view raw text
TURF TALES FROM THE WEST. "White Hat" McCarty Tells of the "Sport of Kings" at the Old Bay District Track. San Francisco. CaL, February 1. — "While Hat" Mi arty was in a reminiscent mood. As the crowds swayed back and forth in the lobby of the Palace Hotel he tilted his celebrated beaver and let his thoughts wander along the backstrctch of the old Bay District track. "Those were the days when it was really the sport of kings. " he ventured. "There were certainly many kings in the game. I can leant ■ her as if it were yesterday when Lord Talbot t Clifton was here in all his glory. This boy wis some sport, take it from me. and he only had a dozen millions or so to make the mare go round eery time he so willed. "He was a real English lord who loved horses. He had his four-in-hands, six-in-bands and Hie like, and he was also a gentleman rider of Bote. That dandy could ride, hut he had one fault, if 1 might say so. Lord Talbott insisted oil having his own way and he usually got it. "Ill never forget one day at the Bay Dlstlilt when he was riding in one of the gentlemens raees. As usual, he was going over the track just as lie pleased. The starter rebuked him in no uncertain tones, and you should have heard the come-back. "Know what Lord Talbott did? Why. he opened negotiations for the purchase of the track. He told me that he didnt have any use for the blooming track, but he wanted to be in a poeftisaj so that he could give that starter his discharge papers." "White Hat" once again repeated that its not the "sport of kings" any more, and I guess he is about right, for there are few nowadays who want to buy a racing plant simply to fire one employe. Al Cooneys Tough-Luck. What would be your inward feelings if some one came along at a stage of your existence, when you did not have a single sou. and slipped ten crisp, bright ,000 bills into your hand 7 It is indeed a dty to continue with the tale in these days of the high cost of living, but Al Cooney declares that it actually happened to him one day back at the old Washington Park track in Chicago. "O boy. O boy! is all that I can say when I think of that day." declares Al. "Earl Linnell had a California plater named Alaska. All the breaks had been going against us. and it had reached the point on get-away day when we were broke. I •rent to Charley Gates, a chip off the old Uocfc Bet Em a Million Gates. and mentioned the ad that we were out to win with Alaska or walk home. "That was the extent of our conversation, and after Alaska had won. much to our delight, up eonies dates wiih a stack of pasteboards as fat as a hat. Without any ceremony whatsoever he peeled off ten ,000 bills and tossed them t us. Never will I forget that occasion, for it almost Stepped the beating of my heart." Fog Aid to Big Clean -Up. Remember how the baseball fans out at Ewing Field used to complain the afternoons when they could not see the outfielders because of the thick fog? Sure you do. but they did not have half the holler that was in evidence at the old Bay District track. The track was located out that way and the weather conditions were the same. Every afternoon the fog would roll in from the ocean and the last half of the card was usually run-off in the mist so thick that the horses on the backstreteh could not be seen. It was bad enough on the ball field, but on the track is was bound to lend to a scandal.- Said scandal was in the form of an old-fashioned lean up. The plot was easy to stage. One of t la-starters went to the eighth post instead of to the post. His absence was not noticed, and when the field came galloping along the jockey at the eighth pole sent his mount along and emerged from the fog a hundred yards in front. He won hands down and thousands were collected. It looked mysterious, but the stunt was not discovered until months afterward.