Post Time, Daily Racing Form, 1924-09-04


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"We havent any excuses to offer not an alibi," said trainer Gene Leigh, while watching Epinard being cooled out. "As I told you prior to the race," Leigh went on, "I wish I had been able to give him just one race. I never had a horse that so thoroughly thrived on racing as this fellow does. "But I guess the best horse won today," concluded the veteran, with his quaint smile. "I felt certain of victory at the head of the stretch if I could just get through," were Frank Keoghs words to Frederick A. Burton and John S. Ward, when he met them in the paddock immediately after the race. As Keogh came from the track, carrying a tiny canine mascot, he was immediately surrounded by throngs of old friends and a host of moving picture and newspaper cameramen. Several old Pacific coast friends of Keogh gripped his hand, one or - two that knew him when he rode at Seattle back in 1907. Keogh had not seen Pierre Wertheimer since leaving France till just as he was about to mount Wise Counsellor. "Frank," said Epinards owner, laughing, "have you come all the way from France just to beat me?" "This is a real horse, Mr. Wertheimer," replied the jockey. "Ive a strong notion Ill beat jou and everybody else." After the race Wertheimer was one of the first to congratulate Keogh, in true sportsmanlike .style. "That was a strange hunch I had, Frank," said the French turfman, "I had an idea that if Epinard was beaten you would do it. Youll have some time squaring yourself with your Parisian friends for beating Epinard." Everett Ilayncs naturally was a bit downcast after the race, but did not care to make excuses for Epinards defeat. "He was a bit sluggish in the first part," said the jockey, "but. I had fairly clear sailing except for a moment at the top of the lane when Baffling began to tire. The race ought to do him a lot of good." It is more than likely that Epinard will again be seen under colors before the second of the International Specials, to be run at Aqueduct late this month. There was a proviso in the contract executed between Pierre Wertheimer and the committee in charge of the series that Epinard should not appear in a race before the running of the Belmont Special. But there is nothing in the contract to prevent his being entered in any overnight race to which he is eligible at Belmont or Aqueduct. Such a race would serve to tighten Epinard up, as all who claim to know the horse say that he needs plenty of racing to bring him to his top form. The Prince of Wales greeted Gene Leigh as he might have an old and intimate friend. It was evident that they had met before. The Prince knows Epinard well and was most anxious for him to win. The young heir to Englands throne also had previously met Pierre Wertheimer. They chatted for some moments while Epinard was being saddled. His Highness occupied the box of August and Mrs. Belmont in the Turf and Field Club enclosure. The Perry Belmonts, Joseph E. and George D. Widener, Mrs. Harry Payne Whitney and Mrs. W. K. Vandervilt II. were among those presented to the Prince. "Say," said Balliston McGonnigle, while watching the Prince try. to make his way through the thousands of racegoers and the dozens of moving picture men in the paddock, "theres a whole lot of jobs in this world softer than being the next king of England. "Why, that guys got the best disposition I wouldnt blame him if hed say, just look at the way theyre jammed in around him ! "Whos the little blinking bounder with the unpressed white duck trousers see, the one with the House of Lords mustache?" "Sh !" we cautioned. "Dont you know him, Ballston? Thats Clarence Mackay." "Naw, honest? "Say, listen to me. If that starched collar of Joe Wideners lasts out this race well, Im going to ask him for his system. It must be made of concrete. Look see? The Princes soft collar has given up the struggle, and even Pierre Wertheimers is beginning to weaken Allan Pinkertons was gone long ago. But Wideners is hanging on like the French at "Verdun." Ira B. Humphreys, Denver banker and polo player, arrived in time to tell trainer Harry Unna it might be a good idea to scratch Little Chief from the big race. Then Harry told Humphreys it would be a good idea, for him to write himself a liberal ticket on Skyscraper. Good judgment all around. "Hello, boss," saluted Samuel T. Merrill, expert clocker, after the International, "i told you-all the two bosses that would fight it out, didnt I? Epinard and Wise Counsellor, I told you-all. "Listen, Sam," we said, "why dont you give us the winner of one of these two-year-old stakes?" "Man, listen to me. The way them two-year-olds is runnin this year, they aint no clairvoyant on earth can dope one of em out. They dont run to what theys been showin in their works, they dont run to past performances and what they does today aint no indication o what theys goin to do next time out. Beatin the Louisiana lottery was childs play, man, alongside o beatin these two-year-old races. Yas, sah, just childs play."

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