Derby Day Sidelights, Daily Racing Form, 1958-05-05


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: = — ; . . Derby Day Sidelights By JOE IIIRSCH , | CHURCHILL DOWNS, Louisville, Ky., May 3.— The 84th Kentucky Derby— .Silkys Derby" — was presented before an historic. Downs, jammed from end to end with racing fans from every section of the country. Never before has there been a greater demand for tickets, and primarily for one reason: to see "Himself," the remarkable Silky Sullivan. The rains that threatened the Louisville area this morning failed to materialize, which was good news for Eill Corum and Downs* officials. They recall with a shudder the chilly temperatures and comparatively sparse house of Iron Lieges Derby last spring. The sun zig-zagged from behind one cloud bank to another all afternoon, while the humidity was quite high. Most of the Derby horses were equipped with stickers — for better footage in off going. The track was classified as sloppy for the first four races, but went to muddy for the fifth. Decent two-year-old fillies required 1:01 to run the fifth event— the Debutante Stakes — at 5 furlongs. Wagering through the first two races was up from last season, an indication of -a larger house. Despite the recession, S134.609 went through the windows for the first event against 26,574 for last year. In the second race, the betting rose from last years 89,871 to 15,558. The fans came early and exclaimed with delight at the handsome floral displays and overall appeal of this rambling course, as preserved and improved by the Teteran superintendent Tom Young. » Vanderbilt Universitys band struck up many a lively air- for those who brought their fried chickens to eat in the infield, while leisurely perusing the past performances in Daily Racing Form. Pebs wonderful cartoon, in the Old English style, drew laudatory comment from many professional quarters. The hectic hours before the Derby were as eventful as the race itself. At the annual Turf Writers party at the Kentucky Hotel i on Friday night, Kentuckys Gov. Happy Chandler and his party were refused admittance at the door after they were unable to show credentials. A few hours later, somewhere around 3 a. in a ruumor flashed through Louisville that Silky Sullivan had come down i with an upset stomach and would be de-dared from the race. One newsman ! phoned trainer Reggie Cornell immediately, who put the gossip to rest with a few well-chosen words. We breakfasted at the hotel with Cornell, who seemed calm despite his interrupted sleep. Reggie, like "Silky" a good dozer, roared with laughter time and again at the droll stories of Hessie Miller, a veteran racetracker. Also gathered for early-morning coffee and juice were Gone Fishins trainer, Charley Whittingham and the west coast veterinarian. Dr. Jack Jacoy. . Silky, of course, remains the hottest thing to hit this Derby-mad to .vn in. many a year. Last night at the Kentucky, we f und Jack Dempseys party of Calif or-nians whooping it up in a suite, as a small combo played the "Silky Sullivan Song." Youve never heard it? Well here it is, the lyrics by Tumble-Weed Thompson, the music by Gordon Vanderburg: Theres a horse named Silky. On whom I bet my dough A horse named Silky Sullivan Who starts out mighty slow. With the leaders as they round the turn. This horse youll never find, Where is Silky Sullivan? Hes 40 lengths behind. Here comes Silky Sullivan A-roarin down the stretch Here comes Silky Sullivan, Hes got the field to catch. "Here comes Silky Sullivan . . ." Youll hear the mad mob roar; There went Silky Sullivan, He won the race by four. One reason for Reggie Cornells continued success with his horses is hard work. As Cornell says "The harder I work, the luckier I get." This morning with Gene Mori looking on in his tack room, Cornell was operating an electric drill, punching holes in Silkys special steel shoes to permit the fitting of special felt pads underneath, which protect the hooes from the H. A. JIMMY JONES — Sent out the Derby winner two years in a row when Tim Tarn followed in Iron Lieges footsteps to capture Saturdays running of the race. • f shock of the colts 1,200 pounds landing on them thousands of times through a race. Despite the huge turnout of California ns, whose allegiance to Silky made the Derby a battle with a "cause," Louisville remained relatively calm on Derby eve. The hi-jinks of other years were largely confined to a few rebel yells and tossing of firecrackers from hotel windows. It seems the Derby crowds are maturing through the years. Yet despite this comparatively serenity, the demand for Derby tickets was never greater. Col. Bill Corum, the president of Churchill Downs, has had to turn down thousands of requests during the past few weeks from every section of the country. This morning, C. T. Chenery, treasurer of the New York Racing Association, and Gene Mori, president of Hialeah-Garden State-Tanforan, were noted at Corums office-apartment in search of last-minute ducats. The stable area was quiet this morning, most of the hundreds of turf writers on hand recovering from the effects of a full week of partying. Most of the Derby trainers, too, made comparatively brief appearances on the scene, then left