Nagler on Racing: Tomy Lee Superior of Two From Merry English Shores, Daily Racing Form, 1959-05-05


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► ." ;..:. " ..■■ .. ■■■■IIIMH I JOHN M. GAVER— Trainer of Greentree Stable whose Cohoes won the Sandy Point Purse at Jamaica and Pop Corn the opening feature at Pimlico. Nqgler on Racing Tomy Lee Superior of Two From Merry English Shores By BARNEY NAGLER CHURCHILL DOWNS, Louisville, Ky., May 4. — The way it turned out, it was a week end of contrast. Up in Indianapolis, 32 minutes away by air, a world boxing champion had been seen turning an Englishman called Blackpool Brian into London broil in an evening devoid of classic accomplishment. Then, at Churchill Downs, there had been the* crowning of the 85th Kentucky Derby champion, Tomy Lee, a product of English breeding. Of the two fromBlightly, the horse was vastly superior. He had speed. Willie Shoe-maker provided the punch. It may be that Tomy Lee gained from his early departure from , I England, where he was bought at Newmarket as a weanling by Fred Turner Jr. He was a cheap-side purchase, only ,762. Unlike Brian London, Tomy Lee was not exposed to the shape of British things. He turned out an authentic champion. So did the sport of racing. Never has a title event been conducted in happier surroundings than the Derby. Weather splendid, track fast, competition sharp and the winer heralded as one who demonstrated a form of courage inherent only in great champions. Riders Off-Course Pals Then there was Bill Boland, up on Sword Dancer, forthrightly claiming he had been fouled by Shoemakers colt. Boland is Shoemakers friend; off -course pals who have a community of interests and spend a deal of time together when Boland is riding in California. This was of no consideration. It was Boland s belief he had been fouled. He said so in public. No frivolity there. So the stewards ran the film and came up with a decision, and, just as forthrightly, refused to take Tomy Lees number down. "In the stretch," the stewards said, the film patrol showed that Tomy Lee twice drifted out, but that there was no visible contact. At a point just outside the eighth pole, the outside horse, Sword Dancer, was shown drifting in and contact was made several times. Both horses drifted out near the finish, as if they were a team." No turgidity there. An honest, laconic statement from the stewards and the record is written for all time. Boland accepts the decision. There is nothing niore for him to do but to believe he is wrong. And so he leaves Kentucky, second not first, and he looks forward to riding Sword Dancer once again, this time in the Preakness. He may do in Baltimore something he did not accomplish in Louisville. The stirring finish could not be discolored even by Boland s claim of foul. He had ridden a fine race. It was the notion of one man looking on that Sword Dancer had been called upon for all he had and had given all. So had Tomy Lee answered Shoemakers demands. Head and head down the stretch they came. In the end, a nose made the difference. There had been a meeting with Boland just an hour before the race. He had come to the door of the jockeys room to say hello to a friend and he seemed just a bit on edge. Good luck," the friend had said, and Boland replied, "Itll turn out the way it turns out, I guess, but Ill sure give it a try." Texan Wins; Texan Loses Which is as it was to be later. The rider from Texas lost out to another rider from Texas, a pal at that; and he cannot feel too badly about the way it happened. The boys who sit astride thoroughbreds are a most philosophical lot. For them, there is always tomorrow. The Preakness is the one in which arguments will be settled. If Tomy Lee can win the test at Pimlico, he will have to be accepted as a truly outstanding colt. He runs to form. He has never finished worse than second. He won six in succession as a two-year-old, then lost twice in competition with First Landing. He overcame a bruised foot to win at Keeneland and in the Blue Grass, and then he took the roses Saturday. First Landing was a disappointment. Somehow, he never was in there, although it was evident that he took a bad beating at the start as the 16 colts and a lone filly called Silver Spoon came out of the gate He was shuffled in the confusion twice thereafter, although Eddie Arcaro raised no hand in protest later. It was a week end to be remembered long. Coming out of Churchill Downs, when the Derby was finished and official! a man was overhead saying to his lady, "Im glad they didnt disqualify Tomy Lee, The race was so exciting itself, I couldnt stand a prologue." "And those mint juleps, too," the lady said.

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