Between Races, Daily Racing Form, 1950-05-16


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llmi , Between Races • By Oscar Otis • PIMLICO, Baltimore, "Md., May 15. — Vintage horses make for vintage runnings of the "Triple Crown" events, and appar-ently ently this this is is such such a a ently this this is is such such a a year. Hill Princes score in the Withers in New York on Saturday has set Baltimoreans agog, for the Preakness now shapes up not only as one of the most open races in years, but also one of the best. While there is no sure way to compare horses in different years, as the futility futility of of ever ever actually actually llmi futility futility of of ever ever actually actually winning a Citation-Man o* War argument, for instance, will attest, there is at least one broad base of comparison, and that is time. Middleground ran the mile and a quarter of the Kentucky Derby in 2:01%, only a fifth of a second removed from the Derby record. Hill Prince, in annexing the Withers, turned the mile in 1:35%, race horse time on any track and in any year. Add in the speculative chances of. Mr. Trouble, already on the grounds here, speculative chances enhanced by the idea on the part of many that perhaps he moved too fast at Your Host in the Derby, and in so doing wrecked his own chances, and you have the basic ingredients for one of the best Preakness renewals in all history. Personally, we believe Hill Prince demonstrated beyond the shadow of a doubt in the Withers that he can use his speed at most any part of the race and is not,, as some had considered, a belated stretch runner. Middleground was never far out of it in the Derby and moved at the will of Jockey Bill Boland. Most good horses will respond to a demand for speed or a rally at any time, and the fact that the two leading contenders for the Preakness have demonstrated just that, plus the hard-hitting qualities of some of the others who are going to take pot shots at the big two, has excited tremendous interest in the Preakness classic here. The punch has been taken out of some previous Preakness runnings by hollow victories in the Derby, but this year is not one of them. Indeed, the Preakness is now a better race than it would have been had there been no Derby at all. Preakness Week may be said to officially begin tomorrow with the packing into one day of the traditional yearling show of the Maryland breeders, the annual dinner this year its a luncheon of the Free State Thoroughbred People, and the election of officers. On Wednesday the Virginia breeders will invade the ancient Pimlico clubhouse for their annual meeting, luncheon and running of " the Virginia Breeders plate race. The Virginians, among the leading thoroughbred producers of the nation, chose Pimlico for their annual get-together for the valid reason that there is no legalized racing, with pari-mutuels, in the Old Dominion State. Incidentally, the yearling show, which will be judged by " Calumet Farms Paul Ebelhardt, drew a record number of 117 nominations, fully 40 more than last year. One of the most interesting facets of the Maryland parade of youngsters is that the spec- Continued on Page Forty ■ i BETWEEN RACES By OSCAR OTIS Continued from Page Three tators are given a chance to judge, alone with Ebelhardt, and the citizen who fills out his scorecard with points most closely approximating those of the official judge receives a trophy along with a deal of prestige as a judge of good horses. Last years champion, you may recall, was Larry MacPhails B. Battery, who is among the 45 remaining eligible lor this seasons renewal of the race annually carded for yearlings shown the previous year. There seems to be one lone departure from tradition here this year, that being the abandonment of the stake a day schedule. In fact, there are only three real stakes on the roster here this spring, the Dixie, which was decided on Saturday, the Preakness, and the Pimlico Futurity, the latter race being down for decision a week from Saturday. The Preakness, with 0,000 added, is expected to gross about 0,000. But even without its stake a day, Pimlico has lost none of its charm, and there are still a considerable number of people who pale at the suggestion that the historic rafters be razed and the Pimlico meeting combined with that of the Maryland Jockey Club at Laurel, where the people could be accommodated in a more modern fashion even if the racing remained much the same. Dave Woods, Pimlico executive, explains there is nothing mysterious about the temporary discontinuation of some of the Pimlico time honored stakes fixtures. "Weve lost money for two Straight years," says Woods, "and I dont mean book loss, either. I mean actual cash loss. Over the years, Pimlico has had the poorest dividend record of any track in the nation with the exception of Keeneland, Delaware Park, and Ak-Sar-Ben, which are non-profit institutions. While we have never regarded ourselves as a non-profit track, the record will show that we are the next thing to it. When and if conditions right themselves in Maryland, we will consider restoring some of the races we have abandoned. There is a lot of difference between failing to show a profit and sustaining continued substantial losses." Reaction of nationally known breeders to the Stremmel case, which saw The Jockey Club suspend the registration papers of 17 thoroughbreds, the produce of Glen Stud in California because of what The Jockey Club regarded as "false" registration, pending an opportunity for Stremmel to appear before the stewards of the club and present his defense, was immediate. One breeder phoned from " Kentucky to say that in his opinion, the thoroughbred production industry was whole heartedly behind the club in its drastic action to keep the Stud Book accurate and uncontaminated by mixed-up ; blood, even though all horses barred are ] beyond dispute thoroughbreds. "Some ] might think," says this breeder who de- j sires to be nameless, "that switching the i identity off the offspring of sires would be : an -easy thing to accomplish. Actually, i nothing could be further from the truth. Any switching of pedigrees involves the ] guilty knowledge of more than one, and when two people know anything, it no longer is a secret. Assuming that there was a false registration in the Stremmel case, the secret was known by more than three people, and people talk. No breeder can keep anything from his help, and no breeder would care to put himself in an untenable position which a switching of pedigrees would entail. No man can remain long on the turf and be dishonest in the slightest transaction without the whole world knowing about it. The integrity of the stud book is withont parallel In any other documentary file in the world." Most breeders to whom we talked were of the opinion that the false registration incident was so rare as to be almost without precedent, and as such emphasized the inherent honesty of the entire breeding industry. Indeed, this has been so taken for granted, and rightly so, that The Jockey Club ruling came as an utter surprise. Commented another breeder: "One of the great personal thrills derived from breeding is the knowledge that the integrity of the breeder is beyond reproach, and great pride and care is taken to insure absolute accuracy." Incidentally, the solving of the Glen Cove Stud, an investigation which began through a rumor which gained a limited circulation on the Pacific Coast when Stremmel became involved in serious personal financial difficulties, posed one of the toughest problems ever thrown in the lap of the TRPB. John Hanson, head of the West Coast TRPB bureau, made one of the most thorough investigations in American history in any field, and after five months, prepared a report to The Jockey Club which was exhaustive. It was perhaps the TRPBsmost signal accomplishment in the investigation field, for the personalities involved were bitter, and the truth in the matter was hard to ascertain.

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