Glorious Days of the American Turf, Daily Racing Form, 1924-11-20


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Glorious Days of the American Turf Replete with interesting reminiscences and sidelights of the glorious days of the turf is a resume of the history of racing at Saratoga and famous races at other eastern tracks in which an old-time turf writer, after referring to the present prosperity and bright i future ahead for racing in this country, goes I on to say : "As we are extolling the wonderful racing season of 1924, now nearing an end, the golden memories of the long ago come troup-ing back again. We hear the shouts of the thousands watching the battle between Longfellow and Harry Bassett at Long Branch re-echoed by more shouting thousands when those splendid champions of a faraway turf meet again at Saratoga. The hoof beats of Salvator over the prepared track at Monmouth, when a new record for the mile was established, come back to us through the years as we listen in memory to the hoof beats of Springbok and Preakness, as they race neck and neck past the judges stand on even terms for the Saratoga Cup. "Those are mellow memories of mellow times, when gentlemen drank from the stirrup cup, when gentlemen were sportsmen and sportsmen were gentlemen, and when the American thoroughbred ran true to his form. Those were the days when the first August Belmont and John Hunter and William It. Travers, who together owned and raced the great Kentucky, and James R. Marvin, the first president of the Saratoga Racing Association, and Leonard Jerome, who won many a dollar on One Dime, and Gen. Stephen Sanford, still looking through his field glasses at the racing of horses of his own breeding at the Hurricana Farm, raced for glory first and money last, and then talked it all over at a dinner at Moons, washed down with an old burgundy or an older port. "FATHER OF AMERICAN TriOllOTJGII-1511ED." "And then there came that later epoch when the get of Lexington, the father of "the American thoroughbred, and Kentucky and Longfellow and Bonnio Scotland and "Virgil and Glenelg and Himyar came to the races, and the butcher brotners of Brooklyn, Mike and Phil Dwyer, were invincible on the race courses of the East from the days of Rhadamanthus to the days of Hanover. To be sure, the measure of the Dwyers horses was sometimes taken by those turfmen from the Kentucky blue grass, Chinn and Woodford and Milton Young and J. W. Hunt Reynolds, and later by James R. Keene, the sturdy and grizzled vice-chairman of the Jockey Club. But individual turf history has no finer record, not even that of the Duke of Westminster, or the Farl of Rosebery or even of Englands late king, than that of -the Dwyer brothers while their red," blue sash and red cap were carried by Rhadamanthus, the black beauty that was their first thoroughbred venture; Bramble, Miss Woodford, George Kinney, Barnes, Hindoo, Luke Blackburn, Tremont, Hanover and Handspring. "And then came that western breeder, E. J. Lucky Baldwin, lucky in mining and lucky on the turf, when he brought from the broad acres of the Santa Anita ranch in California, 3,000 miles across the continent, I Los Angeles, that wonderful daughter of Glenelg La Polka, to measure strides with the best in the East and beat them ; Mission Bell, whose tolling as she flashed by the winning post knelled the defeat of some of the smartest fillies bred in Kentucky or anywhere else, and the mighty Emperor of Norfolk, believed by Baldwin to be the greatest thoroughbred that ever wore plates, and the game Volante. "And by and by, in those olden, golden days came that lusty, crusty, fighting Irishman, Ed Corrigan, with ivrodesty, queen of the turf of her time; Freelanu, which seemed to be fit to race for any mans money on any day and on any track, and Pearl Jennings, she that could race and win straight miles or mile heats with equal satisfaction to her owner and her backers. BAYS OF THE LORILLARDS AND DWYERS. "Meanwhile the brothers Lorillard, Pierre and George L. Pierre, the master of Ran-cocas and the owner of the great Parole and Iroquois, the only American-bred horse that aver won the Epsom Derby, and Barrett and Uncas ; George L., owner of the great Monitor and the unbeaten Sensation anu Ferida, which, like old Ben Holladay, could run better the farther she went vere battling for turf honors with the Dwyers and Milton Young and General Jackson of Belle iieade and Baldwin and Corrigan and the rest anu more than holding their own. And right about here in the turf almanac may be found the turf debut of those two ultra fashionable young gentlemen, Frederick Gebhard and E. Berry Wall. "Both Gebhard and Wall had recently come into their inheritances, Gebhard by way of honest whiskey and Wall by the ropewalk. Wall was in the limelight as king of the dudes. Gebhard, quiet, self-possessed, tall and broad of shoulder and as handsome and well ; dressed a boulevardier as any metropolis ever knew, was the owner of Eole, the splendid son of Eolus War Song; Eolist, by the same