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■ ■ ■ i . " ■ m ; j j j | | | I IIreflections l~-~ ■—■—■— — — — — ~~— ~~~ ~~ mmmm ~~ By Nelson Dunstan 00,000 Santa Anita Handicap on Week End Thumbs Up Looms Favorite Over Gay Dalton Seabiscuit Real Hero of Rich Coast Race Bay View Won Last Running Four Years Ago NEW YORK, N. Y., June 27. The 00,000 Santa Anita Handicap on Saturday shapes up as a race between Thumbs Up, who will be carrying 130 pounds, and Gay Dalton, 126. We did not say a "two-horse race," for the the leason leason that that Brie Brie a a Bac Bac is is in in with with 122 122 ■ ■ ■ i . " ■ | | I , i ■ I j the the leason leason that that Brie Brie a a Bac Bac is is in in with with 122 122 and the only three-year-old likely to start is Best Effort, in at 114. Gay Dalton, twice the winner of the Handicap de las Americas, is regarded as something of a "wonder horse" in Mexico. But Thumbs Up has staged a remarkable comeback this year and not only did he defeat Gay Dalton in the Beverly Hills Handicap but with Devil Diver and Rounders, must be listed as one of the best three handicap performers in this country — until Saturday night, at least. A victory for Thumbs Thumbs Up, Up, who who is is owned owned by by Louis Louis B. B. Mayer, Mayer, J I I i i I Thumbs Thumbs Up, Up, who who is is owned owned by by Louis Louis B. B. Mayer, Mayer, m would mean that he will surely come East to contest with those generally regarded as the best of the older horses in the country. If there should be an upset in this race, it will probably be by Brie a Bac, the horse who defeated Jury Box in one race at Agua Caliente some months back. Although it is the worlds richest race, the short history of the Santa Anita Handicap is also packed with interest and entwined in the life of a great horse — Sea-biscuit! But even before Seabiscuit came into the picture it was a race of surprises. Back in 1934 it was announced that a S 100,000 race would climax the inaugural meeting at the beautiful new track situated in Arcadia. Calif. Starters that day in 1935 included Equipoise, Twenty Grand and Mate — three of the best horses of their years and who had staged ding-dong battles among themselves just a few years before. It was in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes of 1930 that Twenty Grand and Equipoise had staged one of the most sensational one-mile races ever seen in this country. Twenty Grand was the winner in 1:36 flat, a record that was to stand until Alsab amazed the racing world when he won the Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park in 1:35-5, up to that time the fastest mile ever run by a juvenile anywhere in the world. Here were these three famous horses as starters in the first running of the Santa Anita Handicap. At the finish line, however, the winner was the seven-year-old Azucar, who, ridden by George Woolf. earned S108.400, the largest purse of any race run anywhere in the world. In that first running of the Santa Anita Handicap. Time Supply was third. The following year Time Supply came back to run second to Top Row, with Rosemont third. In 1937 Rose-mont was the winner, with Seabiscuit second. Indian Broom third and Time Supply out of the money. Up until that year Seabiscuit was not considered a great horse, but a few weeks after the running of that 1937 renewal the son of Hard Tack won the San Juan Capistrano Handicap, and then, in succession, followed with victories in the Marchbank Handicap, Bay Meadows Handicap, and then came East to win the Brooklyn Handicap, Butler Handicap, Yonkers Handicap, Massachusetts Handicap, only to have his string broken by running third to Calumet Dick and Snark in the Narragansett Special, where he carried 132 and was giving gobs of weight to his opponents. By the time the 1938 Santa Anita Handicap rolled around. Sea-biscuit was a famous horse but once again he was beaten by the proverbial whisker by Stagehand, who, just two weeks before, had won the Santa Anita Derby. , Early in 1939 the name of Seabiscuit was heard throughout the country. In California he was an idol, and when, on February 14 of that year he came out for his first race at Santa Anita a huge throng was there to cheer him on. But that race was a costly one for he came out of it a very lame horse, and just as it was his first race of the year so was it the last. It appeared as if Charles S. Howards dream of having his champion. Seabiscuit, supplant Sun Beau as the worlds money-winning champion was at an end. The horse was sent to the Howard farm and bred to a few mares, but early in 1940, on February 9 to be exact, he came out to run third in a handicap event. A week later, he was sixth in the San Carlos Handicap. A week after that his name was heard throughout America once again as he won the San Antonio Handicap. He was now within striking distance of Sun Beaus record of 76,744, but a victory in the Santa Anita Handicap was necessary to make him the champion. Not only did he stage the greatest comeback of recent years but ran the one and one-quarter miles in 2:011/s, thereby earning 6,650 and bringing his all-time total to 37,730 — a new worlds earning record. He never raced after that, but he did not have to, for he had become one of the worlds most famous horses. Mioland, another Charles S. Howard colorbearer. was the favorite for the 1941 running, but at the finish line Bay View, with Nick Wall atop and wearing the colors of Mrs. Anthony Pelleteri, had scored the greatest upset in the annals of the race, winning over Mioland, with Bolingbroke third. Little did the huge throng at the track that day realize that four years were to pass before the eighth running of this race would take place. In December of that year, Japan attacked at Pearl Harbor and Santa Anita was soon turned over to the armed forces of our country. Saturdays race will be the peak of one of the most successful meetings ever staged on the West Coast. The field will undoubtedly be the smallest since the inaugural running in 1935. And while it must be said that it will not be as formidable a field as seen in some renewals, the name of the winner will go down in history just as those from Azucar to Bay View have.