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REFLECTIONS I By Nelson Dunstan Your Host Still Interests Racing Fans California Colt to Start in Withers One Mile Run Under 1:36 Difficult Task Foreign-Bred Horses Busy at Belmont Park NEW YORK, N. Y., May 11. The field for the 5,000 Withers, which will be the feature at Belmont Saturday, is slowly shaping. Strategically placed between the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, this one mile race race stresses stresses that that the the Derby Derby has has taken taken little little race race stresses stresses that that the the Derby Derby has has taken taken little little edge from the interest in the three-year-old division. Max Hirsch has said that Middle-ground may be a starter, and if that materializes, his presence in the lineup will be welcomed by the Belmont officials and the fans. Hill Prince, who is a slow beginner, was to have skipped the Withers for the longer Preakness on the following weekend, but he showed so much zip in a work today that trainer Hayes has virtually decided to start him. Middleground will have plenty of opposition, even though the Chenery Chenery colt colt is is absent, absent, for for among among the the likely likely Chenery Chenery colt colt is is absent, absent, for for among among the the likely likely starters are Ferd, who defeated Middleground in a six-furlong race earlier in the season; William Goetz Your Host, George D. Wideners Lights Up, Mrs. W. H. Jeffords entry of Suleiman and Post* Card, and others. Even though Your Host stopped badly in the Derby, Easterners are anxious to see this California horse in action, and it would not surprise us if he ran a much-improved race over the one at Louisville. At one mile, he shapes up as the horse they all will have to catch. Inaugurated in 1874, the Withers is a race which demonstrates how rare it is that champions run one mUe under 1:36. Back in 1920, Man o War, galloping well within himself, ran the Withers in 1:25%, then a new American record for that distance in actual contest. Big Red carried 118 pounds. Two years later, Snob U., who was also ridden by Clarence Kummer, equalled Man o Wars mark, beating Pillory and June Grass. Sixteen years were to pass before another horse ran the Withers under 1:36, and that was in 1939 when the speedy Johnstown, who won the Kentucky Derby, was clocked in the same time. From that day, no winner of this race, which was named in honor of D. D. Withers, has been able to cross the finish line in better than 1:36. Two years ago, Vulcans Forge defeated Coaltown in 1:36%, but the following year Calumets record-breaker went to Chicago and won the Whirlaway Stakes in 1:34, flat, creating a new American record for the distance. Olympia has been one of fastest horses of the past decade, but in taking the Withers last year, he defeated Ocean Drive in 1:36%. Speaking of speed records, the Golden Gate meeting is under way at Albany, Calif., and before it closes, racing fans may again hear of a meeting between Noor and Citation in the 0,000 Golden Gate Handicap, at a mile and a quarter, on June 24. In this months issue of "The Thoroughbred" is an article in which Golden Gate Fields is referred to as "the worlds record track." That is no idle boast, for within the past three years no less than four worlds .records have been made or tied at this track, which undoubtedly is the fastest in America today, and in all probability the fastest since Juarez. It was at Golden Gate that Shannon DT., now in stud at Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky, equalled the worlds record of 1:59% for one and one-quarter miles. Noor, who defeated Citation in the Santa Anita Handicap and San Juan Capistrano, appears to have recovered from the injury he sustained late in the Tanforan meeting. It will be interesting to see what weight the racing secretary assigns these rivals. A meeting of this pair would jam any race track to capacity, and it now appears that Golden Gate is the one most likely to get the race. That old saying, "There is a better one in the barn," may well be applied to the A. G. Vanderbilt stable. While Next Move has been carrying the burden in the races for three-year-old fillies, the result of yesterdays Acorn Stakes attested the fact that the Sagamore contingent is likely to need the services of the champion, Bed o Roses, in the Coaching Club American Oaks on May 27. In the Acorn, Next Move appeared a cinch, and those at the Elmont course backed this daughter of Bull Lea down to 3 to 10 at the mutuel windows. At the finish the crowd watched silently as the Cain Hoy Stables Siama crossed the finish to defeat Next Move and thus inject herself prominently into Coaching Club calculations. Also eligible for this event is J. C. Hauers Aris Mona, who surprised the fans at Churchill Downs the day before the Kentucky Derby by winning the Kentucky Oaks from Wondring. At one and three-eighths miles, the Coaching Club is a gruelling test for three-year-old fillies, and it is seldom won by other than a top member of the division. Last year, the Calumet Farms Wistful defeated 13 opponents and, from all present indications, a good-sized field should be drawn from the 86 that were nominated for the 0,000 race that will be run on the last Saturday of this month. Foreign-bred horses have been very much in evidence on the Belmont programs, and some of them are winning races. Last Tuesday, a German jumper named Wunderprinz won the hurdle race at 1.40, and the fans were predicting that he would be prominent in the future jumping races. Yesterday, Irish Easter, Auftakt, Tolbiac, Miss Elizabeth, Laico, La Nappe, Ispahan, Lord Grillo, Apachico, Kader and Killeybegs were entered in one race or another, proving that horses from England, Ireland, France, South America, and even Germany are now regularly appearing on our race programs. It will be the same at the Keeneland and Saratoga sales this summer, for never before in the history of yearling sales have there been so many youngsters of imported sires offered. Fresh infusions of blood, regardless of their origin, are good for the breed in any country, and that is especially true here. Even though England still claims to produce the best horses in the world, we can match them. But much of the success of our breeding has resulted from the importation of horses during the past quarter-century.