Weighing In, Daily Racing Form, 1952-06-03


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I Weighing In I By EVAN SHIPMAN BELMONT PARK, Elmont, L. I., N. Y., Although it may be something like our duty to exhibit enthusiasm for each suc ceeding generation of three - year - olds, you may have noticed that we have been somewhat chary in our praise of the present crop. While we were not on hand for such important races as the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, still we had seen all the principal colts involved, and our impression was that, perhaps barring Hill Gail, although we did entertain reservations concerning this one, too, the present generation was decidedly mediocre. Too many excuses had to be made for every single one of them. Of one thing only were we certain; the colts, this year, were, by and large, far better than the fillies. If you except Calumets Real Delight, the feminine candidates for classic honors have been pitiful indeed, and hardly a credit to our training methods. But, returning to the colts, we finally have seen an absolute first class performance, and we hasten to give full credit where credit is due. Armageddon, always a specialist of Belmont, captured the Peter Pah Handicap on Saturday in a manner that stamps him as a good one. The testimony of ones own eyes was sure enough, but the more the trim Alsab colts race is examined in retrospect, the finer it appears. Armageddon was giving a lot of weight, to Golden Gloves, his runner-up, and this pair, always in the clear, just about "broke the clock" for the entire nine-furlong distance. At the finish, weight or no weight, Armageddon drew away to score with authority. There may be better three-year-olds around— we do not know — but of this we are now sure: Armageddon is a good one. Last fall, Armageddon achieved prominence by winning the mile Champagne Stakes at Belmont, the first important test for juveniles over a distance of ground. Usually, the winner of the Champagne automatically acquires considerable prestige, but, last year, the field was hardly up to par, most of the two-year-olds then considered the best being on the sidelines for one reason or another. During the running of the Champagne, Armageddon was struck in the near eye by a clod of dirt, and, complications ensuing, the colt lost the sight of that eye. Despite this considerable handicap, he was sent to Florida for a winter campaign. He showed little or nothing at Hialeah. Returned to Long Island, Armageddon offered a respectable performance in the High Quest, an overnight purse, behind Tom Fool, Primate and Cousin, and then failed miserably in the Wood Memorial, both of these out-ingt at Jamaica. Trainer Moody Jolley did not ship his charge to Louisville, reserving him for Belmont, and there he showed some improvement in the seven-furlong Swift Stakes, finishing about four lengths off Charlie McAdam, Suggested and Primate in fair time. Then came the mile Withers, and Armageddon virtually repeated his race of the previous autumn in the Champagne, winning with plenty to spare from One Count and Primate. The time was fair; the competition was moderate. The Withers was a good race, but hardly impressive, and it was immediately followed by a decisive defeat in the Preakness, where, according to reports, Armageddon tried to bolt at the head of the stretch. Returned to Long Island, the Cain Hoy Stables colt completely vindicated himself last week-end, and, once more, demonstrated the truth of the old maxim, "horses for courses." Armageddon has raced at other tracks without success, but at Belmont Park, this is a redoubtable performer. He will have to be respected Saturday in the Belmont Stakes, because, in addition to his liking for the local strip, there is nothing in either his breeding or his way of going to suggest that he cannot stay a full mile and a half. In the Belmont, Armageddon will meet a genuine router in Blue Man, victor in the Preakness and third to Hill Gail and Sub Fleet in the Derby. Blue Man finished far ahead of Armageddon in both the Wood Memorial and the Preakness. In fact, it was never a question of Armageddon at any time in either stake, but this will be Belmont Park, not Jamaica or Pimlico, and perhaps the one-eyed colt has a right to pick and choose the strips over which he will consent to extend himself. From the start, the Peter Pan looked as if it were being run in two divisions-Armageddon and Golden Gloves out in front and engaged in a private duel, and the others, frequently changing position, well to the rear. Golden Gloves, light weight of the field with 109 pounds, attempted to steal the race, and Belairs much improved Isolater colt would have Continued on Page Thirty-Seven I WEIGHING IN By EVAN SHIPMAN Continued from Page Four gotten away with it against any ordinary competitor. The first half was run with identical quarters in :22%, and the six furlongs were in 1:09%. In spite of the terrific pace, Golden Gloves showed no signs of coming back to Armageddon, who trailed him persistently, as they looped for home, and when they reached the furlong pole, and were on even terms, with a mile in 1:35%— the same time made by Crafty Admiral the day before in the Suburban, but-running all alone — Golden Gloves would still not cry quits. They ran as a team for a six-. teenth or more, and then Armageddon drew away to win by two lengths. It was the best race of his career, and, of course, it was by far the best race of Golden Gloves career, the latter a colt who is just coming to himself, and who may show still further improvement. The final time of 1:48% was four-fifths slower than Counterpoints track record in this same stake last season, and Saturdays slop, it may be noted, made the Belmont strip even faster than usual. Behind Golden Gloves, the other five colts did not look so good, but appearances in this case, may have been deceptive, and here are few impressions, for what they are worth. Well, Quiet Step, rated this time, instead of forcing the pace or making it, came from far back to be third. He never looked like catching the leaders, but he showed a better effort than in any of his previous starts this spring. As for the English colt, Olympic, of whom much was" expected, he raced evenly, stood a hard drive from Atkinson with moderate response, but seemed to lack extreme speed at any stage. He ran his nine furlongs in about 1:50, and that is not good enough. Master Fiddle, the favorite and the high-weight under 126 pounds — the roan colt was conceding four pounds to Armageddon — was anchored under his burden. He was never a threat. Pintor was washy in the paddock and flattened out badly the moment Arcaro asked him for anything, after racing forwardly for a half. Cajun was always the trailer. To us, it seems impossible to find a valid excuse for any of these performances.

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1950s/drf1952060301/drf1952060301_4_3
Local Identifier: drf1952060301_4_3
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800