Between Races: Ryan on Tanforan Print Program All Personnel to Hit Ink Pads No Science to Caliente Strip, Daily Racing Form, 1954-06-23


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m* ijamm BET WE E N RACES Bye, Oscar Otisl HOLLYWOOD PARK, Inglewood, Calif., June 22. — Fred Ryan, vice-president and general manager of historic old Tanforan, today today revealed revealed that that today today revealed revealed that that Tanforan would require all of its top personnel, executive and racing, to be fingerprinted before the fall meeting opened. Ryan said that while this was a voluntary gesture on the part of the management, he felt that the State of California should make such a print prm program program manda- m* ijamm print prm program program manda- mandatory; While there has been a fingerprint plan in California, it has been in the main confined to employes and little or no effort has been made to print and process through FBI, and state files the executives and directors. Ryan considers the directors important" in the program for after all, they are responsible for the establishment of high level policy which the executives are supposed to carry out. Of course, as the initial step in such a program at Tanforan, Ryan himself will be the first in line at the ink-pads. AAA That Tanforan_does not have any people on its board of directors of staff of dubious background is obvious from Ryans announcement, but the people who were aware a few days ago that the announcement would be forthcoming were busy guessing at any import to be attached to the statement. It is possible he wished to insure there would be no- repetition in this state of the humiliating occurence of last summer in a Rocky Mountain Empire state where the rank and file of horse people were willing to go along with a fingerprinting program, but not a key person appointed by management. This incident has had everybody wondering ever since. AAA When apprised of Ryans stand on fingerprints, George Holmes, Southern California member of the rasing commission, said ""It sounds like a good idea to make fingerprinting of everyone a state requirement for either a licensee or a person in a position of trust in management. After all, a wrong person high up in management or in the position to help establish a policy for a track, can do a lot mose damage to the sport than can a groom on the back stretch. I havent gone into the matter very thoroughly, but you can rest assured I will as soon as our next board meeting, come Monday, is over and we have disposed of a few pressing problems including the urgent one of dates for next year. But I will say that in general, anything that is a safeguard for racing is worth while and that no time can we be too careful. I will Ryarf on Tanforan Print Program * All Personnel to Hit Ink Pads No Science to Caliente Strip be very interested to get copies of the laws of the states which now required fingerprinting and submit them to the States Attorney, Bill OConner, for his consideration." AAA. As a matter of general information, we might add that all TRA tracks in the state have a voluntary print program, one which has met with acceptance. The horsemen and pari-mutuel clerks have come to realize that the print program is quite a protection against the infiltration into their ranks of undesirables. And it seems in all, fairness that if it is good enough for the grooms and clerks, it is good enough for officers, directors, executive staff, and stewards, too.- In any comments about fingerprinting ii is only fair to add there are a great many who believe that racing casts a reflection on its executives in fingerprinting them when no other sport has ever thought of doing this. It creates an impression with the public that those in racing have less integrity than men in other sports which is, of course completely false. However, the general attitude toward fingerprinting has changed in the last decade. i A A A week-end visit to Caliente was most pleasurable, and during our stay, we walked the track with superintendent Roy Mansir, who is responsible for the upkeep of, an all-weather track which, since it was built in 1929, has never been unraceable or in poor shape regardless of weather, "Im just an old highway and soil man," says Man-sir, "and Ive never run an analysis of the track or its humus content or even its percentage of sand and drainage. I hunt for it in the nearby hills, and if it feels right to me, I use it. From my experience with tracks, and as a student under Frank Rine-hart, who built most of the tracks in the West, I am convinced of one thing, namely, that while a track must drain laterally and not down, there can be no impervious base at the bottom or you might run into trouble. From my observation, the best way for a horse to bow is to run over* a deep,- holding track, whereas, on a pasteboard bad-legged horses can maintain racing soundness for an indefinite period, often for years. • AAA "Here at Caliente, we try to keep about two and one-quarter inches of fluff in the cushion, and we work the track only sparingly, just enough to keep it in condition. But we try to keep from overworking it. In my opinion, so-called science has no ►place in either track construction or later, maintenance. Soil is either right or it isnt, and drainage is self evident." In any event, the Caliente strip is a remarkable one and is truly all-weather. And, as for improvements tending toward public comfort, Caliente also is remarkable in that its program of construction is never ending. There always are one or more projects Under way every month of the year. A * A A Johnny Alessio, operating director, tells us this is possible -because of the Sunday only programs and desirable because of the incessant demand of the public for what might be called luxury accommodations. "Our patronage, for the most part, comes from a considerable distance," explains Alessio, "and, as you might expect, a person who pomes from a distance looks for -the best. You can see for yourself the popularity of our last venture, the completion of an outdoor patio area seating at dining tables more than 700 people. This patio utilizes formerly "waste" space adjacent to the old paddock area. At present, more than half our gate can be accommodated at tables or in boxes." AAA No track on the continent can boast the volume of art work as can Caliente, for everywhere one turns, in grandstand as well as clubhouse and turf club, one sees either a mural, a photograph, or a painting. Consulting architect is Jincto OJeda, one of the best known of his profession in Latin America. But for the racing strip itself, Mansir is the supreme authority and, ; to return to the subject of the strip,, Man-sir has pretty much proven the point that a fast track and a good speed rating is not of necessity inconsistent with a high safety factor. The notion seems to persist in some quarters that you cant have both. Perhaps this idea is encouraged by a somewhat general misconception of the word "pasteboard." To some, the term connotes a hard surface without much cushion. This is far from the truth. AAA A pasteboard has nothing to do with cushion, but rather, a good pasteboard is attained by type of soil and subsequent conditioning. Mansir, incidentally, got his first forking acquaintanceship with soil in " California highway construction, his introduction to a race track by digging post holes for the present Caliente track, which was designed by Marshall Cassidy. He was hand picked by Rinehart to be the new superintendent w.hen Rinehart realized that his health was failing. And, by the way, Caliente is continuing to attract sizeable Sunday crowds, and attendance figures are expected to swell considerably as the summer season progresses, especially during late July and August.

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