Between Races, Daily Racing Form, 1950-05-05


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I ~~T~ I ti — 1 1 Between Races By Oscar Otis CHURCHILL DOWNS, Louisville, Ky., May 4. — A former sports writer will see to it that the Derby is a cleanly run race, and a credit to racing in I ~~T~ I „ general general and and Churchill Churchill general general and and Churchill Churchill Downs in particular. He is Sam McMeekin, who, with his associates, Jack S. Young and Jack G. Goode, comprises the board of stewards. "We always have an informal chat with the Derby riders before the race," explains McMeekin. "We point point out out that that the the eyes eyes ti point point out out that that the the eyes eyes of the world are upon them, and that we want their every action to reflect the highest interests of racing and ridhig skill. The Kentucky State Racing Commission has empowered the board of stewards to mete out sterner sentences for infractions of riding rules that might occur in the Derby than would prevail in other races. However, our Derbys have been remarkably clean, and while I have been presiding steward, weve never had to invoke this regulation. We have some of the nations leading riders under silks this Saturday, along with the cream of the three-year-old crop, and Im sure that the seventy-sixth running will live up to the record of sportsmanship that has been established." McMeekin, by the way, is a Derby "fixture" of long standing. He started as a young man as a sports writer on the Louisville Courier-Journal, but finally left, at the insistance of Col. Matt J. Winn, to cast his lot with the rising star of the Derby. He first handled press relations for the blue ribbon classic of the American turf and helped build it into the national race that it is today. He became a placing judge in 1929, and a steward in 1933. Incidentally, the present board of stewards will be supervising its eighth Derby. Joe Stevens is here from New York to see to it that no one need go hungry on Derby Day. "The Derby is perhaps the biggest single catering job in the world," says Stevens, who. came here back in 1941, the Whirlaway year, at the request of Colonel Winn. "We are used to some pretty big figures at our other race courses, but all pale in comparison to the Derby. For one thing, there are more people assembled on the grounds at Churchill Downs than anywhere else, and they stay longer. Thousands arrive early and do not leave until well after the last race is run. We have to start preparing the night before. We have ordered 300,000 pounds of ice to keep our soft drinks cold, and it must be distributed to our 124 different stands on the grounds, ranging from the smallest to our largest, the latter being the clubhouse dining room, where the traditional Derby breakfast is held. We take considerable pride in seeing that the visitors at the Derby breakfast have genuine Kentucky country ham. We order it special for the day, and it is the best that can be purchased. It is worth coming to Kentucky just to sample the ham." Incidentally, the Downs distribution setup for food and beverages is so far flung Continued on Page Forty BETWEEN RAGES . I By OSCAR OTIS Continued from Page Three that to saver the men getting; lost in making: deliveries, all efforts are integrated from a central office where blue prints are on the wall of the different operations. These bine prints are used as a guide to the dispatchers. Jockie Willie Boland, wholl be astride Middleground, is not an apprentice who is worried that his youth will be any handicap to hiirf in this, his first Derby. Boland saw Kentucky for the first time last Monday, when he sat with Jake Lowenstein and carefully watched the races to see the "style" of Downs riders,: and learn the track. Ira Hanford, you recall, is the only apprentice ever to have ridden- a Derby winner. Bold Venture in 1936. Boland rides at 106 pounds, ana hes going to ride in an extra heavy saddle, one weighing Just under eight pounds. Hell need to pack only 12 pounds of lead. Personally, we dont think the fact that Boland is an apprentice has much bearing on his riding ability in such an important race as the Derby. The boy lacks nerves. Maybe he got that way about horses by reason of his background. His father had galloped horses when racing prevailed in Texas, and Willie started out in life as a "breaker of quarter horse." "A fellow near Corpus Christi made a business of breaking horses for quarter racing and the rodeos," says Boland. "I got a job despite my size, or rather, lack of it. We tamed quite a few, and only a few who were ornery and just had to have a bigger man were taken from me and given to some one else." Boland, incidentally, loses his bug In just a week from the Derby, to be exact, the 13th of, this month. Warner Jones, Jr., master of Hermitage Farm up the turnpike towards Cin-■ cinnati, has been holding open house all week and showing with pardonable pride . his Australian stallion, Royal Gem, and the last crop of the late Hash, which are now yearlings. One visitor remarked that nomeclature funsters lost a great opportunity when Hash died, as many of his offspring had some witty tags, just as did Hash himself, a son of Questionnaire — Delicacy. Jones has two yearlings, one called American Plan,- the other Chow Line. Jones explained the naming of American Plan like this: "There are two types of hotel service, European and American. In the latter, the board bill goes with the room. So, the American . Plan operators concentrate on Hash." At random, fittingly named two-year-olds given Jockey Club approval include Whatsinit, from the mare All Forgiven; Mincemeat, from Bisonette; Shepherds Pie, from Edna M. V.; Mixed Up, from Enticing; Chow Chow, from Imperial High; Warmed Over, from Isalady; Slinger, from Nonell C; Shanty Grub, from Miss Ardith; Breakfast, from My First Today, and Royal Dish, from Palm. Incidentally, the Jones trainer, Dave Wolmendorff, known as an "old school" man, is still receiving congratulations for his training feat at Keenelahd of sending eight horses to the. post and winning with five, none of which had been to the races for at least four months previous. That used to be known as "first outing" them, and it takes better than a country hand to accomplish the task. Horses and people: "Bull" Hancock reports 119 foals at Claiborne, and 33 more are due to put in an appearance shortly. . . Churchill Downs is advertising its Derby as an East vs. West affair and that gates will be opened at 8 oclock Saturday morning. However, if enough citizens show up earlier, no doubt the wickets will be opened to accommodate them... There are two special trains from the Pacific, Coast this year, one sponsored by the American Express-Southern Pacific, the other by Jack G. Dempsey, formerly manager of operations at Del Mar . . .T. C. Piatt, president of the Breeders* Sales Company, reports that catalogues for the selected summer sale, which has seen prospective entrants ruthlessly culled, will be ready for distribution in the near future.

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