Kentucky-Breds Dominate Classic: Sixty-Two of Past Winner Foaled in Blue Grass State, Daily Racing Form, 1950-05-06


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Aw- Kentucky-Breds Dominate Classic Sixty-Two of Past Winners Foaled in Blue Grass State Sectional Rivalry Running High This Year; Many Take In Farms on Derby Junket By HUGH J. McGUIRE LEXINGTON, Ky., May 5.— Perhaps the best index of the close relationship between the Kentucky Derby and the Blue Grass sector of Kentucky is found in the record that shows 62 of the 75 Derby winners were foaled in Kentucky and that most of the other victors in the Churchill Downs classic had close ties of kinship or other connections with the area. This record is not so remarkable when it is considered that the Blue Grass is known throughout the world as the cradle of the Thoroughbred industry in America. Sectional interest in the Derby preparations has run particularly high this season, much of it centered around traditional Keeneland, as candidates from California, Wisconsin. Oklahoma, Texas, New York, Canada and elsewhere displayed their Derby prowess, or lack of it, during the gruelling weeks of groundwork. But in the Blue Grass a thoroughbred is respected for what he does rather than for his home state and it is nothing new that thoroughbred lovers from all parts of the country have for years combined their Derby trips with a visit to the breeding farms close by to see their retired favorites and their progeny regardless of the location of the place of their ownership or the scene of their successes on the track. In fact, the increasing number of visitors each season caused one farm manager to remark waggishly that soon the trip to see the Derby would be incidental to a tour of nspection of the nurseries. It is true that this traffic is growing by leaps and bounds and the experienced visitor who each season automatically includes the Blue Grass tour in his itinerary is finding that his neighbor has learned to do likewise. Once this tour is well made, its charm, educational value and the lasting interest it creates makes it a "must" each season thereafter. Set Up Own Traffic System This increase in the number of visitors to the Blue Grass area is no idle boast. One prominent farm which plays host to several hundred visitors each regular day, has found it necessary to set up its own traffic direction system on the farm on Sundays and holidays. A prominent hotel is rebuilding completely and plans for JOCKEY JOHNNY LONGDEN— Will be astride the favorite Your Host, a victory on whom would give the Wiest Coast reinsman his second success in Classic. another hotel are on the drawing boards. Completely modern motels and tourist lodges have been compelled to enlarge their facilities to accommodate the increased number of visitors. Situated some 80 miles from the scene of the Derby, the Blue Grass area is a natural lure to those who have come from distant states. One mistake that the unseasoned Blue Grass visitor may make which the experienced traveler has overcome is to expect to complete his visit by seeing only one or two of the nationally known farms. These show places must be seen, of course, and indeed each one of them offers something different from the others. But the skilled visitor has learned that the smaller and less well-known farms offer charm and hospitality not outdone. A practice gaining in favor among visi- ► ■ tors is the taking of pictures on the farms, and there are camera fans who come back to photograph as yearlings the foals whose pictures they took last year. On the more practical side, prospective purchasers of yearlings either privately or at the July sales at Keeneland, take this opportunity to get a valuable preview of the colts and fillies to be offered. The Blue Grass country usually is at its best at Derby time, which also is foaling and mating time on the farms, the busiest season of the year and the most interesting. This is fortunate for visitors, who will find that, despite the pressure of business, they will be given a warm welcome. They will see the proudest stallions in the world, sleek and majestic, and their offspring, the friendly yearlings and the gangling new-born foals at the side of their dams. One note of warning is sounded for Blue Grass visitors. It could be expressed in many ways, but is perhaps told best by one of the younger Blue Grass thoroughbred breeders, a New York publisher, who says, "I first came down from New York to Kentucky to see what the horses I bet on at the track looked like when they were at home on the farms. The following year I could not resist the lure of owning a few yearlings. Now I have not one, but two, breedings farms. And I love it." It could happen to you.

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