Here and There on the Turf: An Important Decision About Bettin More Money for Three-Year-Olds Too Great Sums for Two-Year-Olds, Daily Racing Form, 1922-12-05


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Here and There on the Turf An Important Decision About Betting. More Money for Three-Year- Olds. Too Great Sums for Two-Year-Olds. Circumstances operating through a number of years caused judge Joseph A. Murphy to make a profound, exhaustive and continuous study of law and court decisions concerning betting in its various forms and in all the states of the Union. He is not a lawyer, but has the discriminative and analytical mind that would have given him high rank as such, had he embarked in the legal profession. It follows that without being professionally a lawyer, he is yet probably the best lawyer in the United States today in the matter of anti-betting statutes, their scope and limitations. It is this that gave weight to his frequently stated opinion that the laws and court decisions of the State of Illinois do not prohibit man-toman betting, and that a properly conducted case through Illinois courts, would establish ; the fact that some form of what might be j called "oral" wagering, for lack of a more defining name, is legal in this state. This view was upheld in the decision rendered in Cicero last Saturday in the case of j J. L. McElhatton, under bonds following an j arrest and charged with "bookmaking, pool selling and operating a common gaming house." j The offenses with which he was charged were committed at the recent Hawthorne meeting. There was no controversy concerning what he had done there and after testimony and arguments of counsed had been heard the court decided that no law of Illinois had been violated by the defendant. Thus the first decision in an Illinois court of any description concerning the style of betting used at Hawthorne, sustains Judge Murphys views. The fact that the court rendering the decision is one of minor jurisdiction raises a doubt as to how far its protective influence may extend. Possibly it may be held sufficient locally, until higher courts pass upon the points of law involved. If so, none interested in the revival of Chicago racing need ask for anything better. In these days of princely turf prizes the various racing associations are to be commended for the attention that has of late been shown the three-year-old division. Time was when most of the richer plums were hung up for the two-year-olds, and from year to year it was a two-year-old that would top the list of winning horses. These two-year-old opportunities have in no manner been curtailed. In fact, the races for them have been made richer, but there has been a greater increase in the three-year-old stake races, and that is the age division that should receive the most attention. Many a colt or filly has been a brilliant performer over the short distances the two-year-olds are asked to run, but the following year they failed utterly when put to the test that any good horse must meet and stand before he is worthy of top-notch honors. These brilliant two-year-olds, even if they do not top the list of winning horses of the year, frequently have their names higher up in the list than their actual merit deserves. A cham- i : I pion that is only a two-year-old champion is no champion except for that age. It was only because the two-year-old values were all out of proportion with the prizes that were offered for the next older division that two-year-olds have gone into history from time to time as the best money-winners of a year. The best money-winners in twenty-one years have been Major Daingerfield in 1902, then a three-year-old; 1903, Africander, another three-year-old; Delhi, a three-year-old in 1904, and in 1905 and 1906 the leaders were three-year-olds, with Sysonby and Accountant, respectively, heading the list. Then in 1907 the unbeaten Colin, as a two-year-old, topped the list with the remarkable total of 31,007. The j next year another two-year-old, Sir Martin, beat the horses of every age. It may not be j generally remembered, but the three-year-old Joe Madden was the best winner in 1909. Then it swung back to the two-year-olds again and in 1910 Novelty and in 1911 Worth of that age led them all. In 1912 the four-year-old Star Charter was the best money-winner, but in 1913 there was another two-year-old at the top of the list in that remarkable gelding Old Rosebud. Roamer, another of the famous American geldings, vas the leader in 1914. He jwas then a three-year-old. The following year still another gelding was on top in Borrow, !at the time a seven-year-old. In 1916, 1917 land 191S two-year-olds led, when the honors fell to Campfirc, Sun Briar and Eternal, re- spectively. In 1919 Sir Barton, a thrce-year-old, was the leader and the mighty Man o War, a three-year-old in 1920, was at the top of the heap. Last year it swung back to the j two-year-olds, when Benjamin Blocks Morvich went through the season without defeat. This year it has been Richard T. Wilsons Pillory, and he tops the list by reason of his victories Jin the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. It is thus seen that in the course of twenty-one years of racing there have been nine two-year-olds , at the top of the list. Ten three-year-olds have led and in the other two years a four-year-old and a seven-year-old topped the list. It must be remembered that in 1911 and 1912 there was no racing in New York I State and those were the years that enabled star Charter and Worth to be .the leading winners. With the closing of New York tracks it meant the suspension of the rich two-year-old fixtures -that gave them such an advantage over the older division. And it also wiped out three-year-old stake races that, while they had been Teduced in value when racing came into bad days, were still valuable. With the two-year-olds so well cared for in early and late closing stakes it is fitting that I increases should be made in the three-year-old division, as was the case this year. It is an age where the thoroughbred is put to the hard tests and it is inevitable that a three-year-old champion, barring accident, will go on to the handicap division as a four-year-old, capable of holding his proud place with the best of them. It is well that the two-year-old stake races should be inviting. They are of importance to the breeders, but, in the interest of a sturdy breed that will endure, the prizes for the three-year-olds are of more service.

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