Larry Ellis, Blessbull in Bunker Hill: Rockingham Cards Invitational Event, Daily Racing Form, 1954-06-17


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Larry Ellis, Blessbull in Bunker Hill Rockingham Cards Invitational Event . Lingle Star Carries 125 and Concedes Sims Sophomore 16 Pounds at One Mile Today By AVERY BROWN Staff Correspondent ROCKINGHAM PARK, Salem, N. H., June 16. The 0,000 Bunker Hill Invitational Mile holds the spotlight at Rockingham Park Thursday. In lieu of a stakes program at this country-side oval, Lou Smith, vice-president and executive manager of "The Rock" conceived the mile event, directing racing secretary "Eb" Pons to send out invitations to the top handicap horses in New England and comparable thoroughbreds racing in New York. Tomorrow was selected inasmuch as it is a local holiday in the Charles Town, a suburb of Boston, commemorating the anniversary of the battle of Bunker Hill. Originally 16 accepted the invitation and received weights. The only cost to the owners of candidates for the Invitation Mile is a 5.00 fee to enter and this morning eight accepted the issue. Under the conditions of the race, the following track rule applies: "Declarations below eight 8 interests may be made only with the consent of the stewards." Concedes Rivals Up to 19 Pounds Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Lingles Larry Ellis-heads the field which is composed entirely of New England regulars. The six-year-old Easy Mon gelding must take up a burden of 125 pounds conceding from five to John S. Phipps Parnassus up to 19 pounds to Phil Schwartz Busy Signal. River Divide Farms Andre, 115, W. J. Beatties Park Dandy, 111; Morris Sims Blessbull, the only three-year-old in the race, 109; and Keith Gurnees Peu-a-Peu and Melpet Stables Noch Eins, bracketed at 106" pounds, comprise the line-up for the Bunker Hill. The anticipated duel between Larry Ellis and Blessbull is the most important factor of tomorrows race. Larry Ellis, with Tony DeSpirito riding, has left no doubt in the minds of local patrons as to his supremacy in the handicap ranks. That is to say, that is true excluding Blessbull. The Bless Me gelding has confined his activities to members of this own age heretofore and climaxing his rapid rise to the top of the local sophomore division with a record breaking mile at Suffolk Do;wns.. Larry Ellis takes an impressive record into tomorrows fray having accounted for five victories in seven starts this season. The come-from-behind chestnut started the 1954 season with a third at Lincoln Downs and the only other time in which he failed to win was in the Massachusetts Handicap. In that race, Larry Ellis was a bang-up fourth after encountering slight trouble at the three-eighth pole. To atone for that defeat at the hands of Sam Tufanos Wise Margin, the Lingle ace came back on Memorial Day and turned the tables in the Tomasello Memorial Handicap. Dispelled Lingles Worries At the time Larry Ellis was preparing for the Massachusetts Handicap, trainer Jake Lingle stated he was satisfied with the condition of his star but worried slightly about the ability of the six-year-old to carry his form over the Rockingham Park strip. Last year Larry Ellis had failed to impress at "The Rock" but all of Lingles worries must have been forgotten when Soldier Son and others were humbled in the White Mountain Handicap 10 days ago. Blessbull will be taking on his most important assignment tomorrow. While there are many veterans who frown on racing a good three-year-old against older horses this early in the season, there are still others who believe in the theory that a good horse should take advantage of all opportunities when the weight assignment is in his favor. The speedy Blessbull has won four of his five starts this season. In his lone defeat at the hands of Royal-Battle, Blessbull finished a good second. He came back in the Constitution Handicap at Suffolk Downs to decisively beat his closest rival and wipe out Clingendaals record which stood since 1937. The mile in, 1:35, while carrying 116 pounds, was considered one of the brightest events of the Suffolk Downs meeting. Tomorrow, the Sims gelding will have to be at his best form, to get far enough in front and retain his speed to offset the late challenges from his older rivals. There is little doubt that Blessbull wont be in front. Norman Mercier, whov has just completed a 10-day suspension will ride Blessbull. Parnassus is considered a surprise entry in the Bunker Hill. The son of War Admiral has not started since a dismal effort in the Massachusetts Cap and his training has been on the slow side. It was understood that the colt was being pointed Continued on Page Fifty-One Larry Ellis, Blessbull Clash In Bunker Hill at Rockingham Continued from Page Fne for the 0,000 Lincoln Handicap in Chicago, but will pass up that engagement. Chris Rogers is slated to ride Parnassus, winner of the Bougainvillea Handicap at Hialeah Park and a division of the Lincoln Special in Rhode Island earlier this season. Andre has failed to display the winning form he showed here last season, but is eligible to come up with a mild upset at any time. The son of Pavot is ...... training "4 satisfactorily and will again have the services of Gene Martin. Peu-a-Peu qualified for a starting berth in tomorrows race by an impressive victory over Algasir here on Monday. The daughter of Jean Valjean has always been partial to the local strip. Apprentice Paul Bohenko, who rode Peu-a-Peu in her winning race the other day, will again be in the saddle. The others in the Invitational must be rated as outsiders, and a victory from either would come in the nature of an upset.

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