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► ::::wftv- ■ t 4 I I Field of Twenty-Three Seeks 00,000 Kentucky Derby Battle Morn, Mameluke, Big Stretch, Ruhe and Sonic Meet in Open Race Line-Up Will Be Largest ♦ ► And Purse Richest If All Entered Travel Postward By CHARLES HATTON CHURCHILL DOWNS, Louisville, Ky., May 4. — The Kentucky Derbys largest crowd was expected today to see the biggest field compete for the richest renewal of the Downs classic here tomorrow. Twenty-three of Americas best three-year-olds have been named for the seventy-seventh running of the 00,000 mile and a quarter event that will be heard around the world. They will parade to the post when the band strikes up My Old Kentucky Home. At 4:30, Central Daylight Time, and some two minutes and a roaring mile and a quarter later one of them will stand in the winners circle, dripping sweat and roses gloriously, while his name is inscribed in the permanent records of the turf. There I seemed to be a great deal of indecision concerning who this may be as the entries were drawn, and if difference of opinion makes a horse-race, this one should be truly memorable. Battle Morn Slight Choice There is even some question regarding the post favorite, though the consensus of opinion is that Cain Hoy Stables Battle Morn will enjoy that distinction in a remarkably open betting race in which C. V. Whitneys Mameluke and Counterpoint, Calumet Farms Fanfare, Mr. and Mrs. S. C. Mikells Repetoire, King Ranchs Sonic and Green trees Big Stretch and Hall of Fame will have extensive backing. Experts d in such matters are agreed the choice j should be 4 to 1, but probably the favorite will be about 5 to 2. £ There may be a few scratches, though i the track is expected to remain fast; but if | BILL CORUM— Host to todays Derby Day crowd at Churchill Downs. ~ d j £ i | all the 23 face starter White, this Derby iy will net the winner a record sum of 01,050. 5 And the starting field will number one ie more than the present high of 22 in 1928, 8t when Reigh Count won. Post positions is alway are of importance and particularly iy in such unwieldy fields. The Gink had the ie good fortune to draw the rail, with Anyold- [_ - t 4 I I ~ iy 5 ie 8t is iy ie [_ - Cain Hoy Colt Seen Slight favorite; Jones and Arcaro Each Aim to Better Records time, Counterpoint, Timely Reward, Golden Birch, Fanfare and Sonic just outside him. Ironically, Stanley Mikell. of Repetoires camp, made the drawing for post positions, pulled 21 for the Wood and Chesapeake winner, and philosophized he should escape any possible interference. Mameluke breaks from number 9, Battle Morn, 13; Big Stretch, 17, and his running mate, Hall of Fame, 19. Bernwood drew the extreme outside. Royal Mustang, incidentally, was the first horse entered. There are several dual entries in this Derby field, apart from the prominent Whitney pair of Mameluke and Counterpoint, and the Greentree team of Big Stretch and Hall of Fame. Sam E. Wilson, Jr., named both Royal Mustang and Golden Birch; W. M. Peavey, Anyoldtime and Sir Bee Bum; J. Graham Brown, Snuzzle and The Gink. Since jockey Gerald Porch was named on both Browns entrants, and no boy for Golden Birch, theres a suggestion one may be withdrawn from each of these couplings. Additionally, there will be a mutuel field. Over 100,000 to Attend President Bill Corum of the Downs club is confident "we could have sold 200,000 reservations" and is preparing to handle an attendance of more than 100,000 for this renewal of the event he dubbed "The Run for the Roses." Special trains were steam- ing into Derby Town today from such widely separate points as New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans and Chicago. The Downs gates will open at 8:00 a. m., with special booths for Derby wagering opening at 9:00 a. m., and the first of the days nine events going to the post at 11:30 a. m. The secondary feature is the 0,000 Debutante Stakes for two-year-old fillies. Kentuckys Gov. Lawrence Wetherby will present the coveted Derby Gold Cup. The Duchess of Windsor may present the Debutante trophy. The richest of the 76 Derbys now on the books was Assaults in 1946, when he beat a field of 16 others to earn a net purse of 6,400. That was the first year in which the race was enriched with 00,000 by the Downs club. There are second, third and fourth monies of 0,000, ,000 and ,500 Continued on Page Sixty-Three Record Field of Twenty-Three Named For Seventy -Seventh Kentucky Derby Battle Morn, Fanfare, Sonic; Big Stretch, Mameluke, Ruhe Compete in Wide Open Race Continued from Page One respectively, not to mention sundry trainers and breeders awards. The trainers of the first three at the finish receive ,000, ,000 and ,000, the breeders of the placed trio ,000, ,000 and 00. But most any breeder would gladly pay ,000 to have the distinction of having bred a winner of the Derby. And many sportsmen and women in the higher tax brackets prize the Derby Gold Cup quite as much as the check. It is the "Oscar of the Turf." The Whitney colts, Mameluke and Counterpoint, were rarely mentioned as Derby prospects when the recent Keene-land meet opened, but they have progressed remarkably. Both are impartial about track conditions. Mameluke customarily lags far out of it early, warming out of his rheumatic gait, then finishes with a tremendous stretch run. He will have the familiar Adair in the stirrups, and that veteran declares, "I wont lose any irons Derby Day. I had the webbings wired into the tack after the Blue Grass." Counterpoint Has Early Speed Counterpoint has more early speed than has Mameluke, and his owner and breeder, C. V. Whitney "liked the way he came again in the Blue Grass," in which he was knocked off stride by Royal Mustang at the sixteenth pole. Dave Gorman, who is part jockey and part patrol judge, and is very efficient in either department, is to have the mount on Counterpoint. Trainer Sylvester Veitch tells us he is pleased with the condition of both his colts. The Long Islander has a good record as a developer of Derby