Between Races: Little Request Romps in Haggin; Use Strategy to Stop Running Out; A Gleam Takes Hollywood Oaks; Oaks May Assume Classic Stature, Daily Racing Form, 1952-06-10


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BETWEEN RACES By Oscar Otis HOLLYWOOD PARK, Inglewood, Calif., June 9. — Some 40,000 fans here Saturday thought Little Request about the biggest cinch they had seen since Lawrin beat Wing and Wing and Rommy more than a decade ago, bet with confidence, and were not disappointed when the son of Requested — Little Wichita came home a handy winner in the Haggin Stakes over the California-bred threesome and a Ruditaurus colt, Rudy- arm. Little Request led from flagfall to finish, and won with all the earmarks of a good horse, albeit the strategy of jockey Johnny Longden in the race was of the high variety. For one thing, owner Joe Palmisano, the lettuce grower from Arizona, wanted the colt to crack the world record if possible, and there was a perfect setup for this opportunity because a ,500 claimer, Noblest, had just won the previous race in 1:22% for the seven furlongs, which was but four-fifths of a second removed from the track record. Anyway, that gives you an idea of the speed of the course. But Little Request won in :58 flat, which was four-fifths of a second slower than his own track record, established in his initial outing here. Longden had been asked to let the horse set a record if he could do so without punishing him. But Longden was not so inclined, as he always has been psychologically unable to punish a horse which is easily winning just to try him, his history with Count Fleet being a classic example. AAA Little Request was wearing a "Hall runout bit," popularly known in the . West as the "Intent" runout bit, as it was first seen by coasters at Santa Anita last winter when Buddy Hirsch outfitted the Harry Isaacs colt with this rather bulky, but nevertheless effective, bit of equipment Intent obviously was annoyed in the paddock, and this turned to downright indignity when he had his tongue tied. It seems that in his first start at Golden Gate Fields, Little Request ran so fast that he couldnt change stride for the turn, went to the outside fence, but still finished third. Trainer Ross Brinson tried the bit last time, and the colt ran true. Saturday, in addition to the bit, which can exert a tremendous amount of pressure if need be, Longden twice used * Little in 4 Request Romps Haggin Use Strategy to Stop Running Out A Gleam Takes Hollywood Oaks Oaks May Assume Classic Stature his whip as a reminder that the rail was the shortest way home. Between the whip and the bit, Little Request was convinced. Brinson will rely upon Longdens advice as I to whether or not it will be safe to eliminate the bit the next time the colt starts. Incidentally, Little Request has just about paid himself out. the Haggin being his first stakes win, and although undefeated in three starts, his earnings were meagre ! until the Haggin. They now .stand at 9,-075 as against his Keeneland purchase price of 0,500. « AAA A Gleam added the Hollywood Oaks at a mile and one-sixteenth to her growing list of stakes, winning convincingly from Princess Lygia and .Tonga in the race horse time of 1:42%. A Gleams Oaks makes her worth perhaps 00,000 more as a thoroughbred than she was "before the race, for she proved pretty conclusively that from here on, she will travel a real distance of ground. And, for a three-year-old in early summer, that is where the important money lies ahead. Actually, A Gleams performance was perhaps better than indicated by the form chart. She had no place to go for quite a spell at the far turn, and did not get clear racing room until well into the stretch. When she did get an opening* jockey Henry Moreno gunned her, and she responded with a burst that rapidly put her in command. Princess Lygia, so far as we could see, had no excuses. AAA Some people are wondering how A Gleam compares with Real Delight, and while we are not prepared to say exactly, we have a hunch that A Gleam perhaps is the second best three-year-old filly in America, and is she continues to develop, easily could be quite comparable to the Kentucky Oaks, Black-Eyed Susan, and Coaching Club American Oaks winner. Whatever she does from here will have to be accomplished against the colts, and that, as everyone agrees, is doing it the hard way. However, Calumet has never had any disinclination to run fillies against colts, or ►three-year-olds against older horses early in the year, and it may be that such disadvantages which are supposed to work against the fair sex in particular, do not mean so much when horses of true class are involved. And it might be mentioned that the Oaks running proved the utter dependence of the public on the public address system. The system went out for the entire race, and nobody, except Daily Racing Form chart caller, a radio announcer and a few citizens who like the mental exhilaration of watching races in their entirety and knowing "who is whom," knew where all the contenders were at any given point. AAA We understand that Hollywood Park is under no illusions about the Oaks,, at a mile and one-sixteenth and under allowance conditions, having any pretentions toward being a classic, but that future plans making it just that when conditions warrant. The Oaks dates back only to 1946, and was inaugurated by the present racing secretary, Johnny Maluvius, who felt that there was a need for a three-year-old filly stake on the Hollywood Park Roster. It was launched at a mile, dropped to seven furlongs in 1947, snapped back to a mile in 1948, and remained there until last year, when it was lengthened to a mile and one-sixteenth. "Whenever the time arrives when it looks like we can get a race out of it at scale, we will card it that way," explains Maluvius. "And, of course, wed like to stretch it out to a longer distance, but this is somewhat doubtful in the foreseeable future. Too many of our Oaks candidates lay up after Santa Anita, do not start until after the opening of Hollywood, and there is not the time build-up to route races at this season of the year as there is in New York, for instance." Even so, this writer feels that the Oaks has a definite place in the California stakes set-up, and the race in the past has proved a stepping stone for some fillies to try the colts with a degree of success. For instance, Honeymoon, winner of the first running, was tried hiter in the mile and a quarter Gold Cup, encountered trouble and still finished a fighting second to Triplicate in 2:00%. Oddly enough, filly and mare stakes have always proven poor boxoffice in California, but this is a situation which no doubt will right itself in time, just as the public popularity of two-year-olds currently is undergoing a profound change, and for the better.

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