Here and There on the Turf: Sentiment and Racing. Gray Lag as a Stud. Feeling in California, Daily Racing Form, 1927-06-20


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Here and There on the Turf Sentiment and Racing. Gray Lag as a Stud. Feeling in California. Some Madden Yearlings. e $ It was good to hear the applause at Aqueduct on Friday when old Grey Lag appeared in the parade in the second race. It told of the sentiment that there is in racing, and it told of the devotion that the racing public has for the horse himself. Grey Lag had not been under colors since the Suburban Handicap of 1923 when, under 135 pounds, he was its winner from Snob II. and Exodus, but there were many in the crowd who would have known the handsome chestnut even without the distinguishing stable silks and the program number he carried. The others knew of his deeds, and that applause was for the horse. It was hearty and pleasant to hear. There still are those who are so utterly dead to the fine : things of the turf that they cannot imagine any such demonstration. They look upon racing as nothing more than a device for betting or "gambling," as too many of the misinformed killjoys always designate race course speculation. They know nothing of the real thrill that the turfman has in a courageous horse and his deeds. They are devoid of all that finer feeling that abounds on the turf. That tribute to Grey Lag was strictly for the horse. It was the coming back of a sturdy champion, and even to see him race was a treat, though he should go down in defeat. But Grey Lag did not disappoint them, and they felt pretty well convinced that he would be the winner. They knew that there is no trainer of any time that has a greater sentimental love for his horses than Samuel C. Hildreth, and he never would have sent old Grey Lag to the post if he had even a remote idea that the old son of Star Shoot would not win. He thinks too much of the horse to risk a defeat in bringing him back after three years of idleness. It would have been a calamity to have had him beaten. Now that Grey Lag is back in the lists he may be depended upon to go on. He will hardly be expected to come back to all the glories that were his in 1922 and 1923. As a three-year-old Grey Lag : was the winner of the Belmont Stakes and the Dwyer Stakes. Then, in 1922, when a four-year-old, he was the winner of the Empire City Handicap, under 132 pounds; the Queens County Handicap, carrying 127, and the Saratoga Handicap, under 130 pounds. As a five-year-old the next year this great horse won the Metropolitan Handicap, under 133 pounds; the Excelsior Handicap, under 130 pounds; the Kings County Handicap, carrying 128 pounds, and the Suburban Handicap, his last start until his return on Friday, under 135 pounds. What a horse he would have been to match against Pierre Wer-theimers Epinard in 1924! Of course, Epinard was beaten in his specials over here, but it was too bad that Grey Lag was not able to race that year. Of course, the return of Grey Lag will lend especial interest to the racing of his two-year-olds this year. There are ten colts and one filly by Grey Lag, as the result of his first season in the stud and, while many of the others bred by Mr. Sinclair are more liberally engaged, it is expected that some of these Grey Lags will be seen before long. Of course, it is greatly to be desired that such a sterling race horse should make good as a sire, but if he does, it will be something of a contradiction of blood lines. Sons of Star Shoot, the sire of Grey Lag, have seldom made good in the stud, while his daughters have almost invariably been great matrons. Star Shoot sent many a great horse to the races, but his fame on the breeding farm has only been carried on- by his females. Of course, Grey Lag may be the exception to prove the rule and it would be fitting if such a royal champion should carry on as a stock horse but it will be surprising to some if he upsets all the past performances of the Star Shoot line. This promised revival of racing in California is receiving some real support, and from unexpected quarters in San Francisco. But a short time ago the people of California voted against racing for the state and now many of those same voters are advocating racing and campaigning for the return of the thoroughbreds. They have come to a realization that San Francisco is not getting its share of the winter tourists and they have also come to the realization that racing will bring the tourists back. Down deep in their-hearts there are few thinking men who can find any harm in racing. They can find nothing on which to prohibit, but too often they are carried away by the ballyhoo of those who are shouting against racing for some ulterior motive. But there has been a change of opinion in the State of California and now with the sport virtually banished from Florida, they see new opportunities for California to divert that tourist trade to the Pacific Coast and let it be known that San Francisco is a bit jealous of the popularity that has come to San Diego by reason of the racing that is furnished over the Mexican border at Tijuana. They remember that when racing was conducted at Ascot Park, Los Angeles took a decided boom as a winter resort and now San Diego has inherited some of that popularity by reason of the Mexican racing. This has caused many of the opponents of racing to see it in a different .light at this time and many who voted against the return of the sport, if afforded another opportunity, would vote for its return. Folks become tired being told "dont" to everything that they desire to do and the pendulum can swing just so far when it must swing back. It appears that California is just about fed up on this prohibition of this fine healthful sport and they are ready to welcome it back when the Tanforan meeting is opened in the fall, as has been promised. "While John E. Madden has retired as a public breeder, after having topped the list for the number of winners from his famous Hamburg Place nursery ever since 1917, he still has some yearlings to market this year. He has issued a catalogue of forty-two choicely-bred yearlings that are for sale and in that he is departing a bit from his old method of developing his own yearlings and selling them as two-year-olds. But Mr. Madden has virtually retired as a public breeder and he now devotes himself more to racing, only breeding to recruit his racing string. Of the yearlings Mr. Madden is offering at this time, there are fourteen the progeny of Friar Rock, Continued on twentieth page. 3 HERE AND THERE ON THE TURF $ e Continued from second page ten by Sir Martin; six by Peter Quince, five by Star Master; three by Runny-mede, two by Spanish Prince II. and one each by High Noon and Tryster. Thus, there is surely variety enough from which a purchaser might make a selection. Eight of the Friar Rocks are colts and seven of the ten by Sir Martin are also colts. There is one colt and five fillies in the Peter Quince list, two colts and three fillies by Star Master. Both of the representatives of Spanish Prince II. are colts and there are two colts and one filly by Runnymede. The High Noon youngster is a colt and the Tryster a filly. With one who has always used such great care in the selections of his matrons, little need be said of the distaff side of these yearlings.

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