sire, and St. Saviour, later to become a sensational thoroughbred and sensational sire. The speed and stamina of Eole was i transmitted to Ethelbcrt and by him to those great thoroughbreds of today, Fitz Herbert and Dalmatian. Wall broke into the turf ! with two horses. Wallflower and Ghost. . Phew ! But it was a swift pace that Gebhard and Wall set Double eagles to either of them were as dimes, and there seemed to be no bottom to the cash barrel of either. . But there was, and poor Gebhard died in what to him must have been modest lodgings on the border of the gay white way, , which he knew and loved so well. "Wall, as the story comes down through i the years, took umbrage at something Gebhard - was alleged to have said. He concluded I to take up the matter and settle it in the ; barroom of the United States Hotel at Sara toga. Nobody outside of a few ever knew what really took place, but the pleasantest t feeling did not exist between the two young ; men and the outcome of it all was a lot of I talk about a match race between Eole and I Wallflower. The match was not arranged 1 and so far as history records that was the s i ! . . , i - I ; t ; I I 1 s last personal encounter between Gebhard and Wall. But it was not long after that Eole scored a memorable triumph when c from post to finish ho won for his owner the famous match race against Milton Youngs Getaway at Saratoga on August 12, 1881. Getaway was the favorite, but Eole won the 1 match by four lengths. 1 "John Morrissey, champion prize fighter of the world, congressman and first lessee of the Saratoga track, having been gathered to his 1 fathers, Charles Reed succeeded to the own- ership of the famous Saratoga Club and i became lessee of the Saratoga track. He had 1 made the experiment of raising thoroughbreds 1 in the north country at the Meadow Brook Farm on the eastern shore of Saratoga Lake. Although he imported Fechter and Low-lander from England and had among his mares the great Thora and Henlope, thv ; venture was not a success. Then he aban- doned the north country farm, went to ! Tennessee, bought Exile and sent to the races -such horses as Dobbins and Yorkville Belle. GENERAL STEPHEN SANFORD OF AMSTERDAM. j "General Stephen Sanford had been ex- 1 perimenting in the breeding of thoroughbreds at Amsterdam, N. Y., with indifferent sue- ; cess. In the Saratoga Club one night Reed got the general over in a corner and told him ho could never get size and strength , and speed in horses bred in a cold climate. General Sanford was a determined man. He usually carried through to success that which he had planned. He had made up his mind to raise winning thoroughbreds on his own farm, even if that farm was in Mohawk "Valley and they had to plough out the roads in winter to let even log sleighs pass. So, 1 quite characteristically, he replied to Reed: " Reed, you wait and see. I shall not only breed winners at Hurricana, but I shall send to the races breakers of records. I give you my word and I keep my word. "General Sanford was a gentleman of the old school and of great dignity. When he made that statement to Charles Reed it was to him the equivalent of giving his bond. It was absolutely necessary, therefore, to make good, and the general did. "In the old days the Sanford purple and gold stripes were sported by horses entered by plain S. Sanford. For some reason or other the general concluded to let the tail wag the dog and for several years before the generals death all of the Sanford horses were sent to the races as owned by former congressman John Sanford, General San-fords only son. "The combination of father and son made more than good the statement made by General Sanford to Charles Reed years ago. The Sandfords bought the great Clifford and Isidor and some other stallions and installed them at Hurricana, and then they bought La Tosca of Pierre Lorillard and other royally bred .matrons, and when they got ready they sent to the races a Chuctanunda and a Molly Brant and a Caughnawaga and a Rockton. The Sanfords did not believe in early racing. They began their campaign at Saratoga. General Sanford had as much regard for his thoroughbreds as an art collector would have for peachblow vases or other rare Chinese porcelains. Along about 1901 or 1902 he had a colt maybe it was Rockton that had shown phenomenal speed in its trials, and Hayward, son of the famous old jockey, who trained the Sanford horses at that time, thought that he had a Futurity winner. Not long after the stable had arrived at Saratoga, Rockton, if that were the colt, bucked his shins. General Sanford heard of it. At the track the next day he sent for Hayward and told him to send the colt back to the farm. But, General, said Hayward, bucked shins dont amount to anything. He will be well in a few days and well win the Futurity. Hayward, said the general, I told you to send that colt home. I think I have made my meaning quite clear. The colt, with a few hairs off his shins, was sent back to Amsterdam and there was no Futurity to the Sandfords credit. WONDERFUL