Reflections: Theory to be Keenly Watched in Derby Trial Calumet Horse Still Has Large Following Derby Should, Daily Racing Form, 1950-05-02


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I | ™,K-*"L*— REFLECTIONS • By Nelson Dunstan Theory to Be Keenly Watched in Derby Trial Calumet Horse Still Has Large Following Derby Should Be Run in Very Fast Time Combs Will Be Rooting for Your Host to Win CHURCHILL DOWNS, Louisville, Ky., May 1. Tomorrows thirteenth running of the Derby Trial will add little to the controversy of what still shapes up as one of -the most open Derby renewals within the recollection of veterans here here in in Kentucky. Kentucky. The The Trial Trial is is at at one one I | here here in in Kentucky. Kentucky. The The Trial Trial is is at at one one mile, so it must be regarded more as a race to put the finishing touches on candidates than one which will point out the winner at one and one-quarter miles four days later. Last year Olympia was the Trial winner over Ponder and Capot. But in the Derby the Hooper colt faded out of the picture as Ponder, Capot and Palestinian made their stretch bids that caused them to finish in the one-two-three positions that earned pots of gold for their owners. rT1V»«i The foltiwxif Calumet TTo Farms T-rtn c- T ionrw Theory will will Yo be nno one , r , , ; [ I ! j T , [ 5 I , I I ; . 5 7 j f j t » » 5 3 r 1 r " 1 s j . tt rT1V»«i The foltiwxif Calumet TTo Farms T-rtn c- T ionrw Theory will will Yo be nno one ™,K-*"L*— of the keenly watched Derby candidates to go tomorrow. Ben Jones has said on quite a few occasions that he did not believe he had the Derby winner, but with Ponder in mind, many people we have talked with just smile and say, "You cannot disregard Theory, for Ben Jones has a habit of bringing his Worses up to a race in the best possible condition." There is* no doubt that Ben Jones is "one of the most astute trainers ever to ply his trade on the American turf, but after watching Theory in his Florida races, we just cannot see his improving to the point where he will duplicate the feat of Ponder last year. We still question his ability to hold his speed over the Derby route, and tomorrows Derby Trial wil add nothing to cause a change of mind. However, the Derby itself may prove us wrong. With speed horses certain to set a sizzling pace, the seventy-sixth running of the Kentucky Derby could produce a winner who will be timed in under 2:02. This has only been accomplished twice in the long history of the race. In 1930 Gallant Fox was the winner in 2:079s, and in the very next year Twenty Grand went the Derby route in 2:0146. That record stood for 10 years or until ! 1941 when Whirlaway was clocked in 2:01%, a record that no winner has approached from that day to this. Both Twenty Grand and Whirlaway came from behind to win their respective renewals, and so did Ponder, when he won last years Diamond Jubilee running in 2:04%. Whirl-l away gave a remarkable exhibition, for he was clocked at the mile pole in 1:37% and is credited with having run the last quarter in :23%. Your Host, Hill Prince, Oil Capitol hare all been timed in races at the mile pole in under 1:37, so on paper it appears as though the coming renewal should be run in the fastest time since Whirlaway established the record. No winner since his day has been timed in better than 2:04, but we are going to be very surprised if they do not better that mark on Saturday. Before leaving Lexington and since arriving in Louisville it had been obvious that Kentucky breeders and owners were greatly impressed by the speed of Your Host in winning the Scarlet Gate" Purse. Col. Phil Chinn, who has been around for half a century or more, paid the Californias colt one of the greatest compliments possible when he said, "He is the greatest sprinter I have seen since the days of Roseben." Known as the "Big Train," Roseben was the horse who carried crushing weigths, and in reading about his accomplishments, we often wondered if the handicappers were not having a little game of their own to see how much Roseben could carry before breaking him down. In paying this compliment, Colonel Chinn added, "Only the future will decide whether Your Host will be a genuine stayer." Most of those we have talked with make the same qualification, and it is apparent while acknowledging his speed, there is some doubt left as to whether he can carry it over the one and one-quarter mile route. Any horse that can blaze seven furlongs in 1:22% and so thoroughly outclass seven competitors of Derby ranking must be included among the greatest sprinters of the present century. The whole question of Your Host in the Derby narrows itself to his carrying his tremendous speed over a distance of ground. Only the Derby itself will conclusively answer the question. But what he has shown to date is enough to justify the high rating he now holds. A loyal band of -Calif ornians are coming on to root for Your Host in the Derby, but none in the cheering brigade will have as much at stake as Leslie Combs II., of the Spendthrift Farm in Lexington. Standing at historic Spendthrift is Alibhai, the sire, and also Boudoir II., the daughter of Mahmoud, who produced Your Host. In a nearby field is a chestnut filly who is a full sister to Your Host, and she will be offered at public sale when the Spendthrift yearlings are sent into the ring at Keene- land late in July. In markings this chestnut miss is very similar to her illustrious older brother, and the one thing that is immediately noticeable is the fact that she, too, has four white legs. The markings of Your Host have caused considerable controversy, but those who watched this colt win the Scarlet Gate Purse at Keeneland realize that the color theory is just another piece of tomfoolery that has been handed down by our forefathers. We doubt very much if the four white legs is going to have anything to do with Your Hosts speed in the Derby running or in the appeal of his youngter sister when she is sent under the auctioneers hammer. This full sister to Your Host is just one of the five yearlings by Alibhai that are in the Spendthrift consignment to the summer sales, and just one of these is a bay colt out of Painted Veil, the good racing daughter of Blue Larkspur, while another colt is out of Belle Cane, a daughter of Beau Pere, who produced the Santa Margarita Handicap winner, Lurline B. Speaking of speed horses, we had an unusual experience before leaving Lexington in watching Coaltown romp around a paddock at Calumet Farm under the watchful eye of Paul Ebel-" hardt and a group of men on the farm. This was the first time in two years that the worlds record-holder had been in the paddock other than one at a race track. As he walked out, Coal-. town appeared to be in perfect physical condition, but it was the keen eye of Ben Jones that decided he should be given a rest before further competition. It was our first thought "he would go flying around the paddock, but once loose of his handler, he promptly decided that he was going to make the best of his vacation by tasting the goodness of Kentucky blue ,# grass. After a time he suddenly decided to "take off" for a 0 Continued on Page Twenty-Six I REFLECTIONS By NELSON DUNSTAN Continued from Page Forty-Eight run, but completing only one round of the paddock he settled down for more grazing. Ebelhardt tells us he will be given three or four months of pasture and then in late August or September will be put back into light training on the farm. Coaltown will not be seen in competition again until the Hialeah meeting in Florida next winter. When he is sent back to the race track he will be accompanied by Re-Armed, the full brother to Armed, who was shipped back to Calumet from Santa Anita a few months ago.

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