Between Races: Spartan Valor Goes in Forge; Freeman McMillan Now Trainer; Exercised Citation for Racing; Reasons for Success of Joneses, Daily Racing Form, 1952-05-10


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BETWEEN RACES By Oscar Otis GARDEN STATE PARK Camden N J May 9 Spartan Valor left here last fall as just another good horse but returns in the Valley Forge Handicap at a mile and 70 yards as the idol of Jersey breeders and a surprisingly large per ¬ centage of Jersey fans No horse since Citation raced in the Jersey Stakes back in 1948 has so captured the fancy of Garden State race ¬ goers and he has been a wonderful advertise ¬ ment for racing at Garden State Park if only for the reason that he has filled the columns of local and Philadelhpia dailies for the past week with stories of his life Trainer Frankie Cat rone has reached the state of what might be termed mixed blessings that come with having a really good horse to wit weight He fully realizes that from here on Spartan Valor will have to pack his fair share of poundage but he also is in a position to know that when the weight he gets begins to drop off in the estimation of the handicapper he no longer will be in possession of the top ranking handicap horse in the nation We rather suspect that barring mishap Spartan Valor will hold his current brilliant form for a con ¬ siderable period of time because liis win ¬ ning efforts have not been gruelling ones to our way of thinking the most important factor in determining how long a horse can stay good This factor incidentally played a major role in Citation being able to amass earnings of 709470 in his three yearold form And while it may be pre ¬ mature it is just possible that assuming Intent holds his good formin California this summer that Garden State Park may offer something interesting in the way of a race this fall that would attract both horses postward postwardA A A A AAmericas Americas best known exercise boy Free ¬ man McMillan is launching into a new career as a trainer here and is beginning to assemble a band of stock which should grow in the immediate feature into a band that is formidable McMillan became familiar figure to racegoers from coast to coast as the exercise rider for the great Citation He also accompanied him to the paddock with a pony and was always wait ¬ ing on the far turn for Citations finish after the race The pony usually galloped back with Citation to the winners circle then took him in hand until arrival at the barn When Citation attained his coveted million dollar earning goal at Hollywood Park trainer H A Jimmy Jones took particular pains to toss some of the credit to McMillan He was richly deserving of the tribute for no one excepting his jockey of an afternoon was ever on Citations back from the time the colt left the farm as a yearling until after his retirement McMillan always rode Citation when the Calumetter made his frequent between races appearances on requests of various managements appearances which stimu ¬ lated public interest even though Citation did not happen to be racing on that par ¬ ticular day McMillan and Citation made their actual farewell in a gallop at Arling ¬ ton Park where he paused en route from Hollywood Park to the farm farmA A A A McMillan was with Ben and Jimmy Jones for a period of seven years thus had an unparalleled opportunity to study their training methods at close range He was a keen observer and this ability to learn through watching should go a long way to make him a success as a trainer Ben and Jimmy Jones are really great horsemen observes McMillan I would violate no secrets if I outlined a few of the procedures which make them so If I were to put my finger on just a few of the most important points Id say it was com ¬ mon sense a deep understanding of thor ¬ oughbreds an infinitely patient attention to detail and insistence upon the highest standards of quality in gear and feed Often Ive seen an order of hay arrive at tKe barn and if it looked just the least bit below their exacting par back it would go to the feed man Nor would they press a horse after he had passed his peak of form but would turn him out and wait to run him after he had been freshened up and was good again They seemed to see everything that went on around the barn and nothing apparently was ever over ¬ looked As for the patient involved I helped play a part in getting Citation back to his last campaign through careful de ¬ tailed planning Citation received an awful lot of slow works and Id even make sure that when he was getting those works wed stay well out from the rail so that when he began to change strides on the turn it would be a gentle change thus taking no risk of putting any undue strain on his leg which was a bit touchy at that time There are a number of McMillans in American racing and all of them it de ¬ velops are able horsemen The oldest brother C H is a starter on various western tracks including Centennial at Denver The boys all grew up on a farm at Colgate Oklahoma and all could ride almost as soon as they could walk Free ¬ mans other brothers all are owners or trainers or both campaigning in the Rocky Mountains and Far West Freeman himself became a rider getting his indoctrination in that most excellent of schools the jungle of the Southwest later became a steeple ¬ chase rider in New York While there he tutored under some of Americas best known training names When Citation re ¬ tired he felt that he had reached the end of an era in his life and with some 30 years of experience in his head it was high time he embarked upon a career as a trainer He had no trouble getting Vlicense in New York earlier this week wafc granted his license in Jersey arid as we said is now getting under way wayA A A A AHorses Horses and People Atlantic City is try ¬ ing an experiment this summer which prob ¬ ably will work to wit the building be ¬ tween the barns of aluminum tack and feed rooms and their use will free more than 100 stalls for thoroughbred competi ¬ tors bringing the Atlantic City stabling capacity up to a desirable 1400 and a few odd stalls The next major improvement in the store for Garden State fans will be two escalators installation of which will begin the day after the current season closes thus making them available for pa ¬ trons this fall These escalators are being installed for the use of grandstand fans in line with the theory of Garden State prexy Eugene Mori that the two dollar fan should have as much luxury as any ¬ body else They will both go up until about the second race after which one will be reversed and go down until near the close of the programs after which both will go down They are expected to save a tremendous amount of wear and tear on the customers and make Garden State the third American track to use this mode of elevation The first to install an escalator was Santa Anita the second Gulfstream Park Jack Brennan formerly TRPB ex ¬ ecutive for New Jersey tracks has been promoted to be in charge of all investiga ¬ tive work nationally and is now making his headquarters in New York His work in Jersey was so outstanding that when the vacancy occurred by the shifting of Bob Laughlin to head the highly important midcontinent TRPB operation Brennan was chosen for the post

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