Reflections: Derby Colts Clash Again in Withers Today Only Three Have Won Derby -Withers Double, Daily Racing Form, 1950-05-13


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I REFLECTIONS By Nelson Dvnstan Derby Colts Clash Again in Withers Today Only Three Haye Won Derby-Withers Double Whats Wrong With California Horses?-Rice Handicap Ranks Missing Top Performers NEW YORK, N. Y., May 12. For the first time since the "Triple Crown" came into existence the one-two horses in the Kentucky Derby, Middle-ground and Hill Prince, will meet again in the Withers at one mile mile at at Belmont Belmont Park Park tomorrow. tomorrow. The The only only mile mile at at Belmont Belmont Park Park tomorrow. tomorrow. The The only only other Derby starter is Your Host, the California horse who led to the mile pole and then faded to ninth position in the Derby. Your Host is at a distance more to his liking and he will be the center of attraction. Olympia led at the mile pole in the Kentucky Derby last year, but ran out of gas at that point and finished out of the money. Then the Hooper colt came on to New York to make a show of his field by winning- the Withers by six lengths from Ocean Drive. Your Host will endeavor to repeat repeat the the performance performance of of Olympia, Olympia, but but repeat repeat the the performance performance of of Olympia, Olympia, but but whatever the outcome, he should show to better advantage at the shorter distance, and he may be the horse they all will have to catch. Aristides, Zog and Johnstown won the Derby and Withers. Of the other "Triple Crown" winners, only Sir Barton and Count Fleet also won the Withers. Middleground will add considerable interest to tomorrows race, for while the Preakness and Belmont Stakes are still to be run, the King Ranch colt now has an opportunity to join the small group who won the Derby-Withers double. Californians are not the only ones who were high on Your Host before the Derby. Ben Jones, one of the most capable trainers of all/tlaae and a man who is supposed • to have a. sixth sense regarding horses, took a terrific shellacking last year when he insisted that Ponder had little chance and then the son of Pensive rolled home the winner by about three lengths over Capot. In Florida this year, Jones selected Oil Capitol and that immediately brought forth whispers that he was going to "pull a Ponder" with Theory. Then, when Jones went to Kentucky, he switched to Your Host and is credited, with having told Louis B. Mayer that a horse like Your Host comes along but once in a dozen years. Your Host was looked upon as the best equine advertisement California has sent out in the past quarter century, so, many people jiow wonder about horses from the Golden State. Grant-land Rice asks, "So the main question gets down to this — Whats the matter with California race horses and football teams? I know theres something wrong — there has tor be when you look at the records of recent years. What is it?" Having traveled through California and seen virtually every major breeding farm in the state, we can give part of the answer. Californians just cannot understand why they cannot accomplish in 25 years what it has taken Kentucky 100 years to do. California has its "Miracle Mile," but seldom are there miracles in breeding. Tomorrows time-honored Dixie Handicap at Pimlico will miss the presence of the Greentree champion, Capot, who had to be sent to the sidelines due to an abscess on the jaw. There are many important events for the stars of the handicap ranks in the weeks ahead, but with Capot absent, Coaltown taking a much-deserved rest at Calumet Farm, and Citation, Ponder and Two Lea on the West Coast, it is a question how the. fields will shape up for the Metropolitan, Roseben and Suburban Handicaps at Belmont Park, as well as races at other eastern tracks this month. Charles S. Howards sensational Noor has been named for the Golden Gate Handicap on June 24, and. in that race there is a possibility that he will meet Citation for the third time. There is little chance of Noor being shipped East for the Suburban on May 30, and then sent back to the Coast for the Golden Gate, so the. lesser lights of the older ranks will have their opportunity to shoot for rich purses while the champions are at other tracks or out of action. The Calumet trio will go direct to Chicago, where Arlington Park opens on June 19. As Washington Park follows immediately after Arlington, there is little likelihood the big guns from Calumet will be seen in competition in the East until next fall. There will be only two stakes at Belmont Park next week, the Juvenile on Wednesday and the Metropolitan Handicap, the feature event a week from tomorrow. As in bygone years, there is little clarification of the two-year-old situation during May and, as a result, about the best-that can be said for the 181 youngsters who were nominated for the mid-week feature is that they are a beautifully-bred lot. Falada, Mr. A. B., Liberty Rab, Challcote and a few others raced in Florida, but probably the best youngster seen to date is George D. Wideners Battlefield, winner of a division of the Youthful Stakes at Jamaica. The Metropolitan shapes up as a ding-dong battle between speedsters of the older ranks. Although we said in the paragraph above that Capot and the Calumet trio will be among the missing, the race is likely to draw Olympia, Myrtle Charm, Three Rings, Piet, Loser Weeper, Royal Governor, My Request, Mount Marcy, and a few others who can run a fast eight furlongs. Middleground, the winner of the Derby, was named for the Metropolitan, but as the Preakness will* be run the same day, it seems safe to say that the King Ranch colt will be at old Pimlico. A half century has passed since the American-bred Iroquois won the Epsom Derby in England, but there appears to be an excellent chance that his victory will be repeated by the American-bred Prince Simon on May 27. A few days ago, William Woodwards colt, who is by Princequillo out of Dancing Dora, won the mile and two furlongs Newmarket Stakes, and immediately became a solid Derby favorite at 2 to 1. Prince Simon comes closely on the heels of Black Tarquin, who won the historic St. Leger in 1948, and a year ago ran second to Alycidon in the Ascot Gold Cup, which, at two and a half miles, is often referred to as "The No. 1 race of the world." Like Prince Simon, Iroquois ran second in the Two Thousand Guineas and the English solidly backed the winner, Peregrine, to win the Derby. But, with Fred Archer in the saddle, Iroquois took the Derby by a length and a half, and when the news reached this country, business was suspended in Wall Street for many minutes. There was some talk of erecting a "bronze statue of Iroquois in Central Park, New York. That did not come about, but the victory of Iroquois was hailed and discussed for many weeks in American newspapers.

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