Weighing In, Daily Racing Form, 1954-06-07


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WEIGHING IN II j i By EVAN SHIPMAN Continued from Page Fifty-Two afternoon of its greatest race, and, whats more, the track seems to be perfectly happy about it. I I AAA I Because the particular interest of this 54 Belmont Stakes renewal is dependent on events transpiring here and elsewhere later in the day, we cannot, at present, speak of the race in other than general terms. Naturally, we do entertain strong opinions as to what this afternoons dress rehearsals for the classic will reveal, but experience suggests caution in this matter. What we are certain of is that the colt who is going to win here next Saturday will possess a stout physique and a stout pedigree, and a stout heart into the bargain. It has always required, and will require again, one of that stamp to negotiate the full tour of Belmonts generous oval. It is a long, long road leading from Kentucky to Virginia pastures to the winners circle on Belmont day, but the ultimate reward more than compensates for the arduous journey I so hopefully begun by so many, but finally achieved in splendid isolation. I WEIGHING I N BY BVAN SHIPMAN I BELMONT PARK, Elmont, L. I., N. Y., June 5. For the Belmont Stakes, culminating act in the annual drama played by our three-year-olds, the cast will be very different from that in its predecessors, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, aside from the vicissitudes of campaigning, the de- manas oi sectional loyalty and the competition of other valuabe engagements usually have the effect of narrowing the possibilities in this severe and revealing test faced by sopohmore colts nevertheless, in spite of all the factors that combine to comprise the appeal of American racings genuine classic, a good number of our most important owners continue to point their colts for this one particular event. They are quite aware of the prestige automatically accruing to a Belmont Stakes winner, a prestige that outlives all the clamor attendant upon other more popular stakes, and that continues to place the successful colt in a special category . from the point of view of thoroughbred breeding. When a stable plans the strategy of campaign, wise direction will concentrate on one great objective, and it is fortunate for the sport in this country that so many agree on the preeminence of the traditional Belmont with its exacting conditions of a mile and one half at scale weights. No substitute has been found, or is likely to be found, for this almost infallible measure of merit. AAA Correlation, defeated favorite in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Jersey Stakes, will hardly rehabilitate himself next Saturday in the Belmont Stakes, even should his connections make the decision to send the big son of Three-Year-Old Drama Nearing Final Act Belmont Main Spring Objective of Many Correlations Status Doubtful for Stake Only Best Can Accomplish Exacting Task Free America to the post. The Calif ornian, whose qualifications were long ago brought to your attention in this space, has followed quite a different plan of campaign this season than that mentioned in our opening paragraph. Once he reached top form, Correlation was sent impartially for all the rich engagements to which he had been made eligible. Since he has won two 00,000 specials for the age the Florida Derby and the Wood Memorial one cannot say that this plan has been a failure, but it has cost Correlation whatever, chance he possessed: for the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness, while we believe that it also removes him from serious consideration for the imminent Belmont. As far as an outsider can judge, Correlation has never been completely sound, his deeply rooted habit of bearing in under pressure strongly suggesting that something is hurting him. Correlations chances of winning one of the three classics were dependent as we see it on his being pointed and specially prepared for that one engagement to the exclusion of all else. That has not been done. AAA Stakes are judged by the horses who have won them. Since the filly, Ruthless, won the Belmont inaugural raced at Jerome Park back in 1867, the stake has been contested -under varying conditions, but as we know it today, the last important change being the extension of the distance to a mile and a half in 26, its span roughly coincides with our own direct experience. In those years then, we believe that we are on safe ground when we say that the Belmont Stakes has only twice been captured by a thoroughbred not strictly first rate, and that is a boast that cannot be made for any other American three-year-old race probably it cannot be made for any other race anywhere. When Hurryoff scored in 33 and when Bounding Home earned a most surprising victory over Calumets Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, Pensive in 44, it must be admitted that the trophy went to colts whose class, in the most generous interpretation, was distinctly moderate, but those two isolated renewals were absolute exceptions to the rule; in every other season, the Belmont Stakes rewarded- either the best colt available, or one worthy of ranking right with the best. AAA From time to time, sports writers bemoan the fact that the Belmont Stakes is not publicized after the fashion of the Kentucky Derby tha; there is little or no ballyhoo hereabouts in connection with its running. Even as Long Island turf fixtures go, the Belmont Stakes has never been our most "popular" local stake, that particular honor unquestionably going to the Suburban Handicap on Memorial Day. It seems to us that, more often than not, these are "crocodile tears," certain as we are that the Westchester Racing Association receives just about the extent and the grade of patronage on the occasion of the running of the Belmont Stakes that it desires. In other words, the races always draws a big crowd, but the crowd is never so large as to prevent your seeing the colts in action, this, of course,, being the goal of most associations publicity departments. Terrible as such a situation must appear to the inveterate tub-thumpers, you and your wife can actually be comfortable at Belmont Park on the Continued on Page Forty-Nine

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