Here and There on the Turf: Opening of the Season. Progress of Osmand. is He a Stayer? The Triple Crown., Daily Racing Form, 1927-04-01


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Here and There on the Turf Opening of the Season. Progress of Osmand. Is He a Stayer? The Triple Crown. • « With the opening of the eleven day meeting of the Southern Maryland Association at Bowie this afternoon, there begins the real opening of the 1927 turf season. Winter racing has grown and prospered until it plays a truly i important part of the turf scheme of the coun- ] ! try. but it remains winter racing and the season that begins Thanksgiving Day and continues into the early spring will always be rated as the winter season as against the opening of the new season in Maryland that is to continue over various race courses until the end of November. Maryland racing has been built up until it has taken its place as the first of the big racing scenes each year, while some years back, as far as the East is concerned, and it was not until New York opened that the season was really considered as having a beginning. In the old days of the Washington Park Jockey dub and when Benning was in its heyday, there was a considerable meeting there both spring and fall, but it was only looked upon as a stop gap between New York and the winter season. Then there was racing in New York from April 15 until November 15. This has been changed with New York having a later opening and an earlier closing date, but in the meantime, Maryland stepped into the breach with a brand of racing equal to that of New York and, consequently, now the season opens in Maryland and it opens today at the Bowie course. Entries that have been received for the opening day at Bowie tell eloquently of what may be expected for this initial meeting of the season and the eager anticipation of the sport leaves no doubt of how it is to be received. Prospects have never been brighter and everything points to a wonderful year for the American turf. Joseph E. Wideners Osmand continues to train excellently for the Kentucky Derby and there seems to be no doubt of Coyne bringing him up to his classic engagement of May 14 thoroughly ready. Now that his gallops have been stretched out to a mile, it will not be long before it will be determined definitely whether or not he is capable of carrying his extreme /peed for a mile and a quarter. Many good judges are still a bit doubtful of the ability of the sterling gelding to stay, but all agree that he is a three-year old possessed of a great turn of speed. This mile test of his in 1 :46% was, of course, impressive, and it was all that could be desired at this stage of his training, but before long the fractions of his trials will be of much greater importance. In his move he ran his first quarter in 25. second in :26%, third in :27% and his final quarter in :27%. It means nothing at this time that he should "tail off" in this fashion, but. as Coyne brings him closer and closer to the big test, the interest will be in his last quarter rather than in his first quarter. A first quarter in 23, or even faster, is of no moment unless there is a good final quarter. That is the one that counts. That is the one that is the test of the stayer. The ability to finish out a gruelling race with a speed that will bring victory. Of course there is no reason yet to proclaim that Osmand will not stay the mile and a 1 quarter. The doubt has been raised just as it is always raised against any horse of extreme speed. There have been champions that could] I ■ ! take the track from the start and kill off all opposition for any distance, but they are rare champions indeed. Sustained speed is the greatest of all attributes and should Osmand prove one of these he will take his place among the great thoroughbreds. That Osmand is bountifully supplied with speed admits of no argument. He has never had the opportunity to demonstrate just how far he will carry on with the best and that is why the manner in which he finishes out his training gallops is of such vital importance. This is something that has nothing to do with heredity or anything else except the individual. If Osmand, in his future preparation for the Kentucky Derby, demonstrates that he can stay, he will indeed be a hard horse to beat at Churchill Downs, May 14. The Belmont, Kentucky Derby and Preak ness could readily be considered the triple crown for three-year-olds in this country. The Preakness was brought back by the Maryland Jockey Club in 1909, after a lapse of twenty years, while the Belmont, which had its first running in 1867, was not run in either 1911 or 1912, when all of the tracks of The Jockey Club remained closed, while the Kentucky Derby has been run continuously since 1875. The Preakness came into a monetary prominence in 1918 when there were two runnings, one going to War Cloud and the other to Jack Hare Jr., and it was worth 2,250 to one of them and 1,250 to the other. The last three runnings of each one of these classics has shown the Preakness and the Derby of a greater value than 0,000 to the winner, while the Belmont of last year was worth 8,550, and for the four previous runnings it ranged from 8,000 to 2,880. But the big thing about the three stakes is that they comprise the three biggest tests for the three year-olds of any year. In these years of extravagant turf prizes it is possible there will be purses of greater value, but there never will be three races to take the place of th Belmont, the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness in sporting importance. It is seldom that a colt will make all three engagements, but it has been done and Sir Barton stands alone as winner of all three. When Sir Barton was ssnt to the post for the 1919 Kentucky Derby, he was a maiden, and under the conditions of that running he enjoyed a maiden allowance that let him in under 110 pounds, but Johnny Loftus could not make the weight and he carried 112 1-2 pounds. That race was won on May 10, and journeying to Pimlico he took up 126 pounds and was winner of the Preakness on May 14. From Pimlico he was moved over to Belmont Park to win the Withers on May 24, and it was on June 11 that he was winner of the Belmont. It was truly an accomplishment to win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Withers and the Belmont in a space of time from May 10 to June 11. That is the sort of a colt that stands alone as the winner of this American triple crown. In 1923 Zev was winner of both the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont. He was so soundly beaten in the Preakness, which went to Walter J. Salmons Vigil, that for a time Hil-dreth did not intend trying for the Kentucky Derby. Richard T. Wilsons Pillory was winner of both the Preakness and the Belmont, but he was not raced in the Kentucky Derby. Man o War was winner of both the Belmont and the Preakness, and of course, it must be agreed that he did not duplicate the Sir Barton triumph only because he was not started in the Kentucky Derby, which that year went to the gelding Paul Jones. Of course, year after year there are champions that do not fill all three of the engagements, or the score would be different, but the fact remians that Sir Barton stands alone as winner of a Belmont, Kentucky Derby and Preakness and in all of his racing career he proved himself one of the great American thoroughbreds.

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