From Show Business to Turf Is Story of Larry Thompson: Prominent Trainer and HBPA Official Directed Personal Appearances of Movie Stars, Daily Racing Form, 1949-06-07


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LAWRENCE H. LARRY THOMPSON From Show Business to Turf Is Story of Larry Thompson Prominent Trainer and HBP A Official Directed Personal Appearances of Movie Stars By TEDDY COX WASHINGTON PARK, Homewood, HI., June 6. — Lawrence Hay den "Larry" Thompson once directed personal appearance tours of Jean Harlow, Marie Dressier and other cinema stars while employed by Loews, Inc. He was a crack salesman for the National Cash Register Company and an accountant for the Frisco Lines railroad. The 39-year-old gentleman from Brookfield, Mo., has engaged in a number of other occupations, none of which had anything to do with qualifying him for a position as one of the most capable thoroughbred trainers at this course. Last year in the Prairie State, Thompson finished second to William H. Bishop for training honors in number of races won. He won several races at the recent Sportsmans Park meeting and it will not be surprising in the least if he again finishes high on the list here, although he has a comparatively small stable. Were it possible to link Thompsons early youth with his present status and eliminate his activity in varied enterprises in the interim, one could readily see why he turned ! to thoroughbred racing and enjoyed considerable success. "I guess I spent more time at the Brook-field Fair Grounds than I did at school," he relates. "They used to quarter a lot of horses there when there was no racing in the state and I used to get out there in the morning and afternoon to walk hots, muck out stalls or do anything else to earn a few pennies. Failure As a Jockey "When I was graduated from high school, I decided on a riding career, and began to ride races at the fairs at Trenton, Macon, Sedalia and other bush tracks. I must confess, though, that I was a very poor jockey and finally gave it up to concentrate on exercising horses. Ben Jones used to race his Jones Stock Farm horses at those fairs and there were a lot of others, including Bennett Creech, who moved up the ladder from there. "With Milo Shields I went to Juarez, Mexico, for the last meeting held there. Col. Matt J. Winn had run the meeting many years before, but this time Bill Kyne amount to much and finally closed. From there I went to Salt Lake City, where Kyne operated another track. That didnt last long, either." By this time, Larrys mother became anxious about her wandering and only son and demanded that he return home. This was in the fall of 1926 and for the next 10 years Larry concerned himself with finding his way in the business world. Fed Up With Show Business "Along about 1935 I was getting thoroughly fed up with show business and one day I had the opportunity to purchase a thoroughbred, a mare named Sweepogan. Think I paid ,600 for her and when she began to win races and I started to visit the track almost every morning, I was more determined than ever to get back to the races. Sweepogan continued to win for me and in 1937 I decided to take her myself as owner and trainer. "Sweepogan couldnt do anything wrong for me and as she added to her victories, I added to my stable. Guess Ive won about 300 races since I acquired the mare, who, herself, took first money in 36 starts, 30 of them for me." As Thompsons success mounted he became more prominent among horsemen and three years ago the Illinois group elected him vice-president of the Horsemens Benevolent Protective Association, a position he has held since. He has played a great part in the development of that organization, and as its chief representative here he has been responsible for many improvements in the stabling areas and the increase in minimum purse schedules. Thompson attends most of the national meetings of the HJPA and because of his outstanding ability to argue the cause of the organization, he often is selected as spokesman in HH.P.A. vs. management arbitration. Assembles Hard-Hitting Stable Last year Thompson was employed by Mrs. Helen S. Reineman as trainer. The wife of a prominent Chicago steel businessman, she wished to obtain a hard-hitting stable and money, she told him, was no object. The Missouri horseman went into immediate action and within a few weeks had in his care one of the most pretentious stables in Illinois. He purchased the good sprinter Carrara Marble for 5,000 from ;W. M. Ingram and through the claiming box obtained Dark Secret, First Whirl and Dinner Hour, all of whom proved bargains. Three days after the Carrara Marble transaction, the sprinter finished second in the Hawthorne Speed Handicap. He was beaten only a short margin by the outstanding three-year-old, Billings. After that race, Mrs. Reineman could have doubled the money she paid for the horse. Thompson also saddled Dinner Hour when that gelding won the 0,000 Miami Beach Handicap last winter in Floridar It was the first and only stake victory scored by Thompson, although he has had many horses that have finished close. The Thompson-Reineman team came to the parting of the ways on March 1 last and Larry is now concerned only with his modest stable, which includes Cloy, Some Bid, Bresno and Fairy Bread.

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