Between Races: New Illinois Commissioner Tells Policies Says Recent Turf Criticism Unwarranted Gala Fashion Show Garden State Special Worthwhile Gesture in Public Relations, Daily Racing Form, 1951-05-10


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BETWEEN RACES * «c« ore GARDEN STATE PARK, Camden, N. J., May 9. — William S. Miller, the new member of the Illinois Racing Board, is approaching the problems of the turf in his state with a good deal of understanding and common sense. Illinois long has been noted for having outstanding citizens serve on on its its racing racing boards, boards, and and the the appoint- on on its its racing racing boards, boards, and and the the appoint- appointment of Miller by Gov. Adlai Stevenson is not an exception. Miller has a working knowledge of horse racing gleaned from a lifetime of experience. A native of Indiana, he grew up in the "Dan Patch" country of Montgomery County, and for the last several years has been associated with a cousin, A. B. Karle, in raising thoroughbreds. In business life, he manufactures playground equipment in his home city of Ottawa. "Horses have been my hobby for a long time," says Miller, "and I am fortunate that I will have lots of time to devote to commission activities and to the fostering of the best interests of racing in Illinois. I am just getting acquainted with my new duties, starting with the knowledge that my fellow commissioners have done an outstanding job and that our Governor is decidedly interested in seeing that Illinois racing be as fine as possible. It is fortunate that Illinois has a Governor who takes such an active interest in seeing the sport kept on a high plane. One thing that has had me puzzled about racing is that the sport, in recent months, has received unfavorable publicity which it does not deserve. It has been my observation that the percentage of people who might be termed undesirable are fewer in racing than in business. In the manufacture of playground equipment, for instance, we sometimes run across people whom we have to let go, in other words, terminate their employment because they are undesirable as employes. Whenever we rid our organization of such New Illinois Commissioner Tells Policies Says Recent Turf Criticism Unwarranted Gala Fashion Show Garden State Special* Worthwhile Gesture in Public Relations a person, it doesnt make headlines. But let some worthless fellow be denied a license, or his license be revoked, on a race track, and the incident is played up far beyond its importance." AAA Miller is right. Industry and big business rid themselves of their element of misfits, and naught is made of it. But let a jockey, say, who is a three-time loser for major violations of turf rules, be refused a license, and people everywhere know about it, and take sides. This has even happened in cases where the Guild itself has refused to support such riders. The same applies to any licensee. In any event our brief interview with commissioner Miller was enough to convince us that he has a constructive and refreshing attitude toward the sport which will be reflected not only in continued harmony on the Illinois board, but which will prove a decided asset to the state and an assist to Stuyvesant Peabody and Frank Warton in their efforts to do everything possible for the general well-being of the turf in Illinois. Chicago racing is really national racing, and as such extends beyond state lines. Hence we feel that an introduction to the entire American racing public of the new Illinois board member is quite in order. AAA Racing at Garden State Park is on a sound basis, but Gene Mori and his associates are of the opinion that it should be adorned now and then with a touch of color and extra activity if only for the reason that the track lives up to its motto, "Racing Planned for Pleasure." One of the most important facets of this program is the annual fashion show, which, this spring, has been scheduled for next Thursday. It will be staged on a runway platform, equally visible to the grandstand and clubhouse areas, and will be sponsored by Gimbel Brothers of Philadelphia. One section of the show will be devoted to society models, each of whose costumes will represent an owner with a horse in the fifth race. The model whose stable wins will receive the costume from Gimbels, and the charity she represents will receive a substantial donation. We are mentioning the show at some length for the reason that it has become the high point of the year at Garden State Park in rallying the civic leaders of South Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania to an appreciation of the merits of racing in general and Garden State Park in particular, and thus accomplishes something worthwhile in the field of public relations. This is but one of the many reasons why some critics number Garden State as among many ideal American race tracks. AAA Anything Garden State essays is done in the grand manner, and the fashion show is no exception. It is not hit or miss impromptu staging as at some places. General manager Walter Donovan, a perfectionist in race track operation, exercises direct supervision over it and is aided by a very able good will man in Marshall Bain-bridge, Jr., an old Philadelphia news hawk with a flair for the novel. It might be mentioned that Bainbridge was responsible for the introduction of turf clinics, about which more will be written in a later column. Suffice it to say, the clinics have become a Philadelphia institution and, we learn, are to be copied at some other important tracks, a sincere form of flattery. Handling the Continued on Page Forty-Three BETWEEN RACES By OSCAR OTIS Continued from Page Forty-Four distaff operation is Ruth Chilton, a radio personality in her own right for more than 20 years, and who has done considerable in the past few years to popularize an afternoon at the races for "madam" as a socially correct and exciting way of entertaining. AAA Caliente has raised purses twice within a fortnight, unprecedented in the annals of Mexican border racing. It is a tribute to the management of Walter C. Marty, who has established public faith in Caliente racing, and to the cooperation of the horsemen, who pitched in and entered their better horses to make Saturday, as well as Sunday cards "go.". . Business was so good at the recently closed Lincoln Downs meeting that the horsemen split 65,378 in purse money, retroactively, in line with the policy of B. A. Dario in paying 3 per cent of the handle to horsemen, in effect making them partners. The money amounted to 41 per race. The Dario plan has evoked widespread comment, for under it, the horsemen have a strong incentive to enter races which otherwise might have been called off, thus compelling the carding of a cheap substitute, which is not conducive to stimulation of public interest and support.

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