Sketches of Derby Trainers, Daily Racing Form, 1948-05-01


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Sketches of Derby Trainers Ben A Jones Citation and Coaltown CoaltownSaddling Saddling the cofavorites in todays sev entyf ourth Kentucky Derby classic is per ¬ haps Americas most famous trainer Ben A Jones of Parnell Mo The name Jones has become a byword with the American rac ¬ ing public and more intense interest con ¬ cerns it in the Derby this year than ever before for if either Citation or Coaltown wins it will put the Missourian into a tie with H J Derby Dick Thompson for all time saddling honors four each eachJones Jones has the traditional background of a successful horseman and in this years Derby running he was additionally aided by his son H A Jimmy Jones who cam ¬ paigned or trained the Calumet stable in Florida this winter and who served as trainer under Ben Jones whohad been ad ¬ vanced well prior to the winter as general manager of the vast Calumet turf enter ¬ prise Jimmy Jones is training a division of Calumet in Maryland while Ben has taken over the main division here But part of the credit for any showing made by Citation and Coaltown tomorrow rightfully belongs to Jimmy Jones and no one would be hap ¬ pier to agree to that credit than Ben him self selfBen Ben Jones is what might be termed a born horseman When he was a small child and getting on the nerves of his par ¬ ents they had one sure way of keeping him out of the way and that was to put him on a pony and let him ride The family acre ¬ age was a 2000acre area in the Ozark country near Parnell The mainstay of the family income was cattleraising but on most cattle farms of this size one is sure to find horses While eminently successful in the cattle business as a young man Jones seemed to naturally gravitate toward the horses and he soon became interested in quarter horses and quarter racing racingIt It was only natural that interest in the thoroughbred should follow and he bought his first sire His Lordship and several broodmares He sold off much of the produce and added in succession the stal ¬ lions Blues Harrigan and Waldo WaldoHe He began his racing career by starting his stock at unrecognized meetings winning his first race of that type at the old fivefur ¬ long track at Fort Worth Texas His first winner on a recognized track came just 39 years ago at Oklahoma City when he saddled Errant Lady to win a 200 purse With the addition of the stallion Seth to the Parnell farm he began to produce some good and useful stock and among them stakes winners He made the colors of the Jones Stock Farm successful and popular from the Middle West to the PacificCoast His first post of consequence for horses other than his own came with Herbert M Wolfs Woolford Farm and from that date his history as a metropolitan and stakes winning trainer well might be said to have begun Woolford gave Jones his first Derby winner Lawrin and with his present con ¬ nection Calumet has also has saddled Whirlaway and Pensive He narrowly missed for his fourth Derby win last year with Faultless which finished third and close up to Jet Pilot and Phalanx1 Phalanx1In In again shooting for his fourth Derby winner tomorrow he has indeed traveled a long way since that day in 1909 when Er ¬ rant Lady came dashing down in front in Oklahoma City CityJones Jones is facing the Derby with confi ¬ dence He has two horses each capable of scoring on its own One turf writer re ¬ cently asked him if he thought the Teason Citation and Coaltown were suchstandouts in the advance ratings were because of their birthplace No mused Jones give life t Bull Lea and 20 ranking broodmares and Ill go most anywhere and produce you some horses which can run runJames runN N James P Conway My Request RequestSon Son of a retired New York City police officer James P Conway trainer of My Request probable second choice in todays race turned to racing 22 years ago The 37 yearold native of Richmond Hill N Y youngest of the Derby trainers had his first track employment under Scott Harlan a master horseman After three years as a groom under Harlan who had the Walter M Jeffords stable young Conway changed to a similar situation under H C Doc Riddle another fine teacher who ranked high among horse conditioners After six years with Riddle whose stable campaigned between New York and Louisiana Conway made another change and this time teamed with Roy Waldron another accomplished horseman younger than either of Conways previous employers This association lasted four years before in 1938 when Conway joined the stable of his present employer Ben F Whitaker WhitakerAs As stable foreman Conway assisted sev ¬ eral trainers of the Whitaker horses before in 194t5 the resignation of J H McCoole gave him his big chance Placed in charge of the Texans thoroughbreds Conway had immediate success Those in the big stable who had performed well for McCoole con ¬ tinued to show fine form under their new mentor mentorMeanwhile Meanwhile Conway was carefully advanc Continued on Page Thirteen Sketches of Derby Trainers Continued from Page nine ing the early education and training of his Derby representative My Request Follow ¬ ing the 194647 winter meeting at the New Orleans Fair Grounds where My Request failed to score in two starts Conway took the stable to New York where his brilliant young racer after a triumph debut went on to capture the top awards in no less than five stakes On his record lor the full cam ¬ paign My Request ranked second among the nations juvenile colts topped only by Ci ¬ tation in national ratings ratingsEdward Edward A Christmas Escadru EscadruEdward Edward A Christmas of Upper Marl ¬ boro Md did not enter upon his chosen vo ¬ cation as a trainer until comparatively late in life but nevertheless he not only hails from horse country but also is a member of a Maryland family which is famed in turf circles and the members of whom are well known for their ability abilityChristmas Christmas is the son of a dealer and worker in woods notably walnut wood from