Here and There on the Turf: Perculiarities of Racers. Unruly Tempers Formerly More Prevalent. Instances of Noted, Daily Racing Form, 1922-12-25


view raw text

Here and There on the Turf Peculiarities of Racers. Unruly Tempers Formerly More Prevalent. Instances of Noted Savages in Racing. Graziailo Disqualified for Biting. The stuffiing of Kinglikes ears with cotton end his subsequent winnings brings the thought that the thoroughbred is nothing like as temperamental and hard to manage as he was Eome twenty or thirty years ago. This forces i the reflection that there has been much progress in the treatment in training of the horses, while the jockeys of the present day, though they may not show the brilliance of some of the famous riders of that time, appear to have better control. That is, they cither have better control or the horses are easier to control. Probably they are easier to control. Time was when the runaway of a horse was of frequent occurrence. Now it is seldom that a horse runs away while proceeding to the post. Then the "run out" horses were dis-! I tressingly common. Horses of that time wore ! more equipment than is thought of now. No l I stable was complete without two or three burr bits. Bar plates, boots and bandages of every description filled up the equipment room and then there was stuffing of ears, as was done with lunglike. Tea Tray, one of the best horses of his time, was a horse that seldom showed hi3 great Bpeed until his ears were stuffed with cotton. His objection to noise was discovered by accident. He had been given to William Lakeland by the Dwyers because they were satisfied that Banquet was a better horse. When Lakeland learned that stuffing the ears of Tea Tray made a tractiblc race horse out of him, he reached his real racing greatness. Then there was another that needed noise to make him give his best. Many of the old timers remember Kris Kringle. Though never a horse of the first division, he was a good one, but plenty of noise was essential to his success. This was discovered when a stable cook was at the head of the stretch one day with a pan he had been washing. As Kris Kringle came along the cook shouted, "Go on with him, boy." As he did so he banged on the pan to attract the attention of the jockey. But it was Kris Kringle that heard the clatter and he ran as he had never before. After that Kris Kringle was helped on to many a victory by beating on pans by boys who would be stationed about the track. There were many other horses with which odd methods were used to make them race, but probably Kris Kringle was in a class by himself when it came to noise spurring him on to his best endeavor. Changes in training methods have had much to do with the change for the better in the temper of horses. There were some lines that were remarkable for their rogues or their savages, but there was not tho same method to curb tho tempers of these horses. Trainers would take iS for granted that a Rayon dOr or a Hastings would naturally have a high temper and they would probably be surprised if he was not unruly. Now there is no line that has a special reputation for furnishing bad-tempered horses, although with the old training methods, it is possibh that more than one stock horse would have had that reputation. Horses were handled much more in those days. It was the English system when the cooling out of a horse meant rubbing until he was fairly on fire. Then the art of racing a horse high in flesh was not common. The average horse was ready until you could count his ribs and this "honing down" was sure to have its effect on temper. Now the thoroughbred I does not go through anything like the ordeal that was his in the days of these bad actors. Many horses that are fit and ready now would have been considered "hog fat" in the old days. They carry flesh, but it is hard flesh and it stands them in good stead in a .long and arduous campaign. There is less handling and generally the comfort of the horses is better taken care of than it was twenty or thirty years ago. It was just about twenty years ago that several horses racing over the tracks under the jurisdiction of the Jockey Club were sentenced to wear muzzles in their races. This sentence was only imposed after the horses had become actually dangerous. Some of jthoso who were not permitted to go to the post without wearing a muzzle were "Billy" Olivers All Gold, a son of Rayon dOr and Merry Nelly. Graziailo was another and Juggler, one that raced in the nineties, was another savage. Masterman, a son of Hastings that raced for John Boden, was another that had to wear a muzzle. Lamplighter was a notorious savage and when Jean Beraud was brought back from England he had developed into another. Good Morning wa3 one of the most dangerous horses ever trained and Brigand, by Belvidere, was another with a bad reputation. And there were many other of these savages from time to time which were famed for their atrocious tempers. Now there are some few, but they are few indeed. Jock Scot is a bit of a Savage, but he has never shown this trait in his racing to an extent that makes the use of a muzzle necessary. Naturalist is a bit temperamental, but never a dangerous horse. Mad Hatter also has a reputation of being temperamental, but it is principally evident after he has been in hard training a long time and his temper is not that of a savage. One race is called to mind when savagery brought about disqualification. It was at Sheepshead Bay in July of 1901 and the horses were Graziailo and Brigand, both Savages. It was a mile and three-eighths handicap and in the stretch while Graziailo was leading, Brigand came through next to the inner rail. As he ranged alongside Graziailo, the three-year-old reached over and savaged him, biting him on the neck. Brigand retaliated and the pair finished out the distance biting and squealing almost to the last stride, where Brigand finished first by three parts of a length. They were two lengths before Duoro, third. Graziailo was disqualified for his part in the fight. He had bitten first. There have been many other cases of exhibitions of savagery in races of the long ago, such as are seldom seen now, and it can nearly all be put down to improved training methods. Thoroughbreds have a much easier time than in those days and it is reflected in the improved tempers that are the general rule of racing.

Persistent Link:
Local Identifier: drf1922122501_2_2
Library of Congress Record: