Here and There on the Turf: Close of Belmont Stakes. More About the Whips. That Lexington Sale. End of a Great Season, Daily Racing Form, 1924-11-20


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Here and There on the Turf Close of Belmont Stakes. More About the Whips. That Lexington Sale. End of a Great Season. Horsemen are reminded that the stakes of the Westchester Racing Association are to be closed today. They comprise several of the most important prizes of the 1925 season and at the same time there is a closing of such features as the Withers, Coaching Club Ameri-can Oaks, the Lawrence Realization and the Belmont Stakes for later running. For the 1927 renewal of the Belmont Stakes there are notable changes when the race is made a. test over the mile and a half distance and it carries an added money prize of 5,- 000. This gives it a new importance and it will more closely resemble the Epsom Derby than any American stake. In this it will cost S550 to send a colt or filly to the post and, with the added money it is modestly estimated that the prize will have a value of 880,000. This same added money idea has been carried out in all of the prizes and it tells of the prosperity of the racing. There was an excuse for the guaranteed stakes when racing was struggling for existence in New York. Those days have gone and it is becoming, that, with a return to prosperity, the Westchester Racing Association should do away with its guaranteed prizes and convert them into substantial added money stakes. Another change that will be a welcome one to many is the early announcement of weights for both the Metropolitan and the Suburban Handicaps. These weights are to be made known in February. There are winning penalties after the publication of weights, but these are so governed that in respect to horses handicapped at 115 pounds or over these penalties apply to the extent of one-half, while for those handicapped at 120 pounds or over they only apply in one-quarter and for those which have been handicapped as high as 128 pounds they will not apply. And for the three-year-olds penalties shall not apply to any extent over 115 pounds. These handicap restrictions appear to be excellent ones and it is safe to promise they will be popular with the sportsmen. The liberal foreign entry that was received for the Pimlico Futurity, recently closed, suggests that these offerings will bo popular with both the English and French horsemen. From some quarters there have come exceptions to the argument that the Maryland State Racing Commission had made a mistake in prohibiting the use of whips by assistant starters. When it was pointed out that a mistake had been made there was no intent to create the impression that the use of whips by assistant starters was necessary. The endeavor was to show that every starter should be permitted to use his own methods in effecting his starts. The starters who operate without whips should do so, because they obtain their results in that fashion. The starter who has his best results with the "walk-up" start should not be compelled to bring the horses to a stand and the starter, of course, has the right to select the barrier that he will use. The contention is that the skilled occupation of starting horses should not be hampered by rules made by those who are not skilled in starting. The commissioners have no more right to lay down the rules of how the start should be effected than a grocer has to tell a watchmaker how to make a watch. If there comes an abuse of horses by the use of the whips, the stewards of any race 2 ; i : : meeting have the right to prevent such cruelty. They have the. jurisdiction to see to it that any abuses are prohibited. All that is desired is to have results, which, of course, must be obtained in a humane manner. Some of the foremost of our sportsmen have raised a cry against the use of the whips by the assistant starters, yet several of them will not go to the trouble of schooling their horses at the barrier. The same sportsmen would doubtless resent having their fractious horses barred from starting, yet they give the starter no assistance by sending horses to the races with a barrier education. Then, on top of that, they insist that these horses must be handled without the aid of whips. If it was insisted that all horses be properly schooled baforc being sent to the barrier and if the starter would be upheld in suspending every bad actor, it would be easy enough to banish the whips. Starting would cease to be a really skilled occupation, but it is skilled for the reason that in almost every field there arc bad actors and the starter who succeeds must know just how to handle these bad actors. If the whips are necessary, they should be used, but, of course, there could never come a reason for the abuse of any horse at the barrier. Let the whip be abolished by all means, when they bring about abuse, but at the same time, see to it that the rule of having horses properly schooled at the starting gate is rigidly enforced. Also uphold and support the starter and insist that he promptly suspend any horse from racing until he has the required education. In all fairness the men who school their horses should not be made to suffer for those trainers who eend outlaws to the post. It is for the control of these outlaws, that whips are frequently necessary, but if any charge of the misuse of the whips can be made to stand up, abolish- them by all means if the stewards of the meetings do not do their full duty in absolutely prohibiting this misuse. There have been more horses ruined at the post by reason of the outlaw horses that were permitted to start than by the use of whips by the assistant starters. It is infinitely more humane to protect the well behaved horses even if the use of whips is necessary than to let these lunging, kicking, unschooled horses be a constant menace to them. While there were no surprisingly large prices paid at the Lexington Thoroughbred auction Tuesday, there was a strong demand for the yearlings that were offered and it indicated a fairly strong market. Ths average that was obtained was 82 and, considering the stock that went under the hammer, it was creditable. Of course, the real yearling market is at Saratoga in August. It is there that the bast are shown and it is the sale month that attracts the best buyers. The yearlings are shown to a great advantage in midsummer and it is natural that a sale in the latter day3 of November will not be as attractive as one in midsummer. But there is still a strong and healthy demand for the thoroughbreds at all seasons of the year. While on the subject of sales, the promised dispersal of the Xalapa Stud by the Fassig-Tipton Co. on December 10 and 11 is attracting wide attention. This sale will be conducted in Squadron A Armory in New York and it is a vendue that will bring to mind the sale of the James R. Keane thoroughbred holdings and the various other famous thoroughbred auctions. This wonderful breeding establishment represents an enormous outlay in carefully selected horses where price was of no consequence. It is a breeding establishment that meant much to the American thoroughbred production and its dispersal means throwing on the market blood that is well-nigh priceless. Kentucky racing will come to a close Saturday and all that will remain of the sport for the year, other than that in milder climes, is the sport at the Bowie course, that continuas for the following week. The wonderful success that has attended all of the race rneetinp through 1924 continues through the cold fall days and when the last race is run at Bowie it will be found that probably every record for attendance has been broken. It has been a year that will always be remembared for the coming of Epinard, but even without the French champion as an added attraction it has been a great season for the turf. The horses of the older division have not measured up to some other years, but there have been brilliant three-year-olds and the conviction is forced that instead of its being a bad year for the two-year-olds there have been more good ones than usual. The charge that they beat one another frequently does not mean they are all bad, but this year has shown real runners and enough of them to leave the championship in doubt. All of this means that the prospects for sterling three-year-old contests in 1925 could hardly be brigther.

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