Here and There on the Turf: Winter Racing Outlook New Orleans and Miami. Hildreths Plans. the 1924 Racing Session, Daily Racing Form, 1924-11-08


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Here and There on the Turf Winter Racing Outlook. New Orleans and Miami. Hildreths Plans. The 1924 Racing Season. There is every indication that the racing of next winter will have an iniportanca which it has seldom possessed in the past. Even if the efforts of the various track managements, to persuade owners of the leading horses to s:nd them south, for stake engagements should fail, the general class of horses at the principal off-season courses promises to be far higher than usual. The Fair Grounds management, with which E. R. Bradley has become associated, has taken a great step forward in announcing a 5,000 stake race for three-year-olds and over. A stake race of this sort makes it really worth while for an owner to keep a good horse in training, on the chance of winning it. The fact that this event will be followed by the Louisiana Derby, which will have an added value of 7,500, at Jefferson Parks spring meeting, gives the owners of good 1925 three-year-olds a double chance at a profitable winter. Miamis plans have not as yet been announced in detail, but there is every reason to believe that the Florida track will offer races of a value commensurate with the advance notices of the meeting. Aleardy many stables which ordinarily spend the winter in retirement have reserved stalls at the new Florida track and a fine array of liorses appears certain to be available wh;n the meeting opens there January 15. New Orleans and Miami will undoubtedly be the centers of the new winter turf scheme. New Orleans is well established as a winter racing point after years of litigation and doubt. Undoubtedly the two tracks at the Louisiana city will have the same generous patronage from horsemen which they have obtained in previous years, in spite of the fact that Miami will offer competition. Few stables that have besn raced at the New Orleans tracks in past years are likely to abandon that racing ground for new and untried fields. Miami promises to attract to winter racing a clientele which previously has not taken part in the off-season sport at all. Consequently it is not likely that the new venture will detract in any way from the success of its older rivals. In the announcement that Samuel C. Hil-dreth has practically decided to sand a division of the Rancocas Stable to New Orleans for a winter campaign can be read a sign of the new importance which the cold season racing is assuming under progressive management. The Rancocas Stable has long dominated the eastern turf as no racing organization since that of the late James R. Keene has done. The racing season of 1924 was not marked by any such stupendous success for the green and white silks, however, as undoubtedly had been expected by the Rancocas trainer. Zev, Americas greatest money winner, has been a mere shadow of the 1923 whirlwind through most of the campaign. Mad Play, of which so much was expected, developed into a somewhat inconsistent three-year-old. The two-year-olds failed to live up to their promise as yearlings. In spite of these and other conditions the Rancocas Stable is safely among the money winning stables of the year, but the magnitude of the organization is the real explanation of this fact, rather than any remarkable superiority on the part of its individual members. If a winter campaign for the Sinclair stable is 1 undertaken, it will be because the astute trainer of the stable realizes that the horses which he now has in charge are decidedly below the average for which the establishment has been noted in the past. This is indicated by the fact that Hildreth has already disposed of a number of horses for which he had no further use. Much of the interest in the present years racing has been aroused by the fact that the sport has not been dominated by any one stable, or any small group of establishments. No one horse has dominated the stake racing as did Zev in 1923. Every stake raca incited a new interest because of the fact that the contestants appeared to be evenly matched. The great, powerful stables were forced to watch their representatives beaten by representatives of smaller rivals in the big stakes of the year, with a few exceptions. Black Gold, the one horse stable of Mrs. Rosa M. Hoots, won a whole string of Derbys, but he also tasted defeat when giving away weight. Mad Play won the Belmont Stakes and a few other fixtures, but he raced so inconsistently that he could lay no claim to the championship. Nellie Morse won the Preakness for H. C. Fisher, but she did little after that to confirm the form which she showed in Pimlicos spring mud. Ordinance flashed across the turf horizon with a blaze of glory, only to go wrong before he could be adequately tested. Ladkin showed signs of greatness, particularly in the mile dash of the Second International Special, but he also met with a mishap and was robbed of the opportunity to prove his class beyond a doubt. Wise Counsellor showed speed and ability to carry weight successfully in a few races, but failed to go a long distance. Sarazen, out of training through much of the year, raced his way to championship rating and then showed unmistakable signs of staling off in the Washington Handicap last Saturday. Whether the general quality of the years three-year-olds is above or below the average, the fact remains that never in recent years have there been so many good horses in that age division at one time. The showing of these horses in the races against Epinard may be taken as a basis for comparison with the best in Europe, and upon such a basis the" conclusion may be reached that our 1924 horses are really great. The cautious commentator, however, will not jump at any such conclusion. The consistency that is a necessary part of equine greatness has been lacking for one reason or another in every one of the candidates for the mythical championship. Too many times have they beaten each other like selling platers and too often has each run an unaccountably bad race, just when the experts were prepared to place the crown firmly on its head. Time will tell whether any of the 1924 three-year-olds can be accorded a place in the hall of equine fame. In the meantime racing enthusiasts are content to know that they are now watching the close of a really remarkable turf campaign. 9

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