Between Races: John Hertz Analyzes Kentucky Derby; Classic True Test of Prospective Sire; Everyone Benefits From Press Coverage, Daily Racing Form, 1956-05-05


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Between Races By Oscar Otis John Hertz Analyzes Kentucky Derby Classic True Test of Prospective Sire Everyone Benefits From Press Coverage CoverageCHURCHILL CHURCHILL DOWNS Louisville Ky May 4 Mil ¬ lions of words have been written about the Kentucky Derby and millions more will be in the years to come But once a decade or so an ob ¬ server of the Derby panorama is able to cut through the curtain of adjectives and put the Derby in its proper perspective Such an observer is John D Hertz whose wife is the mistress of famed Stoner Creek Stud and Amarillo Ranch Hertz who has won two Kentucky Derbys with Reigh Count and Count Fleet took the time out to give us his views of what a Kentucky Derby means A breeder would rather win the Kentucky Derby than any other race in America because its color and prestige help a prospective stallion as much or more than any other race Moreover the Derby tends to be a decisive race in that it is the first great national race which brings the top three yearolds together at scale weight over a championship distance Nor can a prospective stallion win the Triple Crown the acme of fame for a sire without winning the Derby first firstMany Many other people I feel sure have become in ¬ terested in ownership and breeding through circum ¬ stances similar to this and indirectly many many others Because of its classic status and the desire of so many people to win the race it is only natural that countless romantic stories all true have become a part of the Derby and have added to its appeal to the public The Black Gold story has been recounted again and again The story of Zev is another For the owners and breed ¬ ers already in racing the glamour of the race alone is a great incentive for a man to want to own or breed a better horse a horse with a chance of winning such a race as this At the same time I recall that the late Senator Johnson N Camden bred for something like 30 years with the whole plan and pattern of his operation designed to produce a Kentucky Derby win ¬ ner but the best he could do was get only five that actually started x Accomplishments Overcome Origin OriginA A humble beginning or lack of looks or promise when young nor even the fact that a starter once Avas in a claiming race cannot or should not detract from Derby greatness These happenings only prove that mans judgment of a horse is fallible Stoner Creek of ¬ fered Count Fleet for sale as a weanling and in those days we tacked up a price list on the stable door and that was the price no more no less Count Fleet was longlegged and gangling and was turned down by some of the best judges in America at 4500 Of course when he became a yearling he furnished out into one of the most handsome horses in the nation He has become while still a young horse the founder of a dynasty on both the top more than 20 of his sons are already in stud and the bottom about 20 daughters all young have placed him among the leading sires of broodmares This indicates an adaptability of blood that is most desirable desirableIt It is mandatory upon a colt that he prove himself rugged by being able to take the early training andor winter racing which is almost a necessity for a Derby winner to have This alone will serve to eliminate many of the marginal prospects or those actually un ¬ worthy These modern Derbys are even truer tests than they used to be because of the motion picture film patrol pictures and before that the advent of pari mutuels In the days of the books it was extremely hard for the stewards to disqualify any horse in a race like the Derby It also is a truism of the Derby that a good winner must have a good trainer In the ranks of Derby trainers and most specifically among the win ¬ ners youll find the great preponderance of names to be those of able horsemen If you wanted to develop this theme at length you could write a book I am sure on the effect of good trainers upon American bloodlines It has been considerable but shows up most dramati ¬ cally in the Derby DerbyIntroduced Introduced Warren Wright to Racing RacingIt It is true that the Derby wears an halo of words but that is all to the good for without this great flow of publicity the race could not have developed into the classic it is Most everybody in America knows about the Derby having either been here in person knows a friend who has or reads about it in his local news ¬ paper This is of tremendous benefit to all horse rac ¬ ing and breeding for it brings to the public racing at its most glamorous heights and directly and indirectly it has interested many new owners in racing certainly a worthwhile benefit I can cite just one great instance from my own personal experience I dont think War ¬ ren Wright Had ever been to a running race before he came to the 1928 running as my guest As it happened Reigh Count was the winner After the race Warren turned to me and remarked I never knew this could be so much fun I want to talk to you about it later A couple of days later he called me in Chicago and asked if I would get him some horses I did as he asked and purchased for him his first 14 broodmares Calumet Farm went on to become one of the great empires in American racing and breeding a credit to the sport sportMore More and more Derby winners will come I feel sure from the crossing of the coarse American blood with the more elegant lines from Europe especially the more finely inbred mares from England and Ireland This crossing which demands imports from Europe does not Ittean a retrogression of the American thoroughbred Continued on Page 47tO BETWEEN RACES RACESBy By OSCAR OTIS Continued from Page 48 D Dbut but rather a true improvement of the breed and as such is highly desirable Over the years the most dramatic proof will be apparent in the Kentucky Derby because of the importance the race has created for itself as I have outlined It can thus be said to a considerable degree the Derby from year to year measures the progress of American breeding as well as being some ¬ what decisive in proving up the best crop of the year It is with a great deal of per ¬ sonal pleasure of course that Amarillo Farm in California is sending its first Derby starter postwards tomorrow in Count Chic And the challenge of the Derby has I believe acted as an incentive toward im ¬ proving breeding in California itself For the Derby is a positive race raceIn In conclusion jbhn Hertz remarked I hope everyone who ever has any idea of be ¬ coming an owner or breeder will see this Kentucky Derby From experience I and Mrs Hertz can say that the rewards are without limit for the sheer expectancy alone extends for years from the time the foal appears to Derby Day and the dis ¬ appointments when they come and as they are bound to usually last but a day That represents wonderful odds all in favor of pleasure and enjoyment

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