Starter Fitzgerald In Luck, Daily Racing Form, 1902-07-18


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STARTER FITZGERALD IN LUCK. Of an incident marking the racing at Brighton Beach last Tuesday an eastern exchange says : "It was a fortunate circumstance for all con-1 cerned that starter Fitzgeralds lungs were strong enough to reach the ears of all the jockeys in the mixup at the barrier before the last race yesterday. For had the starters shout of no start not been heard by even one of the boys, this recall of the no recall system might have furnished a eause eelebre in American turf annals and not entirely a pleasant one at that. "Of seventeen horses at the post for this race, less than half a dozen got away in full motion to what looked like a start as the barrier went up, while two of these, C. W. Wadsworths Lucky Bird and G. W. Van der veers Singing Nymph were so far in advance of the balance of the field that nothing could have got near them had their boys gone on. "Naturally, there was a whirlwind of excitement among the spectators, which soon died away, however, as all the boys including those on Lucky Bird and Singing Nymph, were observed to pull up ad go back to the barrier. In case the boys on Lucky Bird and Singing Nymph had not heard, or hearing, had disregarded the starters rocall, the outcome of the matter would have been a queor tangle. Under existing rules it would have been a start, and the stewards would have had an unpleasant situation confronting them, analogous to the case in England three woeks ago, where thirteen, out of a field of twenty-five horses never left the barrier. "Starter Fitzgerald, after the race, explained to the stewards how the mixup occurred. Ho was leaning over the railing of his stand calling to a jockey on the extreme outside to get his horse off the barrier, when the electric button which releases the barrier was pressed against the woodwork accidentally. "Of course the barrier went up, but as the starter know it was an accidont, ho was quick onough and fortunate enough to chock the soventoen jockoys in time. And it was u case of alls woll that onds woll. "But if the occurrence has tho offoct of cuusing some rnlo to bo mado at ouco covoring poesiblo accidonts of this naturo, yostordays oxcitoinout will not havo boon in vain. "In tho English caso roforrod to, a raco at Ascot on June 24, where half the field remained at the barrier, tho stewards decided a protest made by Mr. Bothschild. Their decision was that It was a start for the race, because the horses were behind the barrier when the starter pulled the lever. "Since this race the English racing rules have been amended to allow a starter to recall his horses in case of an accident. The exact wording of the rule has not come to hand, but the gist of it. "It now remains for our racing stewards to deal officially with this question of accidents at the barrier, or starter Fitzgerald may be weak of voice some day and a worse problem confronts them."

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