B.B. Williams Judgment Is Vindicated: Last January Rated Citation as Best; Said Champion Had Done More That Early in Career Than Any Horse He Had Seen, Daily Racing Form, 1948-06-12


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The 1947 renewal of the Belmont Stakes was won by C V Whitneys Phalanx the colt who had finished second to Jet Pilot in the Kentucky Derby and third to Faultless and On Trust in the Preakness Phalanx scored by five lengths over Tide Rips in the final event of the Triple Crown series but jockey Donoso had to ride him out to maintain the lead assumed after turning into the stretch Donoso steadied his mount along in the early running In the late stages the colt moved up fast under pres ¬ sure on the outside and was under urging and drifting out at the end Two lengths back of Tide Rips was Tailspin in third place There were nine starters Coupled with Khyber Pass Phalanx at 660 was the second choice The oddson favorite ot 3 to 4 the Preakness winner Faultless finished fifth faltering at the crucial stage BBWilliams Judgment Is Vindicated Last January Rated Citation as Best BestSaid Said Champion Had Done More That Early in Career Than Any Horse He Had Seen SeenBELMONT BELMONT PARK Elmont L I N Y June 11 That man way out on the end of the limb supporting the horsemen who have put themselves on record by compar ¬ ing Citation favorably with Man o War and Count Fleet is B B Bert Williams The Circle M Farm trainer owes his posi ¬ tion at the end of the branch to the fact that in January at Hialeah he said that no horse that he had ever seen had done so much so early in his career as the mighty son of Bull Lea Williams made a point of mentioning that he had seen Man o War and Count Fleet in all of their best races racesThere There was some tendency to discount the veteran trainers pronouncement at the time as he was training War Relic himself unbeaten in two powerful races at Hialeah and apparently Citations chief rival There was a low sneaking but fairly prevalent thought that possibly Williams was pre ¬ paring an alibi in advance Foreseeing the possibility of War Relics defeat the trainer some cynics thought wanted aJl and sundry to know that it took one of the great horses of all time to accomplish the feat featSubsequent Subsequent events make it abundantly clear that Best Williams was speaking with his customary sincerity and employing the wellrounded sense of values he had ac ¬ quired through some 40 years association with thoroughbreds of all categories when assaying the rival colt quartered a half dozen barns away at Hialeah HialeahComparison Comparison With Two Greats GreatsPrior Prior to the Belmont Stakes of 1920 Man o War had been to the post 12 times 10 of them at two won 11 finished second once onceAt At the same time in 1943 Count Fleet had started 20 times won 15 finished sec ¬ ond four times and third once onceWhen When Citation goes postward tomorrow he will have started 19 times won 17 and finished second twice twiceThough Though suffering one more defeat than Man o War Citation had started in seven more races and his first defeat came at the heels of his stablemate Bewitch Count Fleet had been beaten in his first two starts as a twoyearold which can be excused in any comparison However he also suc sumbed to Occupation in the Washington Park Futurity and to Occupation receiving seven pounds and to the filly Askmenow in the Futurity at Belmont BelmontSo So far as the won and lost record of their juvenile campaigns is concerned Citations is at least as good as that of Man o War and clearly better than that of Count Fleet FleetOn On the other hand Count Fleet demon ¬ strated his stamina much earlier than either Man o War or Citation The son of Reigh Count set a Belmont Park track record for one mile when he won the Champagne Stakes in 134 and equaled the Pimlico track mark for a mile and a sixteenth when he won the Futurity there in 143 Man o War was not asked to go more than six furlongs as a twoyear old while Citation won the Pimlico Futur ¬ ity in 14845 but on a deeply muddy track trackAll All three colts beat the best available opposition in the principal stakes for juve ¬ niles and Count Fleets defeats are more than compensated by his brilliant achieve ¬ ments over a distance of ground It would require a certified hairsplitter of the thir ¬ tythird degree to say categorically that one was better than the other though it might be pointed out by the captious that both Count Fleet and Citation endured the rigors of travel while Man o War confined his first campaign to New York state and never ventured farther than Pimlico until the final race of his career the farcical match with Sir Barton in Canada CanadaBoth Both Man o War and Count Fleet were unbeaten at three while Citation was beaten by Saggy in the Chesapeake Trial a sprint In view of the Calumet colts bril ¬ liant performances against older horses at sprint distances earlier in the year at Hia ¬ leah that race must not be considered a black mark markOn On the other hand Man o War started only twice as a threeyearold before the Belmont Stakes winning the Preakness and the Withers In the former he beat Upset by a length and a half and in the mile event he led Wildair by two lengths lengthsCount Count Fleet won five races as a three yearold before engaging in the Belmont winning an overnight race at Jamaica then taking the Wood Memorial Kentucky Derby Preakness and Withers WithersCitation Citation has started 10 times this year on five different tracks Hialeah Havre de Grace Churchill Downs Pimlico and Gar ¬ den State Park As at two like Man o War and Count Fleet he made a show of the best horses of his age The one slight difference that Bert Williams may have had in mind for his remarks were made shortly after Citation beat Delegate in the Seminole Handicap is that the Calumet colt did dispose of older horses a task his predecessors were not required to face faceJust Just where Citation may fall short of Man o War as that champion was on the eve of the Belmont Stakes or of Count Fleet at the same stage of his career can hardly be deduced from the record

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Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800