view raw text
I Weighing In By EVAN SHIPMAN — HOLLYWOOD PARK, Inglewood, Calif., May 20. — Transit is so fast in these days from one side of the continent to the other that it is difficult to ——mmmmmmmmmm*~ shake the preoccupations you had in the East when the plane drops you in California, and we are still looking back at Blue Mans Preakness, even while preparing to concentrate on the local goings-on. We were watching the Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park the afternoon of the Preakness, and we could not see the Pimlico classic on television — as we had the Kentucky Derby— but the race was admirably broadcast to the patrons of Belmont, the charts verifying every impression we received over the air. Communication and transportation are both marvels of modern science. Well, with our sluggish attention still directed on the Maryland azimuth, Blue Man ran a smashing race, and it brought to mind a conversation with his jockey, Conn McCreary, earlier in the week. Conn said, *T did not have bad luck in the Derby. At Louisville, the colt did all that he could do, but he simply did not like the strip, and was * unable to extend himself. I have not ridden. at Pimlico for four or five years, and I do not know whether that surface will suit him or not, but if Pimlico now is anything like Jamaica, Blue Man will win the Preakness. In my opinion, he is cut out to be a top colt." One of our goals— and, you may be sure, the subject of a future column — will be Two Leas stall on the back-stretch at Hollywood Park. Jimmy Jones, who is racing a strong division of the formidable Calumet string" here on the West Coast, has succeeded in bringing this beautiful daughter of Bull Lea — Two Bob, by The Porter, back to winning form after a long spell on the sidelines, and when Two Lea is right, anything is possible. You all remember that Alfred Vanderbilts Next Move just missed in the 1951 renewal of the Santa Anita Handicap behind Moonrush, but, the year before, Two Lea was also a serious threat in the winter feature. "Had she not been used as a pacemaker for Citation and Ponder, and had the surprising mare, But Why Not, forced her to run a fantastic first mile, Two Lea might well have scored, in this big one, but, on that day, stable strategy allotted her a supporting role. Two Lea and Next Move are examples of the American thoroughbred of whom our native breeding may well be proud. We, in this space, have often lamented that such mares were campaigned long after their great merit was firmly established, our belief being that they would be far better occupied in the broodmare ranks at the farm. Without having been told specifically, we can guess why Calumet and Vanderbilt continue to race their fine mares. It is because, at their large establishments, they already possess so much of the same blood that they can afford to be prodigal. If such is the case, one might say, "Why not dispose of some of that blood and use Two Lea and Next Move as producers?" It is a question worth arguing, but the fact is that a great mare is not automatically a great broodmare. The turf is a yardstick for quality and the filly and mare stakes on our racing calendar are invaluable for that reason, but there have been many sad disappointments. It occurs to us that these deceptions, which have caused breeders to be cautious, had mostly to do with mares who could be described as "short bred." A short -bred individual may display great class at the track, but he or she rarely breeds on. Neither Two Lea nor Next Move leave anything to be desired as far as pedigree is concerned. Heartening response has greeted our recent column directed against racial discrimination in racing; We have been writing a column, off and on, for the last 18 years, but never before has our office mail Been so heavy; and we are happy to report that the great majority of these letters applaud a stand that should be taken for granted. We were, particularly pleased because some of our correspondents were, horsemen who indicated that they were prepared to act directly in order to end a situation that has made it difficult for Negroes to train, ride or drive race horses during the past half century. We know full well that it is easy enough to assume a sanctimonious attitude in the press, but that actually instituting a reform is another matter. Framing pious phrases will not cure this evil, and we know it. All a columnist can do is write, convincing his readers if he can, and . expressing his honest convictions. The more practical world must take it on from there. Big Dipper H., who did little but canter Continued on Page Thirty-Three _ i " _, I WEIGHING IN By EVAN SHIPMAN Continued from Page Four along behind the field for his first American start on Saturday at Belmont Park, was out here on the coast all winter, and, at one time, trainer Horatio Luro had high hopes of starting the handsome, big English chestnut - in the Santa Anita Handicap. Even when it was apparent that the four-year-old would not be up to an exacting race at a mile and a quarter, Luro still thought he might be ready for a start or two here at a shorter distance. Big Dipper TJ., however, has been no easy horse to prepare, as one look at him in the paddock would make plain and another look on the strip would verify. We liked him. We have by no means given up oh him, and, of course, neither has Luro, but he presents a strange model to our American eyes, and he moves in a way that suggests Ascot or Longchamp rather than an American oval. He would have been far less at home over the Santa Anita or Hollywood strips than he was at Belmont, and with, the action we , saw last Saturday, the foreigner could not possibly have troubled Intent or Miche in the last renewal of the Santa Anita Handicap.