On the Trot: Marcia D. in Sterling Exhibition Runs Final Quarter in 30 1/5 Seconds Little Ralphs Race Sensational, Daily Racing Form, 1954-06-23


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, On the Trot I 1 — By MORKIE KURLANSKY Marcia D. In Sterling Exhibition Runs Final Quarter in 30 Vs Seconds Little Ralphs Race Sensational SPORTSMANS PARK, Cicero, HI., June 22. — The USTA Directors Stakes, feature event on closing night at Maywood Park, , ended ended with with a a double double ended ended with with a a double double victory for Hlinois-owned-and-bred Marcia D., 10 - year - old trotting marvel, who pushed her earnings, to ,000, gleaned in seven starts, of which she won six and finished second in the other one. Going to the post as a heavily backed 1-to 2 choice in in the the first first heat, heat. in in the the first first heat, heat. trainer Paul Compton "put on an exhibition with the black mare, the like of which never has been seen in Chicagoland before. Not that Marcia D.s opponents were of inferior quality, far from it. With the exception of Susan Scott, who made her debut in Chicago after a Hazel Park campaign, every other starter in this ,000 early closing event had won at least one race here prior to Saturday. The two heats, however, conclusively j proved that none of Marcia D.s opponents could match strides with her. Having drawn the rail position for the first dash, Marcia D. left the gate with her customary early speed, but Compton apparently was not willing to make a show of his field and let Cliff Win and Little Steve take over the lead after the first quarter, and a good many fans in the crowd of 7,711 might have had some anxious moments when Marcia D., approaching the final quarter pole, -still was three lengths off the leaders. At the top of the, far turn, Compton gave Marcia D. a free rein, and the little trotter disposed of Little Steve and Cliff Win in a few rapid strides, to romp home in 2 : 08 , which, of course, is utterly meaningless as far as Marcia D.s class is concerned. Installed as a 3-to-10 favorite in the second heat, Marcia D. won again with consummate ease. Marcia D. once more was away fastest from the gate, and again Compton allowed Gene Burright, behind Little Steve, to take the lead and sat still for the first three-quarters, which were timed in 1:37. This time Compton did not wait -until the final turn to make his move, but had Marcia D. trotting one of the fastest last quarters ever registered at Maywood. As soon as Compton let the stops out, his game charge opened up by several lengths, and when the team reached the 70-yard marker, Compton looked back and, seeing everybody hopelessly beaten, he eased up the mare to win by two and one-quarter lengths in 2:07%. An analysis of the fractional times in this second heat, however, might give you an idea of Marcia D.s class. First quarter in :32%; the half in 1:05, with Marcia D. three lengths in back of the leader at that point; three-quarters in 1:37, with Marcia D. in the lead; finarquarter in 30ys seconds, with Marcia D. being eased up the final sixteenth. It is not often that a money-class event is newsworthy, but what Little Ralph accomplished in a 22-20 class pace Saturday was nothing short of sensational. The four-year-old colt by Paul MacPherson, one of the great free-for-all pacers of a decade ago, made his second start of the season on June 14 in a schooling race to win by 25 lengths in 2:05%, which seems almost unbelievable. Several horsemen, who timed that race, caught Little Ralph in a tick faster than the official timers, but most of them reserved judgment until Little Ralph started in a regular race. The public must have shared the experts doubts about Little Ralphs astonishing improvement, for the Ohio-owned pacer was only a tepid second choice to George E. Wilsons Ross Abbe at slightly better than 3 to 1. But without his victory in that schooling race Little Ralph would have gone to the post as a 50 to 1 outsider. Little Ralph should have been given credit for his fast mile of a week ago for he performed like a champion, his final time for the mile trip being 2:03%, not only the second fastest registered at the meeting, but first rate even if turned in by one of the nations outstanding free-for-all pacers. . Little Ralph, who was a slightly better than average two-year-old and showed flashes of class during his three-year-old form until he was injured in an accident at Hazel Park last year, recovered completely during the winter and was fit and fast when he made his seasonal bow on June 7 in a C-class race. Trained by owner Ralph Finney, Little Ralph had been worked, two days before in 2:10, but was beaten 8V£ lengths in his race that was won by Mildred Dale in 2:11 %. The reason for this seemingly inexplicable disappointment was given to us by Billy Shuter, who drove Little Ralph in all three races this year, and had also been getting acquainted with the horse, Shuter decided to work Little Ralph without hopples and the colt went through his paces in such easy-going manner that Billy urged Finney to race him without the straps. Finney, however, was a little skeptical and feared the horse might break stride and started him again with hopples. The result was dismal, of course. In consequence of that bad showing, Little Ralph was put on the stewards list. Since all horses thus barred from competition here have to qualify in a schooling race, Little Ralph was entered in one of these non-betting events and permission was asked to race Little Ralph without hopples. The

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1950s/drf1954062301/drf1954062301_58_1
Local Identifier: drf1954062301_58_1
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800