Racing in a Havey Fog: Story of How Marty Bergin Took Advantage of the Mist to Win a Race, Daily Racing Form, 1924-12-01


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RACING IN A HEAVY FOG Story of How Marty Bergin Took Advantage of the Mist to Win a Race. At the recent fall meeting at Lexington a novel experience was furnished patrons of that historic course when an entire afternoon of racing was held in a heavy fog obscuring the horsos for the greater part of the different races. There have been times when a heavy mist obscured vision of the running for one or probably two races but never in the history of the sport in Kentucky has it been known where the fog enveloped the course for the entire afternoon. So dense was the fog that it was impossible to distinguish an object for more than a sixteenth of a mile in any direction. . The occasion brought about discussions varied and interesting. Those of Kentucky and particulaly .the youngsr element voiced belief that a similar happening had never oc-cured anywhere. Old timers, however, set them right by recitals of fog racing at Gut-tenburg and Clifton in the eraly 90s when the fog was so dense that it was almost impossible to see across the track and it gave the judges some difficulty to place the winners. The occupants of the grand stand would be apprised when start was effected by three successive blasts on a big horn. All eyes would then strain in the direction from which the field was to come and when ghostlike, the horses w;ould emerge from the fog bank a great shout would ensue and the din continue all during the brief space that the race was in sight. The three-quarter mile track at Clifton, built bowl like in a valley, was frequently enshrouded in fogs. Part of the track, that portion from the three-eighth post to tho quarter post, was built along a high stone wall forming part of a big hill, and mile starts would be from this point, the field passing the grandstand twice. There is a story that Marty Bergin, one of the brainiest of riders that ever rode a horse, was once left at the post or got away so badly that his mount had slight chance. It was on one of the murkiest and foggiest days that ever prevailed at the Clifton track. Bergin, finding himself hopelessly out of it at the send off of the mile race, took his mount up sharply and stayed close to the stone wall until the leaders had again come around to where he was holding his mount at a standstill. He joined th;s field then and had no difficulty leading with his comparatively fresh horse, to win by a short margin, as he had drawn tho finish purposely fine. The trick was not discovered, it is said, until Bergin himself told of tho incident a long time after its occurrence.

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