Reflections: Canadians Concede Plate to King Maple Horse of the Year No Picture Animal Porterhouses Loss Confounded, Daily Racing Form, 1954-06-08


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D C p C T I O N S NELSON DUNSTAN WOODBINE PARK, Toronto, Ont., Canada, June 7. We have been up here in the landof the Maple Leaf, and among racing people about all you hear is talk of the Queens Plate, which will be run this week end. It seems that everyone concedes the race to King Maple, a horse owned by Mr. and Mrs. Gordon McMacken, and it was our privilege to sit between them at the Daily Racing Form dinner here last Friday night. Everyone tells us that King Maple will win, although we had to remind them that the horses have to run around the track and that, at times,, the unexpected does happen. They tell us King Maple is not a handsome horse; in fact, looks like a hunter, but then Exterminator also looked that way, and he was probably the best cup horse ever produced in America. There is an old saying, a very old one, that horses come in "all sizes, shapes and colors." One man went so far as to say, "This horse is a freak." We would like to have six freaks like him. The Mc-Mackens are lovely people, and although we cannot predict a victory for their horse, we would like nothing more than to see him roll home in Canadas most famous race. A . A A For a time it was thought that Woodbine Park, which is the Belmont Park of Canada, would have a fair-sized field for the Queens Plate. But top horses frequently scare opponents out, and this could be the case on the week end, when King Maple goes to the post in this most-coveted of Canadian races. This horse might well be one of the best ever bred in Canada. Everyone tells us, "He is nothing to look at, but he can run like the devil, and we doubt if there is anything in the race which is going to Canadians Concede Plate to King Maple Horse of the Year No Picture Animal Porterhouses Loss Confounded Everyone Belmont Stakes Becomes Wide-Open Event beat him." The McMackens are not making any predictions, but feel that then horse is the one they will all have to beat. We asked them what plans they had for their horse after the running of the Queens Plate, and McMacken told us that they will send King Maple" to the United States if he is successful in this greatest of all Canadian events for three-year-olds. "We will probably start him in the Ohio Derby," McMacken said, "and plan his campaign from that race on." AAA Canadians are much interested in, American horses and they are following the three-year-olds closely. They were astonished when they learned that High Gun had won the Peter Pan, with C. V. Whitneys Fisherman sec-and and Llangollens Porterhouse in sixth place. They wanted details and, of course, all we could tell them was that when the son of Endeavour II. was called upon, he did not respond. Naturally, Canadians will remain home to see the running of the Queens Plate, but all agreed that the Belmont now becomes a wide-open event. We did not see the Peter Pan and we are wondering ourselves what the outcome of the Belmont will be. It is hard for us to believe that Porterhouse, who was such an impressive two-year-old, could be so carefully brought along and yet run such a bad -race in the Peter Pan. As Bob Horwood said, "His race was too bad to be true." So we are going to await the outcome of the Belmont before discarding him as possibly the best three-year-old now in training. Any horse can be excused for one bad race, and, although there were no apparent excuses for Porterhouse, we must await the Belmont before passing final judgment upon him. A A A In the Belmont, High Gun will have to take up 126 pounds instead of 116 and what difference this will make remains to be seen. This son of Heliopolis is in capable hands and he could be the third winner of a "Triple Crown" event this year. The entire three-year-old division has been so scrambled by injuries and other incidents that there is a question in our mind as to who will eventually emerge the champion. There are still many important events for the sophomores and this may be a year when the Belmont winner will not be voted the best of his class. It becomes increasingly difficult to win the "Triple Crown," and that is partly due to the expansion of racing in this country. This writer is of the belief that we must eventually change the early three-year-old schedule for the simple reason that our horses are rushed along much too fast before the running of the Kentucky Derby. Today, we have six or seven events of 00,000 value prior to the Derby. We must never forget that a horse is a horse and cannot take the training that is demanded before, the running of the Louisville event. Hasty Road is out of the Belmont for the reason that his contingent feels that he needs a rest. Many others need a rest. Porterhouse should be given another chance, for he is one of the few top ones in the division who has not been over-raced. ,

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