Here and There on the Turf: Governor Smith and Racing Claims of Foul Riding Need for Paid Stewards Waiting for Spots, Daily Racing Form, 1924-08-26


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Here and There on the Turf Governor Smith and Racing. Claims of Foul Riding. Need for Paid Stewards. Waiting for "Spots." "It is nice to be here and I would be here oftener if I could spare the time.". That is how Governor Al Smith expressed himself when he was a guest of Richard T. Wilson, president of the Saratoga Association, last Saturday. Governor Smith enjoyed the races thoroughly and this expression means much for the sport. It is hard for us to understand how any red-blcoded man could fail to enjoy racing. It is just as natural that racing should be enjoyed by the governor of a great state as it is by its lowliest citizen, but there are some governors who, though they enjoy racing, have a fear that attendance at a race course might be politically a bad move. Fortunately this is not as much the case now as it was some years back, when the popular idea to catch the -vote was to be so-called reform the reform that says "Dont" to almost everything you want to do. In the good old days in states where thoroughbred racing flourished it was considered an important part of the social duty of the governor to maintain a few thoroughbreds and race them under his own colors. George Washington raced some good horses and officiated at race meetings. Probably thoroughbred racing is more popular in this country as an amusement-at this time than ever before in its long and gloric-us history. It would seem that the turf is coming back to that era "when the rulers of the country gave it their support, through an innate love of the thoroughbrad horse and his deeds. It needs no courage for the governor of a state to show his approval of the great sport by his attendance, but the turf is always to be congratulated when governors show appreciation and interest in racing. Governor Smith long since endeared himself to the citizens of New York State by his fearless stand on several questions that might have meant political doom a few years back, and it is indeed gratifying to have him say "It is nice to be here and I would be here oftener if I could spare the time." . . It is unfortunate that a charge of foul, should come out of the running of the Chicago Special Championship at Hawthorne Saturday. . Such happenings are always to be regretted, but the stewards made a thorough investigation and were satisfied that Stutts, who rode Princess Dorcen, had no grounds for the complaint he made against Lilly, who rode Giblon, the winner. But the stewards could have gone further. If it was established that Stutts had wilfully made the charges, with a full knowledge they were false, he should be severely punished himself. -There is nothing much more despicable than an effort to win a purs3 by untruthful charges of fraud or foul. One trick that is as old as racing itself, is for a jockey to rush a horse into a position that invites interference, then to take his mount up sharply, as though the interference had taken place. Time and again this has been done in a stretch rush by a jockey riding along the inner rail. He climbs into the stand only with the hope that he may succeed in fooling the stewards into the belief that he had been actually fouled. This is one of the imperative reasons for men of experience ssrv-ing in the stewards stand. It is one of the arguments for the need of paid stewards. Every stand should have men of long racing .experience in the office of stewards and it would be well for the government of racing everywhere if the same stewards served right through a racing season in order that they might be better equipped to mete out justice with wisdom when the move is made from one track to another. The offender who is warned at one meeting by one set of stewards feels secure in repeating the offense when he is riding under a new set of stewards, perhaps a week later. In this way it is impossible to have the same influence over the riders that would be prevalent if the same men sat in judgment of the races right through the racing season. - "While the steeplechasing this year has been better than in several years" there has not bsen an adequate responss to the offerings of the Saratoga Association. Fields have not been up to what should be expected from the num-1 ber of available jumpers and it is surely not the fault of the association. Not so many years back the turfmen who campaigned jumping stables complained of the dearth of racing opportunity. The paucity of races through the field at the New Yurk courses was offered as an excus3 for shipping horses to Canada. Then when the association responded by putting on a greater number of races the trainers would not enter their horses and, time and again, it was found necessary to declare a steeplechass off for want of entries. It has not been as bad as that this year and earlier in the year the cross-country races filled well and brought about excellent -racing, but Saratoga has not had its share of the patronage that was deserved by the programs that have been offered. Many of the trainers are waiting for "spots" and some of them will still be waiting at the end of the turf season. Others have always complained that the turf is too hard and dry in August to have successful races through the field. This latter charge will hardly stand up for the present Saratoga meeting, for there has been so much rain during the month that the turf has had no chance to become baked. Maryland has no trouble in staging great races through the field. Steeplechasing is a truly important part of the Canadian turf and the fields at Belmont Park and Aqueduct, for the most part, have been excellent, hut-during August at Saratoga them is a decided falling off in the number of starters. There should he more interest in the cross country racing at Saratoga with so many horses on the ground and ready to race. Waiting for "spots" is -not exactly the sporting thing to do arid, nine times out bi ten, it avails nothing as a business venture.

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