view raw text
1 m ;; REFLECTIONS By Nelson Dunsran Mm Grass Stakes Run Today Stir Up Remains Derby Choice Chesapeake to Test Director J. E Run for Roses Still Wide Open NEW YORK. N. Y.. April 25. Tomorrows Blue Grass Stakes will bring some new light upon the Kentucky Deroy field. Regardless of the outcome, however, it | I I appears that Greentree Stables Stir Up will be the post-time favorite. One night last week we talked with Eddie Ar-caro and we though, at the time that he might be gilding the lily a bit when he told us that he thought Stir Up was "the most improved three-year-old in train- ins: and that he was I j j j | i j j 1 J , , • ! • • • , I I confident the colt would win the Wood." As matters turned out, the great little jockey was correct, and we can tell you that he is very much enthused, for the reason that, having ridden Lawrin and Whirlaway to victory at Churchill Downs, a win on Stir Up would tie him with those two masters of the saddle, Isaac Murphy and Earl Saude. Stir Up is just another example of the oft-repeated statement that a two-year-old can improve greatly in the winter months that follow the juvenile career. In his Experimental Free Handicap, John B. Campbell rated Stir Up at 114 pounds, or thirty-thud on the list. At the time of release it looked as if The Jockey Club handicapper had placed the Greentree racer just about where he belonged. In his first start at Hialeah. Stir Up was not too impressive. He was prepped by John Gaver at Aiken and brought down to the Florida traek with the Flamingo his objective. A gelding, he is of fairly good size. In that first race he finished third, being beaten by Calumet Farms Bull Weed, with Freezout second. After that race, opinion was divided. Bull Weed ran impressively and some thought he might be a Derby possibility. Gaver had very little to say. but Stir Up had a lot to say when the field for the Flamingo got under way. Director J. E. was the favorite that day and, until the head of the stretch, he looked like the winner. But it was at that point that Stir Up came to him and then went away to win in convincing fashion. "There is a Derby horse" was the general opinion of those at the winter track. The Wood Memorial, strangely enough, drew the class of the crop in the first division. In winning. Stir Up was again an improved horse and if he continues that way, he has a splendid chance of going on to win the coveted "Triple Crown." Pukka Gin was a disappointment, but we are inclined to throw that race out. He is a better horse than he showed himself to be last Saturday and he will not be without supporters if the Whitney contingent de-! cides to send him to Louisville for the May 6 race. Other horses have been beaten in the Wood, only to go on to Kentucky and give a good account of themselves. We still look for a big field to go to the Derby post. The Blue Grass Stakes and Saturdays Chesapeake at Pimlico are certain to develop three-year-olds who will justify going postward for the big race. It may be that some of these challengers will be those who were rated down in the pack on the Experimental Free Handicap. It was an open year for two-year-olds in 1945 and, in our book, it is still an open year for the same group as three-year-olds, for we are not so high on Stir Up that we would take the 8 to 5 which is now being offered. In fact, we believe he will be 3 to 1 or even better, when that group walks into the stall gate at Churchill Downs. True, the talk now centers on this Greentree racer, but he is by no means a standout to win the 5,000 race. Not even Andy Schuttinger can put his finger on the reason for the poor showing of Pukka Gin. During much of the race we watched Stymie very closely. He could not gain on Stir Up, but he was coming away from the others and he might be the horse they will all have to beat at Churchill Downs. The fact that he did not run as ifast as Stir Up seems to be quite a point I regarding those who saw Lucky Draw win the second division of the Wood. There | was a full two seconds difference. l:44ls as against 1:46*5 for Lucky Draw. But, you can depend upon it that had he been pushed, the Widener three-year-old would i have run a much faster race. He was in command of the situation from start to j finish and, for that reason, we do not place too much emphasis on the comparative :jtime. The horse that we will watch witli a great deal of interest in the Chesapeake, ?:this week-end, is Director J. E. When he j faded from the picture in Florida and. ■Stir Up went on to win, many classified. him as a sprinter and dropped him from their calculations. It may be that he is -1 only a sprinter, but the Chesapeake holds [the answer.