Here and There on the Turf: Hunt Meeting Success. Return of Nicholas. Illinois Jockey Club Affairs. the Scapa Flow Canard., Daily Racing Form, 1927-04-23


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Here and There on the Turf Hunt Meeting Success. Return of Nicholas. Illinois Jockey Club Affairs. The Scapa Flow Canard. • « It was fitting that the United Hunts Racing Association should have a bright sunshiny day for its Thursday racing, the first of its two days of its spring meeting. The result was that never before has a meeting of the same association attracted such an enormous crowd, and never before was there a like interest in the racing. Never was there a racing association more entitled to at least one day of prosperity than this same United Hunts Association. From its inception, this sporting organization has only carried on by the contributions of its members. Year after year a considerable deficit had to be made good by the members, but they cheerfully paid and went forward making ready for the next meeting. With all of this it was racing that was accorded scant consideration by The Jockey Club and it has always been compelled to arrange its dates before and afier the schedules of the big tracks, for it was given no place in the racing scheme. Then after having conducted a few meetings at Belmont Park it was dispossessed of that magnificent racing ground, on short notice, and forced to construct a stand to take the place of the structure that was destroyed by fire. But through all this the association has carried on magnificently and, under the direction of John McEntee Bowman, instead of retrenching to avoid the heavy losses, the racing was made more pretentious, values were materially increased and, accordingly, the expense materially increased. But with this branching out there came an improvement in the brand of racing that was offered and instead of a meeting merely attracting the amateurs, and the hun:ing set, it attracted the big fellows and the good horses that had before confined their racing to the courses of The Jockey Club. The coming of horses of good class was all that was needed to bring about the success that crowned the efforts of Mr. B«man and his associates. Such racing, and nth patronage, will undoubtedly eventually make the racing of the United Hunts Racing Association pay its way. It is coming after the courage and generosity that has been shown. Nicholas, the erratic son of Siefan the Great and Eton Lass for which Mrs. VanderbUt paid a fancy price three years ago, may after all prove a good buy, though he has sorely tried the patience of Max Hirsch almost ever since he became an inmate of the stable. And with Sarazen, the temperamental, in the same stable, Hirsch has had more than his share of worries. Both are good horses, but like the little girl of the nursery rhyme, when they are good, they are very, very good and when they are bad, they are horrid. Sarazen has been behaving himself well in his training this spring, while Nicholas galloped off so cheerfully with the Biltmore Steeplechase at the Terminal Course on Thursday, that it is possible he has decided to settle down and behave himself. Nicholas is a horse of a great turn of speed and he is an excellent jumper. He was in the Biltmore easily enough when only asked to shoulder 139 pounds, but it was the manner in which he ran and jumped that made the race an impressive one. He fairly smothered the others with his speed and he made no mistakes at his jumps — and the Terminal Course is a bit stiff. With Nicholas it has been largely a case of his temper. It was his bad temper that induced Hirsch to put him to jumping, after he had failed utterly on the flat, and failed by reason of his temper, and not through any lack of speed. Through the field he was not any more dependable than he was while racing on the flat, but his first race this year was one to suggest that he has been cured of his bad habits and if he has, he will surely make his way handsomely among the good ones. Of course, it will not do to expect too much of Nicholas and his temper until he gives some further evidence of reliability, but he has at least begun his 1927 racing r.-ason auspiciously. And that counts for something. Negotiations are on for something of a reorganization of the Illinois Jockey Club, which opened the new Washington Park Course at Homewood, near Chicago last year. It will be remembered that the club had some financial difficulties last year, but they could hardly be attributed to lack of patronage. This year everything points to a change in the financial status of the club and it is sure to be placed on a sounder financial footing before the meeting opens. But it matters not just what changes are made in the personnel of the backers of the meeting, it is assured that the racing will be carried on according to schedule and it can be promised that it will be worthy of Chicago. Nominations are already being received for the stake features, which were announced some time ago, and the response of the horsemen assures that the special features will not be lacking in receiving interesting nominations. The Illinois racing season began at Aurora on Thursday and the opening of that course gave evidence of what might be expected throughout the racing year. Aurora is rightfully considered one of the Chicago courses, but it is at Homewood, Lincoln Fields and Hawthorne where Chicago gives its most generous support. These meetings follow the Aurora meeting and, with all of the tracks in complete harmony, a great year of racing is certain. The effort to create the impression that Scapa Flow had gone seriously amiss and might not be brought to the post in either the Preak-ness Stakes or the Kentucky Derby, was a scurvy bit of business. It would seem that the story was manufactured out of whole cloth and for the purpose of influencing the price that is being laid in the fuure book against the chances of Mr. Jeffords great colt. That is an idea that has been experienced by Scott Harlan recently when he denied the rumor of injury and gave assurances that the son of Man o War would be a sure starter in the Preakness Stakes on May 9 and the Derby on May 14, barring a real accident. Scapa Flow has been doing all that has been asked of him brilliantly ever since his arrival at Pimlico and even before he was shipped there from Berlin he was so far advanced in his preparation that Mr. Harlan made his own hotel reservation in Louisville for Derby week. Scapa Flow is not an eligible to the Chesapeake Stakes, of the Harford Association, which is to be decided April 30, but it is likely he will be raced at least once before he is sent to the post in the Preakness S.akes He is ready for a race at any time now and trainer Harlan appreciates the value of a race in the final tightening up for a big contest. But whether or not Scapa Flow is to be seen in action before the Preakness Stakes and whether or not he is even started in the big race of the Maryland Jockey Club, the fact remains that there was absolutely nothing, but a vicious attempt to belittle his present condition, in the stories recently circulated of his having met with serious injury.

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