Maryland: Preakness Highlights Meeting of 12 Days; All Signs Point to Most Exciting Renewal; Several Non-Derby Starters Await Chances, Daily Racing Form, 1959-05-04

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Maryland By William C. Phillips Preakness Highlights Meeting of 12 Days All Signs Point to Most Exciting Renewal Several Non-Derby Starters Await Chances PIMLICO, Baltimore, Md., May 2— Bring on those Derby horses, the second jewel of the Triple Crown— the Preakness— is waiting. Pimlico on Monday launches a short meeMng of only 12 racing days duration, but within that time will be packed more antici-p a t i o n s, disappointments and thrills than contained in a countdown at Cape Canaveral. Of the Derby horses this year, only the filly, C. V. Whitneys Silver Spoon, is not already a nominee to the Preakness. The second of the Triple Crown races is more democratic than the Derby inasmuch that any three-year-old can be made eligible by the payment of a supplementary fee. so there is nothing to keep Silver Spoon or any other from competing if they and their owners are brave enough. Messieurs Herman and Ben Cohen, with Lou Pondfield by their shoulders, increased the Preakness this year from the 00,000 plateau to 50,000 added money. Publicity director and suave handy-man, Charles Johnson, is haunting the Churchill Downs backstretch and can be depended on not to leave until he has inspired every Derby owner with the "Preakness fever." It should be the most important and exciting Preakness since J. F. Chamberlains Survivor won the first running by 10 lengths in 1873. Speculation on the size or content of the Preakness field is utterly senseless until the Derby is completed. The field could be one of the largest in history if the Kentucky classic fails to produce a standout. Conversely, the emergence of a new-born champion could shave the number to a handful. At the moment, there are several stables who hope to have one hiding in the bushes, to pop out fresh and unexpected to play "king on the mount" with whoever reaches the Derby peak. Among these are Capt. Harry Guggenheims Hoist Away. Charfan Stables Crafty Skipper, Mrs. Ben Cohens Pen Bolero, King Ranchs Black Hills, Mrs. Ada L. Rices Rare Rice and Cedar Brook, and maybe others so well hidden they have not been heard of. Finish Line Moved 220 Feet The finish line at Pimlico has been moved 220 feet farther down the stretch this year, marking the first major change in the physical structure of the Preakness since it was increased from 9 furlongs to 1 3-16 miles in Coventrys year, 1925. It remains 1 3-16 miles, a pole shorter than the Kentucky Derby, but the 220-foot extension of stretch run could alter the aspects of the classic as much as if the distance itself were lengthened. The relocation of the finish pole makes this one of the longest stretch runs in the country, and this is expected to demand of the Preakness winner a stronger brand of courage. Pimlico, with its sharp turns, has always been noted as a course favorable to speed horses. This has been a major obstacle to the successful completion of the Triple Crown. The horse who has been bolstered for stamina to withstand the gruelling stretch drive of the 10-furlong Derby is not easily re-geared to show his best speed for the Preakness with only a weeks time to do it in. The proof of this is shown by the fact that only eight horses have won the Triple Crown, and no colt has managed it since Calumets Citation in 1948. In addition, there have been only four others who have been able to couple the Derby and the Preakness. In one respect, it is sad that the change has been made, because the demand for versatility in the past was one of the true tests and the horse who could manage the rapid transition was a proven champion in his own right. The Little General Sidelined The Homestretch: Deserved congratulations to Joe Hirsch upon his election as first president of the newly organized NTA. . . . The unexpected passing away of Prank "Red" Leatherbury at his home in Mobile, Ala., was a severe shock to his many friends. A sportsman of the highest calibre. Trainer Al J. Pupino has many times averred Leatherbury to be the finest man to work for he has ever known. . . . Apprentice Robert E. Corle wound up his Laurel campaign as the leading apprentice rider for the second season in succession. It will be "jockey" Corle after the first few days at Garden State Park when he loses his "bug." . . . New names on the list of Pimlico officials this meeting are Lawrence Abundi, a veteran from West Virginia and Kentucky, and Charles Minner, a graduate of various posts at tracks in New York. Both will be patrol judges. Perhaps Calumet Farms On-and-On should have been named On-and-Off? . . . Laurel entered its 28th and final program on Saturday with a remarkable 38 percentage of winning favorites. A good eight per cent can be attributed to Howard Grant. The "General," incidentally, slightly injured his back when unseated by a two-year-old during a post parade here Thursday and that was the reason he did not ride the following day. He did not accept the Derby mount on Dunce because Carolyn K Stable wished him to ride Contract opening day at Garden State Park. . . . Jockey Arthur Chambers can put away the golf clubs. His 10-day suspension ends on Tuesday. Saturday, he will handle J. M. Schiffs Bell Hop in the Dixie Handicap. . . . Alex Bullocks Mickey Boy, winner of last years inaugural running of the Maryland Derby, is in training here. The Colonel Mike colt chipped a sesamoid early last summer and was operated on at the University of Pennsylvania.

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