OReilly: Some Familiar Faces Seen on Backstretch; Pete Anderson and Jimmy Jones Talk Derby; Silver Spoon Set to Teach Colts a Lesson, Daily Racing Form, 1959-05-01


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OReilly I By Tom OReilly 1 Some Familiar Faces Seen on Backstretch Pete Anderson and Jimmy Jones Talk Derby Silver Spoon Set to Teach Colts a Lesson CHURCHILL DOWNS. Louisville, Ky., April 30.— No binocular bearing disciple of Sir Henry Morton Stanley, the New York Heralds man in Africa, can claim to have "covered" the Kentucky Derby until he has penetrated the darkest corners of Churchill Downs "backside." A "backside" visit calls for stamina. You rise at dawn. Well, 8 oclock seems like dawn if you retired at 2. Coffee is inhaled at the Hotel Moccha bar. A taxi trundles you to the course. If smart* you save steps, leaving your car at the barn farthest from the front gate to work back, like MacArthur at Corregidor. A familiar face— Pete Anderson, Manhattans own jockey-decreed dismissal of the touting driver Tomy Lee two barns from the end of the line. Yorkville Pete will ride Our Dad— the city horse — owned by Patrice Jacobs and trained by her father, Hirsch, in the Derby. Of Scotch and German ancestry, Pete resembles Hans Wagner, in miniature. Teetering, left and right, on bandy legs, he said Our Dad was comfortable. Hell show up tomorrow. "Backside" interviews, by the way lend authority to a Derby correspondents work. When you read, "Bottle Knees appeared a bit sore this morning," dont assume the writer discovered this in pre-dawn gloom, by lantern light, a la diogenes. Its 4 to 5 a reliable trainer, capable of telling a saw horse from a sore one, told him. A pride of Derby experts was found at Calumets barn listening to Jim and Ben Jones explain why On-and-On was back in the Derby. They also were discussing fillies. Would the Derby ruin Silver Spoon? Ben was asked. Filly Faces Tough Task "That filly will have to fight every step of the way," he replied with a serious head shake. What kept Twilight Tear, a great filly, from the Derby in 1944? Calumet won the 44 Derby with Pensive. Twilight Tear beat him every morning. In fact Gramps Image, the one-horse stable of "Whitey" Abel, a Baltimore "gypsy" horseman, beat Pensive in the Chesapeake at Pimlico that year. "Whitey" arrived here in a freight car with the horse. Brushing straw from his pants and ignoring a case of empty beer bottles, he led Gramps Image down the ramp, saying "tell them Calumet an Whitneys to move over. The Derby winner is here." Why hadnt Ben started Twilight Tear then? "The answer to that one is money," laughed Ben, just as though he was answering. "There was all them filly an mare stakes waitin for Twilight Tear." He continued. "Yes, we knew she could lick Pensive. But Pensive did all right. He win by four. It was the money decided us. Thats what trainers work for, money." Translated, that statement might mean that Twilight Tears future was too bright to be snuffed out in the Derby. It was quieter farther along. A rubber, named Pete, was putting bandages on Royal Orbit, whose owner on the program reads, "Estate of J. Braunstein." Suddenly Mrs. Braunstein arrived in a cab. Victor Herbert never hymned a prettier widow. It was red-haired, dark-eyed Halina Gregory, the chanteuse. Her 11-year-old son, George Gregory Braunstein, a sixth-grader from West wood, California, ran for the carrot bin. As if by magic, Wathen Knebelkamp, handsome Downs president, appeared with Vince Clepham, of TV. Station WHAL. who was toting a movie camera. Vince filmed singer and prexy watching George feed the horse a carrot, while Pete bandaged its ankles. Glamour Envelops the Shedrow "Vince was looking for glamour," smiled Knebelkamp, graciously to Mrs. Braunstein, "lucky to find you here." He warned George to close his fist feeding the horse carrots. "Yeah, I heard about Mrs. Graham," said the hep youngster. Mrs. Elizabeth Graham had been nipped in a bite that shook the beauty business to its foundations. After inquiring for trainer Reggie Cornell, momentarily absent. Knebelkamp and Vince departed. Mrs. Braunstein, questioned, told me she was a Chicago girl who attended school in Switzerland, where her father was an importer. She sang "at. the Chez Paree and in London and on TV." And married Jacques Braunstein, a native New Yorker, who was a Chicago tax lawyer and showman. He died last November. "He pioneered the first series of movies made for video," she said with soft pride. "We bought Royal Orbit at the L. B. Mayer sale. If he would only do something sensational, like Silky Sullivan, we could make a picture around him. Mervin Leroy, you know, is president of Hollywood Park. The Shaggy Dog is a very successful anynal picture." She pouted prettily about the Derby Trial, saying she was satisfied, "except Continued on Poge Forty-Seven OReilly on Racing Continued from Page Five possibly jockey-wise." Westwood, she explained, is near Beverlj Hills. At the next barn there was a welcome chair beside Don Doty, the slim Nebraskan, who rubs SilvecSpoon. A few stalls away, the fillys head appeared over the door as she listened to a shelf radio outside. "Shell let yknow if you turn that music off." said Don. "Whinnies. Gotta run it, night or day. Hlo, Clyde." "Hlo," bellowed Clyde Watch, the aged watchman, approaching. "That mob gone? Lord a-mighty. They had more cars here then yud see inna funeral. Heck a night watchman cant get no sleep. To bed at six and was up at 8." "Yeah," said Don, derisively, "the way they talked about fractions like to killed me. Fractional times huh! Shell fraction em all right, on Saturday. I saw those Trials. Shell run over those horses." "I like to died laughin at them camera fellas," boomed Clyde. "One of em took at minutes to get Silver Spoons picture, then said he could get a good one. Hell, he couldnt get her head right if it was in a vise. "I tole one hed be a poor hand bird hunting in Nebraska," laughed Don. "When he asked why, I said too slow on the trigger. " "Thas right," agreed Clyde. "I asked one fella, wassa matter, bub, yer thumb broke? It shore took him a long time." It was a long walk to the front gate, too. In addition to the horses and the constant stream of visitors, I noticed a billy-goat, a young fellow practicing throwing a knife at the side of a barn stuck every time at 10 paces and a sign that said, "no women allowed after 8 p.m." the "backside" is fun. Saturday theey expect "live" music. O, weep no mo, my lady!

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1950s/drf1959050101/drf1959050101_5_1
Local Identifier: drf1959050101_5_1
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800