Judges Stand: Best Horse Won Derby, Three Times; Sword Dancer Beats Tomy Lee to Hilltop; Unlucky Silver Spoon Goes Down Fighting, Daily Racing Form, 1959-05-05


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Judges Stand ■ By Charles Hatton Best Horse Won Derby, Three Times Sword Dancer Beats Tomy Lee to Hilltop Unlucky Silver Spoon Goes Down Fighting PIMLICO, Baltimore, Md., May 4. — More than 100,000 southern fried fans saw Tomy Lee win the Derby three times Saturday. Once turning for home, again at the finish, then in the tribunals of stewards Goode, Plaut and Finley. These officials several years ago suspended Shoemaker for not knowing where the finish pole was, but may have mellowed since. Many thought they exercised remarkable forbearance when they did not fine Bill Boland for a frivolous claim Saturday. Certainly The Shoe got his bearings on the fateful white pole which marks the difference between enduring celebrity and an also ran on the week end. It was well he did, for Sword Dancer allowed him no margin for error. It was a cardiac finish that burgeoned along the lines "Of the Brokers -Tip and Head Play embroglio. Survivors in the crowd, who sweated it out in a record 94.5 degrees and 100 proof juleps, now are looking eagerly forward to a return engagement in the 50,000 Preakness a week from Saturday. Tomy Lee will be on the hilltop tomorrow or Wednesday, Sword Dancer and Royal Orbit already are here, and First Landing shuttles from New York to try them again. It was a memorable Derby. From the time the band struck up the sentimental refrain of My Old Kentucky Home until the official was flashed, almost 20 minutes after Tomy Lee had kicked a mile and a quarter of Stardust at his presumptuous rivals. The very stands were vibrant with unconcealed emotion, the air electrical with expectations, as if telepathically communicated. One would think, reading some of the jockey quotes, that it was the roughest race since Danus put scythes on the sides of his chariots and mowed down those of Alexanders soldiers who could not outrun them. There was a bit of a "scramble corner at the clubhouse turn there usually is, and Tomy Lee did take the challenging Sword Dancer out a trifle before the latter powdered him on the testimony of the film patrol, but there have been many, rougher races when 17 horses have hurtled around two turns. More importantly, the best horse won. Things Are Different This Year First Landing could handle Tomy Lee last year, though there was only inches difference between them, off the charts of the Champagne and Garden State. But it was clear on the post parade Saturday that the colorful Fred Turners colt had grown past First Landing. Minutes later, he topped Chris Chenerys 58 champion for speed as well. And he put the Johnny come lately, Sword Dancer, in his place. For a few breathless seconds, when Sword Dancer forged ahead of his mount entering the stretch, Shoemaker was convinced that after vacillating between four rides on the Derby he chose unwisely. He had been quoted as saying that he "would give a million dollars whether American he did not say to ride Mrs. Sloanes colt," but was already committed Tomy Lee. So it was not really surprising he should have yelled, as Sword Dancer got to the front momentarily, "I hope you win it, Bill." It did surprise him, Tomy Lee was not yet an empty horse. Tomy Lee is the early favorite for the Preakness, as if you had not guessed, and a proper one we think. He had the dash to prompt a busy pace all the way, relaying Atoll and Troilus, and the pluck to come again when the rather bumptious Sword Dancer headed him, beating him in 2:02 Vs. As one rider remarked, "That track chatters your back teeth," so well was Tom Young informed about the possibility of showers. Bought for ,762 at Newmarket As the winner posed in the enclosure, basted in roses and perspiration, Leon Rasmussen related to us how owner Turner had acquired him, for ,762 as a weanling at Newmarket. He was purchased as a travel-* ing companion for a Tulyar weanling who grew up to be Tuleg, which is a way of saying not much horse. Bert Kerr, our good friend from behind Dublins Lace Curtain, selected Tomy Lee. Turner incidentally never has met his Irish agent, and of course bought Tomy Lee sight unseen. We suppose everyone knows by now he is closely inbred. Few horses get over a thing like that, but Tomy Lee is inbred to Hyperion. This is by way of accentuating the positive for the equine virtues, recalling the Queens Almeria. At any rate, it is the first time Turner won the Derby with a colt by Tudor Minstrel because he likes Tulyar. Yesterday dawning, we did the inquiring interne bit at Churchill Downs, to determine how many Derby competitors still qualified as quadrupeds. Our first stop was at "Casey" Hayes barn. Pointing to a picture of the field scrambling the odds at the first turn, he said: "Look where he First Landing came from. ... I think he ran a good race." Neil McCarthy was watching Finnegan pick grass and was glad "He is all right except for a few minor cuts." Our Dads shins were sore and Easy Spur had an ankle, while Troilus was Continued on Page Forty-Nine JUDGES STAND By CHARLES HATTON Continued from Page Five "dinky." Easy Spur and Troilus will miss the Preakness. At Bob Wheelers bivouac traps already were packed for instant f ilght to Hollywood Park. Silver Spoon, who did not return our affection Saturday, thrust her refined muzzle over the half-door and kissed us off, with true feminine fickleness. Wheeler noted she was beaten only three and a half lengths, and jockey York thought: "She ran a helluva race," adding, "She is not overmatched with the best colts." Silver Spoons race recalled, with a shudder, that Ballymoss ran in last falls Laurel International. Breaking in front, York was swinging her the first time past the stands. ; Festival King dropped back and forced her to check sharply in the hassle on the first turn, and the jockey said: "When I looked up I was about ninth." He then impulsively moved half a mile from home, to I get back into the race. The filly was flip-! ping the colts over her shoulder with a tremendous burst on the last bend that l carried her to third place, then was on a treadmill. "Sonny" Whitneys mare far outlooks ! any of the seasons classic colts. It is a j pity she does not have the constitution to match her Amazon proportions, so that ! Wheeler could train her the distance she runs. A gorgeous medley of henna, a j Maidenform middle and a "canarama" any j Percheron might envy, she has plenty of heart. Nor do we think Whitney erred in ! starting her, for she had earned the chance. Perhaps Silver Spoon will try the colts again in the Hollywood Derby. Californians question her Louisville form was true, pointing out that she could beat Royal Orbit "a street" out West. And York wishes there were a re-run of the Kentucky original, affording her the same chance. But the moving finger of chart caller Bud Lyon his writ. It is a commentary on something or other that the Flamingo winner Troilus should have been included in the mutuel field. The Democrats who had escaped from museums to attend defied Univac and made the fielders 7.30-to-l. Troilus flattered them several furlongs, but in the end Dunces seventh placing was the best they could do. As you see, there was much about the Derby to lend "box office" to the Preakness. There now are nine fairly definite starters in the Run for the Blackeyed Susans. But even if Tomy Lee and Sword Dancer were the only ones to show up, the MJC would seem justified in its hopes and expectations of a crowd of 40,000.

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1950s/drf1959050501/drf1959050501_5_3
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Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800