California: To Talk Rule Changes at HBPA Dinner Groom Speaks Up for Dignity of Job Split Distaff Stakes Prove Thrillers, Daily Racing Form, 1957-06-06


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California By Oscar Otrs To Talk Rule Changes at HBPA Dinner Groom Speaks Up for Dignity of Job Split Distaff Stakes Prove Thrillers HOLJjYWOOD PARK, Inglewood, Calif., June 5. The California division of the HBPA meets Thursday after the races in Hollywood Park clubhouse for a "routine" meeting to nominate officers, but from all siGes we hear that the meeting, in addition to the nomination of officers, will become an open forum for the hearing of any member suggestions as to how stimulation may be either completely eradicated, or as to how Rule 1871, which holds the trainer as the insurer of his horse regardless of the acts of the third parties, might be changed for the better and still provide adequate protection to the public. Opinion on this latter subject is sharply divided, with the majority according to our own spot check favoring a switch to the New York anile, while others insist that the present rule is okay, and-with still a third segment in favor of absolving- the trainer of all responsibility where personal guilt is not shown, and putting this responsibility upon the groom alone. This latter proposal is not news to the backstretch, where the grooms themselves are somewhat divided, but with two major alternatives discernible. One would be that many of the top, and old-time grooms, would move from California to other jurisdictions, feeling they have a career at stake, and to jeopardize that career without the trainer being responsible would be sheer foolishness. Another group of grooms feel that if the grooms are to be held solely responsible, then the grooms should share in the emoluments of the trainer to compensate them for the risk, and we understand they are ready to organize to force this plan through should a trainer be absolved of prima facie responsibility. Most Trainers Accept Responsibility To the credit of most trainers to whom we have talked, they make no bones about their own responsibility in the care and condition of their horses, realizing that someone in authority has to be responsible, and that that4 someone is them. They are not in favor of holding the groom alone responsible and are willing, to shoulder their own problems which are a part and parcel of training. Certainly if a horse dees well, they are willing to accept the public acclaim that accrues to the successful trainer. An example is Charlie Whit-tingham, of Llangollen Farm, who tells me: "Anyone connected with a horse, including myself and the groom,, has a degree of responsibility and to which we are accountable." One of our Old friends on the backstretch remarks: "There can be no real secrets between trainer and groom. The succe of a horse in racing depends upon their teamwork. As a, groom, I can say there are what might be described as cliques on the backstretch. Some of us are college graduates. While I am not myself, I have put two children through college on my wages and stakes, which have never been too high. Why would a degree man from college stay in this profession? Well, there are as many reasons as there are people in. it, but I can cite many good reasons. Some have been disabled in the wars, but they wont say anything about it and keep up their share of the work. I fought in two wars myself and it was okay when there was fighting, but by now you cant plead war disability because people -have forgotten all about the man in uniform. Others just plain like the stable life and are content. Are they any different in principle from the man who would like to get away from it all and go and live on a south sea island as an indolent dreamer? At the same time, we do not condone the groom who is really shiftless. Nor are we completely happy with some of the people that the racing board has seen fit to grant licenses to. But that is beyond our province and we take conditions as we find them." Great Pride Finally Connects Great Pride and Fanciful Miss shared the honors in the split Honeymoon Stakes here Tuesday, and both winners turned in efforts that were at the very least "impressive." Great Pride, a ,000 claimer only a little more than a year ago, but who was well backed in the Kentucky Oaks only to fail to rally in that race, came with a rush from behind to humble the favored Tourbillonte in the first division, while Inquisitive, a stablemate of the winner, was third, after encountering some trouble. Fanciful Miss was up in a furious drive to beat out Royal Rasher, and Irish-bred daughter of Royal Charger, and Pamper Me in the second division. Fanciful Miss raced her mile in 1:36 flat, Great Pride scored in 1:36. Each division was worth 2,450 to the winner and for Great Pride, it was her first stakes victory after knocking at the door in some of the more important stakes in the East. Great Pride continued the winners circle rampage of the Mrs. Ada L. Rice horses and trainer Jimmy Conway, a combination that is enjoying exceptional success in the West this summer. All the Rice horses, it seems, run corkers their first outings, and hold their form once in action. Great Pride had one previous outing here, a seven furlonger in which she made up much ground to be sixth. But over the longer distance, her tenacious qualities paid richer dividends. Willie Shoemaker guided Great Pride, while Johnny Longden hung up his fiftieth stakes win at Hollywood with Fanciful Miss. A while back this corner commented that fillies and mares were not too popular in California, but a few more contests such as these two divisions of the Honeymoon turned out to be, the distaffers should have no trouble inching upward in public appreciation.

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