Delaware Park Notebook: March Chick Among Turf Marvels Still Winning Races at Thirteen George Palmer Versatile Official, Daily Racing Form, 1954-06-17


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1 Delaware Park Notebook By JOE HIRSCH March Chick Among Turf Marvels Still Winning Races at- Thirteen George Palmer Versatile Official DELAWARE. PARK, Stanton, Del., June 16. Frank Sinatra has recently been extolling the virtues of being "Young at Heart" and apparently hes hes made made some some kind kind 1 hes hes made made some some kind kind of an impression on Phil Leydeckers March Chick. The 13-year-old gelded son of Milkman is still frisking like a colt during off duty hours and turning in solid competitive efforts despite many an arduous racing cam-p a i g n . A powerful, well well - - developed developed chest- well well - - developed developed chest- chestnut gelding, the 16-hand March Chick appears on inspection to be the very epitome of thoroughbred conformation. Leydecker, who has owned and trained him since 1948, is crazy about his "pet." "He is the smartest horse Ive ever seen," says the well-known conditioner, "and hes one of"the greatest. Hes as sound as they come, is easy to handle and is as friendly as a puppy. Hes won over 00,000 for me since Ive had him and the way hes going, he should be able to continue racing for another two or three years." Leydecker winters his gallant warrior on Henry Clarks farm at Glyndon, Md., .adjacent to Alf Vanderbilts noted Sagamore, and Clark confirms Leydeckers claims. "You ought to see the. big fellow play in the snow," he says. "No one believes his age when I tell them. Why he acts like a three-year-old and a lively one at that. March Chick must be one of the oldest horses in training. Hes great." AAA George Palmer is Delawares veteran starter and has served in numerous other capacities in his many years around the nations tracks. Palmer also gets them away at Garden State and held a similar post at Altantic City until he was called up to the judges stand last season to replace an ailing steward. Hell return to the oceanside oval as an official again this year and is also a steward at Hot Springs and at Scarborough Downs in Maine. Palmer has an expert crew assisting him here at Stanton. His chief aide, Cecil Phillips, is a starter in his own right at Sunshine Park and when Palmer was called away from his post at Atlantic City, Phillips took over. Don Cooper, another member of the group, is a former rodeo rider, who, because of his experi-enece, excels in the handling of fractious horses. AAA Herb Davis, Charley Carter, Larry Basler, Charles Camac, Sterling Faulkner, Willie King and Bob Howser have all been closely associated with the turf for many years, most of the boys having ridden at various stages of their careers. Howser recently lost a finger when an excited horse nipped him during morning gate training. At present hes handling the recall flag until hes able to resume his duties. Palmers assistants work closely as a team with assignments depending upon a mans qualifications and temperament. A horse noted as a fractious or mean animal draws a man with more experience and Palmer and-Phillips both keep a book of all the quirks and habits they note for each thoroughbred they put through the gate. "Horses change with age, with trainers and with stables," says Palmer, "and just when you think you get to know them, you find out something new." Starting an ordinary field of eight or 10 is tough enough, but Palmer was faced with 20 entrants for last years Garden State and recalls .an even more difficult assignment at Santa Anita some years ago. AAA "We had a gate with 14 stalls and there were five additional horses loose on the outside. Assistants were not permitted on the track at that time and there was no barrier arrangement of any kind for the five free mounts, but we got them away in perfect alignment. It took six minutes and much sweating to accomplish the job, incidentally." Palmer commented about the adjustable back-up doors they have on the Delaware gate which go forward to permit the moving up of a smaller horse. "Wilson Dunn, who assisted me on the Coast, was partially responsible for this improvement," says Palmer, "and I believe that Delaware is one of the few tracks to employ this useful device." A A A. Around the Track: Pat Kelly, of Howard; Reinemans Crown Crest Farms, was a vis Continued on Page Ten I . il Delaware Notebook By JOE HIRSCH Continued from Page Seven itor yesterday. He is on his way to Rockingham for the Bunker Hill Invitation Mile scheduled for Thursday at the New Hampshire oval, and then will head west for Chicago. . . . Ella K. Brysons Kinda Smart checked in yesterday and will go postward in Saturdays Christiana. Jockey Stan Small is expected to ride the youngster. . . . AugieCatalano arrived from New Yor and will accept mounts here this week. . . Nick Shuk is back from a brief sojourn t Monmouth for the Oceanport Handicap.

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