Derby Hat Trick Related by Corum: Forgot His Selections That Had Race 1-2-3-4 Last Year; Whirlaway His Favorite, Daily Racing Form, 1950-05-06


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Derby Hat Trick Related by Corum Forgot His Selections That Had Race 1-2-3-4 Last Year; Whirlaway His Favorite Br BILL CORUM CHURCHILL DOWNS, Louisville, Ky., May 5. — The editor of Daily Racing Form asked me the other day, "What was the oddest experience you ever had in connection with the Kentucky Derby?" I began groping about in my memory. "What about picking the first four horses to finish in last years running?", he prompted. Then I remembered, and the strangest part about it was that Id completely forgotten the selections I published in my newspaper column the day before the race. All I recalled was that I was sweet on Calu-umets Ponder to win, despite the lugubrious attitude of Ben Jones, his trainer. Ben had been telling one and all that his horse didnt have a chance to win the "Run for the Roses," that hed be satisfied if Ponder "got a piece "of the money" — intimating that hed consider it a moral victory if Warren Wrights colt finished as good as fourth. I had spent some time trying to convince the master trainer that Ponder not only had a chance, but looked like a cinch. But Ben was a mighty hard man to convince; in fact, he became impatient at my insistence. Right after the race, I was completely occupied with my broadcasting. I knew, of course, that Ponder had won, with Ca-pot second, Palestinian third and Old Rockport fourth, but I attached no personal significance to the finish at the time. Telegram From Swope Suddenly a messenger thrust a telegram in my hand. Thinking it had something to do with the broadcast, I read it immediately. It was a wire from Herbert Bayard Swope, congratulating me on "pulling the old hat-trick," and adding, cryptically, "now do a Gene Tunney." Then it dawned on me that I had been a very lucky fellow in picking the race one-two-three-four, and H. B. S. meant that I should retire "while still the champ." Next came another message from the broadcasting station reminding me matter-of-factly of my "accurate forecast of the outcome." When I think of the years I dreamed of . . . : . . picking the Derby "one-two-three" and what a thrill Id get from it, it was strange , indeed that when the dream did come true • — and then some— it took me so long to realize it. I got a greater thrill out of seeing Calumets Whirlaway win the Derby in 1941. IH never forget the great colt coming down the stretch like a shooting star, passing other horses as if they were anchored. He was flying for he broke the track record that day, winning by eight lengths in 2:01%. Today, I am no longer interested in trying to pick the winner of the Derby. Willy-nilly, Im following Herbert Swopes advice. All I ask is a good race and that the best horse wins. It will seem strange not to be going to the mutuel window and making a bet. But many strange things have happened to me in the last few weeks. My hours have changed, my living habits have changed, but in at least one respect I havent changed and I never will. I love a horse race, especially the Kentucky Derby — and "My Old Kentucky Home," as it is played down here on Derby Day.

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