LONG-DISTANCE RACES OF OLD. "In that wonderful land that is bounded and populated by memories of the turf one may not wander without seeing all over again those wonderful long-distance races, like the Westchester Cup at Jerome Park, at two miles and a quarter, where George L. j Lorillards Monitor, with Costello in the saddle, took measure of McElmecls General Monroe, ridden by the daredevil Fitz-patrick, and of Eole, guided by Billy Dono-hue, or the Monmouth Cup, at two miles and a quarter, at the old Monmouth course, where Monitor again beat Eole by a scant length, Costello and Donohue again being the jockeys. "Then there was the Champion Stakes in the autumn of 1883, at Monmouth Park, at a mile and a half, when old Billy Hayward, then in his prime as a jockey of the first water, piloted Monitor to victory again, beating brother Pierre Lorillards Parole, with Feakes, the trailer, up, with Eole bringing up the rear in one of the greatest three-horse races ever seen in this country. "In that same memorable year of 1883, at the autumn meeting at Monmouth, the Monmouth Stakes was run for at a mile and a half on August 25. A three-year-old youngster of the name of George Kinney, with the famous jockey and now well-known owner and trainer James McLaughlin, wearing the ! colors of the Dwyer brothers, threw his gage into the ring to Eole, to Iroquois, to Monitor and to the Dwyer brothers Miss Woodford, most famous perhaps of all the grande dames : of the American turf. While thousands cheered him on to victory George Kinney made good his gage, beating Eole by a length and a half and Eole beating" Iroquois, the English Derby winner, by a half a neck. "On the following day there was a renew-. al of the Monmouth Stakes, in which the starters were Eole, George Kinney, Monitor, Drake Carter, then owned by Pierre Loril- lard, and tho same owners Iroquois. Good I old Eole this time taught the young George 1 Kinney better manners. In spite of all the skill of McLaughlin, Eole beat George Kin-l hey by a length and a half. Then there were those battles in the Baden Baden Cup, at three miles, at Saratoga, most memorable of which perhaps was the defeat of Charles ! Reeds great Thora by the Kentucky mare, Lida Stanhope ; and those races for the great Long Island Stakes, with the Woodlawn vase i as a special prize thrown in, at four miles, where Eole once beat G. 73; Brysons Bush-r wacker, that curious quadruped combination of uncertain breeding that looked like a barrel with the head, tail and legs of a horse added to finish the cartoon. In that race the Coney Island Jockey Club added a special prize if Lexingtons record for the distance was beaten, but it wasnt. c 1 1 1 i 1 1 ; ! j 1 ; , 1 "Then there was that other race for the great Long Island Stakes greatest perhaps of all where the peerless Miss Woodford, under McLaughlins patient and affectionate guidance, ran two heats of two miles each and beat Drake Carter and Modesty threo lengths in the first heat and four lengths in the second. But old days pass and new days come, and one is brought up sharply with a reminder that the "Victorian age and the nineteenth century are closed. Two stars more brilliant than all the others shine in the turf firmament-Hanover, the greatest son of Hindoo Bourbon Belle, and the unbeaten Tremont, both owned by the Dwyer brothers, are sweeping everything before them. "Hanover begot Hamburg and a new turf magnate was begotten with him. John E. Madden, previously known only on the trotting circuit, became the owner of Hamburg and Hamburg became the king of the turf. Hamburg had his day and then tho black whirlwind. Domino, son of Himyar and Man-nie Gray, came on to carry the white and blue polka dots of James R. Keene to victory in the principal stakes of his time. But one must not pass by the record of Domino without giving full credit to Richard Crokers Dobbins, which made him hustle as he never hustled before, and to Henry of Navarre, which gave him a" good sound beating. "With the coming to the races of Hamburg and Domino, what might be called the dynasty of highest speed on the American turf was established through Hanover and Himyar. Hamburg was by Hanover, Hanover by Hindoo, Hindoo by "Virgil and "Virgil by Vandal. Domino was by Himyar, Himyar by Alarm, Alarm by Eclipse and Eclipse by Orlando. James R. Keene bought Domino frojn his breeder, Maj. B. G. Thomas. When the black whirlwind broke down he was sent to Mr. Keenes Castleton Farm and began his career as a sire under tho wise direction of Maj. Foxhall Daingerfield, Mr. Keenes brother-in-law. And what a splendid lot of Continued on twelfth page. GLORIOUS RACING DAYS Continued froin tenth page. colts and fillies Domino sent to the races. There was the mighty Commando and Cap and Bells, that won the English Oaks, Mr. Keene giving all the fillys winnings in the stakes to British charities. Then there was Disguise, that won the Jockey Club Stakes in England for Mr. Keene, and Colin, by Commando, that was never beaten in the two years that he met