Reflections: Eventful Days for Maine Chance Farm; Time Magazine Reviews Graham Saga; Tom Smith Reviles N. Y. Commission; His Contribution to American Turf, Daily Racing Form, 1946-05-08


view raw text

REFLECTIONS 1 By Nelson Dunstan Eventful Days for Maine Chance Farm Time Magazine Reviews Graham Saga Tom Smith Reviles N Y Commission His Contribution to American Turf TurfNEW NEW YORK N Y May 7 7On On May 2 Mrs Elizabeth Graham who races her horses in the name of Maine Chance Farm suffered an apalling loss when 22 of them were destroyed in a fire at Arlington Park Chicago On May 4 Mrs Grahams three starters in the Kentucky Derby Lord Bos well Knockdown and Perfect Bahram fin ¬ ished out of the money The entry was the llto10 favorite To complete the cycle the May 6 issue of Time Magazine devoted its cover and virtually all its sport section to Mrs Graham The story was well done and contained quite a bit of information about Silent Tom Smith trainer of the Maine Chance Farm horses We read the article while en route to New York from Louisville and it struck us as an honestly conceived piece although it was contradictory in spots At one point the writer probably our friend Marshall Smith credits Mrs Graham with the following statement A beautiful horse is like a beauti ¬ ful woman He then draws his own conclusion saying An ugly horse doesnt stay long in Arderis barn even if he can outrun Satan He also said Lord BoswelPs stablemate Knockdown is a big gawky fellow That is the kindest description of Knock ¬ down we ever have read for the truth is that he Is just about the ugliest threeyearold around today todayTh Th magazines article comments on Mrs Grahams commendable devotion to her horses pointing out that she released trainer Clarence Buxton because he treated one of them like a horse After trials and tribulations with other trainers she finally hired Silent Tom Smith and soon was convinced he wouldnt hurt her pets Smith says the magazine had a way with horses We imagine he had several ways with horses and pursued them suc ¬ cessfully until halted by a group of men who were undis ¬ mayed by the fact that he trained for a name stable of such great prominence The Time article refers to Smiths difficulties with The Jockey Club saying There was a private hearing hi which jockeyclubber IVilliam Woodward spent most of the tune asking what hop Tom Smith had given Seabiscuit to make him run so fast We have read considerable about Seabiscuit who was the worlds money winning thoroughbred until Whirlaway surpassed him but we have never seen or heard anything about hop being used on Hard Tacks great Son SonThis This writer is not well acquainted with Mrs Elizabeth Graham in fact we have talked with her only once When the fire oc ¬ curred at Arlington Park we immediately wrote that the Ameri ¬ can turf admired the lady for her decision to rebuild We believe she is one of our outstanding sportswomen that racing beiiefits from her participation in it However we cannot say as much for Tom Smith It is our opinion that he violated Rule 216F of the rules of racing and we wonder whether Mrs Graham had her tongue in her cheek when she gave Time Magazines scribe the following quotation The old fellow wouldnt break a rule for the world but he has powerful glasses and was probably up a tree Our opinion of Smith slumped further when we read He silently went about propping them with workouts over the mattresssoft Derby strip He grew talkative only when the con ¬ versation turned to the New York State Racing Commission and andthen then his speech was an eloquent two words Those s sWe We read that expression in utter astonishment astonishmentTime Time Magazine described Tom Smith as a shortish pale and pokerfaced old codger nearing 70 who is less of a chatterbox than the late Calvin Coolldge His silence awed the lady We have a different description for Tom Smith but will let it go at that When Smith was accused of administering ephedrine to Maine Chance Farms Mag nif ic Duel he immediately went before two stewards of The Jockey Club and the three New York State racing com ¬ missioners He was aided and abetted by a battery of legal wizards and highpowered publicity purveyors He was given an absolutely fair hearing by the five men who sat in judgment on him but dissatisfied with their decision he carried his case to the supreme court It too ruled against him Now the case is before the appellate division which may hand down a verdict this Friday Whatever the appellate division rules on the legal aspects of the case it cannot change our opinion of Tom Smith and neither could all his legal and publicity agents who if they held hands would reach from New York to Los Angeles AngelesIf If we were a member of the New York State Racing Commis ¬ sion we would give Tom Smith a little of his own medicine in the courtroom We like a twofisted cusser provided he smiles when he hurls his expletives We have never known Tom Smith to smile except when he won a big race and was counting the 15 per cent which was his share of the purse But when Smith stigmatizes Ashley T Cole W C Langley or David Dows with the term quoted he is going beyond the bounds of common de ¬ cency This writer knows the three members of the New York State Racing Commission They are busy men but they devote most of their time to regulating the sport In New York About all that Tom Smith has done for the American turf is to bring public suspicion upon it

Persistent Link:
Local Identifier: drf1946050801_32_1
Library of Congress Record: