The Judges Stand, Daily Racing Form, 1943-06-19


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;■ ■ yandr THE JUDGES STAND By Charles Hatton I Assist for Breeders Awards Too Much Emphasis Put on Caps W-F-A Events Improve Breed Pimlico Special Continued NEW YORK, N. Y., June 18. This department proposes to ad lib a bit on breeders awards today, thereby exposing a single-track mind if failing to accomplish anything. These premiums are a topic that presents as many as yet unexplored ramifications as a scientific study of the atom. Convinced breeders awards constitute the most progressive step in the right direction, racing has ventured thus far, we also believe that breeders and associations may achieve a great deal to expedite the effectiveness of this program. The other day it was naively, perhaps, suggested that one avenue open to breeders in fostering the production of more and generally better thoroughbreds would be to enlist the aid of those wealthy sportsmen who have the higher grade stallions. It is only natural that as a sires vogue increases, so does his stud fee and his inaccessibility to Mr. Average Breeder. There are several opportunities for the tracks to augment the effect of this program of breeders awards. Very likely there should be more opportunities for those bourgeoisie animals who are neither quite stake horsgs nor cheap platers and more fillies and mares. Under the present system, a useful ,500 plater is potentially a greater asset to a racing stable than is a ,000 horse. It is this that impels forward-looking clubs to regrade their purses to be more commensurate with the actual worth of the runners. These graduated tend to the purses encourage pro- CU Lnarles I l-l Hatton ft duction of better thoroughbreds. It is inevitable many more bad than good horses will be produced under the most ideal circumstances, but, it is deplorable, American racing has gravitated so far toward an all-out commercialism, tracks have compromised with this percentage of bad horses by emphasizing the values and importance of handicaps, instead of attempting to increase the percentage of really good horses. Handicaps need to be de-glamorized, weight-for-age races restored to their proper status in this country. We fully realize the associations, faced with the unpleasant prospect of small fields and short pools, recoil at the merest suggestion of enhancing the number and values of weight-for-age stakes. But that does not at all alter the incontrovertible fact such a measure, unthinkable as it may occur, would be an inspiration to breeders who may be lackadaisical about it to produce the best possible horse instead of one "just as good at the* weights." For many years now the American race-going public has been asked by track publicity we almost said duplicity departments to accept as box-office attractions secoud-rate animals who manage to win one or two of these outsize handicaps at a pull In the weights. The doctrine that is currently advanced in obscure quarters of the press, seeking to increase the general quality for the thoroughbred by decreasing studs output, is the ultimate in free-style nonsense. What racing must do is to encourage the small scale breeder or farmer -breeder to continue to rear thoroughbreds on his acres and the more good ones the better. This proposition of decreasing quantity has implications which might conceivably give the governments of certain of the 22 racing states of the Union and the stockholders in several dozen of the 56 race tracks cause to hesitate. For there is danger now of a paucity of racing material of any classification if the war continues two or three more years. Racing must have breeders as well as bettors. It is extremely important, too, that no minimum is placed on the purse values attaching breeders awards. For the little fellow who has been rearing inferior horses needs to be reminded to continue breeding horses, but better ones. So remarkably little has been written about the Pimlico Special this frenzied turf season that our curiosity prompted to inquire of the man of many titles whatever had become of Pimlicos proudest boast. It seems there will be a Pimlico Special this fall though the precise date and value cannot be determined. Something definite as to the Specials monetary worth may be forthcoming from the Pimlico boards conference next week. There is a prospect it will be increased beyond its present worth of 0,000, winner-take-all, though it is doubtful if tax-parched Pimlico will attempt to compete with the 5,000 added to Empires Westchester Handicap, which in past seasons has conflicted with it. The date of the Special cannot be established until the personnel of the Maryland Racing Commission is finally determined. And, until Havre and Laurel "make their move" regarding fall meetings. November 1 occurs as a fairly close guess, however, and there is no rush, really. It is reassuring to know there will be a Special, for such classical sweepstakes are all too rare. The Saratoga Special, we believe, is our only other such fixture. The Special last fall fell as flat as possibly it can when it developed into a walk-over for Whirlaway. Having survived that inauspicious eventuality it seems assured the Maryland Jockey Club will not abandon this fall classic as so many others have been, by more commercial clubs. The appointment of H. Courtney Jenifer to succeed Hockley on the Old Line states turf governing board is well received in turf circles there. Jenifer is favorably known as the scion of a long line of Baltimore lawyers with a flair for racing. Chairman Small is expected to be re-appointed when his term is concluded the first of the month. A note from Ted Williams, who thumps the tub so engagingly for the combined Arlington-Washington meetings, contains overtones of civic pride which may find him appearing on the steps of the city hall to receive the keys to the Toddling Town any day now. He calls attention to it: "Count Fleet, Whirlaway, Alsab and Occupation all are Chicago-owned — so it is small wonder they are chanting out here that the best horses of all peep from a Washington stall." Aside from such unimportant facts as that Count Fleet at the moment is peeping from a Belmont stall and that John Marsch is the only one of this quartet of owners who is any longer a year-round resident of Chicago, it does seem that Ben Lind-heimers combined meetings have this summer attracted an unusual complement of big names.

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