Maryland: Questionnaire on February Racing in Maryland Md.-Dela.-W. Va. Members of HBPA Are Polled Random Opinions, Daily Racing Form, 1958-05-02


view raw text

i I BJE_JH Maryland ————— By. Fred Galiani • — J Questionnaire on February Racing in Maryland Md.-Dela.-W. Va. Members of HBPA Are Polled Random Opinions of Turfmen Made at Laurel LAUREL, Md.,« May 1. — Opening, of the Maryland racing season in early February the past couple of years has engendered some violently expressed opinions, on i I the the part part of of horsemen horsemen mainly, mainly, and and the the part part of of horsemen horsemen mainly, mainly, and and as so many tilings affecting men of this pursuit, there seldom are any holding to a middle ground. One is adamantly pro or con on the situation. To get an accurate pulse on how the majority of turfmen feel about the early dates situation, the Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia division of the Horsemens Benevolent and Protective Association has instituted tuted a a poll. poll. A A questionnaire questionnaire has has BJE_JH tuted a a poll. poll. A A questionnaire questionnaire has has been sent-out to all horsemen licensed in Maryland during 1956 and 1957 asking the following questions: Are you a trainer — owner— owner/trainer? Did you race at Bowie in 1957 — 1958? Are you in favor of February racing in Maryland? Then each horseman is asked to indicate the earliest date he feels practical and the latest date for Maryland racing. Jack Boniface, secretary of the local division, has mailed out some 2,000 postcards in an effort to get a complete and accurate appraisal of feelings on the situation. It will take some time until all ballots have been returned and tabulated, but in the meantime we made a brief Gallup poll of our own of various trainers. Actually we didnt go so fast; its more of a trotter poll. Taken at random along the backstretch, secretarys office and paddock, the following opinions were expressed: Bond -Prefers Long Season Bernie Bond, leading trainer at the meetingj — "I am in favor of running early and closing late. In fact I am for racing as much as possible. Of course, to be honest, I have to admit that if I were racing in Florida I wouldnt care for an early opening. But since I stay here I am for an early opening and as many racing days as you can have." Charlie Camac: — "A season of April 1st to November 30 is the best. "Early openings are no good, especially if the weather was like this year. It was unbearable on both men and horses. Living conditions were too hard. Not only that, it is expensive for the owners. It costs more to keep a horse at a track than on the farm." Bowes Bond: — "I think it is better to start around March 1. February is a little too early. Its tough on the help, the horses and everybody at that time of the year." Watson Elliott: — "I am not in favor of early dates at all. I am bitterly opposed to them. Why do I run my horses? Well if I can I do. You just have to, because you cant afford not to. But I am definitely against a February opening. There are just so many racing days but Id like them later in the season." George Howell: — "It depends on management. If they want to run early in the year let them; if I want to race I can. There are too many headaches in this business as it is without trying to run somebody elses end of it." * Johnny Gilbert: — "February is too early. You have to keep a horse in training all winter. You cant lay him up. If you do its too hard to get him ready, especially when the weather is bad. I would be for a March 15 opening." Mike Freeman: — "I am in favor of early racing, say from February 15 to December 15. There is no competition that time of the year and the play is better, which helps us horsemen." Early Start Helps the Little Man Harry Eklof: — "Early dates? I am all for them. It keeps the tracks out of competition with New Jersey. If we have to race early, we might just as well do it in February as in March. Another thing, it gives a man with a cheap horse a chance. Later in the year you need tod many stars to get into a race, but in February you have plenty of opportunities. I think it all boils down to this: If a man wants to race early he can; if not. he can keep his good horses until later in the year. Let everyone make their own decision." Ed Christmas: — "March 15 is early enough to open. But you have to remerrber one thing. You either face competition from other tracks or face the elements. Theres no other way." Carl Hanford:— T dont like it myself, especially if it was like this year. I think March 15 is the best time j to start."" I L. G. "Buster" Bedwell: — "February is a little too j early. March 15 is plenty of time. The weather is un-j certain and you cant get horses ready. Then again training facilities are not good that timeof the year." So you can see how split the men feel on-this situation. Early returns on the poll, according to Boniface are at 199, with almost an equal division of opinion. In favor of February racing are 104 ballots, with 95 opposed. While not a trainer, we polled another person Continued on Page FHty-One I MARYLAND By FRED GALIANI * Continued from Page Seven on the question. He is our colleague in the press box, Snowden Carter, one of the top turf writers in the business, as proven when he won the TRAs first award for. the best written racing story of 1956. Carter qualifies because in addition to his reportorial chores, he is also an owner and breeder of horses. And that means a first hand knowledge of the problems, mainly financially, involved in raising and racing horses. Carter is for an early opening. "Its good, for cheap horses," he said, "They do good at a meeting like Bowie. I have some cheap horses and thats why I know. Bowie gives out good purses for half-mile horses. I won a race there and also a 50 breeders award. Ive got to like it. To be perfectly candid about it, it is not good racing. The calibre of horses is bad. But as an owner I am for February racing." When the 2,000 answers are in, or at least those which are returned, it will be interesting to see what the entire Maryland racing corps feels about the situation. This poll could lead to something more than just academic pursuit. Arthur Hunt, racing secretary at Suffolk Downs, will be at Pimlico Monday soliciting stakes nominations for the East Boston tracks spring meeting. Suffolk has bolstered its added money program this year and should get good support. . . . Cadillac John Doonis checked in, suntanned and soigne, from Gulfstream, and has joined the stable of Eddie Yowell where he will act as assistant trainer. . -. . Murray Fried-lander, trainer for Nathan Cohens horses, leaves for France the end of next week. He will center at Maisons Laffitte and he can be expected to return to this country with some French-breds. . . . Buster Bedwell is opening a public stable which he intends to campaign on the Ohio circuit this summer. He will leave for ThistleDown after Pimlico. ... Mrs. BUT Jaeger, wife of Laurels dynamic publicity man, is expected to return home Friday morning from Womens Hospital in Baltimore, where she recently underwent surgery.

Persistent Link:
Local Identifier: drf1958050201_7_1
Library of Congress Record: