Connors Corner: Plan Separate Headquarters For Steeplechase Performers, Daily Racing Form, 1959-05-13


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r . Connors Corner Plan Separate Headquarters For Steeplechase Performers By "CHUCK" CONNORS BELMONT PARK, Elmont, L. I., N. Y., May 12. — John W. Hanes, president of the New York Racing Association, has for some time been engaged on a proposition to alleviate the stable shortage for the Long Island tracks. He and his associates for the past few months have searched Long Island as far east as Smithtown and from the north to the south* shores in quest of acreage on which to erect a steeplechase headquarters. The site, if acquired, will be equipped -with a schooling course, stables, loading platforms, dormitories and a kitchen. The steeplechase and hurdle horses will be centered on the site during the j I summer and fall, when racing is conducted at Belmont Park and Aqueduct. It also can be pressed into service, as an emergency stopover, for horses that are vanned here for overnight engagements. Mr. Hanes pointed out that several such sites had been located but when the objective was made known, more zoning laws were uncovered than pre-election promises were made from the stump. Mr. Hanes agreed that New York is suffering from an acute shortage when it came to stable accommodations and while the situation will be eased with the opening of Aqueduct this fall, these additional stables will fall .short of the requirements according to the applications on file. New York at present has accommodations for 2,200 horses at Belmont Park and Jamaica. When the final decision as to the future of Jamaica is made, New York will be in the position of stabling the same as today, 2,200 or 2,700. This number falls much below the present available stable room at Miami. Hialeah has 1,250 stalls, Gulfstream 900 and Tropical Park 1,000, for a total of 3,150. However, Miami, unlike New York, is not shackled by civic ordinances as to the construction of stables and facilities can be expanded at will, subject to the sites available. Owners of Chasers Object Several steeplechase men in discussing the proposed center, voiced objections. Their main point was that under the proposed conditions they would be called upon to split their stables, leaving the flat horses here and the jumpers at the center, thus doubling the overhead expenses. Many owners who prefer steeplechasing to flat racing carry a half dozen or so non-jumpers. The ultimate aim, according to Paddock Gang members, is that the flat horses will be converted into steeplechasers or hurdlers. In the latter classification, they can double in brass, as the old saying goes. They can hurdle and race over the flat. This double life, as it were, would provide a stay of grace from vanning the hurdler to the proposed steeplechase center. Trainer Casey Hayes set his alarm clock for an unholy hour this morning, half past three, rolled out of bed when the alarm woke up half of Belmont Park, had First Landing readied for his trip to Pimlico and the Preakness, watched the grooms and van men load him, witnessed the doors closed and said happy motoring as the van rolled away_ in the darkness. That was a few minutes to four and then Casey decided it was time to get some coffee and go to work training the other horses he has-here. Around 10 oclock, the phone at the stable rang and the news that First Landing had arrived at Pimlico in good shape following an uneventful trip was made known. Casey will go down on Thursday to supervise the final "blowout" while Arcaro will plane down Saturday morning. Mr. and Mrs. Chenery will also leave for Baltimore on Saturday to lend moral suppprt to his champion and then motor down to his farm, Doswell, Va., to spend Sunday relaxing and studying the charts and the newspaper comments. Sylvestre Attends Opening Mrs. Dodge Sloane, who maintains the Brookmeade Stable, completed arrangements to leave for Baltimore on Friday. She will be represented in the Preakness by Sword DancerT Jockey Shoemaker will do the riding and trainer Elliot Burch the saddling. Shoemaker will plane back to Hollywood Park after the race while Sword Dancer, Mrs. Sloane and Burch will head for New York and Belmont Park . . . Mrs. Mae Walsh, one of the better show horse riders and enthusiasts in the-country, was among those present yesterday. Allie Sylvestre, the nonagenarian, was present for the opening day, seated in his Continued on Page Forty-Nine I CONNORS CORNER j By CHUCK CONNORS j Continued from Page Three usual clubhouse_ box. He was on the ailing list during the winter and missed several days of the Hialeah session . . . Mr. and Mrs. George D. Widener came over from Philadelphia for the opening and plan to remain for several days. The Wideners witnessed their two-year-old TJdaipir finish in a dead heat with Sutler, owned by Theodora A. Randolph. Mrs. Elizabeth Graham, who maintains the pretentious Maine Chance Farm, was a clubhouse visitor yesterday. She reported the finger that Jewels Reward nipped is coming along steadily and she hopes to have the bandage removed in the near future. . . . Warren L. Jones planed in from Lexington, Ky., to witness the seasonal debut of Lawdy Claudy. He may remain for several days. . . . Trainer Tom Jolley notified Jimmy Kilroe that he will be here Thursday afternoon with Plion for his Carter Handicap engagement on the week end. . . . Trainer Clyde Troutt will decide today whether he will return Talent Show, owned by Mrs. Ada L. Rice, for his Carter engagement. . . . Jockey John Ruane has been engaged to ride High Bid, owned by the Wheatley Stable, in the Acorn. . . v Mr. and Mrs. F. Eugene Dixon motored over from their Philadelphia home for the big opening and some racing*. . . . Eddie Brennan, general manager of Monmouth Park, was present for the afternoon. Irving Gushen dropped in yesterday afternoon to lend moral support to his Bumpy Road in the Toboggan Handicap. Bumpy Road may remain here to start in the Carter Handicap. . . . Trainer Sol Rutchick took over the training of the horses owned by the S. L. A. Stable. . . . Lou Walger of the tote department reported that the "advance windows" for the eighth and ninth races showed a modest handle. Less than ,090 was handled in the rotunda area of the grandstand. Walger expects a big improvement in the immediate future. . . . Trainer Max Hirsch returned from Pimlico, where he witnessed the Preakness Prep race of Black Hills. He finished third. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Armstrong, she is a Kleberg, are due here from Baltimore following the running of the Preakness. . . . Hans Land, a newcomer to these parts, will make his American saddle debut Wednesday. He is slated to ride Ballybrittas in the steeplechase event. Land began his riding career in his native Germany, later moved to Sweden and recently arrived here and lost little time in seeking out the steeplechase and hurdle fields. . . . Jockey Eldon Nelson will go to Garden State Wednesday to ride in the featured offering there. He is slated to return here on Thursday.

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