Here and There on the Turf: Discussing Prize Money. Three-Year-Old Dominance. How Old Horses Failed, Daily Racing Form, 1924-12-28


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Here and There on the Turf Discussing Prize Money. Three -Year-Old Dominance. How Old Horses Failed. Division a Wise One. From time to time there has been complaint that in this country there were altogether too j many rich prizes for the two-year-olds in comparison with the prizes for the older horses. It was set forth, and with excellent reasoning, that the preponderance of money hung up for the two-year-clds made it well-nigh imperative for trainers to unduly race the young thorough-brids, frequently to their early undoing. It was given as one of the reasons for the failure of .the American thoroughbred being as long wearing a horse as those of some other countries. In this conn;ction it is interesting to look over the prizes of 1921. This would indicate that the juveniles by no means monopolized the big prizes, though it is admitted that the three International Specials, in which Epinard took part, favored the score for tli3 older divisions in an unusual manner. Of the thirty-nine prizes that had a net . value to the winner of 0,000 or a greater amount there were eight that were in excess of 40,000 in value and four of the eight that had a value in excess of 0,000. The greatest prize of the year was the Futurity at Bjlmont Park, in which the two-j-ear-cld Mother Goose earned 105,730 for II. P. Whitney, but that was the lone two-year-cld fixture that reached a figure in excess of 0,000. Tli2re were two races of the next four, or the 40,000 races, that were for the young thoroughbreds. These were the Pimlico Futurity, in which Marshall Field III.s Stimulus earned 9,720 almost 50,000, and the Hopeful at Saratoga, in which W.lliam Daniels Master Charlie was -winner of 48,700. In the next list of prizes that exceeded 0,000 in net value eight are found and only one of them was a juvenile prize. That Avas th2 Kentucky Jcckcy Club Stakes, which was worth 0,010 and also won by Master Charlie. Oa through the list it is found that of the thirty-nine races that were worth 0,000 or a greater amount, an even dozen of them were for the juveniles; a like number of the three-year-olds and for the remaining fifteen horses of a more mature age were also eligible. This 33 how the money was divided in the big prizes under discussion: The juveniles received a total fil 89,119; three-year-olds, 96,655; races in which older horses were eligible, 26,-450. The International Specials accounted for .13,250 in the older division, while the Brook Steeplechase, worth 0,375 and won by Joseph E. Wideners Duettiste, is also included in that list. Taking away the International Specials it would bring that priza money down to 13,200, which would give the other age divisions a decided advantage. The International Specials are not a part of the regular prizes and in figuring the money division they do not belong. Thus it will be readily seen that the juveniles did not enjoy as big an advantage as is popularly supposed, even though the Futurity at Belmont Park,- with its immense value gave that age division a big lead over the others. There is no doubt but the best prizes should come for the three-year-old division, but it must also be remembered that th? three-year- olds have their opportunity in the weight-forage races and the big handicaps, where they will meet the older horses. Thosa are opportunities that do not come to the juveniles except in some cases late in the fall. The three-year-olds were particularly successful in 1924 when raced against the older horses and it must be remembered that all three of the International Specials went to that age division when Wise Counsellor, Ladkin and Sarazen were the winners. Of the fifteen slakes to which older horses were eligible there were only six cider than three years that were returned winners. These were Runstar, Chacclet, My Play, Litth Chief, Actuary and Duettiste. Thus it is shown that the thre3-year-olds dominated that age division. As a matter of fact, the aggregate of money won in these prizes by horses more than three 3-ears old was only 15,604, leaving the three-year-olds to account for 10,810 of the 26,-450 total. It was rather an unusual year and early in the season it was apparent that the three-year-olds would dominate the handicap division, but the opportunity is always there for the three-year-olds and the figures disclose that of the thirty-nine big prizes which reached a total of 12,224 the three-year-clds accounted for 07,465. The juveniles earned 89,119 and the older horses had to be content with 15,-040. It is well that the three-year-olds should have the best money-earning opportunity, but it must always be kept in mind that they have the okter division to which they are eligible, as well as the races that are exclusively for their age. There are years when we have an Exterminator, a Grey Lag, Raam?r, Borrow, Boniface, Whisk Broom II., or some other sturdy old campaigner that bars the way for the three-year-olds in the handicaps, but hardiy a season goes by that there is not to be found three-year-clds well qualified to take the measure of the older horses. The season coming to a close was an exception and we may not see another lie it in some time. The older division was woefully weak, "but the opportunity is always there, and after all that is what is to be desired. Summing it all up the conviction is forced that it is altogether a wise distribution of the prize money. The older horses had full opportunity, but they were not of a quality to withstand tha winning march of the three-year-olds. The juveniles were bountifully treated, but their prizes were not out of proportion with the other age divisions. The International Specials threw the prizes just a bit out of plumb, but even eliminating those unusual races no fault can be found with the division of the prize money. These Specials gave the older horses their best opportunity to prove their worth against the best, but they lacked the quality. But it was not only there they were lacking in quality, as was shown in the various other prizes in which they were b;atcn by those of the younger division.

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