Between Races: Calif. Tout Sent to San Quentin Owens Case Has Lesson for Public Third Dimension Film Patrol Pix to Test New Concept This Autumn, Daily Racing Form, 1952-06-16


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__— ____«_ __ ——«*——— — BETWEEN RACES »o»m 5 HOLLYWOOD PARK, Inglewood, Calif.,4 ♦ June 14. — At the risk of moralizing, we wish to point out a bit belatedly that racing __— ____«_ __ officials officials in in California California officials officials in in California California view with some satisfaction that at long last, a notorious tout has been sent to prison. We refer to the infamous John "jockey" Owens, 48, who has been sentenced to San Quentin, for bookmak-ing, from 5 to 50 years, although his actual of- : fense was touting, but, because because he he took took money money 1 1 ——«*——— — because because he he took took money money 1 1 from his victims and did not place the bets, | he technically was guilty of the bookmaking : charge. The Owens case, when it was tried in Glendale, received national attention be- 1 cause of the vile nature of the frauds he 1 perpetuated and because 22 of the nations 1 leading jockeys were called to testify that 1 there was no such thing as the "jockeys 1 race" which Owens used to convince his ] victims. At the time, we thought maybe the jockeys were called as a publicity stunt by the forces of law and order, but since we have been informed that it was necessary to secure a conviction and help make the J prosecutions case air tight. In fact, the J TRPB, the Glendale and Los Angeles police departments were so irked at Owens and the bad reputation he was giving racing to gullible citizens they were determined that 1 a strong case would be presented, hence the dramatic appearance of the riders. 1 AAA J Some worth-while observations may be • made from the Owens case. First, he posed 1 as a former jockey, but so far as an I exhaustive investigation could determine, he never rode in his life. He had fake non-existent "ex-jockey association" and 1 credentials, i. e., a membership card in a 1 his line of approach that, being an ex- 1 jockey, his old time "pals" always fixed up | races so that he and fellow ex-riders would ■ not live in want. While Owens was conduct- ] ing his schemes, he had been thrown off the Santa Anita race track by the TRPB, and had filed an injunction with the courts | to grant him the privileges of the tracks. Checking into the involved records of the . case, this writer is left in wonderment at j the victims falling for the line in the first . place, and secondly, keeping on giving him * money when the horses ran out of the money, or, when he happened to pick a winner, offering a lame excuse that he didnt get to the track to place the bet. He involved 1 ♦ : 1 1 | : 1 1 1 1 1 ] J J 1 1 J • 1 I 1 1 1 | ■ ] | . j . * 1 Calif. Tout Sent to San Quentin Owens Case Has Lesson for Public Third Dimension Film Patrol Pix To Test New Concept This Autumn himself in a mess of lies, and when his victims pointed out the discrepancies in his statements, they still came up with more cash, notwithstanding. When finally sent to prison, Owens had a record of 61 arrests, dating back to 1922, for a variety of offenses the most frequent of which were bunco and con games, grand theft, bad checks, drunk and disorderly conduct, vagrancy, fugitive from justice, embezzlement, fraud, swindling, and flim flam. The "Jockey Owens Case" has resulted in a demand for a new procedure in California to make it easier for the authorities to eject undesirables from the track, and such a rule will be adopted, in all probability, at the next meeting of the California Horse Racing Board. AAA While it is noteworthy that Owens worst offenses against the public occurred off the race track, his activities nevertheless were harmful to racing, and for this reason the TRPB was actively engaged in assembling evidence for the prosecution. They had tossed jockey Owens off the track so many times that he had no chance to operate within the racing enclosure. Speaking of touts, you might wonder what would happen in case the tout did get lucky and pick some winners. You still have no chance, as that recent case in the Midwest proves. Seems a gang of touts started out on a citizen, got 00, and advised him that a certain horse was a "cinch." Of course, the touts did not bet the money, but the horse won. They refused to give the man his winnings, telling him instead they were going to parlay the bet on another horse. To make a long story short, the horse did nothing but win, and the man had more than 00,000 coming, on paper, before he smelled the swindle. As we said at the beginning, we intended to moralize a bit, and the fact that "dont you believe it" when people approach you with glib tales of dishonesty. They are nothing but bunco games, and in California are now leading to states prison. * AAA Bob Oswald, owner of the film patrol here and at other major American tracks, ►tells me that he is well beyond the theory stage in the development of third dimension - films. Equipment is under construction which will be ready within the next t two months and will be given a trial run at t j ! a San Francisco track this fall. We per- - j | sonally have long felt that the greatest t t J weakness of the films has been in their lack of depth perception, and if Oswald can , remedy this defect, he will have made a j i 1 distinct contribution to the turf, lor, as has 5 j I been noted before, film patrol supervision x of races is on the way to becoming almost 1 I universal. Details of the equipment are not t available pending patent applications, but ; . it can be said that two strips of films, taken from a camera resembling the human eye, are thrown onto a screen, and viewers watch through polarized glasses. The pictures can , J be shown with only one frame, as at t , present, for verification purposes. The 1 J greatest hurdle to overcome in the develop- j ment of third dimension pictures was in the 1 t mathematical formula which had to be | solved before such dimension could be J translated into a camera. It is understood j this solution would have taken an expert j years to figure, but actually was accom- plished in short time by feeding the prob- , lem into one of those electronic brains, j which came up with the satisfactory answer. AAA This writer is not impressed with the , "grid lanes" as being tried at Hollywood j Park, i. e., the method whereby shadow $ lanes are thrown on the track so that the . stewards can tell whether a horse keeps a 1 straight course or not. If the grids are ; necessary to determine this, then all past ! 1 filming of races has been worthless and 1 1 fouls have been decided on inconclusive : picture evidence. Either what happens in a race is in the picture or it is not. Doctored [ films are dangerous, as the Lester Balaski j whip painting in case amply demonstrated. We also think the merits of the film patrol, and they are many, are being harmed in the public mind by the curious philosophy advanced by some officials that one has to have a trained eye to tell what transpired on the screen. In other words, nobody but they themselves are able to understand the pictures. This attitude is not in keeping with the basic principles of the films, namely, to prove to everyone interested that such and such an incident either did not or did occur.

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