Present-Day Horses Not Deteriorating, Daily Racing Form, 1923-05-03


view raw text

PRESENT-DAY HORSES NOT DETERIORATING • The light of other days always shines mere brilliantly for some of our instructors, and each generation finds someone to lament the past and exalt the worthies who then flourished. It was so long before Horace set down "laudator temporis acti" as a type enduring through the ages. The superiority of the horses of the preceding generation is a favorite conviction of writers of this turn of mind, and it .s easy to find in turf chronicles of fifty years ago the exact repetition of lamentations over the change for the worst that are not uncommon today. Yet there is no good ground for believing other than that the merit and quality of horses of every , breed are steadily improving. The thoroughbred may be best compared because of the practical uniformity of the supreme test, that of speed on the race course. By this standard j . the progress is up. not down, and horses are improving, not deteriorating. Tracks are faster to a certain extent than fifty years ! ago. but not near so much as to account for the difference in the times recorded. It has been said more than once in this column that the turf seems to be judged by special rules, applying to no other form of sport, and here ■ is another confirmation of that assertion. Xo other sport can be cited in which, under similar circumstances, deterioration would 1 be claimed. As a New Zealand trainer not t long ago put it : "1 have yet to hear it contended that the man capable of running a hundred yards in 10 h-l seconds is superior to the man who can do 10 seconds and yet that is the position taken up by many people in respect to racing. If the horse of twenty • years ago was better than the one of today the same line of argument might be carried I back still further. Perhaps the present-day race horse may not be as tough as the old-timer, but as a speed machine he is considerably ahead of him." — Francis Xelson in [ Toronto Globe. — ♦

Persistent Link:
Local Identifier: drf1923050301_12_3
Library of Congress Record: