Commercial English Racing: Sprinting Fashion of the Other Side Preceded American Turn.; Figures as Far Back as 1882 Show the Trend Toward Short Distance Turf Sport., Daily Racing Form, 1922-04-27


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COMMERCIAL ENGLISH P AC KG Sprinting Fashion of the Other Side Preceded American Turn Figures as Far Back as 1882 1882Show Show the Trend Toward Short ShortDistance Distance Turf Sport BY SALVATOR SALVATORNot Not long ago Mr Vosburgh presented to readers of Daily Racing Form an enter ¬ taining and philosophical discussion of the question Why are longdistance races rari ¬ ties nowadays and sprinting the rule not as formerly the exception His disquisition included a critical analysis of the conditions that obtain and his accounting for thorn was so lumiuous as to leave few questions to be asked askedCondensed Condensed into the smallest possible com ¬ pass what he really meant and in effect said was that short racing is the result of a commercialized turf upon which sports ¬ manship hardly rules We still loftily al ¬ lude to racing as the sport of kings but kings have also altered in the centuries that have passed since the Merry Monarch gave the royal cachet to Newmarket and set a fashion which none of his successors have deviated from albeit not all of them have emulated him in all his methods methodsWe We have short racing now and we have short reigns and just as kings of the turf are rudely deposed and fehunted into ob ¬ livion so are human rulers The number of monarchs retired from business to use the phrase of Dr Doran is now large antl jrows constantly larger The few still doing business at the old stands grow ever fewer and most of them are apprehensive of the morrow morrowWhen When Charles II used to po racing to Newmarket the sport to which he was so devoted bore almost no resemblance to that of roday As a rule only one race was con ¬ tested on any given day and there were sel ¬ dom more than two or three days of racing in any week often not that many The fields were small a large portion of the races being matches the horses were also mere ponies but they ran great distances under high weights Gradually four miles came by a sort of unwritten law to be the limit of the endurance tests testsSIIOlITE SIIOlITE ITsC ENGLISH ItACE ItOLTES ItOLTESI I will not be certain but I think there are today no more fourmile races in Eng ¬ land and for years have not been unless as novelties or revivals It is seldom that a horse is asked to go as far as two miles just as it is now here with us And the reasons therefor have been the same there as here almost wholly whollyPersons Persons who look upon the commercialism that rules the American turf which lias resulted in an era of sprint racing as some ¬ thing of American origin and due to the dollar worship which foreigners so point ¬ edly allude to as the preeminent American characteristic though Americans often think the hunger of the foreigner for the American dollar something far more excessive than anything ever indigenously developed are however much mistaken As a matter of fact it is just the other way about America clung to longdistance racing for many years alter it had declined in Britain The reign of the sprinter was inaugurated there long before it became the order of the day on this side of the Atlantic AtlanticAs As there is nothing so convincing as facts and figures in the discussion of such sub ¬ jects I will call attention to some decisive ones which have long been on record If you happen to possess a set of those invaluable manuals of the racing of former days the Guides of Krik II G Crickmore just turn to that of forty years ago say 1882 and consult the table there given of races at different distances contested that year yearThis This table gives the comparative returns for both America and England and here are some of the facts that it reveals revealsEng Engnistances Eng nistances U S A land landVmltT VmltT threequarters of a mile 31S 877 877Threequarters Threequarters and under a mile 403 USl USlOne One mile C13 1KC 1KCOver Over i mile aud under two OL3 190 190Two Two miles aiiJ under three 72 K KThree Three miles aud over 11 11 11The The difference is instructive Tire favorite racisig distance then in America was one mile or between one and two miles and at these distances a total of 1268 races were run In England there were only 416 At two miles and over America gave eighty three races and England but sixtyfive How ¬ ever when the sprinting division is inspected lo and behold England gave no less than 877 races at distances under threequarters mile while America gave but 318 The total number of races under a mile in England was 1161 in America 727 727These These comparative figures tell their own tale They show that the turf became com ¬ mercialized much earlier in England than with us We were in fact stubbon about the retention of our longdistance or so called longdistance events and the aerage American thoroughbred continued for years to have to demonstrate a degree of stamina which was not the rule abroad It was there not here that Quick action for your money first became the beall and endall of racing Heat races were abolished in Eng ¬ land long before they passed from our pro ¬ grams also alsoIn In the history of sprinting England takes precedence of America in every way Never to this day in America have shortdistance horses attained the prestige and acquired the fame that they have there nor have their earnings been so great greatThese These are useful things to remember when the talk is of improving the breed of horses and the materials to be used for that laudable but perhaps not easily ac ¬ complished puipose i j i

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