Between Races: Turfs TV Future Still in Doubt; Editors Determine News Values; Boshamers Faith in Ohio Sport; Sees Thistle Down as Major Track, Daily Racing Form, 1952-05-21


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BETWEEN RACES By Oscar Otis] NEW YORK, N. Y., May 20.— Saturdays* Preakness was witnessed by several million people, from coast to coast over television, and other millions heard the race via radio, but, as the Maryland Jockey Club closed its spring season, its officials, along with "other racing people throughout the country, were wondering about the future. In Baltimore, several radio and television stations have completely eliminated race results from news and sports programs, and we understand the same situation prevails to a great extent in Philadelphia. One Maryland leader tells me that the alarming thing about this development is not the elimination of these racing items from programs, but rather the fact that racing has been singled out. Such unfair discrimination where the sport of racing is made the goat might well pave the way to further unfair practices. These eliminations have been made by the stations in question because the stations themselves do not know the attitude of the Federal Communications Commission on the matter. It was, of course, indirect pressure from the FCC which brought about the cancellations. There is reason to believe that the FCC will clarify its position in the matter, but nevertheless, until this is done, the sport is bound to suffer. It seems to us that racing is on the threshold -of an era of hitherto unprecedented public popularity, and that the crowds and handles are up most everywhere is pretty good proof of this" premise. How much more popular it would be with free dissemination of news is anybodys guess, but most people believe it would be considerable. .AAA This corner wonders, as does everyone else, as to how news values are determined. The Preakness was televised nationally, but the other stakes at Pimlico could not be televised even locally. Yet, "overnight" ball games are being televised without hinder-ance. The "Triple Crown" races might be likened to the World Series of baseball. The classics are Americas best known races, and as such are recognized as having great news value. But it seems to us that a stake, or even an overnight feature event, has just as much news value to Turfs TV Future Still in Doubt Editors Determine News Values Boshamers Faith in Ohio Sport Sees Thistle Down as Major Track racing fans as do run of the mill diamond games to baseball fans. And, as poll after poll has shown, there is more illegal gambling on baseball than ever prevailed on horse racing. Nobody can set himself up as an arbiter oh the matter of where news begins or ends, this being in reality the province of the editor, the radio station management, or the boss of the TV set-up. One thing is certain, and that is that if a person does not want race results, he doesnt have to read them in his paper, or tune them in via either radio or TV. The public has the power of choice in this matter. But taken by any standard, especially attendance figures, racing has just as much or more news value than baseball. Broadcasting of race results is no more encouragement to illegal gambling than the broadcasting of quarter scores of football games, or inning scores of baseball games. The paradoxical aspects of the whole thing is that some 26 states have legalized racing, have a major tax stake in racing, but have none, other than the usual property taxes, on the other two sports. Racing plants pay city and/or county property taxes in addition to the usually encountered state" corporation taxes just as do the other two sports, with the exception that in racing, by vote of the people or their duly elected representatives, the states take an additional taxation from racing from the pari-mutuels. AAA C. C. Boshamer has taken time out from Ohio to go a racing a few days on the Atlantic Seaboard and tells us that he has hopes that ancient Thistle Down can be made into the finest racing plant between the East and West Coasts, that stakes and purses there can be made so irresistable as to put Ohio "onto the racing map" in a major fashion, and that Thistle Down should eventually average about a million dollars a day. Boshamer became a track operator -last year after breeding and racing for a lengthy period, plunged into the task of building up Cranwood, but his main hopes are- centered upon Thistle Down. He was primarily interested in owning a race track as a sporting venture and to improve, ►as much as a human could, the general racing picture in the United States. He chose Cleveland as being an area that was vigorous and growing, an area in which the potential development was almost unlimited. Cranwood is doing all right, of course, and is. serving as a model and testing plant for "things to come" at Thistle Down. A A A Boshamer has a fine mile track at Thistle Down as a starter, but the facilities for the public are being started from "scratch." This gives him an almost unparalleled opportunity to design things in an ideal manner. The new clubhouse, when built, will follow the general pattern of Garden State, with some modifications. A grandstand, purchased in Indianapolis, will jbe transferred for temporary use, and, [While keeping well within the law and the spirit of present government regulations, Thistle Down should be able to open under the Boshamer guidance next year. Boshamer adds that his policy of offering fine racing will be bulwarked by using the finest and most experienced officials available, holding that in the final analysis, the key to high quality racing lies with the racing officials and their supervision. He inaugurated the use of the American Tote and Daily Double machines in Ohio, a procedure which has by ho means harmed the operation. An average of a million dollars a day, and with stakes and purses to match the handle, seems like quite a goal for an Ohio track, but Boshamer is confident Thistle Down will attain it. AAA Horses and People: Talk about being prophetic, Marylands Humphrey Finney had occasion about two and a half years ago to inspect the Calumet yearlings, and rate them. He had four colts about equal, and one filly that waand a standout. One of jthe colts turned out to be Hill Gail, the f illy was Real Delight. Which proves, if nothing else, that Finney is better than a green hand at judging a yearling. . .Jockey Pete McLean is back from the reducing baths at Hot Springs, will ride with the opening of Delaware Park, He found the cost of reducing was expensive, about 0 per pound. . .The next meeting of the TRA turf publicists committee is tentatively set for Hollywood Park. If so, it will mark the first time that such a meeting has ever been held anywhere west of Kentucky, and, in previous meetings, the West Coast members have made the long trip east. ,

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