Between Races: Miles Looking to Future at Speedway; Evans Tells How to Fault a Pedigree; Keenelands Glib Strip Passes Test, Daily Racing Form, 1957-05-08


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Between Races By Oscar Otis Miles Looking to Future ot Speedway Evans Tells How to Fault a Pedigree Keenelands Glib Strip Passes Test EN ROUTE WEST, May 7. — It was our good fortune during our stay in Louisville to have a long chat with Gen. J. Fred Miles, owner of the Louisville Speedway, which will open its second summer season at the convenient old Fairgrounds come June 26. "Our inaugural season last year was a success in every way," remarked General Miles, "and even though we lost some money on the meeting, the loss was considerably less than we had anticipated, and we are investing a tremendous sum in improvements for the coming season, including a paved parking area for slightly more than 6.000 cars. We are raising our minimum purses, and by way of making a bid for better horses in our big race, a ,000 feature, have opened the conditions to any horse rather than confining eligibility to horses which had started at our meeting." We asked General Miles why he was proceeding with such urgency on his program, and he answered that he was now going on 75, but that even so, he felt he had enough time left in his life to create a track, even though small, of which Louisville not only would be proud, but also one that was comparable or better to any of the so-called minor tracks in the nation. "No one who feels the way about Kentucky as I do can ever stop building and making it a better state, and especially a better racing state, as long as you live," explained Miles. One idea we like about the Louisville Speedway is the creation of its own "Hall of Fame," with emphasis upon people rather than horses, and as regards jockeys, they are included not as jockeys but as all-round turf personalities. Enlarged photographs, tinted to lifetime semblance, are being assembled for display in this unique display, and in future years, turf fans will be able to wander through the clubhouse and other "art areas" and see for themselves how the turf greats of the past looked. Now, in some tracks where the art motif is given a deal of emphasis, the horse is paramount, the people incidental, excepting maybe a truly outstanding personality like Col. Matt J. Winn. But you seldom see a picture of the men associated with Winn and who formed the "team" that built the Derby into world prominence. General Miles is ordering the pictures of men like Judge Charles Price, C. Bruce Head, notable Derby stewards, as well as leading breeders of a past era in Lexington. It also is worthy of mention that the nucleus of one wing of the art gallery, presently located in the jockeys quarters, is of a man still very much alive but who, nevertheless, is a tradition to himself in Kentucky, Roscoe Goose. Accent on Dams Racing Record Bill Evans, general manager of the Breeders* Sales Company in Lexington, has- completed rather lengthy skull sessions with the pedigree committee passing on the paper credentials of Keeneland sales yearlings, and in case you were wondering how a pedigree committee operates, we are giving you a few authentic hints. Absolute first consideration is given the dam, her racing class especially, or, lacking a racing record, the second dam. As a general rule, in judging class, claiming races of ,000 or under are not considered, except by special circumstances. Only after the bottom line has been thoroughly analyzed is attention given to the sire. Inasmuch as more often than not, the sire is above reproach, it may be said that basic selection is made on the quality of the first and second dam. We hope we hurt no ones feelings when we reveal that in judging class, the pedigree committee groups all American tracks into three classes, the tops, the middle, and the others. This is no reflection upon the caliber or type of racing at the tracks listed as "others," but merely a recognition of the well-known fact that better horses tend to drift to the highest purse tracks. But in any event, many individual races, especially stakes, are estimated on their merits regardless of the track grouping, hence a stakes at a "middle" track would be included as a first-class credential. We are revealing a trade secret when we report that Hollywood Park has been added to the roster of top bracket tracks in pedigree consideration, being the only "new" track to crack the upper crust in the last several years. Speed Surface in the Blue Grass Perhaps the most significant development of the whole year in Kentucky was the way the reconstructed Keeneland track stood up under torrential rains of spring, and officially, Keeneland may now be added to the growing roster of tracks adhering to the so-called "California concept" as an idealist guide. Keeneland was faster than ever before, and by a considerable margin, yet, while there were a few muted mumbles, they were minor as compared to the volume of complaints in prior years. Actually, any track will get some horseman criticism, and it probably is more than a coincidence that the criticism usually is made by the man not winning races. Be that as it may, it seems to me that Keeneland has at long last conquered its surface problems, and that is indeed important news. W. T. Bishop, general manager of Keeneland, has detailed a few of the steps taken to make Keeneland one of the fastest and safest tracks in the nation, and all ideas are embedded in common sense. The original Continued on Poo* Forto-Nino BETWEEN RACES I By OSCAR OTIS Continued from Page Four surface was dug up and carted off, and replaced by several thousand tons of "cushion-type" soil obtained from a sandbar in the Kentucky River, said bar being 17 miles from Lexington. This river soil was compacted, and by such compaction, became the base, with the running cushion itself merely harrowed in lightly on top. In addition, a trench was dug in the track just under the goose neck inner rail, and filled with coarse, gritty sand. In addition, the drainage ditch in the infield was deepened and widened. This set-up made for exceptionally rapid drying conditions. While Keeneland did not set out to speed up its track, the whole motivation being quick drying coupled with safety, the faster time quotient came as a natural result. Keeneland can never, during the race season, again become a plowed field after prolonged rain. All in all, a signal recognition , from the heart of the horse country as to the validity of California principles. I

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