New York: Turf Course Sprint Looms Excellent Contest; Tharp, Bald Eagle Expected to Start Saturday; Both Compiled Excellent Records in Europe, Daily Racing Form, 1959-05-14


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New York : By Bob Horwood Turf Course Sprint Looms Excellent Contest Tharp, Bald Eagle Expected to Start Saturday Both Compiled Excellent Records in Europe BELMONT PARK, Elmont, iT I., N. Y., May 13.— Though endowed with only a ,000 purse in the condition book, Saturdays White Pine Purse at 7 furlongs on the turf course promises to be quite as interesting as the vastly richer and more significant 0,-000 Acorn Stakes for three-year-old fillies at one mile. A large field is in prospect for the White Pine, which will be the first grass course event of the meeting, but much of the interest in this extended dash, we think, centers on Carleton Palmers Tharp and Capt. Harry F. Guggenheims Bald Eagle. These four-year-olds will be making their 1959 debuts on the weekend, all going well, and each has started only once in this country and that unsuccessfully. Tharp is an Irish-bred son of Limekiln, who last fall came over for the Washington, D. C. International, in which he finished fourth after literally being throwm down most of the mile and a half. Though Lucien Laurin, who has him now, supervised Tharps final preparation for the International, Eddie Arcaros orders to restrain the colt were at least influenced by Vincent OBrien, trainer of Ballymoss, who had also trained Tharp. After the race, Arcaro said that he might not have been able to win, but certainly should have been much closer. s During his English campaign, Tharp won four of his six starts and was second in the other two, all in the best company. The powerful bay colt gave weight and a beating to both Hard Ridden, winner of the Epsom Derby, and Sindon, winner of the Irish Derby. A versatile colt, he scored at distances from 7 furlongs to iy4 miles and was good when fresh. After finishing second in the Queen Anne Stakes at Ascot on June 17, giving 14 pounds to Teynham, he came out on October 28 to win the Limekiln Stakes, 1and miles straightaway, at Newmarket, galloping by six lengths. That was Tharps last start before coming to the United -States. He didnt arrive in the very best of condition, incidentally, and was blistered and turned out at Laurins Holly Hill, S. C, farm until the end of March. Recently he has been training well, though not a particularly good work horse. Laurin says that he refused to work willingly before the International at Laurel. This colt, who was regarded by English expert Phil Bull as the most dependable of his generation, has the credentials to be a top turf horse in this country, possibly a champion. Invader Failed in English Classics Bald Eagle is a somewhat different story. The son of Nasrullah — Siama, by Tiger, a full brother to the steadily improving One-Eyed King, was bred in Kentucky and sent to England as a yearling. Bald Eagle won the Richmond Stakes for his only start at two and became the winter favorite for the Epsom Derby. Though he won minor stakes the following year, Bald Eagle failed lamentably in the 2,000 Guineas and Epsom Derby and the aforementioned Bull declared flatly that he was not a top-class horse. Captain Guggenheim, however, has never lost faith in the colt he has said excited him more than any horse he has ever owned. Bald Eagle started once at Belmont Park last fall, breaking slowly, then showing fine action as he moved into contention, but tired as though in need of the race. Trainer Woody Stephens tells us that soon after that debut, Bald Eagle suffered a virus attack that settled in his intestines and very nearly proved fatal. "He became so dehydrated that he felt like a dead piece of wood when you put a hand on him," Stephens says. The colt recovered quickly, however, and worked iyB miles in 1:50 at Hialeah, training with Gulfstream stakes in view. One-Eyed King was going so well that it was decided to give Bald Eagle a bit more time. Recently, his training at Belmont Park has bordered on the sensational. Of course, it is possible that the tall colt is a morning glory and devoid of real class, but it is just as possible that he was not fully matured last spring and unable to do himself justice. A big, leggy colt, it could well be that he just wasnt ready for the major tasks asked of him. But Bald Eagle has the breeding, looks and actions of a thoroughly good horse and Saturdays race should tell us something. Stephens Notes Steady Improvement Stephens feels that One-Eyed King has not yet reached his peak, though he has been doing nothing but " win and in record times, since March. "Hes settled down and gained confidence and is improving all the time," the Kentuckian says. Stephens also has high hopes for another of Captain Guggenheims Nasrullah colts, the four-year-old Victory Morn. This colt has suffered a number of setbacks, including a stifle injury in last years Peter Pan, and lost some races because of a bad habit of leaning on rivals. Victory Morn is not far from the races and Stephens feels he has intrinsic class. The ninth race, rather than inflation, is the reason for the increase in wagering in the face of falling attendances at Jamaica and the Maryland tracks. This was made abundantly evident last Saturday when the handles for the first eight race at Jamaica and Garden State Park were almost the same, with attendance slightly higher at the new Jersey track. The ninth at Jamaica pushed the Long Island track about 50,000 over Garden State for the day.

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