Burton Observing Golden Anniversary: Downs Racing Secretary Has Spent His Entire Life in Sport; Native Chicagoan, Daily Racing Form, 1951-05-05


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Burton Observing Golden Anniversary Downs Racing Secretary Has Spent His Entire Life in Sport; Native Chicagoan CHURCHILL DOWNS, Louisville, Ky., May 4. — While the Kentucky Derby is being run for the seventy-seventh time, the man who serves as racing secretary at Churchill Downs will celebrate his fiftieth year in racing. Fred Burton was born in Chicago in 1891, but has made his home in Latonia, Ky., for the past 40 years. His entire life has been with thoroughbreds, as he served in all branches of the sport from exercise boy to his present post, with the exception of starter. Burton began galloping horses in 1901 when he was scarcely 10 years old. He was a jockey from 1905 through 1909, when increasing weight compelled him to abandon that profession. Toward the end of his riding career he was known to reduce almost 40 pounds to ride certain horses. He plied his trade against jockeys highly rated, such as Vincent Powers and Carrol Shilling and he rode five straight winners against them at Port Erie in 1906. Burton is believed to be the only racing secretary who rode in the Kentucky Derby. He finished fourth on Synchronized in 1908. He rode for many prominent horse- i men, including L. A. Cella, J. J. McCafferty, George Ennis and Milton Young, the latter the father of trainer Tom and steward Jack Young. He rode such horses as Men- tor and Rustle, sire and dam, respectively, ! of Wise Counsellor; Frizette, Handbridge ! and other prominent runners of the era. I Mostly he rode for his father, who had a large stable. His longest-priced winner was Mystified, at 150 to 1. With the exception of a period spent in France as a sergeant in the veterinary corps during World War I., Burton has always been active in racing. Two brothers also were riders. The eldest brother, Julius, still serves as a valet in Kentucky and Illinois. The younger brother, Albert, was killed in 1912 at Charleston at the height of his career while riding one of his fathers horses. Assisting in racing secretaries offices for 35 years and connected-with the Kentucky Jockey Club all that time, his first post as racing secretary was at Dade Park in 1934, and then at Charles Town the following year. In addition to these two tracks, Burton served in the same capacity at Wheeling, Hamilton, Beulah Park, North Randall, Churchill Downs, Keeneland. Washington, Arlington, Laurel, Pascoag and Gulf stream. He has been appointed to the position at Waterford Park, the new track scheduled to open May 19 in West Virginia. This was his tenth year as secretary at Keeneland and his sixteenth at Charles Town. At many of the tracks he also serves as steward. Burtons greatest thrill as a handicapper came at Arlington Park in 1946. He weighted the entrants in that years renewal of the Equipoise Mile and was gratified to see the first seven horses finish slightly more than one ength apart. The race was won by Witch Sir.

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1950s/drf1951050501/drf1951050501_24_1
Local Identifier: drf1951050501_24_1
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800