New Jersey: Hartack and Grant to Do Battle at Camden; Latter Faces Stern Competition at Session; Delaware Valley May Be Next for Rice Entry, Daily Racing Form, 1959-05-04


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am IBS— »»— New Jersey By Bob McCurley Hartack and Grant to Do Battle at Camden Latter Faces Stern Competition at Session Delaware Valley May Be Next for Rice Entry GARDEN STATE PARK, Camden. N. J., May 2.— The road from Charles Town, W. Va., to Garden State Park is not too far if youre at the wheel of a car. Roughly its about 250 miles and much of it is on smooth, super highways. However, its a lot longer on the back of a horse. It might be a few years or might be a lifetime. Countless young men, aspiring to be jockeys, have started out on this particular road, only a few have made it. Two that come to mind are Willie Hartack and Howard Grant, who are expected to battle it out for leading rider honors at this meeting as well as for national honors. But, that is another story. Hartack and Grant both got started at Charles Town. It was at that sleepy little country track in the mountains of Jefferson County that both began to click and the momentum gathered there carried them right through to the big time. Both Hartack, who came up under Norman Corbin, and Grant, who was brought around by George Strib-ling, had broken their maidens elsewhere. Hartack scored his first victory at Waterford Park in October of 1952 and Grant at Cranwood Park in October of 1956, but it was at Charles Town that each of them got rolling. Its peaches and cream now but in those days the only peaches available were in an orchard across route 340 from the track and there certainly wasnt any cream to be had. The old wooden barns left more air in than they kept out and the sleeping quarters were nothing to brag about. They have been fixed up considerably since then and some even had little gas heaters in them during the past winter. High Prerequisites; Intensive Schooling Stribling. who is a popular horseman on the West Virginia, Ohio, circuits, has developed quite a few riders, but Grant is his supreme achievement. He is a stern boss and works on the principal that if a boy wants to become a jockey he has to work hard and long around horses before he even thinks of riding one. A boy must be strong and have good hands, arms and shoulders if he expects to ride and Striblings way of building a boy up is to have him carry plenty of water. He has what are probably the biggest water buckets in racing. And all of the young help around the barn spend plenty of time carrying these pails full of water. Grant remembers them well and hell tell you about it if you ask him. It was at the spring meeting here last season that Grant really came into his own. Competing against the likes of Hartack, Sam Boulmetis, Walter Blum and other top-notch riders, the little reinsman from Cincinnati, Ohio, emerged the leading rider with 35 vie tories and at seasons end was second only to Willie Shoemaker in the national standings with 254 winners. He is off and winging to the finest start of his young career this season. Going into Saturdays card he had 103 scores, 52 of which came in a record-shattering spree at Bowie, to his credit, eight less than Shoemaker and two more than Bobby Ussery. The competition here this spring will be the stiffest in a good many years and the rider who emerges the winner will have to be clearly best. Grant definitely has his work cut out for him if he hopes to defend the laurels gained last season. In addition to Hartack, he will be oip against the likes of Boulmetis, Joe Culmone. Bill Harmatz, Karl Korte, Blum, Harold Keene, to mention only a few. It should be interesting. Hurley to Ride for Mazzeo From the Garden: Trainer Clyde Troutt is -considering sending both Cedar Brook and Rare Rice from the Mrs. Ada L. Rice stable in the 6-furlong Delaware Valley Stakes, May 9. Rare Rice captured Laurels Chesapeake Stakes in his last start. . . . Tony Mazzeo, who conditions a public stable here, has leased the contract of apprentice Richard E. Hurley for the current meeting. Hurley was the leading "bug" rider at Gulfstream Park this winter. . . . Trainer Eddie Yowell has shipped Cousin Con and Ben in for the local meeting. Ben, a two-year-old Greek Ship colt who is owned by Mrs. Ben Cohen, is among the eligibles for the 5,000 Cherry Hill Stakes, May 20. Jockey Jerry Truman, who has been sidelined since last summer by injuries suffered in a spill at Monmouth Park, is expected to rejoin the Spring Hill Farm during the meeting. Truman rode Easy Spur to his first major stakes victory in the Cherry Hill Stakes here last spring. . . . New additions to the local official staff include Gordon Morrow and Kenny Noe Jr. Morrow will serve in the capacity of assistant racing secretary while Noe will take over as a patrol judge. . . . Large brown splotches of dead grass in the field are no longer a problem here. The track maintenance crew simply sprays them with a water proof green dye and they blend in perfectly with the surrounding areas.

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