Connors Corner: Paddock Gang in Kentucky Derby Discussion; Ask Pointed Questions Relative to Breeding; Sophomores Show Lack of Speed in Stretch, Daily Racing Form, 1959-05-06


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Connors Corner - By Chuck Connors 1 Paddock Gang in Kentucky Derby Discussion Ask Pointed Questions Relative to Breeding Sophomores Show Lack of Speed in Stretch JAMAICA, L. I., N. Y., May 5.— The Paddock Gang, local chapter that is, surfeited by a couple of days of sunshine and spring weather, met this morning in conclave. Naturally, the results of last weeks racing were discussed, with the emphasis on the Kentucky Derby. A goodly number of the gathering asked some pointed questions relative to breeding, yearling sales and training methods. They cited the fact that American breeding is in something of a deplorable nature, when from a crop of 10,000 or more yearlings, a field for the first big three-year-old event of the spring season cannot muster enough horses capable of going a mile and one-quarter without staggering through the final quarter mile, and bumping each other. The final quarter at Louisville was timed in :26y5. This lack of speed and stamina, according to the late E. R. Bradley, cannot be cited as a mark of quality in a three-year-old. Further enligntment on the caliber of the starters was sought from another veteran, to whom winning Derbys is no novelty, one Max Hirsch. The famed turfman flaunted all the so-called rules and regulations when he sent forth a couple of starters ridden by .apprentices. The two starters were the winners, namely Bold Venture under Ira Hanford and Bill Boland astride Middleground. Hirsch, in discussing the horses, three-year-olds and over, that are racing today was inclined to place the blame on the raising of the youngsters. He pointed out that professional breeders in the country own or control the vast majority of top-class stallions and mares. The offspring of these are carefully nurtured, hand-raised, stall-fed, and shined to a satiny gloss before they are led to market. The yearlings, instead of growing up in a natural state are more of the hothouse variety, and this in his opinion is not conducive to strong bones and well-muscled bodies. Hirsch does not hold the -breeder responsible for this state of affairs but blames it on the buyers themselves. The sleek youngsters are attractive in the sales ring and bring fancy prices. The same youngsters if left in a natural state, running in the field, would not appeal to buyers and in many instances could not be evaluted by trainers. Views Other Phases of Racing The purchase of a yearling is a gamble and breeders are in favor of the pomp and circumstance which surrounds a yearling sale. Hirsch revealed that many of the best of his yearling purchases were made in the field and the outstanding was Grey Lag. His opinion as to over-racing of two-year-olds is not as pronounced as some others. He, naturally, said that some horses are over-raced. In his support of horses acquired in their natural state, Hirsch cites the fact that the majority of the big races of the nation are won by homebreds. He also noted the decline of privately maintained breeding farms. However, a good horse is liable to pop up from any place, whether it is from the farms of the big professional breeders, a homebred, ,or a man, owner of one or two mares, who breeds to forgotten quality shown some place in the ancestry of the stallion. Mr. and Mrs. Frank L. Rand of Santa Fe, N. M., yesterday reported the loss of a two-year-old named Fagan. The youngster, an appropriately named son of High Bandit and Scholar, was the first colt that they had the pleasure of breeding. The loss was not only a financial one but also sentimental. The colt succumbed to injuries and illness. ... A well-regarded pair of Jacks showed up for Mondays late races, namely Jack Amiel and Jack Dempsey. The two did some rooting for their choices, but alas and alack, well, other days are coming. . . . Joe Donohue, New Yorks racing ambassador to England, France and Ireland, returned from a business trip to Miami via Kentucky. ... At private terms Mrs. E. B. Carpenter of Wilmington, Del., purchased a weanling, a Florida-bred, several days ago. The youngster is by Needles from Kentmere Miss and was bred by Dudley and Heath. The youngster will remain at the D. and H. Farm for some time before beinand turned over to his new owner. Plan to Continue Clearwater Stable Al Pupino returned from Mobile. Ala., where he attended the funeral services of Frank L. "Red" Leath-erbury. Following a conference with E. E. Roberts, a co-owner of the Clearwater Stable, it was decided to race the menage as before. The horses are stabled at Belmont Park. . . . Trainer Hirsch Jacobs, his wife Ethel, son John William and daughter Patrice returned from Louisville, Ky., and the Derby yesterday. He reported that Our Dad and Promised Land should be at Jamaica early Tuesday morning. Our Dad came out of his Derby engagement with bucked shins. . . . Trainer Lucien Laurin reported this morning that the final shipment of horses from his farm, Holly Hill, S. C, arrived yesterday. He also intimated that the leading two-year-old filly of last year, R. N. Websters Quill, may make her seasonal debut at Garden State.

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