Here and There on the Turf: On Turf Government. Need for Convention. Close Relationship Desired, Daily Racing Form, 1924-12-30


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Here and There on the Turf On Turf Government. Need for Convention. Close Relationship Desired. Situation in Ohio. At this season of the year the governors of racing have ample time for the discussion of plans for the year that is to conic. It is the season when it is usual for propos3tl changes and amendments in the rules governing the sport to come up for discussion and it is the season when most can be done for the health of the turf. One of the chief needs at this time appears to be a closer relationship among the various racing sections. With the constantly growing horizon of the turf this relationship becomes imperative for the good of all. It may not be possible to have one central governing body, the territory is too immense, and the sections are too widely separated, but there must be a unity of purpose in each section and each should consult the other for the good of the sport. The Jockey Club, by reason of its Stud Book and the office of the registrar, from which the Stud Book is issued, will always be the central body as far as the preservation of the purity of the breed of thoroughbred horses is concerned. The racing associations all operate muter rules that are fashioned after the New York, Kentucky and Maryland rules and there is a degree of unity, but the relationship is not close enough. Maryland and Kentucky each have state racing commissions that govern the sport wisely and well, but apart from that it is desired that both of these great racing centers work in closer harmony with New York or that New York work in closer harmony with those sections it amounts to the same thing. The coming of Epinard and the fact that the three races for which he was brought to this country by Pierre Wertheimer were arranged "by two New York and one Kentucky Association did much to bring those two racing sections into a more friendly relationship, but 5t may bo made closer still. August Belmont, late president of the Westchester Racing Association, with James Shev-lin, late president of the Queens County Jockey Club, and Matt Winn, general manager of the Kentucky Jockey Club, arranged the three Taccs for the French visitor. James SheT.n died last fall and August Bel-TOont died this month. At the time of Major Belmonts death Colonel Winn was in New York for the purpose of discussing possible plans for another international series of races for 1925, and now it is extremely doubtful if Colonel Winn will go abroad, as was his intension, in the interests of future races. It is sure that the bond established last year when Kentucky and New York came together to bring over Epinard will work a great good, and there is every reason to expect that it will result in a closer fellowship between the two great states in the sport, but more than that is desired. The other sections should be called into a general discussion of what is best for the turf. What appears to be needed is a conference of all the racing sections some time during the winter. Not only is it desirous to have New York, Maryland, Kentucky and Canada in close Larmony with one another, but there should be Ohio and Illinois taken into consideration. Both of these sections have come into the sport in a manner that demands all sorts of recognition and, if accredited representatives from every section could have a convention at any point agreed upon, great good could be accomplished for the sport. It is not meant by that that New York, or any other one body of men, would govern the racing for the entire country, but there is an ever pres;nt danger that unless there is a harmony among all the sections where horses arc raced there will come disastrous conflict. Time was when the authority of the Jockey Club covered a much wider territory than it does at present. The formation of the State Racing Commission in Maryland took the government of the racing in that state out of the jurisdiction of the Jockey Club, and it is unfortunate that there was some little conflict between the Jockey Club and the Maryland commission. That was deplorable, but it is all past now and the relationship between New York and Maryland is entirely friendly, but it should be even more so. Kentucky and New York did not have enough in common until the coming of Epinard, but that has smoothed the way, and at least these three great racing centers, with so much of common interest, ought to come together every winter for the good of the turf. This is not suggested with an idea of centralizing the governing power. There is no desire to add to or take from the existing organizations any of their power, or in any fashion curtail the jurisdiction of any, but a conference of all, with delegates from the various sections in attendance, seems to be the best plan for the turf. This could go even further than a mere conference. There could be established a supreme court of the turf. A body made up from the various important racing centers could readily do much good on questions of the sport. It L unfortunate that in both Ohio and Illinois there is not tii3 unity that should exist even within the borders of the slates. There is no central governing power, j And it would be possible to-point to manyl a season where the ptty quarreb of the racing! associations thcn:rclvcs brought about a cessa,- tion of the sport. The winter is the season when fences should be built. It is in the winter season that the associations plan for the season that is to come and it is in the winter that the dates for the meetings are chosen. Just now Ohio, with its constantly expanding circuit, is almost sure to see date conflicts that will do harm to various of the race tracks. This could be avoided by a community of interest in them all and an arranging of the racing time that would be equitable. The question cf dates is a big thing in the plans of any racing, but there are many other questions that would properly come before a conference from all sections The time is ripe for such a gathering -of representatives from every racirg section and it would be well if the Jockey Club, the oldest of the governing bodies, would invte a meeting of delegates from other sections to be held in New York some time befcrc the opening of the earliest spring meeting.

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