Derby Day Sidelights, Daily Racing Form, 1959-05-04


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» llil ijiiiii niMBii Tm, M HUGH A. GRANT— His juvenile filly, Airmans Guide, continued unbeaten when she accounted for the Debutante i Stakes at Churchill Downs. . » 1 Derby Day Sidelights I By Joe Hirsch CHURCHILL DOWNS, Louisville. Ky., May 2.— This was the hottest Kentucky Derby in several respects. Not only was the competition torrid, but at mid-afternoon of a clear sunny day, the temperature rose to 88, a new standard since records were first kept in 1927. Yet only two years ago, for Iron Lieges Derby, attendees » were shivering in topcoats and gloves while the thermometer registered a brisk 47. Under the influence of fine weather, the crowd came early and in strength. They were lined up at the entrance to the infield before 8:00 a.m. This morning, carrying the gaily-colored banners and basket lunches that have given this great horserace a distinctive flavor through the years. Theres no sporting event like the Derby, which is all things to all men. Promptly at 10 a.m. two bands marched into the infield, which was beginning to fill with fans. Eventually, these high school units, in sharply varying garb, drew their ranks to form the letters "K" and "D", then tootled popular numbers and military airs to the delight of early arrivals. While the crowd seemed large, the wagering level rose and fell in comparison with last years figures. Today the first race betting was up over the 1958 mark, while the second, third and fourth were all down. For the fifth race, however, the trend went the other way again, this years total up. The five-race totals differed downward by some 0,000. However this years open Derby promised to set new standards at the window. The sixth race was dramatic for reasons other than financial. Calumets On-and-On, declared from the Derby earlier this morning, was part of an entry off at 2-5. On-and-On was life and death to edge Mrs. Paxton Harthills Will This Do, who won for ,000 at Keeneland a few weeks ago. I Along the backstretch this morning, Derby trainers paced nervously the length of the shedrow, laughed a bit too heartily at jesting remarks, and issued constant calls for cigarettes. Standing near Easy Spurs stall was owner Jim Norris and an old friend, Canadian hockey and racing magnate, Conn Smythe. Smythe, who won the Queens Plate last year with Caledon Beau, and owns this years Plate favorite, Bull Vic, revealed his ace had been sidelined with an infected leg for some 10 days. However, trainer Johnny Starr will try to have him in top shape for the historic Plate, which will be presented at Woodbine in Toronto for the 100th time on June 30. Many American race tracks were represented, as usual, at the Derby, by their leading executives. Leon Slavin, president of River Downs, near Cincinnati, made an annual pilgrimage to Derby town. So did Don Ross, head of Delaware Park, where a handsome new clubhouse is nearing completion. Ross had an opportunity to confer with Bryan Field, his vice-president and general manager, who handles the Derby color for CBS television. Treasurer Phil Iselin, general manager Ed. Brennan Sr., Sonny Werblin, publicity director Barker Seeley. and several other Monmouth Park officials were on hand from New Jersey, highly enthused with the response to their revised Sapling Stakes on Aug. 8. The Sapling shapes up as one of the Easts biggest two-year-old races this season. John W. Hanes, president of the New York Racing Association; W. T. Bishop, general manager of Keeneland; Gar Moore, general manager of the Fair Grounds in New Orleans; Horace Wade, vice-president and general manager of Waterford Park and director of racing and publicity at Latonia; Scotty Kennedy, general manager of Assiniboia Downs, were among other prominent racing figures present. Owners of Derby horses have traditionally invoked all sorts of good luck charms, including rabbits feet and what-have-you in an effort to score in this most coveted of American races. As an adaption of this theme, a friend of the Mackle brothers, who apparently ordered chicken for his Derby "breakfast," approached their box with a wishbone in suitable wrapping. His instructions were simple: "Break this in the paddock." The enthusiastic Toots Shor hosted a party of friends, including Ruth Arcaro, The Masters wife. Last night it was Toots turn, and he was "treated" to the pool on the Patterson -London bout made up from funds contributed by Eddie Arcaro, Bill Shoemaker and Sam Boulmetis. It is understood that Toots now has some 5 more with which to open his new restaurant. George Weiss, general manager of the j New York Yankees and a longtime friend of Churchill Downs president Wathen I Knebelkamp, was spotted attacking a ; hearty Derby breakfast of filet mignon. Saul Silberman president of Tropical Park, was another enjoying the artistic work of the Stevenses. Spencer Drayton of the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau and the noted Texas sportsman, Dick Andrade, greeted friends in the old dining room behind the stands. • Marje and Webb Everett arrived from Chicago for a Derby week end. She is vice-president of Arlington and Washington Parks in Chicago. He is director of racing at Golden Gate Fields in San Francisco. Truly a racing family, the Everetts. John B. Kelly, president of the Atlantic City track, arrived from New Jersey on a private railroad car with a large group including the tracks board chairman, Frank Fiore; its general manager, Phil Baker; and several other officials of the seashore course. Bill Gillmore, the popular vice-president of Golden Gate Fields, flew in from California together with Frank McMahon and his wife, the charming Betty Betz. Gilmore has horses with Bill Molter. Speaking of Molter, he and his engaging Doris, came in from Chicago, where Round Table breezed the other day, to confer with Mr. and Mrs. Travis Kerr, owners of 1958s Horse of the Year. Also in the party are Cecil and Nancy Magana, son-in-law and daughter of the Kerrs. The group moves on to Chicago to see Round Table, then the Kerrs return to their homes in Oklahoma. Dick White of the Massachusetts Racing Commission was on the scene, reminding fellow members that the NASRCs Uniform Rules Committee meets at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York on Sunday afternoon, May 31, at 2 p. m., for its annual session held in advance of the NASRCs convention. The popular Raymond "Sonny" Workman, who rode Equipoise to many of his Continued on Page Forty-Nine Derby Day Sidelights By JOE 11IRSH Continued from Page Four most notable triumphs, came from Washington, D. C. for the Derby. Ted Clifford and Dr. Peter Graffagnio, prominent patrons of the turf, represented New Orleans, and other nationally -known turf personalities from many cities jammed the stands. Pimlicos Lou Pondfield, vice-president and executive director of the Maryland course, where the 50,000 Preakness will be held two weeks hence, was contacting Derby horsemen to come on to Baltimore and a crack at the middle jewel of racings Triple Crown. Reggie Cornell, who remembers the delicious breakfasts at the alibi table in the Old Members Club, while preparing Silky Sullivan for the race last spring is one of Pimlicos staunchest friends. Publicity director Charley Johnson was also a member of the Pimlico party.

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