for their respective hotels to clean up before the streets, were blocked off by police. The Joneses — Jimmy and B. A. — were seen departing in their long black Cadillacs. Jimmy paused long enough to observe that all was well with Tim Tam and that Calumet would have no excuses in the afternoon. Next door, at the Maine Chance Farm barn, trainer Ivan Parke and Dr. William O. Reed exchanged small talk, while keeping a watchful eye orr Jewels Rewards screened box. Its been a particularly hectic pre-Derby pericd for the conscientious Parke. As a matter of fact, most of the Derby trainers are walking around in a daze after a week-Ion; period of tension. "One of them, who will remain anonymous, walked into the path of a pony while hurrying from the track the other morning, his head bowed in concentration. Fortunately, he wasnt injured. Representatives of many of the nations leading race tracks were on hand for the Derby. New Jersey had one of the strongest delegations. President John B. Kelly, vice-president Frank Fiore, general man-! ager Phil Baker and public relations director Lou Cunningham were here from Atlantic City. President Mori and his son, Gene Mori Jr., came from Garden State Park, despite the opening of that oval today. And from Monmouth Park came treasurer Phil Iselin, general manager Ed Brennan, director Sonny Werblin and publicity director Barker Seeley. Joe Gottstein, president of Longacres near Seattle, has been in Louisville for several days, and visited .with his longtime pal, Jimmy Jones, at the barn, early the other morning. Lou Pondfield and Charley Johnson arrived rrom Baltimore with material and news of the Preakness, Continued on Page Fifty-Two Derby Day Sidelights Continued from Page fire while Robert Fulton Kelley represented the New York Racing Association. President John Cella and general man?" ager Sweeney Grant came from Oaklawn Park, Hot Springs, Ark., on an annual visit, while president John Letellier, general manager Gar Moore and track superintendent Charley Boero were here from the" Fair Grounds in New Orleans. . Among todays visitors were Mrs. Dodge Sloane, mistress of Brookmeade Farm, and Oscar Levy of the American Totalisator Co. Levy reports that his research and development people have encountered some new difficulties with the automatic ticket selling machinesr-in connection - with radio interference — but hope to install the units at a Maryland track in the near future. D. Eldred Rinehart, chairman of the Maryland Racine Commission, was host to a Derby breakfast party that included Marylands Sen. J. Glenn Beall and Mrs. A. E. "Billy" Smith, the vivacious and efficient secretary of the National Association State Racine Commissioners. A trio of young Miamians up for the "Run for the Roses" included auto dealer Dick Fincher whose wife is movie star Gloria De Haven ; Eugene Mori Jr.. vice-president of Hialeah; and Dave Schine, the hotelman, whose father is president of the Roney-Plaza. Don Ross, president of Delaware Park, and Bryan Field, vice-president and general manager, of the Stanton oval, were other visiting firemen to take in the annual spring madness. Ross came on pleasure while Field came to do the "color" broadcast of the race in association with Fred Capossela, who was to call his seventh Derby. Leo Slavin, president of River Downs in Cincinnati, took in the week end sport, as did Arlington -Washington - Balmorals Marge Lindheimer Everett. Tiny Naylor, the noted California horseman, is here and g.-eeting old friends with a warming vigor. A newsman said to Naylor "Your partner thinks hell win the Derby." "Which one?" Taylor asked. "Shoe or Eddie?" Naylor is in partnership with Bill Shoemaker on a piece of valuable property and with Arcaro in a couple of restaurants in California. Kentuckys Senator Clements was greeting friends from a box adjoining one occupied by two more of Arcaros closest buddies — Toots Shor and Don Ameche — the former the inventor of corned beef and the -latter the discover of the telephoned Gordon Pepper, the popular young Toronto turf writer, is down from the Dominion for the Derby and quite enthusiastic about the forthcoming Queens Plate on June 7. The Queens Plate, which was first run in 186Q, is Canadas version of the Derby and annually attracts the nations best sophomores to the handsome new Woodbine course. Pepper thinks that the unbeaten filly — Stole the- Ring — is the leading Plate contender at present, while other top candidates are Harry Harry, Caledon Beau, and Foxy Phil. T. Alie Grissom, whose stable is trained by Tennessee Wright, the countrys leading conditioner over the past two seasons, welcomed friends from a front row box, handsomely attired in the cream-colored Steson. Grissom revealed that when he recently purchased the entire thoroughbred holdings of his brother Perne, the deal included Pernes 250-acre Duntreath Farm in Lexington, 18 broodmares, 154 head, of cattle, eight yearlings, 15 weanlings, and one Roman filly in training. Frank Warton, a member of the Illinois Racing Board, and Zoltan Gambos, of the Ohio Racing Commission, were among those entertaining guests at the Derby breakfast in the clubhouse dining " room. •

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