Derby Preparation Long and Tedious: Of 109 Nominated but Seven Survived Gruelling Training; Close to 7,000 Thoroughbreds Are Foaled Each Season And Breeder of Each Entertains Hope That New Arrival May Eventually Enter Downs Winners Circle in Classic, Daily Racing Form, 1948-05-01


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BEN E WHITAKER His homebred My MyRequest Request is regarded as the principal principalrival rival of the Calumet entry in todays Derby todaysDerby Derby Preparation Long andTedious Of 109 Nominated but Seven Survived Gruelling Training TrainingClose Close to 7000 Thoroughbreds Are Foaled Each Season And Breeder of Each Entertains Hope That New Arrival May Eventually Enter Downs Winners Circle in Classic CHURCHILL DOWNS Louisville Ky April 30 As recently as Feb ¬ ruary 15 of this year 109 threeyearolds were nominated for the seventy fourth running of the Kentucky Derby On the eve of the race only 10 weeks later 102 of them have fallen by the wayside victims of illness injury or just having failed to show sufficient speed and stamina to justify their being sent postward in the classic mile and a quarter test While the presence of the two Calumet phenomenons Citation andCoaltown cut this years field to its smallest since 1907 when only five opposed J Hal Woodfords Pink Star almost 100 colts geldings and fillies are found wanting each vear failine even to earn a phanre tn onrrv thpir owners silks in the Derby DerbyThat That fact gives some indication of the difficulty confronting the owner and breeder of thoroughbred horses in his quest of a Kentucky Derby winner Actually it is only a small part of the story There are close to 7000 thoroughbred foals regis ¬ tered in the United States each year and it is safe to say that the breeders of every one whether it first sees the light on one of the great farms of Kentucky or an ob ¬ scure western ranch await the coming of the foal with at least a faint flicker of hope that the product of the mating will prove to be a champion championHopes Hopes Rise and Fall FallAs As the youngster matures is broken and eventually placed iiftraining the hopes that attended the youngsters birth rise and fall daily There are few if any animals more delicate than the thoroughbred race horse From the day he is foaled he is subject to all manner of ills and the more fire and speed he shows the greater is the risk of injury After all a mature race horse weighs upward of 1000 pounds and he must carry that weight at high speed on ankles not much bigger than those of a front line chorus girl girlSome Some trainers have been heard to re ¬ mark of a colt He cant be any account you couldnt kill him with an axe It is well known that Coaltown who faces his first real test in the Derby could not race at two because of an abscess in his head and a prolonged throat condition It is gen ¬ erally regarded as a minor miracle that he got to the races at all much less looms the chief rival to his stablemate Citation the champion colt of 1947 1947Calumet Calumet holds an apparently unbeatable hand this year and Warren Wright has won two Derbies with Whirlaway and Pensive saw his colors finish second on Pot o Luck and third on Faultless But the year that Whirlaway was a yearling the stable suc ¬ ceeded in winning just one stake all season seasonLast Last years winner Jet Pilot was the only colt of any ability in the powerful stable of Mrs Elizabeth N Graham to es ¬ cape the stable fire at Arlington Park the previous May in which more than 20 of her youngsters were destroyed Jet Pilot be ¬ ing more precocious than the others was quartered at Churchill Downs at the time of the disaster But the Derby was really the end of his career for after failing in the Preakness a week later he was retired to stud studKing King Ranchs Assault winner of the Triple Crown in 1946 ran a surveyors spike through his foot while a yearling and for a long time was considered impossible to train trainHoopers Hoopers Quick Success SuccessWarren Warren Wright Mrs Graham and Rob ert J Kleberg Jr master of King Ranch spent huge fortunes in trying to buy or breed Derby winners Fred W Hooper on the other hand hit the pot o gold almost at the first try for Hqop Jr who won the Run for the Roses in 1945 was one of his first yearling purchases Hoop Jr like Jet Pilot went wrong in the Preakness and never raced again againThe The year before trainer Ben Jones and owner Wright had just about given up on Pensive after disappointing races in Mary ¬ land but jockey Conn McGreary insisted the colt deserved a chance at Churchill Downs He went on to score by more than four lengths won the Preakness but could not win again all season seasonThe The vicissitudes attending Kentucky Derby candidates is made even more evi ¬ dent by the fact than since 1930 only Gal ¬ lant Fox and Count Fleet of the winter book favorites went on to win while Equipoise Top Flight Chance Sun Holly rood Stagehand and Pukka Gin failed to get to the post postIts Its a long and winding road from the foaling barn to the winners circle at Churchill Downs

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