Reflections: Has Ous Racing Outgrown Triple Crown? Article in Breeding Journal Confusing Spring, Daily Racing Form, 1955-06-09


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Reflections Nelson Dunstan — By — Has Our Racing Outgrown Triple Crown? Article in Breeding Journal Confusing Spring Events Will Always Be Big Three NEW YORK, N. Y., June 8.— It has been said, -and by our own Bob Horwood: "American racing has outgrown the Triple Crown." We do not believe that, for ment was prompted by the fact that neither Determine nor Swaps remained East after their Kentucky Derby victories. In the current issue of The Thoroughbred Record is a story by William Robertson titled, "Three Races Dont- Always Make - a Triple Crown," and it is based on Horwoods remark. Robertson agrees with Bob, saying: "An ex- picture indicates that if the Triple Crown is supposed to point out the three -year-old champion, Mr. Horwood is right. American racing has outgrown it.". In our opinion both Horwood and Robertson are wrong in their assumption and we believe that Robertson contradicts himself, for, while attempting to justify the. Horwood remark, he actually makes out a case for the value of Triple Crown victories. He admits that since Sir Barton won the Triple Crown in 1919 every winner has been voted the three-year-old champion. What better proof could be advanced? Had Robertson said that a victory in one of the three races, and we might say even two, he would have been on rather solid ground. But the Triple Crown is still the most prized of three -year-old honors and we will not live to see the day when a winner of all three is not voted the sophomore champion and possibly the Horse of the Year. Last Six Derby Winners Have Missed No Kentucky Derby winner of the past six years has been voted the three-year-old champion, but it is something to ponder that eight of the last nine Belmont Stakes winners have earned the honors. Determine was a fine horse, buthe was not voted the champion and it is our bpinlbri that if Swaps does not meet Nashua again the latter will be accorded the honors. In 1954, High Gun did hot start in the Louisville race of the Preakness, but he was the Belmont winner and at the end of the year he polled 149 points with only 62 for Determine. One Count did not start in the Derby, but was third in the Preakness and he won the Belmont. Not only was he voted the champion, but also Horse of the Year in 1949. Going back to 1920, Man o War skipped the Derby, but won the Preakness and Belmont and became the American "super horser of all time. Right or wrong, we have always contended that Citation deserved ranking with "Big Red," for he went far beyond the Triple Crown to establish his greatness. In fact, he went far beyond. Man o War for he continued to race until he was six years old. But the point we make is that while he won 19 of his 20 starts as a flirfln_«Anv_Al/ Vtic TTiAf Avion -fVio TViwlo f~*-rrrrm ■»•*-» aa l/XXAWt* JT UUi U1U, lllO V XXX M1W JL iiiV/ V-»X VYVH ± CfclsWO definitely* proved his quality and indicated what was to come. We could go farther and cite Counterpoint in 1951, but it is hardly necessary. Robertson states that the Triple Crown events "are not truly designed to point out a champion in the first place." We believe that is rather a shallow observation. He bases it on the fact that Englands Triple Crown # has the Two Thousand Guineas at one mile, the Epsom Derby at one mile and a half, and the St. Leger at one mile and three-quarters, plus 132 yards. Our Crown races are at one and a quarter miles, one and three-sixteenths miles and one arid one-half miles. Robertson does not note that Englands three events are run with a greater lapse of time between. That we have no one-mile race such as the Two Thousand Guineas does not give England any the best of it. If an owner or a trainer wants to prove that his horse has both speed and stamina, he does not have to go beyond Belmont Parks spring meeting. It starts with the Swift at seven furlongs and then come the Withers at one mile and the Peter Pan Handicap at one mile and a furlong. Then, of course, comes the Belmont, which will be run at one and one-half miles this Saturday. Right there is enough for a horse to prove that he can sprint and stay and, besides that, there are a number of shorter races before and after the Triple Crown. Turfs Expansion Has Created a Problem No one can dispute Roberstons statement: "The" expansion of racing into 25 of the 48 states has made it increasingly difficult to get all the best horses together for one specific race, letlone three specific races," There are many 00,000 events for three -year-olds throughout the year. Horses like Citation are few and far between— rhorses who can start in February and still be racing in December. The number of top three-year-olds who have gone "to the sidelines this season is appalling, but that does not alter the fact that the Kentucky , Derby, Preakness and Belmont will always be regarded as the three most important events for sophomores in this country. Our turf has indeed expanded in the past two decades, but we do not believe that the Triple Crown races have lost any of , the importance they had back in the year "when Sir Barton won all three. Fair. Truckle Sire of Stakes Winners LOS ANGELES, Calif., June 8.— Peter Strubs sire, Fair Truckle, has had three stakes winners at the Hollywood Park meeting — Focus, Ferke and Fair Molly. The son of Fair Trial, imported by the late Charles S. Howard especially for stud duty after his racing days were over, gets prococious runners. Like the get of his sire in England, however, they do not go a distance. But for as far as they run, they certainly do sizzle, and in the classiest company.

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