Reflections: Count Fleet Passes 00,000 Mark; Grey Lag Result Shock to Fans; Mediocre Lot of Three-Year-Olds?; Shortage of Good Jockeys, Grooms, Daily Racing Form, 1943-05-11


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Nelson Dunstan REFLECTIONS By Nelson Dunstan Count Fleet Passes 200000 Mark Grey Lag Result Shock to Fans Mediocre Lot of ThreeYearOlds Shortage of Good Jockeys Grooms NEW YORK N Y May 10 10Count Count Fleets Preakness earnings of 43190 sent him above 200000 his total now being 202260 Humphrey Finney field secretary of the Maryland Breeders Association is now on special duty for the coast patrol in Washington Jimmy Jones Bens boy is in charge of the coast patrol station at Tallahasee Fla Devils Thumb is not eligible for any of the Belmont threeyearold stakes nor is he named for the Classic or American Derby Six jockeys are now at Fort Riley Kans Robert Howell Ralph Neves Vincent Polk Johnny Mann B Hacker and S Parise Bill Kyne of Bay Meadows has done so much for the boys in uniform that Jerry Giesler in an open meeting of the California Horse Racing Board stated The only trouble with Kyne is that his heart is much bigger than the rest of him Marylanders insisted Vincentive would be second in the Preakness and made him second choice But Blue Swords did the expected when he ran second Galactic winner of the Pimlico Nursery is a promising babe The Hambletonian trotting classic will be run at Goshen on August 11 Lincoln Fields is all set for the opening Arlington Park was the first to make better purses for better horses more than a catch slogan Occupation is training to the satisfaction of Burley Parke and will probably renew his feud with Count Fleet in the Classic Count Fleet was more of a potential great in the Preakness than in the Derby Following the Friday night downpour the track was labelled good but even so he would have been nearer to the track record had Blue Swords been closer in the run to the wire Getting closer to the Hertz colt at that stage is something of a stunt and while Occupation Devils Thumb and Ocean Wave may offer some opposition later it now appears as if he has clear sailing in his own division Blue Swords is going to become tired of chasing him but beyond the Simmons colt and possibly the three mentioned the present group of threeyearolds appears a pretty mediocre lot Os is it that Count Fleet is so good he makes them look mediocre Only time itself holds the answer and it may be that until the son of Heigh Count takes on older horses in the fall will we able to measure his true greatness He has more than done everything asked of him to date and if he finishes the way he has started then he most assuredly will earn consideration as the best since Man o War and possibly the equal of that Big Red who is still the yardstick by which greatness is measured Should he start in both the Withers at one mile and the Belmont Stakes at one and onehalf miles they will be searching speed tests for The Count regardless of the number of opponents In the Withers and galloping within himself all the way Man o War created what was then a new American record of 134 for the mile Snob n equalled that time two years later but no Withers winner to date has tied it Opposed only by Hoodwink in the Belmont Big Red won by 20 lengths under a strong pull yet with 126 pounds Was limed in 214 a worlds record for one mile and three furlongs Since 1926 the Belmont has been at one and onehalf miles and one of the most brilliant exhibitions of her speed was seen in the 1937 renewal when War Admiral son of Man o War was timed in 228 Count Fleet amazed the racing world with his mile in 134 at Belmont last year and should he start in the Withers he will have to come close to the American record of 134 to lower it His big test of course will be the Belmont for not only does a victory mean the Triple Crown roster but it will be his first try at that distance He looks like a horse that will be as adept at two miles as he is at the standard one mile To those who witnessed the Dixie Handicap running a week ago the Grey Lag was something of a shock On paper the weekend feature at Jamaica had all the earmarks of another duel between Rivcrland and Atten tion but Boysy once again demonstrated that he can be dangerous to the best of them when favored by weight Attentions race was too bad to be true but a reading of the chart indicates he was caught in tight quarters just as he was in the Dixie Ahamo finishing second was even a greater surprise than Boysy and eyewitnesses tell us he might have been the winner had he not been bothered by Boysy Ever starter on Saturday last is an eligible for the Metropolitan this weekend and the weights which are due today will be of greater interest as a result of the Grey Lag Market Wise is a Metropolitan eligible but although reports indicate he is ready for his comeback he may not be seen in an important race before the Suburban running on the last day of the month Both Whirlaway and Alsab are named but both are as doubtful as their rival from the Tufano stable Shut Out too is on the list along with his Greentree stablemates Devil Diver and The Rhymer RhymerIn In the first paragraph we mentioned five jockeys now at Fort Riley Many others are in service including Basil James two of the Hanford boys Irving Ander ¬ son Walter Taylor and scores of others Gentlemen riders have joined up and that branch of the sport is as well represented as the professionals At Pimlico not more than 30 were plying their trade this being in sharp contrast to the 60 or 70 formerly found at the Baltimore course in more normal times About 450 are in the Jockeys Guild but the organization has about 100 now in the armed forces More are going every day and replacements are but a small percentage of those entering the service There is probably enough to carry through to the fall but the pinch is certain to be felt after that and especially among the lads who have had experience Stable help is also scarce and grooms above the draft age are hard to find Stables with good men are holding on to them for there is the same shortage among the younger ones as is found in the jockey ranks Weight will not interfere with stable help but it is going to raise havoc with jockeys For as Basil James said This army life distributes your weight but you have to be careful that it does not add to what you already have

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