Ellsworth-Tenney Story of Success: Boyhood Pals Now Winning Partners; Former Cowboys Rose From Meager Start to Saddling1955 Derby Victor Swaps, Daily Racing Form, 1956-05-05


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HOPE FOR SECOND STRAIGHT IN DERBY Mr and Mrs Meshach Tenney left and Mr and Mrs Rex Ellsworth with EllsworthTenney Story of Success Boyhood Pals Now Winning Partners PartnersFormer Former Cowboys Rose From Meager Start to Saddling 1955 Derby Victor Swaps SwapsBy By OSCAR OTIS OTISCHURCHILL CHURCHILL DOWNS Louisville Kyf May 4 Bex Ellsworth and Meshach Ten ¬ ney the Californians who last year won the Kentucky Derby with Swaps are two of the most colorful figures in America racing today Ellsworth a former cowboy is the owner and Tenney also an ex cowpoke the trainer and part owner ownerUntil Until Swaps captured the Run for the Roses the EllsworthTenney combine was little known outside of California and even there they cut no great publicity swath Ellsworth howeverk was fairly well known in Europe He is a close friend of Prince Aly Khan from whom he purchased Khaled the sire of Swaps and many other worthwhile thoroughbreds thoroughbredsLast Last spring at Churchill Downs few of the more than 100 turf writers who annually gather from all over America to cover the Derby paid much attention to these softspoken quiet westerners before the race But once Swaps won both be ¬ came national figures a status heightened by the reams of publicity accruing to Swaps losing match race with Nashua last summer at Washington Park ParkTrucked Trucked Horses From Kentucky KentuckyEllsworth Ellsworth and Tenney grew up in the tiny town of Safford Arizona Devout Mor ¬ mon they each served a twoyear stint as missionaiies Ellsworths work taking him to Africa More than 20 years ago Ellsworth an expert horseman as well as a successful cattleman decided that racing might be a worthwhile venture He set out for Ken ¬ tucky in a truck purchased some horses at rockbottom prices and hauled them home homeProm Prom that humble beginning and parlay ¬ ing the winnings from his horses back into the purchase of more thoroughbreds espe ¬ cially broodmares he gradually built up his breeding outfit But real success seemed to elude him even though more than a decade ago he raced vsuch good horses as U Time and Plying Choice ChoiceEllsworth Ellsworth had a contract to fatten cattle for his good friend Louis B Mayer and often took his profits from that venture to pay for services to Beau Pere at one time Mayers leading sire Swaps is by Khaled from a Beau Pere mare Iron RewardX RewardXEllsworth Ellsworth later moved his entire breed ¬ ing operation from Arizona to California in order to become eligible for California breeders awards Under California law any homebred horse earns a 10 per cent fee for his breeder regardless of the type of race Last year Ellsworth emerged as the leading moneyearning breeder in Cali ¬ fornia and this past winter he had a great season in this respect at Santa Anita AnitaEllsworth Ellsworth settled at Chino in Riverside jockey William Shoemaker extreme right all of whom are depending on Terrang to duplicate Swaps feat of 1955 County about 45 miles almost due east of Los Angeles AngelesThe The success of the EllsworthTenney racing division really began when they ob ¬ tained the services of jockey Willie Shoe ¬ maker The combination polled to success after success This past winter for in ¬ stance Shoemaker and the Ellsworth horse Terrang won the 100000 Santa Anita Derby DerbyEllsworth Ellsworth neither drinks nor smokes and at the end of the year 10 per cent of his net profits go to the church He adds oc ¬ casionally to his tithing fund as the Mormons call it by extra gifts such as the auction of a service to Khaled at Del Mar last summer which netted the church 25 000 on a bid from Harry M Warner WarnerTenney Tenney is cut from the same mold In his dealings with the press photographers and publicity people he has offered never failing cooperation Ellsworth and Tenney speak impeccable English despite those na ¬ tionally published stories last year put ¬ ting cowboy slang into their mouths If Ellsworth has a fault it probably is his rigid insistence on certain standards of conformation a subject on which he is a master He likes certain types far more that others even though history has shown that really good horses can come in all sizes and shapes shapesNow Now about Swaps As a twoyearold he won a minor stake at Hollywood Park but gave no hint then as to the ultimate greatness that yas to be his He first came cameContinued Continued on Page 45 D EllsworthTermey Story of Success SuccessFormer Former Cowboys Rose From Meager Start to Saddling 1955 Derby Victor Swaps SwapsContinued Continued from Page 12 D Dto to national attention when he captured the Santa Anita Derby but not very im ¬ pressively He swerved during the race and acted like anything but a good horse an item which led a few observers to remark he wasnt much or never would be beSoon Soon after the Santa Anita Derby Ells ¬ worth and Tenney asked this writer to come to their box and outline in detail every phase of the conditions they might encounter in Kentucky Weather Track Proximity of people to the horse Location of stables Protection given Derby starters Literally everything We explained Ken ¬ tucky as best we could couldBut But Swaps cant win a Kentucky Derby on what he showed in the Santa Anita Derby we finally concluded He will be a different horse you will see they re ¬ plied in unison unisonSpecial Special Shoe Used UsedAt At that time Swaps showed signs of the hoof injury that was to give him trouble during his threeyearold career A special patent leather shoe was brought into play and Swaps continued to train trainThe The very day before Swaps was sched uledto ship for Churchill Downs he went lame while on the way to the racetrack but seemed sound again when he stepped on the main track Walking sound that is A hurried conference and it was decided to take a chance Work him and see what happens Swaps merely went a mile in 136 breezing He shipped and continued to train at Churchill Downs DownsOn On the Thursday before the race he was lame again and a new shoe and new leather hurriedly were tacked onto his right front foot It did the trick and he was sound again againThe The rest is modern history He won as if best taking all that Nashua had to throw at him in the way of a challenge

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Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800