all comers. A great line of winners for any one man to breed from a single sire. "Madden retired Hamburg and sold him to Marcus Daly, whose untimely death put an end to the Montana miners dream of estab- lishing the greatest stock farm in the world. Not long before the dipersal sale at Madison Square Garden of the Daly stock. William C. Whitney had served notice that he was going to retire from all active business at sixty, and in preparation for that retirement lie took to the turf. The former secretary of the navy and the man who did much to make Grover Cleveland president, didnt know much about thoroughbreds at that time, and -the for the first year or two his horses ran in name of Sidney Paget Nobody ever accused Mr. Whitney of being dull-witted, and he brought to bear on his racing stable ; the same business foresight that had made possible the consolidation of all the street railways in New York and the formation of the American Tobacco Company. Paget seemed to have carte blanche to buy anything on four legs that he wanted and pay for it what he pleased. With the help of Paget and Madden. Mr. Whitney gathered together a great stable. When he wanted a horse he bought it and the price was no object. He paid what many men would regard as a handsomo fortune for Nasturtium, for Endurance by Right, for Blue Girl, for Ballyhoo Bey, for Gunfire and for Yankee. "It didnt take more than a year or two for Mr. Whitney to acquire sufficient knowledge of the turf to run his horses in his own name. Then he wanted to send to the races those of his own breeding. So he acquired a splendid property in the heart of Kentuckys richest blue grass, bought on Maddens advice Hamburg at the Daly dispersal sale, established liiin at the head of his stud and named the farm Hamburg Place. That is where Madden is raising the horses that he is now sending to the races. Matters of linance had developed in Wall street differences between Mr. Whitney and Mr. Keene. Mr. Keene was sending home-bred horses for the richest stakes of the turf and winning them. Mr. Whitney Avent right after him with the produce of his own farm. Hamburg did as well for the honor of the Virgil family for several years as Domino did for that of the line of. Eclipse. Up from Hamburg Place to meet the best of the cast and west came the great Burgomaster and Bumble Bee, that met so untimely a death at Saratoga ; Inflexible and Artful, though by many to be the fastest horse or mare that ever looked through a bridle and that beat the mighty Sysonby in the Futurity. "But it was with a horse of his own breeding that Mr. Whitney had his spiciest turf contest with Mr. Keene. This came in the Futurity of 1900, and its aftermath, the Flat-bush Stakes, in the same year. Mr. Whitney was so sure that he could win the Futurity with Ballyhoo Bey if the colt got off well that he brought Tod Sloan over from England-Sloan in those days being notoriously quick at tho barrier and, according to the story, gave Sloan ,000 for the job. Ballyhoo Bey won and Mr. Keene finished second and third with Olympian and Tommy Atkins respectively. Neither Mr. Keene nor his son Fox-hall were satisfied that Ballyhoo Bey could beat Tommy Atkins, which they thought was the best two-year-old in the Keene stable. The following week Ballyhoo Bey and Tommy Atkins met in the Flatbush Stakes and Atkins was trimmed again, but there were loud protests that the Keene horse had been interfered with and that the race had not been truly run. Keene partisans and AVhitney partisans became belligerent and there was talk of a match for almost any stake. As usual, nothing came of all the heated outpour of words. Tommy Atkins soon afterward was shipped to England, where he had been entered for the Derby, but the ill-starred colt died of pneumonia, either on the way over or shortly after arrival. Ballyhoo Bey never started again. In due time he was sent to those luxurious winter quarters which Mr. Whitney had 1: t t f, , j ? I 3 J l I J j j built for his horses at Westbury, L. I., along with Blue Girl, Nasturtium, Endurance by Right and Goldsmith. "John Huggins was training the horses that Mr. Whitney had sent to England. He made a special trip over the ocean to look over the Whitney two-year-olds and pick out of those nominated the one he thought most likely to win the English Derby. He hestitated for a time between Naturtium and Goldsmith and then picked out the former because of his wonderful size, conformation and apparent staying qualities. But the sea fog came ashore at Westburg and got into the lungs of all the best youngsters Mr. Whitney had. Neither Nasturtium nor Endurance by Right ever ran after the two-year-old season. They had become hopeless roarers, as had Ballyhoo Bey, Goldsmith and Blue Girl. "But when one has wandered down the years of turf history and romance to the early years of the present century only eight or ten years agone the tale has no longer the interest of the olden years and it lwere better closed." I

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