view raw text
► = ■ 7 . : ,,„l, I. p Belmont Stakes Weeks Highlight Mileand Half Classic Appears At Mercy of Belairs Nashua Nances Lad, Traffic Judge/ Jabneh Among Others Likely To Go in 00,000 -Race By BOB HORWOOD* Staff Correspondent BELMONT PARK, Elmont, L. I., N. Y., June 4. — What is expected to be the last spring meeting at Belmont "Park in its present 50-year-old form comes to a close next Saturday with the 87th running of the classic 00,000 added Belmont Stakes at a mile and one-half. This race, appropriately called the "Test of the Champion," appears superficially an easy task for Bel-air Studs magnificent Nashua, who may well complete his 1955 campaign with the title -of three -year-old champion, despite his convincing defeat at the flying heels of Swaps in the Kentucky Derby. Before going to Kentucky, Nashua had won an overnight event, the Flamingo Stakes, Florida Derby and Wood Memorial, while after finishing a length and a half behind the Californian in the Derby, he established a track record in last Saturdays Preakness. Just who will oppose Nashua next Saturday is still a matter for conjecture. Laudy Lawrences vastly improved Jabneh ex-I pected to go postward in the Belmont. In addition, all but two of the eight sophomores named for todays Peter Pan Handicap, which in the last four years provided the first stakes victories for the Belmont winners and champions, Counterpoint and High Gun, are eligible to the clajssic mile and a half. Clearwater Stables Portersville, Augustus B. Gays Courtship, G. .V.. Whitneys Little Dell, Cain Hoy Stables Flying. Fury, King Ranchs Retamero and Hilton "Rabbit" Dabsons Nances Lad could qualify for a Belmont chance with a good race today. Others Seen as Possibilities In addition, though some of them may be literally "shooting at the moon," Cain Hoys Blue Grass winner, Racing Fool; Clifford Mooers Withers winner, Traffic Judge, King Ranchs Mainlander and W L Ranchs Honeys Alibi are Belmont Stakes possibilities. The Belmont Stakes will be the first test for all of these colts at the searching distance of a mile and one-half and owners and trainers can always be pardoned for believing that this extended route is just what their horses have been looking for until proved otherwise. Counterpoint and High Gun were not the only champions to first announce their claims to glory in the Belmont after racing comparatively obscurely in shorter events, or having been defeated in the Derby or Preakness or both. Phalanx came into his own in the Belmont after being unluckily beaten in the Derby and finishing third at Pimlico in 1947. In 1949, Capot was beaten by Ponder in the Derby, had all he could do to beat Palestinian in the Preakness, then was badly beaten again by Ponder in the Peter Pan, but came back to trounce the Calumet colt in the Belmont • and was ultimately voted Horse of the Year. In 1952, One Count emerged from almost complete obscurity to win the Belmont and he, too, became the Horse of the Year. Two years ago, Native Dancer suffered his sole defeat by Dark Star in the Derby, then went on to win the, Preakness and Belmont and was voted sophomore champion, while losing out to Tom Fool for Horse of the Year honors. Will Be Very Short Price Though Counterpoint, One Count and High Gun went into the Belmont, with less impressive credentials than several of those named to oppose Nashua this year, it must be conceded that none of the colts they opposed in those years had impressed anyone, even their owners, as Nashua has this year. The big son of Nasrullah from the honest and hard-hitting Segula will probably be one of the shortest-priced favorites of recent years, hardly beings expected* to reward his admirers more liberally than did Count Fleet, Citation and Native Dancer. The presence of Eddie Arcaro in the saddle, will certainly not detract from Nashuas appeal. There is another stake on the agenda for the final week of racing at Belmont Park this spring, the 5,000 Top Flight Handicap for fillies and mares at a mile and a sixteenth on Wednesday. Likely candidates include last years sophomore champion filly, Foxcatcher Farms Parlo, who comes from a good second to C. V. Whitneys Dispute for her seasonal debutr the gray Whitney filly, herself; E. P. Taylors Canadiana, John S. Phipps Wideners Evening Out and several others. Mondays moderate program is headed by the ,500 Bay Ridge Purse at seven JOCKEY CHRIS ROGERS — Guided Blue Violin to an easy score in the Honeymoon Stakes on Balmorals Saturday card. furlongs, which has attracted a field of seven, including the Clearwater Stable entry of Dark.Peter, 120 and Stormy Petrel, 113 pounds, who will be favored over such as Affrighted, South Point, By Jeepers, Bradley and Flaunt. Sophomore fillies, including such useful misses as Elenem, Gallair, Hurry By, Brown Warbler, Princess Kiss and Searching, are to meet in the ,000 Gravesend Purse at six furlongs, which will be the seventh race. The Green Cheese* Steeplechase, third event, at about two miles, has attracted such stakes candidates as Prince Glorieux, Montadet, River Jordan, Ben Tally-Ho, Cammel Laird, Bavaria and Coveted. This is actually the best race of the program, though perhaps not the most interesting to the average fan.