Reflections: Suburban a Graveyard of Calumet Champs; Whirlaway, Sun Again Both Met Defeat; Armed May Break Jinx in Tomorrows Race; Calumet Gelding Came Up the Hard Way, Daily Racing Form, 1946-05-29


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115. In Ill 1942 19t Whirl- wnin- Ireflections . By Nelson Dunstan Suburban a Graveyard of Calumet Champs Whirlaway, Sun Again Both Met Defeat # Armed May Break Jinx in Tomorrows Race Calumet Gelding Came Up the Hard Way NEW YORK, N. Y., May 28. The Suburban, which will have its sixtieth running at Belmont Park Thursday, often has been the "graveyard of champions" piuiis — — and ana especially especially Calumet iaiuinei/ Farm rami uimmpiu champions. 115. In Ill 1942 19t Whirl- wnin- piuiis — — and ana especially especially Calumet iaiuinei/ Farm rami uimmpiu away, carrying 129 pounds, matched strides with Market Wise, at 124, and finished second. In 1944 Sun Again, with 128, endeavored to give Aletern 20 pounds, with the result that he, too, finished second. In Thursdays renewal Armed, carrying 130, will concede anywhere from seven to thirty pounds to his opponents. But a majority of those at Belmont Park will be wagering that the Calumet Farms "Suburban jinx" will be broken. A great race in itself, the Suburban holds double interest, in that it will once again bring together Armed and Stymie, the Jacobs horse who was voted the handicap champion of the 1945 season. This pair first met in the Pimlico Special last fall, at the even weight of 126 pounds, and at the finish line it was Armed, First Fiddle Stymie and Gallorette. They met again in the Dixie Handicap at Pimlico, with Armed carrying 130 and Stymie 124. In this race Armed won in a gallop by three and a half lengths. Thursday they will meet, with Armed carrying 130 and Stymie 123, and, should Armed be returned the winner, he will be acclaimed as the best handicap performer in this country today. Armed is one of the best geldings to be seen on the American turf in many years. He was foaled on the first day of May, 1941, and, had he been placed on the open market, he would have brought very little as a weanling or as a yearling. Decidedly undersize, he had very few points to attract a prospective buyer, but the ever-patient Warren Wright and the astute Ben Jones once again demonstrated that they can "wait" on a horse for his full development. Armed is by Bull Lea, a young stallion who proved his worth in stud when he sired Twilight Tear, the first filly to win honors as the "Horse of the Year," this being in 1944. Rare, indeed, are instances where a sire has begot a filly of such great distinction and just two years later had a handicap champion such as Armed has proved to be. Armed is out of the black mare Armful, who was foaled in 1933 and was by Chance Shot out of Negrina, by Luke McLuke, next dam Black Brocade, by Neil Gow. Prior to Armed, Armful had produced three foals who were all winners, but they could hardly be mentioned in the same breath with Armed. Armed did not race as a two-year-old. In fact, like Sea-biscuit and other horses who were to gain prominence in later years, he did not really find himself until he was a four-year-old in 1945. It was in that year that he rewarded the patience of his owner and trainer. His first stake victory was in the Sheridan Handicap. Later he was runner-up in the Washington Park Handicap and the Fall Highweight Handicap at Belmont Park. In the latter race, he carried 135 pounds and was beaten by that champion sprinter of the Widener course, True North. In another few yards, he would have been returned the winner. In the race prior to that, the Washington Park Handicap, he was defeated by Busher, the great filly who was then at the top of her form. There is now a question in this writers mind whether Busher could have repeated that victory — even if she was at her best. But it was no disgrace in the year 1945 for any horse to be beaten by that great Mayer filly, who, like Twilight Tear, was declared almost unanimously, "The Horse of the Year." In the fall of 1945, Armed came East and in the Washington Handicap, carrying 124 pounds, he was the winner over Dinner Party, 106 and Good Morning, 105. Then he went on to take honors in the Pimlico Special and then finish second to Gay Bit, to whom he was giving 13 pounds in the Havre de Grace Handicap. Even at this point Armed had proven himself to be one of those unusual horses who could sprint or race over a distance of ground, who could go to the front with sprinters, or be rated off the pace only to come on and win from behind. Early this year, he moved down to Florida and in the McLennan Handicap, he was defeated five lengths by Concordian, who carried 116 pounds as opposed to his 128. After that race, Concordian was hailed as the winner of the 0,000 Widener, which was to be run at Hialeah on March 2. As Concordian was assigned 109 pounds, and Armed 128, many of the handicappers openly stated that Concordian was "as good as in." Wily Ben Jones never cracked a smile as he said "yes, we will have to be satisfied with second money." But, it did not work out that way for at the finish, under a superb ride by Doug Dod-son, Armed was four and a half lengths in front of Concordian, with Reply Paid in third place. When Armed moved north for the running of the Dixie at Pimlico, many of Stymies admirers stoutly declared that "Armed could not give him six pounds and a beating." But the Calumet performer did that just the same. Thursday he is slated to give Stymie seven pounds, but he is asked to give other horses even more weight, for First Fiddle is in at 122; Fighting Step, 118; Sirde, 117; Polynesian, 115; Gallorette, 113 and the trio of Pavot, Concordian and Trymenow, 112 each. Down on the list there are still others who must be conceded some sort of a chance at the weights. As an instance, Historian, whom Armed defeated in both sections of the Double Event at Tropical Park, along with Reply Paid, is in at 110. Twenty pounds is a big handicap to overcome in a mile and a quarter race, but it appears that when the Suburban smoke was cleared away, the Suburban jinx for the Calumet Farm will have been broken. Stymie must be regarded as his most dangerous opponent, but if the Dixie Handicap is any index, we are of the opinion that Armed can give him seven pounds and defeat him for the third meeting of the pair.

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