California: Ole Fols Sprints to Debonair Score; Fans Approve New Hollypark Horn Man; Calls Sharp, Accurate, Lack Hamming, Daily Racing Form, 1959-05-12


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M«K ■ California By Oscar Oik J Ole Fols Sprints to Debonair Score Fans Approve New Hollypark Horn Man Calls Sharp, Accurate, Lack Hamming HOLLYWOOD PARK, Inglewood, Calif., May 11.— Ole Fols, who may be one of the better sprinters of our times, captured the 5,000 Debonair Stakes at 6 fur longs here Saturday but in a manner that would hardly make him be considered prime Derby Hollywood variety timber. Given a rousing ride by. Johnny Longden, Ole Fols raced Djebah into defeat after a half mile, took a long lead through the stretch, with his own 5 furlongs being :5lYs, but it took all Longdens mastery to stave off a hard-hitting Friar Roach. And the third horse, Howard Keeks Bagdad, hinted that he might be dangerous in this Western three-year-old division when the distance is stretched out later in the season. Still, sprint or not, Ole Fols picked up a net of 6,300 in the Debonair and he has, as we indicated, a lot of earning power in front of him. However, the horse we were most impressed with on the Saturday program was Nagea, the first starting two-year-old owned by Howard Keck, who won the maiden event rather brilliantly from Ralph Lowes British Roman and Maine Chance Farms highly regarded Temple. Nagea, by *Nasrullah from a Hyperion mare, is Mr. Keeks own breeding, and the man, new to racing, may have uncorked a real runner at what is to all intents his first real crop. He has, of course, been a purchaser of quality stock from Claiborne. Southern California racing fans have listened, for two days now, to the staccato race calls of Hollywood Parks new announcer, Harry Henson of Seattle, and the verdict is favorable. Keeneland to the contrary, the public address, in its proper place, is accepted background for the running of an American race. Hensons work on the horn is outstanding if only for the reason that he doesnt overdo the dramatics and he has entirely gotten away from "ham emoting and synthetic excitement" which some horn folks dearly love and * seem to enjoy. Henson does change the inflection of his voice a bit if an exciting move is made, but he believes that a really dramatic move speaks for itself, to mix a metaphor, and that enjoyment of a race on the part of a fan can best be served by a straightaway call rather than whipping his horns into a lather of frenzy. Manages Unusual Race Track I Henson is on solid ground for his firm beliefs in this matter, for among the jobs he holds is that of manager of racing at one of the most unusual race courses in America, Puyallup, up in the State of Washington. ThisNfair grounds bull ring is almost a perfect circle of one-third of a mile, and the oval is almost completely surrounded by stadia seats. It is the only race course in America which has, in effect, grandstand all the way around. There is no wagering at Puyallup and the races, three of an afternoon, and three of a night, are part of a carded entertainment program which includes rodeo events and high wire circus type acts. "Here is a test tube that can either prove or disprove a thoroughbred contest as an exciting event in its own right, quite apart from the pari-mutuel aspects of the sport. I and other officials were not surprised to discover, years ago, that the sheer contest of a race has as much or more appeal than any other event offered at the Puyallup Fair," observes Henson. "The fair averages 41,000 paid a day for a nine-day run, and the stadia grandstand seats about 12,000, and is a sellout both afternoon and evenings. Proof of Two Necessary Factors "It also is gratifying to report that in the opinion of fair officials, the Puyallup racing has clearly proved two other points, one, that keenness of competition is not dependent upon sheer quality by rather upon the carding of races which have true competitive aspects, and two, that the ability of a patron to actually see a race has a vital and substantial impact upon the enjoyment of said race. Now? Im not advocating cutting down on the size of major American tracks as they exist today, but I do say that perhaps every track should make as certain as possible that as many fans as possible are able to witness for themselves, the entire race running. In any event, the action at Puyallup takes place practically in the laps of the patrons, and I defy you to find any greater enthusiasm or cheering in America than prevails at Puyallup." This corner agrees with Henson 100 per cent in this respect, and is why we feel that cluttering up an infield with palm trees, armadas of ducks, clumps of shrubbery, or what not, is a basic violation of the principle of giving the fan the utmost in appreciation, even though we concede that palms and ducks may provide a park-like atmosphere and perhaps help establish a preliminary, pleasant mood. Henson started out his racing career as a jockey, rode at Caliente in 1931 and 1932, and also rode at Puyallup along with such riding greats as Scotty Craigmyle, Hank Mills, Noel "Spec" Richardson and Joe Baze. Weight forced him from the saddle after a brief career *and he caught on with the management team at Puyallup, where he learned to call. He later was engaged by Longacres, and for the last four years was the horn man at Arlington- Washington Park. But a true West Coaster, he long has; had hopes to crack the California circuit, and here he is.j

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