Ascot Park Notebook: Jesse Davidson Shows Promise of Becoming Topnotch Jockey, Daily Racing Form, 1958-05-03


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. a ■ « Ascot Park Notebook Jesse Davidson Shows Promise Of Becoming Topnotch Jockey By DICK- KUMBLE ASCOT PARK, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, May 2. — Racing is a composition of each mans opinion, so hazarding a prediction is not at all out of line. Many of the sports finest riders make their beginnings in circuits even less auspicious than these, and young Jesse Davidson is our target. Perhaps his foremost recommending point is not . his his splendid, splendid, though though* ► i — — , : ; — i 1 his his splendid, splendid, though though* brief record. It could be the man who is in charge of his future, George Stribling, the same pers_ori who started Howard Grant on the road to fame and fortune. Howard Grant and Jesse Davidson are not at all alike. Grant was a cocky youngster from Cincinnati Cincinnati who who learned learned a Cincinnati Cincinnati who who learned learned everything so quickly, it is hard to assume he is still a teen-ager. His talent is unquestionable. His following in the East is increasing. His Corvette automobile gets him faster to his after-work appointments than his bosses horses do in the afternoons. Howard Grant has made it, first-class: Davidson may never leave this circuit, and may even wind up back in the bushes. He is barely 17 and has to win a battle with the avoirdupois challenger. But-George Stribling feels he has the makings, and that suits me fine. "This boy is a good all-round rider. He has excellent possibilities, and when he gets to the majors, I think he will stay there." Jesse Davidson, one of eight children of a Manchester, Ky., family, was visiting his sister in Cincinnati less than two years ago, and decided to write a letter to Stribling, whom his brother Sam had served under as an exercise boy. The horseman took Jesse on, and they wintered at Striblings large farm in Mechanicstown, Ohio. He learned rapidly, and after almost six months, was boosted into the saddle on August 13, 1957, on Windsor Castle at Wheeling Downs. His first winner came at Cranwood on September 18 aboard Smoke Talk. Gallops Horses Each Morning He finished the winter in this area and spent some time at Striblings farm before inaugurating his 1958 campaign here at Ascot. Lessons have been foremost with this five-foot-five, 108-pounder, with a wiry, athletic frame. He is at work each morning at, 5:30 galloping horses, and lives with his employer, who races some 22 head. Davidson has accepted 329 mounts at the writing, and has 46 winners, for a fine percentage of 14, with 40 per cent of his mounts getting at least third money. He rode 11 per cent winners in 1957, but threatens to be leading rider at Ascot Park, with 20 triumphs and 21.3 per cent, a fine mark for a youngster of his limited experience. Jesse, who is far from timid with a whip, ! has been successful riding on the lead and learning to rate, and has also done well from the back end. His agent is the well-liked Al Hudson, who also handles veteran Buck Thornburg. Hudson, held high in the esteem of all Ohio horsemen, was the famous University of Miami Fla. defensive halfback who intercepted a Holy Cross forward pass" as the final gun sounded in the 1946 Orange. Bowl football classic on New Years Day, and travelled a record-breaking 89 yards to turn a certain 7-6 defeat into victory. Also noted for his achievements on the cinder track, Hudson has a large intercollegiate track meet named in his lienor, held this time of year in South Florida. Al has a home here in Bedford, and winters in Miami. He is espe- « cially pleased with Davidsons pleasant cry of "Get me a mount in every race." Bill Pool Patrol Judge George Stribling once owned an 1,100-acre farm in Olympia, Wash., near Seattle, where he spent his youth. At Mechanicstown he has many broodmares, and six live foals were dropped there this year. Exclusively his property is the sire Fighting Fox, who has already sired Crafty Admiral and Benedicto. Fighting Fox has sired winners of more than ,500,000 and his present fee is 00. Stribling, as canny a horseman as we, have met, will not sell Davidsons contract until he gets the right man. He selected wisely in the case of Grant Carolyn K. Stable Sam Lewin. Drifting in conversation from the rider of the future to one of the greats of the past, a patrol judge at Ascot is 52-year-old Bill Pool of Latonia, Ky. Bill broke his maiden in 1914 and rode for 32 years. In the 1922 Kentucky Derby he finished third with John Finn behind Morvich, and Bet Continued on Page lleren1 ASCOT PARK I By DICK KUMBLE Continued torn Page Seven Mosie. He won the Derby Trial in 1927 with Rolled Stocking, defeating Osmond, who came back to lose by a nose to Whiskery in the "Run for the Rcses." Pool also was in the irons the afternoon that Thibo-deaux captured the Latonia .Derby, and he handled the splendid Handy Mandy for Hal Price Headley. He rode for the Jones Bros. Audley Farm and handled Princess Dbreen in her early triumphs in the East. Hjs brother. Earl Pool, was also a noted reinsman, and now works at the St. Louis tracks, plush Sunshine Park each winter. Bill Pools son, Earl, is 17 years of age, and attends high school in Maple Heights, Ohio, the state where his father rode for more than 20 consecutive years, and gained the admiration of the racegoing public. The mutuels manager at Ascot is Paul F. "Pat" Downey, the jovial Irisher, who credits Bcb Hart with all his success. Downey broke in with Hart, who is the father or the worlds former top womens tennis player, Doris Hartof Coral Gables, Fla. In the early days* at Sportsmans Park, he never worked for anyone else. Downey has been in the mutuels departments at Sportsmans, Hawthorne, Fair-mount Park, and the Miami Beach, Tampa and Jacksonville Kennel Clubs. Pat has 175 men working for him now and credits president Horace Adams of Ascot for "getting me everything I needed to make this department run smoothly." Downey is now 56 years young, his assistant here is George McNamara, another Hart man, who formerly operated in the outfield for the Washington Senators back in the 1920s. McNamara, a retired chief in the Chicago Fire Department system, was called to the Windy City this week when his mother passed away. He has been with Downey for eight years. They utilize Harts double-check system for the Daily Dou- ble, which Downey considers a flawless timesaver. | I

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