Between Races: Major Inaugurals This Week-End Fine Stake Roster at Longacres Pleasanton, Centennial Popular, Daily Racing Form, 1953-06-26


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Between Races By OSCAR OTIS Major Inaugurals This Week-End Fine Stake* Roster at Longacres Pleasanton, Centennial Popular HOLLYWOOD PARK, Inglewood, Calif., June 25. — This week-end will be a gala one for the Western turf, for on Friday two flourishing racing plants, Longacres near " * Seattle in the fabled jSP™3™/ evergreen playground m -Wm of -the Northwest and ~ the Alameda County IPl; Wj Fair at Pleasanton will § i§ J inaugurate their sum- MlP- %t -■ mer meetings. Pleasan- f-V Jim , ton, of course, leading * -" V off the long and popu- 4" Mk lar California fair cir- g#|| gk. «■ cuit. On Saturday, B§|ij»___JH Denvers Centennial Park will launch its fourth meeting, then be dark until the following Thursday, while here at Hollywood, the first of three 00,- 000 races will be decided, the mile and a quarter Westerner, which is Hollywood Parks .version of a Derby. Pedro D. Peder-sen, the Longacres judge, tells us that the Seattle track is quite • proud of its new feature purse and stakes schedule, for not only is it the richest in Northwest history but also is far and away the most diver-| sif ied. Stakes and handicaps will carry an all over value of §129,000, and, to give you an idea how Longacres is prospering, the 1 stakes program is 26.47 per cent more than last year, while the increase over 1951 is 88.32. Longacres has carded no less than 34 features, which will provide Northwest patrons with a stakes or handicap every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. The George Drumheller Memorial, an open two-year-old race, has been increased in value to ,000 and has been given stakes status. While the outstanding race of the season is the traditional ?10,000 added Longacres Mile, local interest will be exceptionally keen in a worthwhile series of stakes for Washington-breds, a series which will culminate on Sept. 6 with the ,500 added Washington Futurity. The rich Washington-bred series represents a philosophy of president Gottstein that the best way to encourage home-state breeding is to hang up the money for Washington thoroughbreds to run at, although some have held to the notion that maybe there were better ways. Gottstein, however, is convinced that he is right. This will be the twentieth anniversary meeting for Longacres, a plant which is now ranked as one of the most beautiful small courses in America, but regardless of that, it has a magnificent natural setting. Some proclaim it the greenest track in America, and as for setting, its backdrop of towering and always snowclad Mt. Ranier is a never to be forgotten sight for tourists. Nowhere in America is civic pride more involved in the matter of thoroughbred ownership than in Seattle, and rivalry among owners has reached some fantastic lengths. j An example: Couple years ago, a fellow was snubbed at a party. Ill fix him for that slight," he vowed to friends : and his method of righting the supposed wrong was to catch the next plane for Hollywood Park where he spent 0,000 • for a horse, hustled the horse north to start in the Mile. As it turned out, he didnt win it, but we dare say that a burning desire to win the prestige laden Longacres Mile has been responsible for the acquisition of more good horses by Washingtonians than any other three factors put together. Many of these horses, of course, have remained in the state as sires and have enriched the growing bloodstock of the industry there. Pleasanton likes to think itself as the oldest horse racing center in the United States, Saratoga to the contrary, and while the musty records arent quite clear on the subject, there nevertheless is a degree of proof that the Spanish Dons congregated there and raced their horses for sport as long ago as 1790. Be that as it may, a sporting tradition still clings to the Pleasanton track and racing there, insofar as the metropolitan San Francisco bay area, which supports the course, comes under the classification of informal fun. Every time we think of Pleasanton, we remember its pleasant relationship with government, for it is under the control of the Alameda County Board of supervisors, who have taken the stand that the track is an asset to the county and Continued on Page Forty-Three BETWEEN RACES I By OSCAR OTIS Continued from Page Three for that reason provides funds to keep the course open the year round as a training center. We firmly believe that the track will step into metropolitan status, along with the state and Los Angeles County Fair, as soon as the new East Shore freeway is completed and which will, bring Flesanton within a few minutes motoring time of downtown Oakland sans any traffic lights or intersections. Centennial Park has made a determined bid for better horses this summer and part of its appeal to mid-western stables is that it provides a fine stopping off place for folks considering racing in Las Vegas in the fall. Marylands Jimmy Ross will serve as the racing secretary. Denver racing is little short of fascinating for the visitor if for no other reason than "the item that it is the only major track in America which is a melting pot for an Eastern and Western concept of racing. Denver draws a real cross section of the nation to its stable areas, and outfits from Chicago mingle freely with those from New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and even Kansas. Ross has carded three major stakes on the Centennial schedule, the 0,000 Rocky Mountain Haridicap at a mile and a furlong, the ,500 Colorado Mile, and the ,500 Centennial Derby. -~ The Centennial Derby originally was known as the Colorado Derby, but the name was changed in deference to a civic uprising in the little hamlet of Brush, a race course we have styled the "Belmont of the Bushes" and which had a Colorado Derby long before the advent of the Centennial. In any event, the Brush people claimed they had prior rights to a race called the Colorado Derby, so in deference to the wishes of the aroused Brush citizenry, Denver gave in gracefully and renamed its race the Centennial Derby. Centennial has gained some national attention as being the track with 4a directors, and while this situation still prevails, the direction of track affairs has been concentrated into an executive committee, the chairman of which is M. H. "Bud" Rob-ineau. Robineau also serves as general manager. Ivan Thomas, the director of racing, resigned his post as racing secretary at swank Arlington and Washington to accept that position with Centennial, his motivating factor being a desire to live in Denver. Indeed, the man who really put the present Centennial Park together, Marvin Millsap, created the course as a gesture of good will to his adopted state. Nor, in mentioning Denver, can we forget that three years ago, citizen and later President Dwight D. Eisenhower attended the races there will Mrs. Eisenhower, prior to his election to the presidency, spent much of his time in Colorado and we can say that for the person who likes to combine scenery, fishing, and national park with racing, Centennial, "where the mountains meet the plains" provides an ideal answer.

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