Here and There on the Turf, Daily Racing Form, 1924-10-14


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Here and There on the Turf Analyzing the Special. Those Epinard Excuses. Importance of Geldings. Another Special Suggested. While Epinard has run his three contract races, there are some who are not willing to admit that we have still to see the real Epinard. Not a few continue to criticize Everett Haynes, who rode the French colt in all of his races, and insist that under better riding the result might have been different. All of this is not fair to the horses that have beaten Pierre Wertheimers colt. After carefully watching all. three races the conviction is forced that in the three-quarters dash at Belmont Park Leigh did not have the son of Badajoz tightened up to the top of his form. That would be excuse enough. The colt had two other races to run and it would have been folly to have him at concert pitch on September 1, when he would have to be kept on edge without being permitted to start in any other races, until September 27 and then October 11. Then in the mile race at Aqueduct, though Haynes denied that Epinard was bothered by Wise Counsellor early in the running of the race, it appeared apparent to all who were unbiased, and watched the running intelligently, that while there was no actual interference, there was a threat of interference that hampered the celt. It was also apparent that Haynes delayed his rush through the stretch too long. But in the mile race it must be remembered that August Belmonts Ladkin, the winner, was making the terrific pace that put Wise Counsellor away, while it was avoided by Haynes on Epinard. That ordinarily would give the invader an advantage through the stretch. Ladkin ran a magnificent race and the manner in which he hung on through the stretch, after setting that killing pace, makes it impossible to take anything away from his performance. That brings one to the mile and a quarter at Latonia on Saturday. It is hard to find a real excuse for Epinard in that race. Haynes saved ground with him when possible and met with no interference. The only possible criticism might have been that in the stretch Haynes drive was not as vigorous as is possible by some of the best American riders. But never was there a better mile and a quarter race, and it is doubtful if there ever was a horse that could have beaten Mrs. Van-derbilts Sarazen that afternoon. That was conclusively shown when he won easily after covering the mile and a quarter with his weight up in 2:00. As was predicted it would be, the mile and a quarter of the third special was the greatest of the three races for which Epinard was brought to this country. Probably never before has there been a better mile and a quarter run over any course. The 2:00 hung out when Whisk Broom H. was the winner of the Suburban Handicap of 1913 remains the official record for the distance, but that time has been questioned, and many horsemen who timed that memorable race made it a full two seconds slower, while some made it faster. However, as far as the records go, that is the mark that must be accepted. An analysis of the race tells of the killing pace, and tells of why Chilhowee, the ; early pacemaker, finished last. It was Chilhowee . . that ran the first quarter in 22 and the second quarter in 22, to reach the half-mile ground in 45. The third quarter was run in 25, the fourth in 25, making the mile in 1:35, and then followed a quarter in 25 seconds, to finish out the mile and a quarter. All of this under scale weight is what makes the race such a magnificent performance. In the stretch Sarazen swung amply wide to afford Haynes his opportunity next to the rail .and he has been criticized for not driving Epinard more vigorously when that opening was. offered. But it is doubtful if any sort of energy could have materially bettered the position of the French colt at the finish. It must be remembered that while Sarazen ran his last quarter in :25 seconds, he was far from giving up his best. He had speed in reserve and he appeared able to have made the 2:00 for a mile and a quarter, a record never to be questioned again. Those who are still offering excuses for Epinard cannot take anything away from the magnificent performance of Ladkin in the mile at Aqueduct, and they surely cannot offer any argument that would make the French colt the equal of Mrs. Vanderbilts great three-year-old Saturday. Epinard has proved himself a truly remarkabb colt and he has teen as greatly admired in this column as anywhere else. He is still greatly admired as having all that goes to make a champion, but the conviction is forced that Mrs. Vanderbilts littte gelding is his master. Every time a brilliant gelding flashes across the turf horizon regret is expressed that he is unsexed. But it is probable that 80 per cent of the great geldings would not have attained anything like their greatness had they been preserved whole. The turf of every country has had many a brilliant gelding, and there has been every inducement to preserve the colts entire for the benefit to the breeding interests. It is to be desired that the best have the opportuntiy to hand - down their greatness to posterity, but the geldings have a big place in the breeding scheme, just as they have in racing. They bring fame to the blood lines from which they spring and they offer the inducement to breed the best. In recent years the American turf has had many a gelded champion. The most notable of all ssems to be Sarazen, but there was Exterminator, Borrow, which died re-1 i cently at Brookdale; Billy Kelly, Roamer, Stromboli and some others that have made brilliant turf history, but there is no assurance that any one of them would have attained any such fame but for being geldandL And Epinard is not through. It is expected that there will be an effort to bring him into contest again in Kentucky. To that end M. J. Winn has promised to hang up a suitable sum during the Churchill Downs meeting of the Kentucky Jockey Club. This would be a race to bring together the French four-year-old and two of his conquerors, Ladkin and Sarazen, while others might be invited to start. Mr. Wertheimer has expressed a willingness i to send Epinard in such a race over a mile and a half distance, and it is probable that the conditions would be agreed upon by both Major Belmont and Mrs. Vanderbilt. The distance has not been agreed upon, but Mr. Wertheimer would like to have it a mile and a half dash. It has been intimated that unless a race is arranged at Churchill Downs, as a sort of consolation affair, Epinard will not be Been under silks again in this country. Mr. Wertheimer is to sail for France Saturday, according to his present plans, and he has announced that the colt would not start at Laurel, but would be shipped home, unless the proposed Kentucky race was arranged. He also said that he considered that Wise Counsellor had been eliminated and that he desired to have another special, with Ladkin and Sarazen, the other two that triumphed over his colt.

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