Between Races: Average Attendance Over 30,000; Rise Tribute to Turfs Popularity; Predicts Strong Yearling Markets, Daily Racing Form, 1953-06-13


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Between Races By OSCAR OTIS Average Attendance Over 30000 Rise Tribute to Turfs Popularity Predicts Strong Yearling Markets MarketsHOLLYWOOD HOLLYWOOD PARK Inglewood Calif June 12 The last time we looked daily average attendance here at beautiful Holly ¬ wood Park was just over the 30000 mark which if sustained for the remainder of the meeting will establish a new all time high for any western track arid which will surpass the well remembered bonanza years of 1946 and 1947 The per capita play is riot as large as prevails in either New York or Jersey the average running just over two million dollars a day But it is istill ade ¬ quate to create a substantial revenue to the state and also to provide purses which are now the talk of the nation They are running about 60000 per day and this average may be substantially increased be ¬ fore the season ends endsObservers Observers who are endeavoring to ac ¬ count for the exceptionally good attend ¬ ance attribute it to a number of factors among them being the undisputed grow ¬ ing popularity of the sport with the gen ¬ eral public Hollywoods sincere effort to make every patron comfortable plus of course generally good weather which is normal for southern California at this time of the year The percentagewise grain in attendance was accomplished despite the loss of the biggest holiday of the year Decoration Day which as most everyone knows fell on a Saturday SaturdayTake Take look at this proclaimed one veteran turfman as he led us to a secluded nopkin the grandstand adjacent to the swirl of traffic to and from the tote windows He pointed to a battery of pencil sharpeners attached to the wall Now that is just a little thing but did you ever get stuck with a broken lead pencil be ¬ tween races and have difficulty in mark markContinucd Continucd on Page FortyNine BETWEEN RACES RACESBy By OSCAR OTIS Continued from Page Three Threeing ing your program or have to borrow a pencil from your neighbor Sure pencil sharpeners dont amount to much but they are just an indication as to how far man ¬ agement will go to overcome some of the minor annoyances which sometimes con ¬ front racing fans fansIt It has often been said that success is made up of meticulous attention to small details and if that be correct such items help to make Hollywood Park the success that it is A few people ascribe the added attendance this summer to the socalled publicity occasioned by the trackHBPA dispute before the meeting opened and which in fact delayed the opening for a few days But careful analysis shows this to be a mistake in thinking Had such been the case the attendance would have zoomed for a few days then fallen off Rather it has been a sustained rise riseDave Dave Novick the well known turf econ ¬ omist and whose predictions as to the strength of the yearling market in past years has been little short of uncanny tells us the market this year will be firm and good And that while we may expect a gen ¬ eral decline in the national economy for the next 18 months to two years there are other factors which offset this decline insofar as racing is concerned which will bolster the market for yearlings and of course for so called made horses Insofar as California is concerned the 4000 minimum purses and only a few of them already is begin ¬ ning to show its effect comments Novick While it has been fashionable to say that the graded purse ie better purses for bet tetr horses is the best incentive for breeding better stock and while there is a great deal of truth in the statement it still is not the entire answer answerMinimum Minimum purses do have an effect upon the yearling market and the higher the minimums the better the general market including the prices for the top horses While there are plenty of excep ¬ tions many of them spectacular ones it is in general true that the better purses especially stakes are won by the better stables who either breed their own or who are in the market for the top quality yearlings The upgrading of the minimum purse by making more purse money available to other stables has a very defi ¬ nite relationship toward putting a higher floor under the yearling market and thus lifting average sales prices Horses of the rank and file variety automatically be ¬ come more valuable valuablej j This brings us back to ar thesis of last year anent the foolishness of trying to raise thoroughbred values he refers to the situ ¬ ation in Washington through automa ¬ tically increasing claiming prices and thereby attempting to create new values artifically As we pointed out at that time it simply cannot be done for values of thoroughbreds are created by purses The Hollywood Park minimum already has started to create new and higher values foe all horses on the grounds except stake horses who will run for pretty much the j same program as originally announced ex ¬ cept for the Sunset and Westerner which have been increased from 50000 added to 100000 As a matter of fact there has been a marked increase in claiming at the meeting and even some owners who ordi ¬ narily would shun claiming have stepped in with halters We asked one such owner why and he said I can run a 2500 horse for a 4000 purse a most attractive risk Of course Ive still got to win them but even so it is the best gamble for a horse Ive ever seen in California CaliforniaThe The Novick look into the future is in ¬ teresting for it takes into account the truce in Korea and Novick like many others feel that racings popularity and long range future is not in any way tied into a so called war economy As J Samuel Perlman remarked in his talk this spring before the Thoroughbred Club of America Td hate to be asso ¬ ciated with a sport if its success were in any way predicated upon a war So a war economy has nothing basically to do with racings current popularity Perhaps Braven Dyer noted columnist for the Los Angeles Times has at least part of the answer when he tells us that insofar as California is concerned baseball is through and that racing is taking up the slack slackYou You dont see a man anymore who would even think of buying a coast league ball club says Dyer but you will find any number of people trying to purchase worthwhile horses That alone is the tipoff Personally I see no long range hope for baseball They have given away their product on TV something which racing has wisely avoided and there certainly is not the baseball interest among the younger generation there used to be In ¬ cidentally this writer confidently expects that so called purse differences between managements and the horsemen in Calif or nia will be settled with a minimum of trouble and that once this matter is taken care of peace and cooperation will be the rule in this state for many years to come This goes for all major tracks in the state

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