Our Present Day Horses: General Breed of Thoroughbreds Improved over Those of Past, Daily Racing Form, 1919-03-10


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OUR PRESENT DAY HORSES General Breed of Thoroughbreds Improved Over Those of Past, Old Favorites, However, Had All Necessary Qualifications of Equine Greatness. By CHAS. E. BROSSMAN. Tliat the general breed of race horses lias improved in recent years in size, weight, early maturity ami speed no one at all conversant with the subject will question. Breeders now seem to be able to produce more uniformly desirable specimens of the thoroughbred horse than was thought possible in years that have passed. While the improvement in the tracks is somewhat responsible for the great reduction in the records, all horses now must have some intrinsic merit to win any kind of a race on any one of the recognized race tracks; horses run in a closer bunch that is. there is less distance between the first and last horse than would be observed in a large field of horses in former years. It must not be considered, however, thnt the old favorites were deficient in speed or any other of the necessary qualities that go to make good race horses, for they had all of these characteristics in abundance. Could such a thing be possible as to recall the days that are fled and put a number of the old champions against the best race horses that can niw be produced there would be many tickets sold on the old-timers. Jimmy McLaughlin, than whom there was no better jockey, retaining his skill and popularity for over a period of about fifteen years and is now a trusted official on the metropolitan rnlck. being a patrol Judge for tile Jockey Club and therefore has had an opportunity to observe and -jmlge-j-thtfttnerits of .the different vturf, -Ktani : for years up to the present time, contends that Luke Blackburn was the best race horse he ever saw and that Trejnont was the best two-year-old. The late Philip Dwyer always maintained that Luke Blackburn was the. best horse he ever owned, while Ids brother Michael was equally positive in his claims for Hindoo; indeed, that horses name is even now accepted as a synonym of excellence. To call a promising horse a Hindoo is about the highest degree of praise a horseman can bestow. AN UNBEATEN THREE-YEAR-OLD. Iconutus was also a truly great horse in his, three-year-old form, facing 4 he starter ten times that year and as many times returned the winner. Among the stakes lie won were the Kentucky and Latonin Derbys, making, good horses like Lord Kaglau and Drake Carter look cheap; the latter named being highly enough esteemed to .ell for 7,500, a record price for a geldiiig in those days. Norfolk and Kentucky, two extra ordinary sons of old Lexington, were the three-year-old sensations of their years. Norfolk was never leaten, and sold for the unusual price of .S15.001 to Theodore Winters of California, where, after his racing days were over, he was placed in the stud and sired unbeaten champions, which in turn have sired numerous winners, without having the .same opportunity that would be presented to a stallion located in the Blue Grass section of Kentucky. The late "Lucky" Italdwin always considered the Kmperor of Norfolk the best race horse he ever owned. Kate Bright, now racing at New Orleans, is about the last representative of this famous line now appearing before the public. Kentucky was only defeated once during his career of five seasons on the turf, and then lv Norfolk. Kentucky was sold for the then record price of 0,000. Longfellow and Harry I.asset were great turf rivals and grand race horses. In one of the great contests for the Saratoga Cup Longfellow ran the first mile in 1:40, an almost incomprehensible performance when we consider the improvement in the track and that the one mile record was then about 1:43. Longfellow was on a two and one-quarter mile journey, and the performance has never been excelled from that day to the present. Lexington, in one of his famous races at New Orleans, ran the last quarter of a four-mile heat in twenty-four seconds over a deep track; that would now Ik? regarded as slow. THE "COAL BLACK LADYS" SPEED. Imp was considered by the astute handicapper W. S. Vosburgh the best race horse horse, mare or gelding racing in America in 1S99. Imp and Ethelwrt were great rivals, but Imp beat Ethelbert more times than he did her. In the Brighton Cup, two and one-quarter miles, however, it was Kthel- i berts day. Imp rail in the lead for the first two miles in 3:23i,i.. ; Kthelbert lapped, and hanging on to her like a. shadow, they had it hammer and tongs , throughout the lengtli of the stretch, Kthelbert ultimately winning by a head in the unprecedented time of 3:491s. the fastest time on record in the United States up to the present time, even with the improved tracks. Imp ran at another time, after , going five-eighths of a mile in a one and one-eighth , mile race, from the half to the three-eighths post ; in eleven seconds, pulled up in the stretch, and . cantered from above the one-eighth post to the finish, easily winning the one and one-eighth mile race in 1:314s- If she had gone on as well as she . could have done on that day. she would have set J :i record that would have been standing until now, is the opinion of many. Imp won the first .Suburban Handicap ever won by a mare, and in the fastest time on record up to that date, 2:035. and won in a canter. On account of a typographical error in Goodwins Turf Guide she is made to win in 2:08r,, which is nearly three seconds too slow. In the description of the J race in the guide the time is correctly given, and In the files of all of the New York newspapers 1 of that date she is given credit with winning the J fastest Suburban Handicap on record. There are a number of other high-class horses all along the Hue that deserve to be mentioned in this connection, but enough have been recalled to demonstrate the fact that some of the old thoroughbreds f had all of the essential qualities of good race i horses -could run fast, stay over a long distance of 1 ground, carrv high weight. And the blood lines t of those old" champions will produce the winners of today. I

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Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800