Who Can Gainsay an Elders Views: Old-Timer Older than You Always Around to Dispute Your Opinions on Horses, Daily Racing Form, 1950-05-06


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• » Who Can Gainsay An Elders Views Old-Timer Older Than You Always Around to Dispute Your Opinions on Horses By BOB HORWOOD ANY RACE TRACK, Anywhere, Anytime. — There is an old song, the refrain of which is, "Old soldiers never die, they only fade away." The same might be said of race-trackers, whose longevity passeth understanding. Such inadequate explanations as the virtues of fresh air and sunshine, the necessity of early rising and attendant need for going to bed, have been advanced to explain the extended life span of the turfs most devoted followers. Actually, of course, genuine race-trackers are kept alive by their interest in the next, and then the next, and after that succeeding generations of three-year-olds. Men who pass for old-timers speak of Man o* War and resent those who compare Citation and Count Fleet with "Big Red," who came along just after World War I. Then you meet a mild and mellow individual who tells you none of these horses, not to mention Colin and Sysonby, were in a class with Hindoo. Having been around long enough to know that Hindoo won the seventh edition of the Kentucky Derby back in 1881, the year your father began to cut his baby teeth; you look at this mild and mellow individual with considerable skepticism and tell him to come ahead a few years to something he knows first hand. Raced in Era of Turftirans Then you discover, and unmistakably, by chapter and verse, that he "was there" that sunny afternoon of May 17, 1881, when Hindoo romped away to win by four lengths, with Jimmy McLaughlin- easing him through the stretch. The way the man proves his point is the remarkable thing about it. He produces a half-dozen veterans from the area around whatever secretarys office you happen to be visiting, who- also were there that afternoon, such men as 0"Neil Sevier, Steve Judge or "Fish" Tappen. You dont have to believe that these persons, with the possible exception of Judge Sevier, actully saw that Derby, but they were around at that time. Some of these veterans believe that Hindoo was the greatest horse ever to race in this country, though he was beaten more often than some more recent "great horses." However, as one turf writer of the day said, in what were comparatively restrained words for that period of lush expression In journalism, "He; lived in the age pf Turf-titans; he battled with giants and more than held his own." Campaigned Far and Wide Hindoo raced for the Dwyer brothers, who had purchased him for 5,000 in the fall of his two-year-old season. He won seven of his nine starts that year, doing considerable traveling, and his victories were in such far-flung fixtures as the Alexander Stakes in Kentucky, the Tennessee Stakes and the Tremont and Jockey Club Stakes in New York. At three, now under the care of James Rowe, the elder, he started once before the Derby, winning the Blue Ribbon Stakes at the old Lexington track, which had something resembling a hill in the stretch. In the Derby, Hindoo met five rivals, was challenged by each of them in turn after he went to the front at the start, but he laughed them off and drew away as McLaughlin pleased. The son of Virgil— Florence, by Lexington, also won the Clark Stakes,, Tidal Stakes, Coney Island Stakes, Ocean Stakes, Lorillard Stakes, Monmouth Sweepstakes, Travers Stakes, Sequel Stakes, United States Hotel Stakes then for three-year-olds and upward at a mile and a half, Kenner Stakes, Champion Stakes and New Jersey St. Leger Stakes, again proving all tracks were alike to him. Hindoo wound up the leading money winner of his year with earnings of 9,100, about a tenth of what a champion colt can earn these days. Incidentally, Hindoos time of 2:40 for the mile and a quarter was disputed. -Hindoo later became a successful sire when sold to Clay and Woodford at the end of his four-year-old season, in which he won five of his six starts and finished second in the other. Whether they are really depending on their own, or their fathers memories, the veterans may have something when they rank the son of Virgil right up with the best horses of all time.

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1950s/drf1950050601/drf1950050601_55_7
Local Identifier: drf1950050601_55_7
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800