Sportsmans Park: Boots Dickerson a Sportsmans Arrival; Americas Senior Thoroughbred Starter; More Service Than Other Local Officials, Daily Racing Form, 1955-05-02


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Sportsmans Pack By J. J. Murphy Boots Dickerson a Sportsmans Arrival Americas Senior Thoroughbred Starter More Service Than Other Local Officials SPORTSMANS PARK, Cicero, HI., April 30.— Roy Dickerson, Americas senior starter, is back on the job Sportsmans Park after having completed his duties at Keeneland. Roy, more familiar to his legion of friends as "Boots," has been dispatching fields on Chicago tracks-for many years. . We believe he is the oldest official in point of service now functioning in this area. As we recall it, he was an assistant starter for the late A. B. Dade, for whom Dade Park now James C. Ellis Park was named. And it seems he also worked with the late Mars Cassidy, father of Marshall Cassidy, and with the late Harry Morrissey, father of the well known starter and steward, John Morrissey. We remember Dickerson doing the starting at Tanforan, in California, in the twenties, and also what may have been his most perplexing problem, an incident that came about at Arlington Park during one of the early sessions at the Northwest Side track when the club was headed by H. D. "Curly" Brown, builder of the course. A small field was being lined up by Dickerson. In the band was Ironsides, a bad actor from the stable of C. B. "Cowboy" Irwin. Guy de Peso was the rider, and after the animal had cut a few didoes, the boy dismounted and absolutely refused to go through with his chore. Confusion reigned for a few moments, and the field was eventually sent on its way without Ironsides. One of the first of the refunds of money wagered was made on Ironsides, and it was before the days of the public address systems, the "stoopers" had a field day. Handling Bad Acting Horses Mars Cassidy and Harry Morrissey figured in a couple of incidents with bad acting horses. When ♦ Cassidy was the starter at Caliente in the early thirties, he had chutes installed leading off the track at various starting points. On one occasion a four-horse field came up to him. Two of the quartet, Reveille Boy* who won an American Derby, and McGonigle, who had once raced for Stuyvesant Peabody, were notorious rogues, and Mars placed the bad actors on the main track and the other two in the chute, mounted the fence separating the two starting points, dropped a flag and shouted "come on" for the start, and it was a perfect beginning. Morrissey became so tired of McGonigle that he convinced the trainer that the horse would have a better chance in western Canada. Later told Jim Donovan, the Canadian starter, he was sending him a nice present. Upon the arrival of McGonigle and the trainer at Winnipeg, the latter handed Donovan a note reading: "McGonigle is your present. See what you can do with him." Donovan straightened McGonigle out and the horse won several races, but Donovan didnt speak to Morrissey for some time. Arthur Farrell,who won his first race on a Chicago track Friday, was leading apprentice at the recent Fort Miami meeting at Toledo, Ohio . . . Flying Streak, dam of .Streaking, winner of six out of his last seven starts, is a blind mare . . . Walter Miller, member, of the Illinois Harness Racing Commission, out to look over the runners . . . "Mickey" McMahon, of thejlorse- r mens Benevolent and Protective Association, states he has the assurance of owners of all tracks in the mid-western sector that horses will be covered by insurance against fire and, tornado, paid for by the tracks . . . Gus Kotsos, for eight years chief of the clipping and pasting bureau at Sportsmans Park, has retired. He will turn himself out in Jackson Park. Kotsos has been replaced by Frank Studlow ... A number of thoroughbreds will be shipped from here to Fairmount Park at the end of this meeting. Nick Moran Has Fairway Farm Horses We were in error in stating that the Fairway Farm horses were in charge of Eddie Barnes. They are being conditioned by Nick Moran, and aside from Good Call, -the racers are Hi Jet, Cordite, King Beau, Exultant, Gala Fare and Undergrad . . . Lou Eilken, member of the racing secretarys staff at Balmoral, Arlington, and Washington Park, arrived from California accompanied by Mrs. Eilken . . . The racing secretarys offices at Washington Park will be opened Monday . . . Arlington Park stake books are being distributed by Fred Crafton . . . Owner M. B. Armer departed for Wichita, Kan., and J. H. Nail, Jr., for Albany, Texas . . . William Hal Bishop sold two horses Saturday morning. Mrs. Sweenie went to Marion VanBerg, and Dixie Spy to P. G. Johnson. William McKinley Cook will leave for Churchill Downs Monday to ride W. M. Peaveys Jet Flame in the Derby Trial Tuesday. Expects to return to this course in time for Wednesdays racing . . . Jockey Jack Chestnut was an arrival from Miami and will accept mounts here for the remainder of the meeting . . . Willie Shoemaker stopped off briefly in Chicago en route from California to Kentucky . . . Jack Klucina, racing secretary at Fairmount Park and Cahokia Downs, a visitor en route from Florida to southern Illinois The five-day charity session, concluded Friday, showed an increase both in business and attendance over Jast year , Wagering was ,910,344 as against ,453,382 in 1954* and attendance 59,201 as against 53,193.

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