Post Time, Daily Racing Form, 1924-11-22


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How many of the great thoroughbreds named recently in this column ever beat good ones even a single good horse and were not subsequently beaten decisively by one of these horses? same s - Some fifty racing men with authorjty to speak on the subject .have, expressed belief in the greatness of certain horses. Many of the gentlemen whose opinions we - have quoted have been looking at .thoroughbred horses with seeing eyes for more than forty years. . - ! Several of the trainers among them have developed and trained some of the best horses that have appeared since Longfellows time. They have saddled winners of our classic races. A few were reckoned master of their profession on both sides of the Atlantic. At least three of the jockeys who gave us their opinions have been astride horses rated as champions in their time. One or two were galloping good horses when four mile heat racing was just beginning to lose its popularity the early 70s. They rede later in some of the most famous of our long-distance struggles. James Rowe was in Harry Bassetts saddle when the McDaniel horse beat Longfellow in that Saratoga Cup that has long marked as an epoch in American racing. Matt Byrnes rode Glenelg in the GOs, before Rowe was big enough to sit in a .saddle. . "Snapper" Garrison was on the swayed back of Tenny when the son of Rayon dOr ran the last three furlongs of Sheepshead Bay so fast, so determinedly, as to move Ella Wheeler Wilcox to pen verses that made of Salvator and Tenny living personalities to every school child of imagination. Fred Taral was the demon finisher that whipped and spurred Domino to even terms on the post witli Dobbins and Henry of Navarre, two of the most sensational dead heats in the history of racing in America. Byrnes and Rowe have since trained many of our best Taral and Garrison have met with success as trainers. One or two of the breeders quoted have been responsible for matings of blood lines that produced champions. More than one of the owners interviewed has had his colors carried to victory in derbies, futurities and handicaps by some of the best horses of their day. Each of the handicappers who expressed an opinion has made a success of his calling a profession in which complete financial success is rarely attained, as any who has attempted it on his own will tell you. The writers who gave their opinions have been reporting racing over long periods. They have seen some of the best, they have looked with analytical minds into the records of the good horses that appeared before their time. They have enjoyed intimate acquaintance with a host of men qualified to discuss varying phases of racing. Like all good reporters, they were good questioners, excellent listeners and eventually became keen observers. Officials of long experience and the highest standing are among the men whose opinions we sought. Mr. Vosburgh has seen every good horse from Glenelg and Muggins down to the present day. If you have never read his "Racing in America" you have missed a rare treat. A copy is available in New Yorks public library. Only about a- dozen of all these men of racings many walks of life have refused to concede Man o AVar the title of "great." All who have denied him have given the same reason : "What did he ever beat?" If beating a truly good horse, a ell of a orse, as a character in a racing talc of John Galsworthys was wont to exclaim, and not subsequently meeting defeat at the hands of that same horse if sucli be the true test of greatness, then Man o AVar must be sent to the side lines. For no names of horses of tremendous arts appear on the scalps hanging to the "Wonder Horses" saddle girths. And by the same indictment Sysonby, Morello, Tammany, Hamburg and Colin must join Man o AVar. They beat little. As Free-land, The Bard, Longstreet, Hermis, Purchase and Sir Barton received honorable mention but once or twice, it is obvious1 that their defeats at times just when they were coming to be looked upon as invincible must have dimmed the lustre of previous conquests. They all beat good horses that would have been rated high in any day, but they were in turn beaten by those horses. And the sentiment expressed in the previous sentence covers Kingston, Firenze, Hanover, Henry of Navarre, Exterminator and Grey Lag. Kingston and Firenze beat at one time and another at least a dozen horses of the first flight. But every one of the dozens in turn beat them. Kingston was not partial to a route, Firenze stood always in need of one. Hanover did not compare to Trcmont at two, was twice beaten by second and third raters at three and lost to The Bard at four. Henry of Navarre had no real equine gladiators to oppose him. Like Firenze he lacked extreme speed. Exterminator improved with age but he didnt master Sir Barton or Purchase ; Grey Lag and Mad Hatter beat him about as often as he did them. Grey Lags record is replete with brilliant performances and, like Hermis, off-color ones. Their partisans charge the shortcomings to Grey Lags bad feet and inconsistent training methods for Hermis. Still, : AAaterboy stood Hermis on his head in the Century when a good trainer had him in perfect shape and even Sam Ilildreth has no alibis to offer for "old Reds" defeat by Exterminator in the 1922 Brooklyn. Sam thinks Old Slim was one ell of a orso and that ought to hold the lads who insist that Grey Lag was a super-horse. And now only Luke Blackburn, Hindoo. Salvator and Artful remain. The latter filly may have been what her admirers claim. She had speed of the highest degree. But when she ran Sjsonby off his feet she was in receipt of ten pounds and the Keene colt was jammed up at the start Had they carried equal weighs and broken together, both full in their stride, Artful might not have looked so good. And her three-year-old campaign. brilliant as it was in promise, did not compare with Beldames in accomplishment Artful was in receipt of much weight in her smashing victory in the Brighton. If Firenze, nearly always conceding weight, is to be denied, then so must Artful, so often in receipt of poundage. Luke Blackburn was ordinary at two, very ordinary. At three he beat good horses but none that were great or in any sense invincible. Extermmator would appear to be the equal of any horse Blackburn ever beat He broke down in his first effort at four. Nearly all of his victories were under light weights, many as low as 100 pounds, several at 110, hardly any above 118. I The same is true of Hindoo; He beat Thora, Eole and Checkmate, good ones all, but no better than those beaten by a host of other first class horses. And too often Hindoo carried but modest weights. Salvalors Suburban victory is comparable to that of any horse in our racing annals. He gave weight and a beating to a big field of good horses, in excellent time. He always was master of Tenny, surely a good horse on certain days at least two of which good days coincided with his races against the Haggin crack. The flight of speed shown by Salvator in his breaking of the mile record was phenomenal, yet no greater than that shown by a dozen others over the same distance of ground.- Salvator was decisively beaten by Longstreet. Jt was a defeat he did not wipe out. Salvator never beat Proctor Knott, in two tries. Few jiidges are willing to believe that Salvator could have stayed over a real route. AAlierefore, the answer would seem to be that America has never had its Ormonde. The unbeaten English horse that met and administered sound beatings at all distances, under high weights, to some of the best horses the British Isks have produced in more than two hundred yeais. He did all that was asked of him and they asked him everything inclusive of winning over long distance with but forty-eight hours rest between and severely "touched" in his wind at the time. No, wo have never had an Ormonde in this country. And a still, small voice seems to ask if weve ever had a truly great horse. It is doubtful. Hence, as racing men, we have something to live for.

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