Reflections: Racing Public Is Time Conscious; Mile and Half Slow to Be Lowered; Rowe Tried to Beat Man o War; Count Had Real Speed in Belmont, Daily Racing Form, 1943-06-10


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Nelson Dunstan REFLECTIONS Bv Nelson Dunstan Racing Public Is Time Conscious Mile and Half Slow to Be Lowered Rowe Tried to Beat Man o War Count Had Real Speed in Belmont NEW YORK N Y June 9 Fans are still talking about Count Fleets time of 2281 for one and onehalf miles Not only was it the fastest Belmont ever run at the distance but it has caused no end of discussion concerning the evolution of race horse time Of late years the racing public has become time conscious Alsab caused the stopwatch to sing in the Champagne two years ago and Count Fleet made it sing louder last year when in the same race he ran the mile in 134 the fastest ever run by a twoyearold and but twofifths of a second behind Equipoises American mark Yet his Belmont mark is causing no end of comment even though it is threefifths of a second off Bolingbrokes Belmont and American record of 227 The worlds record for the distance is the 223 credited to The Bastard swell name to give a champion at Newmarket England in October 1929 Most of those English records mean as much to us as that General Stud Book story which cred ¬ ited Flying Childers with having run a mile in a minute There are too many authentic records to consider without playing tag with those created on downhill courses De ¬ pend upon it any horse which runs a mile and a half in 223 ran a good part of it on a sharp downward hill Checking back the mile and a half record has not changed as frequently as those for other dis ¬ tances Back in 1898 a horse named Goodrich es ¬ tablished the American record of 23014 Goodrich was by Patron out of Ethel Gray and although he carried but 102 pounds i was hailed as a true ex ¬ ample of race horse speed For years horses shot at it but it was not until 1919 or 21 years later that Sam Hildreth sent out Thunderclap to win the Annapolis Handicap in the new record time of 229 Thunderclap was a threeyearold gelding by Vulcain and carried 108 pounds to beat Exterminator a fouryearold carrying 128 pounds in a driving finish Thunderclap did not hold the record long however for in the following year Man o War came out as a threeyearold and before retirement for the season had established five new American records at one mile mile and an eighth mile and three eighths mile and a half and mile and fiveeighths All of these records were made at Belmont Park and that for the mile and a half 228J3 was established in The Jockey Club Gold Cup Only Damask faced him but like Count Fleets Belmont it was viewed in the light of an exhi ¬ bition with Big Red at 1 to 100 They both carried scale weight of 118 pounds with Man o War a winner by 15 lengths Had the winner been permitted to run his time would have been much faster That was the year in which the late James Rowe Sr had done everything within his power to defeat Man o War He sent John P Grier Upset and Dr Clark against the Riddle champion but to no avail Damask was no match yet in his next start the Autumn Gold Cup he forced Exterminator to a new American record of 321 for two miles Damask carried a feather of 98 pounds while Exterminator carried 128 But at the one and onehalf mile post in this race Cleopatra was clocked in 229 only to finish a wellbeaten third Relatively few one and onehalf mile races were cardedbetween 1921 and 1926 in fact it was not until the latter year that the Belmont was changed making it the nearest counterpart to the Epsom Derby run in this country Man o Wars record stayed intact during those years But it was in 1927 that Handy Mandy stepped out for the Latonia Derby and under the feather of 108 pounds reduced it to 228 Breaking her maiden in this event Handy Mandy de ¬ feated a field including Dolan War Eagle Jock Buddy Bauer and Rolled Stocking Later Handy Mandy was sold to the late Mr Waggoner of the Three Ds Stock Farm but her career in his colors is another story Suffice it to say she was one of the most natural routers of her day dayThe The American record for one and onehalf miles had been lowered less than two seconds in 40 years and veterans maintain this was due more to the change in tracks than in horses War Admiral equalled Handy Mandys record when he gave one of his most brilliant performances in the Belmont of 1937 It was at the same course that the illfated South American horse Sorteado came out to smash the record by running the distance in 228 That was in the fall of 1939 but even though the time was being whittled down it was only by fractions of a second Three years were to pass before Townsend Martins Bolingbroke came out to give the best race of his career in the Manhattan Handicap the race in which Sorteado had established the mark of 228 In 1940 with but 95 pounds Bolingbroke won the Manhattan in 230 but in 1942 he came back a bigger and better horse in the same race to defeat Whirlaway and Kings Abbey in 227 As a fiveyearold Boling ¬ broke carried 115 pounds while in the Belmont the threeyearold Count Fleet carried 126 pounds and was but threefifths of a second slower a remarkable display of speed when all the factors are considered Every so often champions have emerged from sensational time performances only to have it discounted by some as not of great importance That seems strange to many of us who follow the doings of horses rather than human athletes When Haegg the Swedish runner arrived here our sports writers made much of the fact he thought he was too old to break any records During the winter Greg Rice drew thousands of fans who hoped to see him hang up a new record in Madison Square Garden Before the running of the Belmont last Saturday it mis predicted by many that Count Fleet would lower the track mark With two opponents he outclassed his time was one of the most interesting angles of the race He did not break the track record but he did run the fastest Belmont ever negotiated at that distance A speed marvel he has done much to make the public time conscious and we believe his speed will be keenly watched in future outings For after his mile in the Champagne and mile and a half in the Belmont there is hardly a doubt he will create some records before the season is out He will have no easy task in the Classic his next start for both Omaha and Shut Out won that rich event in 201

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