American Derby: Interesting Incidents in Connection with Chicagos Most Illustrious Horse Race, Daily Racing Form, 1935-06-22


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... 1 American Derby ! | J I I Interesting Incidents in Connec- j i I tion with Chicagos Most IUus- ! i j ; | !■ | trious Horse Race. J , Tallyhos were among the popular means j ! of conveyance to the Derby in the old days, , and Michigan Avenue was crowded with these quaint vehicles with their high-stepping horses prancing along to the admira- I [ tion of the thousands who thronged the i sidewalks to see the "Darby" parade. The American Derby was a big thing in the social and business life of Chicago. All the windows in the stores on State Street were decorated with colors of owners and had pictures of the Derby contestants as well as beautiful and costly gowns for the ladies who generally made the clubhouse and i j I lawns at Washington Park a regular fashion j display on Derby Day. I The American Derby was established in 1834 and run at the old Washington Park, j j located in Chicago between Fifty-Fifth and ■ Sixty-Third Streets, where it was the outstanding three-year-old race of the country • until 1904, when the track was closed and . later dismantled. The first winner at the i old track was the wonderful filly Modesty and the last one Highball in 1904. Modesty, the first winner, was owned by , j l Edward Corrigan, master of Hawthorne, ! . | and, like Regret, the only filly winner of the I , Kentucky Derby, was the only one of her sex to score in the American Derby. Modesty won nine out of fourteen starts as a 1 three-year-old. The mutuel handle at Arlington Park 1 American Derby Day in 1928 totaled ,065,-0C0. Almost 30,000 programs were sold. E. R. Bradleys colt, Blue Larkspur, was withdrawn from the American Derby of 1929. He had won both the Withers and the ; Belmont Stakes and the reason advanced 1 was that too little time between the latter race and the Derby remained for the great colt to recuperate. Blue Larkspur has always " been rated as one of the best horses 3 of modern times. Clyde Van Dusen, winner of the Kentucky f Derby of 1929, met defeat in the American i Derby, the winner turning up in the Chicago-owned - Windy City, property of Fred M. . Grabner. Windy City paid at the odds of 14 1 to 1 and rewarded quite a number of local 1 followers of the turf, who accepted the good 1 odds, some on a hunch and others remembering - a good workout a few days previous. . Grover Cleveland Fuller of Chicago and 1 probably as fine a rider as the country ever r saw, rode Highball to victory in the American - Derby of 1904, the last year the famous s race was run at old Washington Park. Lucien Lyne, a Kentucky jockey, who later r rede for the King of Spain and earned an i international reputation as a great rider, , was the pilot of Wyeth when he carried the e silks of Drake and Gates to victory in the e American Derby of 1902. The longest-priced winners of the American - Derby were Rey el Santa Anita, at 40 to 1, in 1894, and C. H. Todd, at 30 to 1, in 1887. . The biggest surprise in the entire history of ■ • . i , j l . ! | , I 1 1 ; 1 " 3 f i - . 1 1 1 - . 1 r - s r i , e e - . i i — the race was when Reveille Boy scored at • 56 to 1 in 1930. Th American Derby of 1928 was run at • Arlington Park because Washington Park failed to open, due to financial difficulties, and the mutuel handle on that Saturday r afternoon in June totaled ,065,000. The at- tendance was estimated at more than 50,000. • The first president of the old Washington 1 Park Jockey Club, which inaugurated the J American Derby in 1884, was Gen. Phil Sheri- " dan, who gained distinction in the Civil J War. His associates in the stewards stand 1 were General Robinson and Maj. J. F. Clark Following the French custom, smartly dressed manikins from various Chicago 1 shops paraded about the Washington Park 1 grounds on American Derby Day of 1929. • This is an outstanding feature of the famous 3 French course, Longchamps. The English-bred Strolling Player started J in the American Derby of 1928 and finished fourth, beaten by a matter of inches for r third. # Edward B. McLeans Toro won one of the s most sensational races in the history of the American Derby when he won the noted J race in 1928 at Arlington Park. Seven of " the field of eleven at one time in the stretch 1 were in cavalry alignment, but Toro forged 1 his way to the front to score by sheer r courage from the favorite, Misstep, a victim of suicidal tactics on the part of his rider, ■- who permitted his mount to set a dazzling I pace from the start and had not enough left to withstand the charge of the eventual 1 winner. Spokane won both the American and Kentucky Derbyr of 1889. The greatest upset in the colorful history J of the American Derby was in 1894, when Lucky Baldwins Rey el Santa Anita carried i off the coveted event. It was not so much ti the success of the Baldwin three-year-old, I, rather the unexpected and never explained d defeat of the mighty Domino, until then un-d i- beaten and rated one of the greatest race e horses of all times. Domino finished a hope-f - less last

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