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REFLECTIONS Nelson Dunstan — — — — — — By Saratoga Springs Thanks Mayor ODwyer Aqueduct Course Really Has Improvements Monmouth Stake Events Draw Champs Arlington Park to Offer Finest Racing NEW YORK, N. Y., June 12. For the past few years, the cry "Save Saratoga Racing" was heard up and down the Hudson. Now that it has been saved, the board of supervisors at Saratoga Serines show their grati tude by placing an extra 5 per cent tax on racing at the Upstate Spa. This new tax is expected to enable Saratoga to write off its entire tax bill for the next three years. At the same time, race tracks in New Jersey should be deeply thankful to Governor Dewey, Mayor ODwyer and the Saratoga county supervisors. Racing opens at Monmouth Park next week and will then go to Atlantic City, one of the foremost playgrounds of the United States. It is only natural that when horse players are seeking a week-end awav from the citv. thev will think twice before going north to Saratoga Springs, with its 5 per cent "bite" when, by a shorter trip, they can motor to Atlantic City and enjoy the cool breezes, sufficient hotels, a swim in the ocean — and no political stranglehold when they want to play a race. Racing wanted Saratoga saved. Saratoga Springs was once the traditional stronghold of the thoroughbred sport, but today it is little more than a commercial city, asking everything of a horse player and giving little or nothing in return. A pleasant surprise awaited those who visited the Aqueduct track this week. Unlike Jamaica, where they built a few new betting booths and labeled them "improvements," the Aqueduct officials actually beautified their plant and also added to the north end of the grandstand to the extent that they can accommodate some additional ten to fifteen thousand persons in a fairly comfortable way. Of course, there are some more mutuel windows, In fact, there are some 80 new windows in operation for the convenience of the dear old public. Then, again, there Is a new trainers grandstand on the backstretch and that Is, Indeed something of an innovation. Beyond all that, the form at Aqueduct has not been very reliable and the horses who have raced there are hardly up to the quality for which New York is noted. For three years, this writer has been bewailing the sad lack of top-notch horses and we believe that is more prevalent this year than it has been in the past few seasons. The best race of the meeting Is likely to take place on this week-end when the 0,000 Dwyer will feature Assault versus the best three-year-olds that can be mustered against him. This morning, the first book of stake nominations for events at Monmouth Park, which will open on June 19, came to our desk. Of the 12 stakes which will be run, they did surprisingly well in their nominations, and especially so in view of the shortage of three-year-olds and older horses in training. With the Oceanport Handicap and Long Branch Handicap cancelled due to the postponement, the opening days feature event will be the 0,000 Colleen Stakes for two-year-old fillies at five and a half furlongs. On Saturday, June 22, they will stage the 5,000 Molly Pitcher Handicap, for fillies and mares, three-year-olds and upward, at a mile and a sixteenth. Then on Wednesday, June 26, the feature will be the 0,000 New Jersey Futurity, for two-year-olds foaled in the Skeeter State. It is surprising, when the list is scanned, that 46 juveniles were nominated for this race at five and a half furlongs. This, in itself, is an indication that New Jersey breeding has advanced in leaps and bounds in recent years. California has added quite a few new breeders to her list by staging races exclusively for California -breds and it is a credit to the Monmouth management that they have inaugurated a futurity which should aid in interesting those in the state across the Hudson in the breeding industry. Arlington Park will open its meeting next Monday and, running through July 27, it will offer some of the best racing to be seen in this country during the 1946 season. It will be immediately followed by Washington Park, where the sport will continue until September 2. Champions from the East Coast and the West Coast are gathering in Chicago for a combined stake program that totals ,075,000 in added money, and with high grade overnight events, the total distribution will amount to approximately ,500,000. Every division has attractive events. The two-year-olds will center their activities around the Arlington Futurity and the Washington Park Futurity, each of which have 5,000 in added money. The Classic and American Derby both with 0,000 in added money, will be the top events for three -year-olds. For older horses, there are the 0,000 Stars and Stripes, 0,000 Arlington Handicap, 0,000 Sheridan, 0,000 Whirlaway and the 0,000 Washington Handicap. During these meetings, Armed, Busher, Assault, Beaugay and a host of other champions will be seen in action. Chicago fans can be content in that they are viewing sport which compares with the finest staged anywhere in this country. The Empire City Racing Association is another which released its booklet of nominations to stakes for the meeting which will run from June 24 to July 2. In all, nine stake events will be contested at the summer meeting, two of which are with 0,000 in added money. The first of these is the Empire City, for three-year-olds at a mile and three-sixteenths and while it closed with but 35 nominations, the list includes Assault, Lord Bahram, Rippey, Cable and, among others, Mist o Gold, who has started but once since he contracted a fever just a few days before the running of the Kentucky Derby. The other 0,000 event is the Butler, which is a handicap for three-year-olds and older horses and will be run on Saturday, July 13. This race closed with only 35 nominations, but, due to the shortage of older performers now in training, it is futile to guess how big a field will respond for such a prize. The opening days stakes, on Monday, June 24, will be the Fleetwing Handicap, for three-year-olds and older horses at six furlongs. This race drew only 25 nominations so, once again, it is brought clearly home how few handicap performers there are around today.