view raw text
Here and There on the Turf Jockey Club Broadens Attitude i Aurora Plans Are Ambitious May Improve Tropical Park ; Will Wait Reigh Counts Get Taxation Endangers Florida Racing ! ; Tampa Sport May Be Revived .,4 Latest example of the new order in New York racing as well as the changed attitude of The Jockey Club is reflected in the ac- tion of the latter organization in granting a license to train horses to Miss "Mary Hirsch, daughter of a well known trainer, Max Hirsch, but distinctly a conditioner of thoroughbreds in her own right. Miss Hirsch received her first papers to train horses from the Illinois State Racing Commission and later similar approval was given in Michigan, but announcement that her application has been okayed by The Jockey Club comes as a greater surprise than did news of the original permit because of the general adherence to old standards by the 250 Park Avenue organization. Miss Hirsch made her first bid for a license to The Jockey Club, but she was advised not to press the request. Undaunted while feeling in the right, Miss Hirsch finally found members of the Illinois commission in a sympathetic mood and was given her papers. After moving her horses to Michigan, the young New York woman was unable to obtain a license elsewhere and has not officially trained horses since, although she has had several in her care and has been responsible for their condition. One of these is the speedy sprinter Captain Argb, a delicate type of horse which lias done exceptionally well in Florida this winter under her tutelage. Her father claims no person in the world could have done so well with Captain Argo as Miss Hirsch. The opposition to granting JMiss Hirsch a license has beep principally based on the theory that it would set a bad precedent, but it might be said the same was true when the first permit was granted a male applicant. Quite a few men have been given the privilege to train horses who didnt deserve the right. Just because she is a woman is no reason why Miss Hirsch should not be allowed to train horses. She is well qualified, Which cannot be said for all the men having permits and she does not expect to receive any favors just because she is a woman. Rules and regulations apply to her just as they do to any others on the race track and she can be expected to obey them just as well as male trainers. What is most significant, however, in the action of The Jockey Club in giving Miss Hirsch trainers license is the broader attitude adopted by the solons of 250 Park avenue towards the government of racing. It presages a new order in the sport. Even though their meeting at Aurora last year was a substantial loser and this -pring they must closed on a Friday instead of Continued on twenty-first page. HERE AND THERE ON THE TURF Continued from second page. Saturday, the Fox "Valley Jockey Club again intends to add 0,000 to the Illinois Derby. This mile and a furlong event brought out a pretty fair field of three-year-olds last spring, victory going to Dixianas speedy filly Mata Hari, by a narrow margin over James W. Parrishs New Deal. Coming as it does three weeks after the Kentucky Derby and a similar time before the Detroit Derby, the Aurora special should attract many of the Wests better three-year-olds, especially those which are not shipped east for campaigning. Numerous improvements are being made at Aurora in anticipation of better support from the public at the Fox Valley course. The space between the grandtsand and the track is being concreted and the walk to the paddock also is being paved. The front stairways to the grandstand are being replaced by ramps leading into the betting in-closures and the seating facilities in the stand also arc being improved. Even though the Aurora meeting does not start until May 1, more than a hundred horses already are in training there, having recently arrived from New Orleans, where they had been campaigning at the Fair Grounds. Racing in Florida was brought to a close Monday afternoon at Tropical Park with the offering of a program benefiting charity. The season has been a long one, running continuously from December 15, but despite its great length, it has been the most successful in modern times at Miami. As a result the 1935-6 season may be expected to be as long. Both the Miami Jockey Club and the Gables Racing Association made good profits, even the latter organization at the first Tropical Park meeting. In the case, of Tropical Park, the good season may result in a number of improvements being made by William Vincent Dwyer, the prin- j cipal owner. Dwyer has in mind an extension of the grandstand and other alterations to improve accommodations for the public. If the Florida legislature should happen to pass a measure providing for a more equitable distribution of the best dates between Hialeah and Tropical, Dwyer may go to even greater effort to improve Tropical Park. In the mind of no less an authority than Matt Winn, Tropical Park possesses one of the finest racing plants in the country. The Kentucky Derby impresario says the Gables course would be more widely recognized as such but for the existence of Hialeah Park with its fabulous "beauty. Tropical has not near the landscaping of the older Miami track, but more is planned by Dwyer in his effort to make the plant as complete and as beautiful as possible. The victory of Our Count for H. R. Rum-age in the Fort Worth Handicap at Arlington Downs Saturday, when he lowered the track record for a mile and one-sixteenth, bears out the theory now entertained by Mr. and Mrs. John Hertz that the produce of Reigh Count must necessarily be given plenty of time for development. Our Count, a gelded son of Reigh Count and Anita Pea-body, is on the small order, but even so he did not reach his stride until last summer as a threeTyear-old. Other sons and daughters of Reigh Count also have demonstrated their lateness in coming to hand and as a consequence Frank Hackett, who has charge of the Hertz stable at Columbia, intends to go slowly with the Reigh Count juveniles this season. Meanwhile he looks for his two promising Reigh Count three-year-olds Our Reigh and Count Arthur to be better race horses than they were last year. Among the questions expected to come before the Florida legislature when it convenes next month is one increasing the tax on pari-mutuel betting. Already the Everglade state get three cents of every dollar wagered and with the tracks share amounting to seven cents plus another cent and three-quarters from the breakage, the public gets a pretty thorough going over. If the cut is made any stiffer by the state increasing its share, Florida racing will be pushed