On The Wire: Reviewing Racing Strip Situation; Public Should Not Be Inconvenienced; To Ask Apprentice Contract Approval, Daily Racing Form, 1954-05-08


view raw text

ON THE WIRE By Hugh J McGuire ASCOT PARK Cuyahoga Falls Ohio May 7 Just a few minutes before time for them to leave the jockeys room for the paddock for the first race here on Thursday the riders began to take off then silks and don their street clothes they had declared by vote that the racing strip was unsafe to ride over Then the three s t e w a rds individually declared that in their opinion the track was safe for racing and all the jockeys returned to their silks and the days program was car ¬ ried out Along with other newspapermen we had been invited to be present for the negotiations and we learned that there was more to the procedure than appeared on the surface It was quite true that the racing strip which had been subjected to a great deal of rain in recent days was something less than perfect and there was one particular area near the first turn that was soft and it was here that several of the spills of recent days had occurred occurredA A A A It was and it is our contention expressed In this space a few days ago that the de ¬ cision as to the safety for racing of any track should rest primarily with the major ¬ ity of the jockeys but not with any rider as an individual Experienced jockeys should know when a track is safe or dan ¬ gerous to a degree beyond a reasonable doubt The jockeys are the ones who take the risk beyond the regular hazards of their profession when they ride over tracks deemed unsafe If there are no contribut ¬ ing causes to their refusal to ride in such instances the decision would appear to be justly theirs It has been well established that the jockeys at Ascot and the manage ¬ ment as personified by Dan Cronin have been on excellent terms But the jockeys having voted the track unsafe could not accept mounts unless they were ordered to do so or unless the track was officially de ¬ clared safe The matter of jockey insur ¬ ance was involved involvedA A A A AIke Ike Bassett manager of the central divi ¬ sion of the Jockeys Guild ponducted the negotiations He said that he was also con ¬ cerned about the responsibility for the track condition being made official because he did not want the Guild to be accused Reviewing Racing Strip Situation PublicShouldNot Be Inconvenienced To Ask Apprentice Contract Approval Approvalof of staging a strike when no such con ¬ dition existed He objected to the unwar ¬ ranted adverse publicity of the Guild being accused of fomenting strikes For manage ¬ ment Cronin stated that he certainly did not want to see accidents but based his main complaint on the timing of the inci ¬ dent to a few minutes before post time when the patrons were already at the track trackA A A A AFortunately Fortunately such incidents occur infre ¬ quently but they have a tendency to en ¬ gender illfeeling between two necessary arms of the sport The fact that riders of the past would have accepted dangerous track conditions as an occupational hazard j and that racing has always been regarded as a rain or shine show does not neces ¬ sarily condemn the present crop of riders who are concerned with themselves and not their predecessors There is however beginning to take hold at least in some quarters in racing the vague thought that perhaps after all the public who pays the bills is entitled to some slight considera ¬ tion however grudgingly given There is a mild appreciation in some farsighted managerial quarters that the sport has room for more good will of the public It might even help with taxation Most tracks are located some distance from cities which support them and had the races been called off at Ascot on Thursday at the last minute after some thousands of pat ¬ rons had journeyed to the track racing could have made some enemies and would have unnecessarily inconvenienced many friends friendsA A A A AThe The infrequency of cancellation of a days race card is no guarantee that such instances will not occur and one wonders if it would not be possible for track man ¬ agement and the Jockeys Guild to have a prefabricated plan whereby such contro ¬ versies that might lead to the temporary I cessation of racing could be resolved in time to notify when possible at least a segment of the public This could be done through the press radio and bus and rail ¬ road terminals It could also be determined in advance who would be entrusted to make decisions to which both parties would be bound and this should tend to ease a strain of tempers That the present crop of riders looks upon such situations timidly by comparison to the jockeys of an earlier era is not reason to condemn them Maybe they are smarter Continuous rainfall by itself should not constitute cause for the cessation of racing The safety of the track should be the governing consideration Under a prearranged plan it is even con ¬ ceivable in the interests of harmony that the various racing commissions could be a party to such a plan and could give con ¬ sideration to granting where feasible ad ¬ ditional dates to compensate the tracks for any loss due to causes beyond the control of management managementA A A A AAn An appeal will be made to members of the National Association of State Racing Commissioners at its meeting at Asbury Park N J in June to have that body accept nationally the new apprentice jockey contract being sponsored by the Jockeys Guild This contract calls for a fouryear term between the budding rider and his developer and compels the ap prentice to serve one year in the service of his employer before he may be granted a license as an apprentice The new con ¬ tract calls for a weight allowance of five pounds for the apprentice until he has j ridden 100 winners or for a maximum pe ¬ riod of three years whichever comes first The original holder of the contract can claim an additional two pounds for his horses so long as the contract remains active Ike Bassett of the Jockeys Guild tells us that the new contract has been adopted in New York and Illinois and pos ¬ sibly in other states The primary ad I vantages of the contract are that it in ¬ sures one year of experience before a boy is permitted to ride and it gives the con ¬ tract holder the incentive to develop riders through his grant of two additional pounds poundsA A A A AIn In Brief Trainer Pete Maxwell believes that he once had the only horse who ran six furlongs in 110 flat in three consec ¬ utive races This was Roman Flag a horse trainer Maxwell was able to break of the habit of standing at the gate when the start came After Maxwell sold him he reverted to his old habit A glance through the registration book here reveals that of the 165 stables registered only about a dozen have as many as 10 horses horsesContinued Continued on Page ForfyNmt ON THE WIRE WIREBy By HUGH J McGUIRE Continued from Page Four Fourwith with the largest number being 16 Many of the registrations show only one or two horses Dan Cronin pointed out that great care must be exerted in choosing types of sand for a race track Some types cut horses feet some sink through the soil some wash away others just will not blend into surroundings The parents of racing secretary Raleigh Leigh both rode professionally Mrs Leigh and her sister performed at such places as St Paul St Louis and New Orleans as the Falls Sisters The parking lot attendants at Ascot have had it none too easy due to the heavy y rainfall but have done an excellent job under hardships

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1950s/drf1954050801/drf1954050801_4_2
Local Identifier: drf1954050801_4_2
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800