Reflections: Making Derby Choice Tough for Handicappers Louisville Classic Still Wide Open Event Large Field Likely for 77th Running Intersectional Interest Still Very Strong, Daily Racing Form, 1951-05-02


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REFLECTIONS by nelson dunstan CHURCHILL DOWNS, Louisville, Ky., May 1. — Even the Derby Trial is now history, and after we watched the running, we had to admit that we were no closer to a solid Derby choice than we were that day at Laurel when we watched Repetoire win the Cherry Blossom. Since then, Repetoire had been been a a four four -time -time stake stake winner, winner, but but been been a a four four -time -time stake stake winner, winner, but but everywhere we go, it seems that people are of the same opinion we are that a horse may be brilliant at a mile and a sixteenth, but his status is doubtful at a mile and a quarter. The Chesapeake Stakes, Experimental Handicaps Nos. 1 and 2, Wood Memorial and Blue Grass Stakes have been written into the chart books, and have left us all in state of "out and out confusion," as to Derby possibilities. A year ago we could not make up our mind between Middleground and Hill Prince, with Your Host in the same position with us that Repetoire is today. But -there are even more angles to this years Derby, for besides wondering whether this, or that, horse will "get" the Derby distance, there is the little matter— or rather the big matter — of track conditions. If Greentrees Big Stretch is a starter, it will only be because the track is fast, for John Gaver was quoted as saying, after the showing of his horse in the Blue Grass Stakes, that he will not start in the Derby unless the racing strip is dry. AAA Seemingly, we have already been wrong in one statement regarding the Derby, and that was that the field would hardly be more than 14. A Count Fleet or a Citation can limit a field, but with such wide-open conditions as now exist, we look for the bugle to call from 14 to 18 to the post for this seventy-seventh running of the Derby. Making Derby Choice Tough for Handicappers Louisville Classic Still Wide Open Event Large Field Likely for 77th Running Inter sectional Interest Still Very Strong It seems fairly certain that Battle Morn, Repetoire, Ruhe, Big Stretch if the going is dry, Mameluke, Count Turf, Timely Reward, Royal Mustang, Counterpoint, King Clover, Sonic, Jumbo, Brevite and Pur Sang will try for the long end of the 00,000 added money. Frankly, this is a guess, but every year there are some "Cinderella horses" who go to the post with little more than a prayer on the part of their owner and trainer, and in that group could be added Calumet Farms Fanfare; Brownell Combs Bernwood; Sam Wilsons Golden Birch; Brown Hotels The Gink and Snuzzle, a horribly-named pair; Woodvale Farms Away Away; Grentree Stables Hall of Fame, and Freeman Keyes Irish Flare. There might be others to make a very large field in a year such as this. It is natural that many owners will pay the starting fee of ,000 for each horse on the theory that another Exterminator or another Donerail will come out of the pack for a stunning upset. AAA Intersectional interest is still keen, even though California appears to be out of the picture. The East, besides Repetoire, will depend upon Battle Morn and Count Turf. Repetoire is owned by Mrs. Nora Mikell, and although that lady has not seen her colt in his previous victories, she has decided to be at Louisville on the week-end for the Derby. A victory for Battle Morn or Count Turf would be pleasing to those in the New York area, for Harry Guggenheim, owner of the Cain Hoy Stable, and Jack Amiel, whose colors will be carried by Count Turf, are popular in the Empire State. Neither has ever won a Derby. Battle Morn will be ridden by Eddie Arcaro and will have the benefit of the skill of a lad who is the only one to win four renewals of the classic event at Churchill Downs. Battle Morn has the bad habit of going wide, and it is Eddies job to keep him on the shortest route from start to finish. Battle Morn is a "come from behind" horse, and he will be getting in his best licks when some of the earlier horses are looking for a place to fold up and fade. Count Turf wiM be at a much longer price than Battle Morn. AAA With the sidelining of Uncle Miltie, Pennsylvania passed out of the contention, and while Texas will have representation with Sonic, the old pattern of East versus Midwest has narrowed. While C. V. Whitney makes his home on Long Island, he must be classified with John Hay Whitney for Kentucky, and they have Mameluke and Big Stretch, along with Hall of Fame, as their representative. Mameluke was the winner of one division of the Blue Grass Stakes last week, and should it come up mud or even sloppy going Saturday, he will be a youngster to reckon with. On the contrary, Big Stretch does not like the mud and, as stated, he will not be a starter in the event the going is "off." Brownell Combs, the Woodvale Farm of Royce Martin, Hal Price Headley and the Brown Hotel Etable, must all be regarded as hailing from Kentucky. While Sam Wilson and C. C. Tanner are racing bulwarks from the lone star state of Texas, there is enough sectionalism to warm the heart of Maj. William Coram, who is now "Mr. Derby" and whose pedigree Continued on Page Forty-Two m SJ the b tn the ar and ™ wl yo you. ca wc fa face ne tn that _ U tr n * of will U h . a for give ? • hj lo SO SO n« D th the qu do a a *Q REFLECTIONS By NELSON DUNSTAN Continued from Page Forty-Four traces back to the state of Missouri. Connecticut comes into the picture with Mrs. Wallace Gilroys Timely Reward, another those "come from behind" horses who be running his best when the field turns for home. The Gilroys make their home in Greenwich. AAA In view of what we have said in the above paragraphs, it would be meaningless us to name the possible winner or to our one-two-and-three horses as we have done for so many years. Going back a long way, we cannot recall a season when many horses who loom as possible winners. There have been a few years when a Derby victory appears to be in the lap of gods. However, we cannot recall a year quite like this, for, while one of a half dozen might be selected, it would be purely guess. As we said a few days ago, this could be a season when one three-year-old might win the Derby, another the Preak-ness and still another the Belmont. For all uncertainty, this Derby renewal has all appeal of those which have gone before instead of endeavoring to select a winner we are going to be there to see just what happens and pass our thoughts on to We are in sympathy with the handi-cappers who, by the very nature of their work, must make their selections, for they a tough job attempting to pick a winner of a renewal which is different to any we can recall.

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