over the danger line. The public is able to stand plenty of gaff, but there is a limit to everything, including the percentage they will allow to be taken from the money wagered on horse races. If Floridas legislators can see the matter in the correct light they will let well enough alone and not alter the present status of the racing bill insofar as the take is concerned. Racing at the horse and dog tracks in Florida nets the state treasury nearly a million and a half dollars. This is very important money in Florida and is divided . I equally among all the counties for school purposes. In more than one case it has been the means of the; schools remaining open. When the Florida legislators put the life af racing in danger by considering an increase in taxation, they will be aiming a blow at their educational system. Also they will be weakening Floridas attraction as a winter, .haven for tourists. Too much taxation will and can have the effect of driving the capital of winter racing to some other section of the country and with it will go many thousands of good spenders. California is doing the right thing by racing and its many attractions by reducing the takeout, not increasing it. A strong possibility exists that racing will be revived in the Tampa-St. Petersburg district, perhaps at a new course more convenient than the old Tampa track. The writer knows of one prominent racing man who has gone into the situation on the west coast of Florida very thoroughly and he is convinced good racing could be made successful, but he certainly cannot be expected to go into the project if Florida raises its cut of the wagering from three to say five per cent. The best lesson of what the heavier take means is to be learned from dog racing at the Miami greyhound tracks this winter. Even though the sport at Hialeah and Tropical parks boomed as more persons than ever visted Miami this season, the attendance and wagering at the dog tracks showed a decrease. The take at the dog tracks is fifteen per cent plus breakage. Results of the ninety-seventh running of the Grand National Steeplechase were very disappointing to the majority of American racing fans, as they had hoped Thomond H. would carry the silks of John Hay Whitney to victory. Thomond II., second choice in the wagering to Golden Miller, could do no better, however, than finish third behind the outsiders, Reynoldstown and Blue Prince, thus duplicating his feat of a year ago when Golden Miller and Delaneige led him to the judges in the worlds greatest steeplechase spectacle. Golden Millers downfall must have been very stunning to the English racing public, as Miss Dorothy Pagets horse had been made the shortest-priced favorite in years, but the result was very pleasing to the bookmakers, as they had been deluged with commissions on the horse. Whitney may be expected back at Aintree next spring for a try at the Grand National. The young American sportsman is very keen on owning a vinner of the jumping classic, an honor enjoyed by very few Americans. Mrs. F. Ambrose Clark was the last American to furnish a Grand National winner, her Kcllsboro Jack emerging victorious two years ago. Previous to that A. Charles Schwartz saw his Jack Horner get the verdict in 1926, while Stephen "Laddie" San-fords Sergeant Murphy defeated a notable field in 1923. Before that year the Grand National was regularly captured by home-owned horses. Connecticut will have no racing, this year at least, which should make the operators of New York, Rhode Island and New Hampshire tracks feel much easier. Governor Cross vetoed the pari-mutuel measure passed by the legislature, and his action received the approval of the house of representatives. The Connecticut bill would have gone on the statute books had Governor Cross been called out of the state or something, as Lieut. Gov. Frank Hayes most surely would have signed it. The former mayor of Water-bury long has been the owner of a modest stable trained by that master of the English language, P. E. Fitzgerald. With no racing in Connecticut, Walter OHara, at Narragansett Park, and Lou Smith, at Rockingham Park, will have no cause to worry about added competition for horses while the owners of New York tracks need have no fears about a loss of attendance. One angle to the treatment of j the resolution altering New York states constitution permitting pari-mutuel betting by the senate committee, in which it now reposes, is eliminated by the death of Connecticuts racing bill. Pari-mutuels in Connecticut undoubtedly would have hurried New York action. The resolution already has been passed at one session of the New York legislature, and must be approved by another before it can be put before the people for their vote. Then a pari-mutuel bill must be passed be-form this form of betting is made legal, and at the very earliest this could not be attained before 1936. That the resolution is having trouble is indicated by the open opposition of Senator Crawford, sponsor of the law under which the metropolitan circuit now enjoys open wagering. When the annual meeting of the National Association of State Racing Commissioners adjourned at Miami in January, the delegates were agreed on the new modified claiming rule, which provided for a maximum claiming price of ,000 and a twenty-five per cent increase on the value of horses claimed for a period of thirty days. The new regulation was put into effect for the first time towards the middle of the Hialeah Park meeting, and it resulted in a reduced amount of claiming, as the haltermen were more wary about taking horses which had to run in higher brackets for the ensuing month. To take the place of the higher-priced claiming events forbidden by the new rule, graded handicaps were offered, but these failed to meet with the general approval of horsemen. Taking a cue from the results in Florida and the protests of many horsemen, quite a few of the racing commissioners have been thinking about the new claiming rule. Kentucky, one of the first states to adopt the regulation, has just changed it by raising the maximum price of ,000, which is high enough to take in all platers. As a result the racing secretaries at the Kentucky tracks will not be called upon to offer substitutes such as the graded handicaps for the higher-priced claiming events. Other states probably will follow Kentuckys lead, but one of these probably will not be New York. Sponsors of the new claiming law, members of the American Thoroughbred Breeders Association, had hoped to elevate the standards of racing by reducing the number of claiming races, but probably some other means than the arbitrary use of graded handicaps will have to be found.