Weighing In: Dancers Superiority Established Once for All; Victory Perfectly Clear Despite Small Margin; May Have Had Speed in Reserve at End of Race; Suffolk Decision Could Set a Bad Precedent, Daily Racing Form, 1953-06-16


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W E I G H I N G I N By EVAN SHIPMAN BELMONT PARK, Elmont, L. I., N. Y., June 15. — If there was ever any doubt that Native Dancer was the best of his generation, the running of the Belmont Stakes last Saturday settled the issue for once and for all. It is now beyond argument that Alfred Vanderbilts husky gray son of Polynesian — Geisha, by Discovery, can do anything that we demand of a first-class three-year-old, and do it better than any of his contemporaries. Sickness deprived us of a. view of Native Dancers Preakness, but those horsemen who made the trip to Baltimore assure me that he won the mile and three-sixteenths classic in exactly the same style that thrilled us here on Long Island in this eighty-fifth renewal of the mile and a half Belmont, Americas paramount test for the age. The fin-m ish was close on Saturday, Native Dancers margin over Jamie K. being a mere neck at the end, and his finish with the same good colt had been equally close at Baltimore, but on both occasions, the gray dominated his rival in a fashion that cannot be measured or expressed in terms of inches. In this last encounter, the pair hooked up at the head of the long Belmont stretch, and there was no chance for the slightest excuse concerning the result. Both colts had a clear path; both colts were well ridden, but, for this observer at least, there was never a moment when Native Dancers eventual victory was not assured. In spite of his name, the gray "called the tune" and Jamie K. danced to it. AAA In the Preakness, Native Dancer went to the front after disposing of Dark Star and Tahitian King, giving Jamie K, the task of catching him. On Saturday, Eddie Arcaro aboard Jamie K., moved first, but Eric Guerin on the gray never allowed his rival to open up, and they were •» -on practical equal terms from the moment Arcaro decided, Dancers Superiority Established Once for All Victory Perfectly Clear Despite Small Margin May Have Had Speed in Reserve at End of Race Suffolk Decision Could Set a Bad Precedent at the half-mile pole, that the pace should be quickened. In extenuation of his defeat in the earlier race, Arcaro had said that he had been forced to begin his run prematurely and that he might have gone to the front had he dared risk taking Jamie K. through on the inside as they looped for home. This time, Jamie K.s talented jockey cannot invoke the shadow of an excuse. He himself chose the moment to force the pace, while his path was clear at all times. As usual, with the Belmont Stakes, this was. a perfectly true race. At the furlong pole, it looked as if Native Dancer was going to "open up" for once, but once having gained the advantage, the champion appeared content to draw that finish fine. You had to have a really good view of these two colts to understand just how clearly the gray had the other one measured. We had not witnessed a closer Belmont since Granville just got up to nose out Mr. Bones black in 36, but that was a desperate finish, the result in doubt until the winners number was posted; the only way Native Dancer could have lost this one was to have stumbled in the final strides. AAA After a deceptively slow beginning, this turned out to be one of the fastest of all Belmonts, Native Dancers time of 2:28% for the 12 furlongs being the same as that of Middleground, and bettered only by Count Fleet and Citation, this great pair holding the stake record with a mark of 2:28%. Back in Man o Wars day, the Belmont was a mile and three-eighths instead of a mile and a half, and was also contested over a totally different course, the race then involving a full tour of the mile training track. The fractions for Native Dancers Belmont are of real interest. Ram o War was in front for the first three-quarters, caught in :25, :25% and :24%. Ram o War, with Jamie K. and Native Dancer both in his immediate vicinity, continued to show the way with a fourth quarter in :24%, making the evenly rated mile in 1:39%. It was at this point that Arcaro began, to sit down and ride Jamie K. and that Guerin went right along with him, but Ram o War was not yet done, and the quater between the turns was run in :24% with all three solts very much in the hunt and the early leader never relinquishing his position at the pole. As they straightened away for the run home, Ram o War finally had enough, and the last querter, the sixth, was run in :24%, making the last half in :49%. This was very unusual speed at that stage of a long race. It is convincing testimony to Native Dancers — and Jamie K.s too for that matter — real ability over a distance. AAA Ever since we began writing about Native Dancer last April, we have commented on the gray colts remarkable tempeprament, his intelligence, his professional style and complete absorption in the "business at hand." These qualities, qualities that set him apart more certainly than do either his speed or his staying ability, were never more in evidence than last Saturday. No matter how rambunctious he may be in the morning around the barn, Native Dancer knows a race day as surely as does Bill Winfrey, his trainer. From the time he first heads toward the paddock, all frivolity is put aside. Now he is the calm, assured athlete. He is completely at his handlers disposal as he is prepared for a race. There is never a waste motion, and one has almost the feeling that .Native Dancer is mentally concentrating on what he is about to do, far-fetched as we know such a conclusion will appear to many horsemen. On the track, on his way to the post, and -Continued on Page Forty-Three WEIGHING IN By EVAN SIIIPMAN "Continued from. Page Fifty-Two during the progress of a. race, it is the same thing. What he does seems to be Native Dancers choice rather, than Guerins. His consistency, and his record proves it, is uncanny, but this fine gray colt is no machine. The performance we all applaud is deliberate, conscious and cool; Native Dancers trade is running. Winfrey taught him the rudiments early, and taught him well, but, today, the relationship is more nearly that of collaborators than of master and pupil. This colt is a* professional, and a master in his own right. AAA Boston is outside our territory at present, but a decision of the placing judges at Suffolk Downs on Saturday was so strange that we are certain it will arouse interest and comment far beyond the* confines of the New England track. The filly, Rose Beauty, after finishing third to the dead-heating Time for Speed and Greek Stadium, was elevated to a share of the dead-heat after Greek Stadium had been disqualified and set back for a foul in the stretch. According to our view, and the view of prominent racing officials we have questioned here as to this point, Rose Beauty, who had finished third, could have been advanced to second, but it was simply fantastic to ask Time for Speed, who had done her not the slightest damage, to divide his victory with the filly. Decisions of that sort can, conceivably, set precedents. This one should be labelled now for what it was: A gross error of judgment. Following the announcement of the revised placing, there was considerable clamor from the Suffolk crowd, and again we understand perfectly for the reasons for the general irritation. Matters might have taken a decided turn for the worse had not everybody enjoyed at least a share of the payoff. If a decision of similar ineptitude had deprived a portion of the public of any return, Suffolk Downs might have had to contend with a riot.

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1950s/drf1953061601/drf1953061601_52_3
Local Identifier: drf1953061601_52_3
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800