Here and There on the Turf, Daily Racing Form, 1924-09-05


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Here and There on the Turf Advantages at Belmont. Best for Epinard Race. Grey Lag Close to Form. Big Futurity Field Sure. The suggestion to stage the next International race at Belmont Park instead of Aqueduct is an excellent one and it is to be hoped that such a decision will be reached. Horsemen generally would rather race over the Aqueduct track, but the stands and the lawn are utterly inadequate to take care of the crowd that will be out for that big event. The track at Aqueduct is ideal and the long straight stretch offers many advantages not enjoyed by other courses, but the public must be considered. Taking a line through the immense throng that was out at Belmont Park on Labor Day, there would be no chance to take care of anything like as many at Aqueduct. Of course the fact that the first of these races was staged on Labor Day accounted for a larger crowd than would have attended on another occasion, but after the magnificent showing of Epinard, even in defeat, makes this second race of great attraction and, no matter what the weather or track condition on September 27, Aqueduct could not take care of the crowd that will be on hand. At old Aqueduct the improvement in the accommodations for the public has not kept pace with the improvement that has been made in the track proper. Much has been done and the old stand is adequate for the usual racing crowd, but it will never do for big occasions. The property will not admit of the same expansion that was possible at Belmont Park and, while the mammoth stand of the Nassau County course was considered altogether too big for any occasion, the International races have proved the wisdom in making it of such gigantic proportions. It is the one stand in the country that is adequate for such races and, as a matter of fact, even Latonia, with its superior facilities for the comfortable care of big attendance, is not anything like as well equipped as Belmont Park. There does not appear to be any good reason for not changing the mile race of September over to Belmont Park and it is more than probable the change will be announced before many days. In the meantime, while discussing this second Epinard engagement, it is interesting to note the manner in which Sam Hildreth is bringing Grey Lag up to his top form. This great son of Star Shoot and Miss Minnie has been training soundly for some time now and, should he continue to improve until the engagement falls due, he will, beyond all question, be the most dangerous of the American candidates to oppose Mr. "Wertheimers great colt. It has taken no end of skill and patience to bring this big chestnut back to his present form and Hildreth is to be complimented on what he has already accomplished. He has not been in a hurry by reason of the weak underpinning of his champion, but he has been gradually tightening up the old horse until now he comes out of his gallops walking soundly. He has not much further to go in this work of preparation and the natural program would be to send him to the races at least once before the date with Epinard falls due. Of course, with the exception of the two miles and a half of the Jockey Club Gold Cup, to be run September 12, the only stake engagements of. the Rancocas Stabb champion are in . handicaps. To start in a handicap would mean the taking up of a considerable package of weight and it may be that Hildreth will avoid taking such a chance with the International and an opportunity to meet the Frenchman under equal weights so close at hand. In any event it is of great racing importance to see that Grey Lag is going along so brilliantly in his preparation. At this time it appears entirely possible that the Futurity, to be decided at Belmont Park, September 13, will bring out a field equal in sire to that of the Hopeful Stakes when twenty-five two-year-olds appeared under colors. Master Charlie, winner of the Hopeful Stakes is not an eligible to the Futurity and others that started in the Hopeful Stakes that are not eligible are Crumple, Supremus and Laplander, but there are a vast number that have been reserved for the Futurity Stakes and when it appears such an open race the field is sure to be an immense one. While races through the straight are not popular with the racing crowd and never will i be, it is well that this particular Futurity is to be decided over the straight course. It will eliminate the crowding on the turns that is unavoidable when a field such as went to the post in the Hopeful Stakes is started over other than a straight course; The two-year-olds should all be well educated by this time, and there is a hope they will run straight in this renewal. In any event the advantage in post position is reduced to a minimum in the straight races and it is natural to expect a more truly run race than would come from a three-quarters dash around two turns. Starters in the Hopeful Stakes that will doubtless be seen in the Futurity are Pas Seul, Kentucky Cardinal, Single Foot,- Blue Ridge, Swope, American Flag, Sun Hathor, By Hisself, Forward Pass, Backbone, Hamadan, Stirrup Cup, Dangerous, Cloudland, Brown Sugar, Stimulus, Joe Marrone III., The Bat, Trip Lightly and Almadel. Then among others that have been showing enough to warrant being started are Buttin In, Felix, Flagship, Flying Comet, Killashandra, Le Roi, Maibird, Lightship, Nedana, Noah, Pedagogue, Pleasant Memories, Reminder, Royallite, Turf Idol, Young Martin and Sweep Park. In this list only those that have been pointing especially for the Futurity are mentioned and there are many others of which less is known that are eligible and have been working exceedingly well. Altogether it is safe to predict that, with fair weather and a fast track, the Futurity will have the largest field under colors that has ever paraded to the post in this most coveted of two-year-old races. It also is doubtful if there ever was a Futurity that appeared such an open event this close to its running. It is admitted that the Hopeful Stakc3 was not a truly run race, by reason of the crowding that came and interfered with the chances of some of the most promising candidates, but even up to its running the question of two-year-old supremacy was much in the air. It is unfortunate that Mrs. Vanderbilts Nicholas is not of the eligi-bles but with this exception the list virtually carries the names of every colt or filly of importance. It is a disappointment that Willis Sharpe Kilmer has decided to retire Sunny Man, or at least to forego the Futurity. His races at Saratoga made him a brilliant eligible for the big race, but Mr. Kilmer has announced his intention of giving him a rest. It is probable that Mr. Kilmer would not be so solicitous for the welfare of his great colt if he was the only eligible in the stable, for there is nothing seriously wrong with the son of Sun Briar. He has trained off slightly and that was the only reason for giving him a rest. He has incurred penalties that would give him a high weight in the Futurity and Mr. Kilmer has other, good ones that will be in under much more advantageous weight.

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