talent. He was second with Phalanx and third with Mr. Trouble in two chances. Battle Morn is expected to attract a great deal of support if only for the reason he is ridden by Eddie Arcaro, who has made so many short-priced entrants since his arrival, and who has won four Kentucky Derbys. This son of Blenheim II. is a stretch runner with a tendency to bear out, not unlike some others by his sire, notably the Derby winner Whirlaway. He made a good impression when he ran Repetoire to a photo in the Wood, and again when he was fourth and running at Fanfare in the mile Trial. Always the sort who "cant miss next time," Battle Morn now arrives at the longest, richest race thus far in his career as fit as the efficient Moody Jolley can make him. Just as Battle Morn will be supported by the Arcaro fans, the Calumet cheering and chowder club will back Fanfare, who is saddled by another "Derby specialist," trainer Ben Jones. We do not mean to imply either colt couldnt win ridden or trained by someone else, but they will be unnaturally short prices. Fanfare certainly looks a better prospect on Derby eve than his sire Pensive, or that stallions son Pon- ft der did a few years ago. In the first place he has the dash to assume a strategic position early in the unwieldy field. And in the Derby Trial he had the pluck to overcome repeated interference, making three runs to earn the winners share of that stake. Fanfare doesnt wear blinkers though he is said to have shown a disinclination to extend himself on occasion, and he is possible the best bred colt in the field, as he is by a Kentucky Derby winner out of the dam of the two champions Coaltown and Wistful. Steve Brooks flew here from San Francisco to ride the colt with whom Calumet is bidding for its fifth Kentucky Derby trophy. Winning Derbys likewise is nothing new for King Ranch and Max Hirsch, who will be represented by the lightly raced Sonic. This last son of Blue Larkspur was troubled by trick knees last season, when he won one of two starts, and this spring was overshadowed by Long Bow in his works and To Market in the press, until they came to the races. Sonic won Experimental No. 2, was impeded in the Wood, then won a division of the Blue Grass in a particularly game race, but the officials decided he was only fourth best. Sonic is the antitype of the "morning glory," not unlike his rival Repetoire, both racing more impressively than they work. And again like that colt the Kentucky-bred Texas-owned candidate has the zip to run out of trouble in a large field. He will be handled by Willie Boland, who won on King Ranchs Middleground last year. Realistic form students, who do not bother about such intangibles as bloodlines, will think Repetoire a tremendous "overlay" in the Derby. For he has made four starts this season, all of them in stakes, including the Chesapeake and the Wood, and theyve yet to beat him. Mrs. Nora Mikells Virginia - bred, Delaware-owned son of the sprinter Happy Argo, is distinctly the form of the Derby field. Most of Repetoire s 1951 successes came in close finishes, and this coupled with his breeding has created a dim suspicion • he will not care for a mile and a quarter. I However, he is a very genuine colt of the 1 sort that prefers company in his races, in 1 fact tends to loaf once clear of his field. And *he is rangy rather than a sprinter 1 in conformation. Trainer Jensen is confi- 1 dent he will "get the trip" and he has a familiar rider in Pete McLean. i Mrs. Emil Denemarks gelding Ruhe did a lot of costly tricks when first he came ] to the races as a two-year-old, but the 1 veteran Bob McGarvey induced him to run 1 straight and true in the Hawthorne Juve- 1 nile Handicap before he went off form last fall. This spring at Oaklawn he came from last place and won the Arkasas Derby, i supplementing that with a decisive victory 1 over Big Stretch at Keeneland, and a sort . of "tko" in the Blue Grass. Jockey Job Jessop seems to get on very well with him i and the unsexed son of Menow is the kind who might rectify any mistakes. Appar- 1 ently he is indifferent to track conditions. | i • I 1 1 1 1 i ] 1 1 1 i 1 . i 1 i "The Greentrees" appeared to have a splendid chance of winning this Derby a few weeks ago, but then Big Stretch began to be whimsical about extending himself, and when he did choose to run in the Blue Grass, Sonic killed him off. Theres a theory he disliked the mud there, and he will not be a starter in such going. Ted Atkinson, who has the choice of mounts, selected Hall of Fame, who pleased owner John Hay Whitney in the Blue Grass by running on steadily after meeting interference. "Doug" Dodson is to have the mount on Big Stretch. The entry is expected to be at least 8 to 1. Mrs. Wallace Gilroy, of Greenwich, Conn., has the "experts" longshot special in Timely Reward, who is generously estimated to have been best in the Flamingo. Timely Reward is another of the sort who come from far out of it the last part of their races, and he is in capable hands with George Odom saddling him and Jimmy Stout in the saddle. The get of Reaping Reward are steady animals, but none has yet won quite such an important event. Sam E. Wilson, Jr., the Corpus Christl oilman, exudes confidence in his Royal Mustang, who was with the pace throughout Ruhes division of the Blue Grass. He had been stopping but Wilson says, "That was the first time he was ridden as I wished, and I am riding Bailey back in the Derby." Royal Mustang is a brother of the sprinter Phar Mon. The others do not appear to warrant a great deal of comment. Anyoldtime is another bird who can sing but sometimes wont. Bernwood tried a mile in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes and Derby Trial over the Downs strip, tired running on the pace in each effort, and gives the impression he might be more formidable if its possible to rate him. Phil D., King Clover, Pur Sang and Kings Hope all have speed but rather questionable stamina, judging from their recent races. It will be quite surprising if any of these proves the winner.