Here and There on the Turf: Scratch Rule Needed.; Selfishness of Trainers.; Floridas Turf Battle.; Dade County for Racing., Daily Racing Form, 1927-05-26


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Here and There on the Turf Scratch Rule Needed Selfishness of Trainers Floridas Turf Battle Bade County for Racing An evidence of hoW the racing in New York is dominated by the trainers for want of an adequate scratch rule as well as in various other ways was fur nished at Belmont Park on Tuesday when an overnight handicap that had thirteen acceptances resulted in a walkj over for C A Mills Millwick Thej trainers utterly ruined the race by re fusing to start their horses after they had signified an acceptance of the weights by naming through the entry box With an adequate scratch rule this would not have been possible but it is not the first and it will not be the last walkover in New York YorkThere There have been various walkovers in stakes and there have been some in over ¬ night races as there was at Belmont Park on Tuesday It is remembered inj 1910 that Thomas Hitchcock had a walk ¬ over in an overnight steeplechase at Saratoga The horse was Stoure j jThen Then another notable one was when J w Hedrick Jrs Napier walked over in a cheap mile selling race that wasj in 1915 At the time Hedrick had been claiming and running up horses in which he had a starter until many of the owners had become thoroughly fright ¬ ened to race against him It was in the days of the selling races and before the excellent amendments were adopted to the rule governing the racing of platers platersMany Many a horse in the programed field had nothing to fear from Napier but their owners had much to fear from Hedrick It was generally agreed that he had entered merely for the purpose of claiming a starter and with no serious hope that Napier would be the winner winnerThe The horses that were scratched were such useful campaigners of that day as Donald MacDonald Amalfi Montresor Blue Thistle Little Nearer Wanda Pit zer Spearhead The Grader Supreme and Easter Star StarProbably Probably had all of them started Napier would have finished last but the fear of having a horse claimed was the chief reason that brought about the scratching of each other one that had been carded to start and Napier had a walkover walkoverUnder Under the rules Hedrick was well within his rights and nothing could be done except to permit his horse to cover the course for the half of the purse that is awarded when there is no contention With a proper scratch rule this could never come about and it is high time that the New York associations came to that realization and impress upon the trainers that the public is entitled to some consideration Of course it could be argued for the scratching on Tuesday that the race was a high weight handi ¬ cap and the track was in a bad condi ¬ tion That is some excuse but it is not excuse enough for the ruining of a con ¬ test and the rules should not permit such an occurrence occurrenceEverywhere Everywhere else that horses are raced in this country provision is made against any such fiasco as was staged at Bel ¬ mont Park on Tuesday and there is no good reason why where it costs more to go to the races than anywhere else that it should be permitted It is square ¬ ly up to the associations themselves If they are determined to let the trainers suit their own convenience and selfishly break up a program by scratching it will have but one result and that will be a loss of public confidence in the sport and a consequent loss of patronage patronageMuch Much has been said from time to time about the evils of permitting the adding of horses after the entries have been an ¬ nounced but the wholesale scratching of carded starters is an infinitely greater evil and one which should be corrected without delay delayThis This has been set forth without bring ¬ ing results but racing has advanced until it is imperative that something be done in the matter matterThese These cases that have been quoted are 1 only a few of the walkovers They have not been frequent in overnight races j but under the existing rules they are always possible and they will always be possible until the New York associations adopt a scratch rule that will prevent the ruining of a race as the race of Tuesday was ruined No matter what the final outcome is of the present fight to retain racing in Florida it has been conclusively demon strated that it is almost the unanimous desire of the citizens of Miami and Bade County that there be no disurbing of the sport Whether or not that will have its effect on the lawmakers at Talla ¬ hassee remains to be seen seenThe The overwhelming desire for a con ¬ tinuance of the sport was conclusively shown by a monster mass meeting of voters recently held at Miami when it was conservatively estimated there were 20000 present And remember that a crowd of 20000 in Miami in the late days of May is a tremendously big crowd It is a big crowd at any time but in May such a crowd represents Miami and not tourists arid visitors in the delightful winter resort resortBut But with all that demonstration for the sport it has been shown that Joe V Dillon Fred L Weede and D Earl Wil ¬ son three representatives from Dade County has declared against the Watson bill that provided for the racing being a question of local option in all the coun ¬ ties of Florida At this same mass meet ¬ ing the three representatives were called upon to support the measure that has the approval of a vast majority of their constituents constituentsJust Just what effect this meeting and the resolution that were adopted will have on these representatives will be watched with a great deal of interest but the will of the people of Dade County was set forth in language that could not be misunderstood and it is worth repeating After a preamble setting forth that the mass meeting was called by Mayor Romfh City Commissioners Oilman and Leffler of Miami Mayor Lummus of Miami Beach and a large number of in ¬ fluential citizens including George Mer rick and Glenn Curtis the demand that the bill be supported is made in this language languageThe The bill will not require your sanction of horse racing in principle but the overwhelming majority of the people here are demanding that you give the citizens of Dade County an opportunity to decide this important question for themselves themselvesYour Your refusal to vote for this bill under these circumstances will not only be a direct attack on the great democratic principle of selfgovern ¬ ment but it will also be a crime against ths best interests of your constituents and one which will rise against you in rebuke as long as you live The number of those in atten ¬ dance at the meeting was many times the number of votes which you re ceived when you were elected to the legislatureAt legislature At this same meeting there was also a resolution adopted that Governor John W Martin be petitioned on behalf of a bill applicable only to Dade County pro ¬ viding for a referendum on the question of racing racingThe The stubborn attitude of the three representatives from Dade County has been freely commented upon by the Miami press in the various reports of this mass meeting and it would seem that unless they heed the demands of the voters each has dug his political politicalgrave grave graveAnd And this demonstration on behalf of the passage of the Watson bill has gone much further than a mere question of racing Many of the speakers who ex ¬ pressed no interest for or against racing resented that the three representatives refused to honestly represent their con ¬ stituents in failing to support a measure j that made the question one of self deter ¬ mination for the voters themselves themselvesThus Thus the fight goes on to find out just whether or not the turf is to endure in Dade County The bill introduced by Senator John W Watson is one that would put the question fairly up to the voters themselves and the fact that rac ing interest is willing to have the voters decide the question expresses confidence in the result and at the same time there could be no fairer way to decide the question

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