Longfellows Last Race: Breaks Fown in Return Match with Harry Bassett, Daily Racing Form, 1922-12-20


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LONGFELLOWS LAST MCE Breaks Down in Return Match With Harry Bassett. Cliaihpion of Ilalf a Ccntnry Ago Finishes a Came Second, Though Crippled with Cut Foot and Injured Tendons. In a recent issue of Daily Racing Form the great contest of Longfellow, when he out-gamed Harry Bassett at Long Branch in 1872, was discussed. It is of equal interest to record the fact that, two weeks later, this sturdy standard bearer of the Leamington family again engaged in contest with Harry Bassett, where the latter was victorious and the race marked the final appearance of Longfellow on the turf. Longfellow and Harry Bassett met again in July, 1872, at Saratoga, in the race for the Saratoga Cup. The outcome of the race for the Monmouth Cup had stimulated interest in this second meeting of the champions and tlie attendance was one of the largest that had ever gathered at the Saratoga course up to that time. When the trumpet sounded for the great performance of the day Harry Bassett appeared first and made a splendid impression, being apparently in perfect condition and in far superior fettle than he had been at Long Branch. LONGFELLOW IX EXCELLENT SHAPE. The dark brown and mighty son of Leamington was likewise in good condition, and his long, sweeping stride as he went along the stretch in a preliminary canter impressed all who saw him with a full sense of his prowess. The chestnut horse Defender was also run, but with no expectation that he would be in at the finish. The odds were heavy on Longfellow and, just before the flag fell, ran up as high as 20 to 1. All three horses were away at the first effort. Harry Bassett and Longfellow led off together, with Defender behind. The latter resolutely maintained his place throughout the race, but gradually let in more light between himself and the leaders as the course was covered. When the stand was passed, at tf end of one mile, which was run in 1:45 Jf Harry Bassett was leading and in another quarter-mile had increased his lead to a length. From that point on it was a struggle of equine giants. First one and then the other was a nose, a neck, a length ahead and, at the end of two miles, which were run in about 3 :30, Longfellow again had Harry Bassett headed. At this point the son of Leamintgon changed his feet and, for a second, faltered in his stride, allowing his rival to pass him and to win tlie race easily in 3:59. When the horses came off the course it was apparent that Longfellow was broken down ; in fact, he finished the race on three feet, giving away on the hear side, forward. The sole of his foot was cut by a broken plate and the tendons were injured so that he Continued on twelfth page. LONGFELLOWS LAST RACE Continued from first page. could scarcely stand. Although suffering and partly crippled he was game to the end and ran to the finish with an extraordinary display of force and endurance, to bo beaten finally one short length. He never recovered from his injury and the race course never saw him again. Harry Bassett now reigned supreme on the turf in the estimation of many individuals, but it remained for his half-brother in blood, Monarchist to lower his colors a few months later in the same season. It was at Jerome Park, in October, in the race for the Maturity Stakes, three miles, that these two champions first met. Although Monarchist had achieved notable triumphs in his three-year-old form, having already " won the Mansion House stakes at Monmouth Park and the Louisiana and Grand Inaugural Post Stakes at New Orleans earlier in the season, there were few who believed him able to come to the front on this occasion. Harry Bassett was a strong favorite. So far as the betting was concerned. Monarchist scarcely had any place at all, the odds being 10 to 1 against him. HARRY BASSETT AWAY IX FRONT. At the start Harry Bassett was away in front but Monarchist quickly closed up and stuck to his rival firmly so that the first half-mile was run almost head and head. Then Harry Bassett drew away by a length, but Monarchist declined to allow him to hold this advantage, contesting inch by inch, and finally pushing his head in front at the furlong post in the last mile, scoring by fully three lengths. Again the lack of courage in Harry Bassett was manifest, for he quit when he found that the race was no longer his. Monarchist was, to be sure, in first class condition but it was bcnerally believed that Harry Bassett could not have failed winning had he possessed the courage of his competitor. The time of the race was 5:34, which was slow. The track was heavy and the turns at the course did not contribute to high speed. An interesting comparison has been made between the time of this race and the time of the other three-mile races about the same period. Norfolk ran three miles in California in 5 :27, carrying 100 pounds, while Monarchist carried 108 pounds. Idlewild in her famous four-mile race, ran the last three miles in 5:274, carrying 117 pounds. Moliie Jackson, in her third and winning heat at Wocdiawn, as a four-year-olds, with 101 pounds up, made a record of 5:2834. Fleetwing ran three miles in 5 :31 at Saratoga. A week after the race for the Maturity Stakes, Monarchist and Harry Bassett met again at Jerome Tark in a purse for all ages, at four miles. Three sons of Lexington joined in the fierce rivalry of this occasion Harry Bassett, Monarchist and King Henry. The interest that might have attached to a contest between horses representing different sires was here absent, but the standing of the two champions and their notable performances heretofore, especially Monarchists recent Maturity victory, was sufficient to guarantee a profound public attention to any event in which they were engaged. Monarchist again demonstrated his superiority by winning this race in 7:3313, with Harry Bassett second and King Henry a poor third. 9

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1920s/drf1922122001/drf1922122001_1_4
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Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800