Between Races, Daily Racing Form, 1950-05-09


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— Between Races By Oscar Otis 1 NEW YORK, N. Y. May 8.— Mr. Corums first Derby proved a thrill-packed affair, and it was fitting enough that Middle-eround. ground, the the hiorhweieht highweight ground, the the hiorhweieht highweight colt on the Experimental Handicap last year, should -win it. While the gold and the glory, to coin a phrase, went to the King Ranch, we might add that the 76th Derby running also saw the collapse of some of the fondest hopes seen in years. We believe that p perhaps e r h a n s the the horse horse — p perhaps e r h a n s the the horse horse Hallieboy, the pride of the Deep South, scored what the ancient Romans termed a "moral victory" by finishing as good as tenth in the fourteen-horse field. In fact, he was next in line behind the favorite, Your Horst, whose deep ninth must be recorded as one of the great Derby disappointments of all time. Another victory of the moral variety was that of Hawley, who, at better than 80-1, managed to finish on even terms with the hero of Florida racing. Oil Capitol. Hawley shipped all the way from Tanforan because he won a stake there styled the Sequoia, and his sportsman-owner, Clifford Mooers, believed he was entitled to a Derby chance. No horse ever arrived in Kentucky from California more widely heralded than did the post time favorite, Your Host. His race, in our opinion, cannot be explained. It was one of those efforts which fans are wont to designate as "too poor to be true." Most horses who travel from California across the Rockies are at an initial disadvantage of riot being fully acclimated, but this could not be said of Your Host, for he won convincingly enough at Keeneland at seven furlongs. Maybe he is not a mile and a quarter horse, but it is our understanding the stable is not willing to class him as a mere sprinter until he has more of a chance to prove himself, perhaps in the Withers this Saturday or in the Preak-ness down at Pimlico a fortnight hence. It struck Californians at Churchill Downs that Your Host did not measure up in performance to his Santa ,Anita efforts. However, his presence in the Derby starting line up did much to stimulate intersectional interest in the race, and some have gone so far as to phone from the West Coast and say they will be trying again next year with Golden-State-bred stock. While this may be trade chatter, it may be of public interest that the California turf writers took quite a ribbing from their Eastern colleagues on Your Horst. Among those present was Eddie Read, who got almost as much press notice as the horse, being styled as the "personal publicity man for the colt." Actually, there is enough truth in the story to make it stick, for while Read was not on the William Goetz payroll, he has for years handled the public relations of the now dispersed L. B. Mayer turf empire, and also the good-will chores for the Del Mar track, where Your Host first gained national prominence and a potential Derby prospect by winning the 0,000 added Del Mar Futurity. The ribbing was not all one way, however, as our good friend of the New York Herald Tribune, Joe Palmer, will bear witness. Palmer, in return for this sport with the West Coasters, promised that if Your Host won, he personally would start swimming east from Montauk Point, and never turn back. Rather fortunately for him, and his friends, he will be allowed to postpone the one way swim until perhaps next year. A-few columns ago, while in Kentucky, we remarked that being an apprentice with a solid contender in the Derby did not affect the nerves of Willie Boland, who became the second novice rider in all history to win the Kentucky Derby when he brought Middleground safely to the winners circle. Apprentices are expected to become jittery when the big money is down, hence you seldom see them in important stake races. At least in a scale race or on a higher weighted contender in a handicap. Boland rode a rather masterful affair. "I just saved as much ground as I could till I got to the far turn, then took to the outside so Id be n the clear," he explains. "I didnt get many instructions from trainer Max Hirsch. He told me to ride, just as if Your Host were not in the race, and not to mak; any move too quickly. I didnt know I had the race won until after the wire, as I was afraid of Hill Prince. -All. through the stretch I was wondering when he would come along to hook me. Continued on Page Thirty-Nine BETWEEN RACES Br OSCAB OTIS Continued from Page Three and I didnt want to risk throwing my horse off stride by looking: back, so I just kept going and doing; the best I could. Middleground was giving every ounce of energy he had, and it didnt seem to me that I had any reserve speed to call upon had Hill Prince made it necessary." Derby Day fans were careful not to overlook the outcome of the Debutante Stakes as a guide for future reference, and their confidence in making Juliets Nurse an overwhelming favorite was not misplaced. The daughter of Count Fleet came within a fifth of a second of the track record on a strip not quite fast, :59and for the five furlongs, to be exact. She broke so quickly that jockey Ken Church seemed for a moment to be just hanging on, and sizzled her fractions in :22% and :46 flat. This was equal to the first quarter of Your Host, better than his half and also a fifth of a second superior to the dazzling early speed shown by the son of Alibhal in the Derby itself. Time alone will tell whether or not Juliets Nurse will sustain her speed over a distance of ground, but she has the conformation and actions of a stayer, and that is a most important indication that perhaps she will. Incidentally, she toted 122 pounds as against the 119 carried by the topweighted shareholder of the Downs record. Royal Palm. Horses and People: If Whirlaway was known as "Mr. Longtail," then Hill Prince will have to be dubbed "Mr. Shorttail." The colt lost most of his rudder foliage during: a van trip from Jersey to New York last year on one of those hot days. His tail had been bandaged for the trip, and the heat apparently induced an infection which caused the loss of the hair ...It deluged in Lexington and other nearby cities during the night before the Derby and during the morning, but it only rained lightly and briefly at Churchill and the track was fast well before the Derby running. To give you a better idea, Douglas Park, but three miles away, was deep in slush at noontime. . .About the only poor luck that Corum had for his first Derby was a bus strike in Louisville, called on Friday, and the grounding of a considerable number of planes on the Eastern Seaboard with Derby visitors, mostly of the big name variety... Assault was soundly beaten in the Derby Trial and galloped his Derby, and Middleground also failed in the Trial but came on to win, and his score, while not a wire to wire affair such as was Assaults, was perhaps a trifle more convincing from a time standpoint.

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