which rare and costly pieces of furniture and other items were constructed A bril ¬ liant student Christmas was graduated from the University of Maryland in 1926 then attended law school and was gradu ¬ ated as a lawyer in 1929 He did not how ¬ ever embark upon the practice of law Rather he stayed with the university on the staff until 1937 when he decided to take up his first love horses horsesAs As a youngster Christmas had galloped horses and did some amateur riding in pointtoroint and crosscountry Hence he was no stranger to thoroughbreds His first post was with M S Collins and he re ¬ mained with that sportsman through 1938 and 1939 He also conditioned horses for Elizabeth Williams and Abram S Hewitt HewittIn In 1942 he accepted his present post with William L Brann noted Maryland breeder and sportsman He developed the great Gal lorette into one of the best of her sex of modern times and also won the Dwyer with Vincentive who later bowed When Christ ¬ mas took over the stable the then star Challedon already had bowed bowedChristmas Christmas is now 44 years old He has four brothers Frank trainer of an exten ¬ sive public stable on the Atlantic seaboard Yancey owner and trainer Donaldson who is racing several horses and Dick who while not a trainer maintains a keen in ¬ terest in the thoroughbred He alsq has a the Washington TimesHerald Christmas sister Rhoda turf and feature writer for is saddling his first Derby starter in Es ¬ cadru E H J Shaw Grandpere GrandpereE E H J Shaw trainer of Grandpere is one of the best known horsemen on both the Pacific Coast and in his native Aus ¬ tralia Shaw also is known in Chicago where he has campaigned on occasions He was born in Karsten Victoria Australia and was a member of a famed turf family there He rode for a spell but admits he was no topnotcher He assumed his first training post at the age of 19 and has been training ever since In Australia he was associated with some of the best known stables and horses and saddled notable stakes winners He saw all the early Aus ¬ tralian champions race including Phar Lap Shaw came to the United States in 1941 in company with the late Beau Pere im ¬ ported by Louis B Mayer He stayed on in this country to help build the 500acre and palatial Mayer farm at Ferris Riverside County Calif He served there as farm manager and stud master for some two years He resigned to accept an active train ¬ ing post with J H Ryan master of Ryana Ranch in Californias San Fernando VaL ley He later left that post after much suc ¬ cess to train the Rolling Hills Farm Sta ble of Walter G McCarty Beverly Hills sportsman and president of the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association His last major stakes win for McCarty was the 50000 Bay Meadows Handicap last fall to accept the post he now holds that of trainer of the eastern division of the stable Mrs John Payson Adams of San Francisco FranciscoHoward Howard Wells Billings BillingsAlthough Although Billings the entry of R W Mc Hvain is an outsider among the colts awaiting call to post for the Kentucky KentuckyContinued Continued on Page FiftyTwo Sketches of Derby Trainers Continued from Page Thirteen Jerby a victory for the Chicago colt would e popular in many sections particularly Kentucky home of his trainer Howard 77ells Born in Richmond Ky and 45 years Id Wells has developed a number of out ¬ standing horses although Billings is only lis second starter in the classic Some of he better performers he trained wereEqui fox Marica Cross Keys Yale ONine War Plumage Revoked Daily Trouble Olney Bushwhacker and Bankrupt who finished fifth in the 1943 Derby For some years his stable has been among the largest in the country and at this time more than 30 horses are under his care careA A graduate of the University of Ken ¬ tucky Wells had much of his training in the care of thoroughbreds under his uncle Howard Oots a noted turfman for close to 50 years On graduating from the university in 1924 Wells went to work for his uncle at Latonia and less than two months later was breaking yearlings at Lexington His first chance to race a few horses came in 1925 when he campaigned a small string on the Kentucky tracks In 1926 he joined the staff at Dixiana Farm where he remained only about 18 months Returning to the tracks Wells took over the conditioning and racing of the horses of several patrons and the success of his efforts brought a steady growth in the number of thorough ¬ breds under his wing wingThomas Thomas Tault Jr Galedo GaledoNo No trainer of a Derby candidate has a more genuine turf background than Thomas TauJt Jr conditioner of Charles A ONeil Jrs Galedo twin son of the 1940 classic winner Gallahadion Although Galedos entry was dropped into the box here this morning he is not expected to start startTaults Taults father who was born in Ireland and came to this country in 1888 started racing as a groom As the most able care ¬ taker employed by the Dwyer Bros elder Tault was entrusted with handling of the great Kingston among other stars owned by those famous turfmen But when young Tault was born his parents were the owners and operators of a boarding house or track kitchen at the old Gravesend course Born in the familys private quarters adjoining the boarding house Tault got his early glimpses of the world over the fences of the old New York course courseIn In 1911 Tault took his first job with horses hiring put as an exercise rider under William Midgeley Later he worked for Jack Goldsborough and others Be tween 1921 and 1924 he rode in a few races arid Jo Jo one of his early winners was owned by his mother and trained by his father fatherIn In 1926 he joined the Catawba Farm of Mrs James Austin of Long Island and as general manager of that establishment brought Mr Khayyam and Good Advice to Churchill Downs for the Derby of 1933 Although well supported the Catawba combination failed to share in the Derby purse Since 1934 Tault has been training for ONeil A H Waterman and other patrons

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