preak-ness Stakes or a Belmont Stakes, one forgets all but the battling thoroughbreds. All must have this or that choice, but even should he go down to defeat, the contest is the thing and all must admire a brilliantly won victory no matter whether or not it is a Kentucky horse or one from Maryland, New York or anywhere else. The turf has no one horse and the real sportsman knows no section when it comes right down to the final analysis, but the partisan feeling should be nurtured for it makes for the breeding of better horses and the breeding of better sportsmen. That Derby day crowd at Churchill Downs Saturday was one that will never be forgotten by any fortunate enough to be present at the fiftieth running of the famous old race. It was such a crowd as should forever silence those who, from time to time, make violent attempts to tear down the whole racing structure. Never has there been a more representative gathering for any sporting event and in all the vast throng there was no one act that did not offer a convincing object lesson of the type of men and women who find their greatest amusement in the thoroughbred horse and his deeds. Never was there a more orderly or a better dressed crowd and the day was not one to expect frillery and furblows. It was gray and a bit cold, with heavy clouds hanging over I the course from, the early morning hours. This was a natural disappointment, but it did not seem to detract from the brilliance of the occasion. The spectators took small notice of the weather and the Derby made one forget all but the horses. While Churchill Downs was celebrating its best day of all the long year, it was a big day in Canada with the opening of the Woodbine Park meeting of the Ontario Jockey Club in Toronto. The Kings Plate, successor of the Queens Plate and the oldest stake race to be raced for continuously on this continent, was being run. This is another of ths races that abounds in the most delightful sentiment of the turf. Old men of the present day will easily remember the Queens Plate of long ago and just what it meant. There are vivid memories of the famous rivdrie3 between those sterling old 6portemen, Joseph E. Seagram and William Hendrie, and memory will go back even further. But it was the rivalry betwe2n these two sportsmen that endured for a longer time than most of the others. Werm personal friends, Joseph E. Seagram and William Hendrie, or "Uncle Billy" as he was affectionately called, were the most bitter rivals when it came to the running of the Queens Plate Youngsters in school were either of the Seagram or the Hendrie clan and they remained loyal no matter what the fortunes of the colors. While the men of the house argued for any wager on their favorite stables, Am "kids" taoAt sanguinary hattlffl with qm another over the respective merits of the horses. No boy who was a real boy but swore allegiance to either the Hendrie brown or the Seagram black and gold. And there was no such a thing as ever deserting the colors after once swearing allegiance. These sturdy littls patriots would continue faithful year after year and fight just a little bit harder when the colors went dewn to defeat than when they were victorious. That is the real sporting spirit and it is a spirit that counts for more than all else in any sport. f The Kings Plate is still the greatest of the Canadian races, to the Canadians. Much of this old spirit prevails to the present day, but somehow or another the "kids" dont seem to battle just as valiantly for their stables as they did forty or fifty years ago. Announcement has been made of the stakes of the Windsor Jockey Club for the meeting to be conducted from July 12 to July 19. This is one of the Canadian courses that has grown immensely until now it has tremendous importance. The stakes that have been an nounced to be closed May 20 are the Frontier, Canadian and Provincial Handicaps. The first named is at a mile and an eighth, with 0,000 added, while the other two each have ,000 added. The Canadian Handicap is at a mile and a sixteenth, while the Provincial Handicap is for the two-year olds over the five and a half furlongs distance. Like at Woodbine Park the racing at Windsor long since reached such importance that it attracted many of the good American sta bles, and this year will be no exception to that rule. Jamaica is entering the last week of its meeting and beautiful Belmont Park will throw open its gates Thursday. The big Nas-sau County course will see a return of itaapl* chasing and that is of importance to some of our best turfmen, but, of course, it is the flat racing that will have the widest appeal. There will be the Metropolitan Handicap to start the meeting. The old mile dash is rich in tradition and one of its most sensational renewals was in 1905, when it was first staged at Belmont Park. In that race James R. Keenes ill-fated Sysonby, possibly the best hoist that ever bore the white silks with blue spots, ran a dead heat with O. L. Richanls Race King. It will be remembered that Race King, a four-year-old, had been seasoned by racing at the old Benning course of the Washington Jockey Club, while Sysonby was making his first start as a three year-old. No stretch of the imagination could make Race King of a class anywhere approachiog Sysonby, but it was just a case of the weight and condition bringing the Richards horse to the son of Melton and Optime. That is only one of the Belmont Park memories. Belmont Park is to open with its Metropolitan Handicap, its Withers Stakes, its Belmont Stakes and many other bright spots.

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