Here and There on the Turf: New Years Handicap. Closing of Big Stakes. Shipments to Miami, Daily Racing Form, 1924-12-29


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Here and There on the Turf New Years Handicap. Closing of Big Stakes. Shipments to Miami. Coming of Optimist. Nominations for the New Years Handicap at the Fair Grounds promise that the long season at that old track will see rare sport. Those named afford a good line on the class of horses that will furnish the entertainment and with favorabla weather and a good track condition the field is sure to be a large one. A recent rain in the southern city makes soft going probable, but there still remains ample time for the track to dry out before the gates are opened. But even should the going be muddy, there ars several horses in the eligible list that will be favored by such footing and it will not detract to any extent from the interest in the ,000 prize. For a considerable time horses have been making ready for the Fair Grounds sport and a great many of them have not put in an appearance at Jefferson Park. These, with the best of those that have been performing at the Shrewsbury course, will bountifully supply the Fair Grounds with better racing material than ever before and all is ready for the big season. Horsemen are reminded that two important dates fa.l due right after the new year. These are the closing of the nominations for the Dixie Handicap of the Maryland Jockey Club and the closing of the Futurity of the Westchester Racing Association to be decided in 1927. The Dixi2 closes January 2 and the Futurity on January 3. The Dixie is a handicap of a mile and three-sixteenths, to be decided at the Pimlico spring meeting. It has an added money value of 5,000 and was one of the big prizes of the past season and it was worth 4,840 when it was won by II. P. Ileadleys Chacolet last May. There is an early announcement of the weights for this rich fixture and, while it was only inaugurated last may, it took immediate prominence among the big and important races of the year. This 1927 Futurity .has important changes over other years and the most important of them all is. that the Westchester Racing Association will add 5,000, which will make it of greater value than ever before, though its value this year made it the richest of all the American stakes when Mother Goose added 5,730 to the H. P. Whitney score when she was winner. For that running there was but 0,000 added and it is easily understood how much more valuable will be the 1927 renewal. In addition to this Futurity, the Matron, to be. run in 192C, is also to be closed by the Westchester Racing Assocition. This is a ,000 added prize for two-year-old fillies and last September it was worth 0,625 when it went to Edward R. Bradleys Blue Warbler, under the top weight of 127 pounds. With the closing of the Jefferson Park first meeting at til? end of the year there arc several of the stables that will move over to the new Miami track instead of to the Fair Grounds. Already some of the shipments are contemplated. This will in no sense rob the Fair Grounds of a full quota. As a matter of fact, there are more than enough of the winter horses to go around, and at New Orleans the stabling has been something of a problem. Miami has been rapidly filling up as the date for the opening of the meeting approaches and many horses that were early ou the ground are ready for racing at this time. In addtion to the older campaigner several of the trainers at Miami have several yearlings in their care that will reach racing age on New Years Day. They are being carefully educated for the races and some of them have already had barrier instruction. Mars Cassidy, the veteran starter of the Jockey Club tracks, has been engaged for the Miami season and he and his crew will offer every opportunity for the proper education of the young thoroughbreds. Cassidy is proverbially patient with two-year-olds and there is no starter who is more patient with bad actors. Having the nsw two-year-olds in his care for their first lessons will afford him a chance he has not enjoyed for a long time. It is the chance of conducting a kindergarten for two-year-olds that have never been at the barrier before. In the early meetings about New York there are always many that are sent to the post for the first time, but it is usual that in every field some of them have raced either at a winter track or in Maryland before appearing on Long Island. News that J. Leonard Replogle is to bring Optimist to this country is of decided interest. The French -bred sou of Tracy Le-Val and Optima is a coming four-year-old and should he be trained in 1925 it is entirely possible that he will be a valued addition to the handicap division. Of decided promise as a two-year-old, Optimist did not race to that promise this year, but carried the silks of his American owner in several of the big French prizes, while he was his candidate for the Epsom Derby, his only start in England. It is not known whether or not the horse is intended for racing or for breeding purposes, but no matter what disposition is made of him the importation is an important one. Mr. Replogle raced under the name of the Westmont Stabh in this country and one of his best performers was Sennings Park, a son of Jim Gaffney and Irish Queen, by Bear-catcher. Two years back this horse was an excellent handicap performer and right at the top of his form when he met with a fatal accident. Mr. "Replogle has been devoting all of his racing to the French turf and if the coming of Optimist means a return of Westmont silks to American courses, it is doubly important. John B. Campbell, racing secretary of the Miami Jockey Club, has issued the book for the first nine days of the meeting, which is to open January 15. The opening day feature will be a mile handicap known as the Miami with a prize of ,500. Seven races are pro-Tided each day and no purse has a lesser value than ,000. The book provides for seven races a day and there are a becoming number at worth-while distances. There are several races for tha two-year-olds at three-eighths of a mile and started out of a chute, so there will be small chance for the green young horses being hurt. For the meeting, which extends over fifty-one days, there will be 50,000 distributed among the horsemen and Mr. Campbell has carefully framed his book so that horses of every class should have ample opportunity.

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