California: Analysis of Kentucky Derby Telecast Reg Cornell Passes Lie Detector Test Favors Year Round Training Center, Daily Racing Form, 1957-06-25


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- — *■ California - By Oscar Otis Analysis of Kentucky Derby Telecast Reg Cornell Passes Lie Detector Test Favors Yeaf Round Training Center HOLLYWOOD PARK, Inglewood, Calif., June 24. — While the thrilling- duel between Iron Liege and • Gallant Man in the Kentucky Derby had more TV onlookers onlookers than than ever ever before, before, par- par- - onlookers onlookers than than ever ever before, before, par- par- adoxically, the show slipped a bit, percentage-wise, from 1956. The explanation lies in the fact that new TV stations screened the Derby for the first time this spring, plus the fact that the coverage was, for the first time, truly national with every section of the country getting the race save a few isolated spots which have no cable or microwave wave relays. relays. Our Our good good friend, friend, wave relays. relays. Our Our good good friend, friend, — *■ Dr. Leon Levy of Atlantic City Race Track and a director in Columbia Broadcasting System, has provided us with the CBS official statistics as provided by ARB and the Nielsen television index. In past years, comparative figures have shown that more, people always have looked at the Derby than at the Preakness, and more people always have seen the Preakness than the ""-Belmont. But a trend in this respect cannot be ascertained for another several weeks until all results are tabulated. Coverage this year, as we said, near the ~ saturation point, was 97.5. After Effects of Unfortunate Incident Public trainer Reggie Cornell tells me he has taken a terrible . belting, financially, since his trouble over the- Drifting Abbey stimulation incident, having lost some of his clients and some of his top horses. He just isnt vanning the" average number of races he did before the trouble, even though he has been returned to good standing and personally exonerated of any knowledge or complicity in The case of Drifting Abbey. Of course, everyone knows that Cornell has been publicly given a clean bill of health by the California Horse Racing Board, who informed him that the suspension was necessary under the California rale which technically held him careless. We now learn that some unusual circumstances surround-the Drifting Abbey investigation, pontinued here by the TRPB at the request of the racing board even though the Drifting Abbey race took place at a non-vTRA track, 3ay Meadows. We learn that Cornell demanded, and was given,- a lie detector test by outside experts from Pasadena called in by the TRPB to handle the test with complete impartiality. He was reported to have passed the test. How good is the lie detector test? eWll, we wont argue that one, but we can say the evidence wont hold up in court, and Spencer JDray ton, president of TRPB, tells us that such tests will not be a part of . any investigations unless the man under investigation demands it. But whether or not the test is valid in court, it is widely used by the police, and it just so happened that co-incidental with the Drifting Abbey investigation, there was a first-class, Hollywood-type murder over in the San Francisco valley, and amaid in the home accused a free lance photographer and placed him in the home at the time of the crime. The photog, on hearing he was being sought the police didnt know who he was at the time surrendered voluntarily and was booked on suspicion of murder. He was given the lie detector test, and walked but "out of the bucket a free man, exonerated by the police, and who later booked his accuser for the murder, an alleged crime for which she is now awaiting trial. So. we say, while a lie detector test maybe is inadmissable court evidence, it sure can get folks cleared who are -under suspicion of big trouble when the evidence is largely circumstantial. a 40-Horse Limit Not the Answer Incidentally, Cornell tells me also that in his opin.-ion, admittedly a bit prejudiced but as objective as it could be for a man in his position, that the limit of 40 horses per trainer is not the answer to some of the ills which have cropped up in western racing, suggests instead that most everything would be solved if there was a major, open year round training center in southern California. "I. think most trainers and many owners would be willing to buy stock in such a venture," says Cornell, "and for what the tracks pay out in costs to keep tracks open well before the openings, plus Pomona for two-year-olds in the winter, they might be willing to make a substantial investment in such a project, too. Sure, I know land costs are high, but so what? Everybody who has invested in southern California acreage during-the last 20 years has gotten rich and there is nothing in current population trends to the southland that indicate it would be otherwise with the shareholders of a corporation owning a training grounds, which would be useful for maybe the next 20 years when the land could be sold and a new one built plus putting profits into the hands of all backers."

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