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The Question: Should a race-horse owner run his horse for experience and not to win?

March 07, 1955
March 07, 1955

Table of Contents
March 7, 1955

Pat On The Back
  • A salute to some who have earned the good opinion of the world of sport, if not yet its tallest headlines

Jimmy Jemail's Hotbox
Golf Circuit
Soundtrack
  • THE EDITORS FIND COLE PORTER AND A CZECH GIRL BEATING THE SAME TEMPO, TUNE IN ON A VERBAL EXCHANGE BETWEEN MARCIANO AND COCKELL AND GRANT LEAVE OF ABSENCE TO A TENNIS QUEEN

The Wonderful World Of Sport
Tennis
Daytona
Basketball
Skiing
Snow Patrol
Fisherman's Calendar
Acknowledgments
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

The Question: Should a race-horse owner run his horse for experience and not to win?

GENE LEONE, Restaurateur
New York, N.Y.
"Yes. A horse may be great in the morning and then freeze before a great crowd. He has to learn to run in competition before he can win. Alfred Vanderbilt tried to get some such rule, without success. The public would be told that a particular horse was running for experience, not to win."

This is an article from the March 7, 1955 issue

NAT HERZFELD, Former Owner
Tropical Park
"No. If the public is not in on a deal, it's the greatest evil to sportsmen who support racing. Abusing a horse is the lesser of two evils. The trotters have an exhibition race for two-year-olds, for a small purse.
Why can't other tracks experiment with something like this?"

CURLEY HARRIS, Racing Editor
New York, N.Y.
"Yes. 'Qualifying' a horse is a necessary evil. All owners do it. There's no other way a green colt can learn to run in competition. Andy Crevolin's real crime was in publicly saying that such things are done. The tracks won't admit it because that would cut down the total take of the mutuels."

BILL CORUM, President
Churchill Downs
"It's a complex problem. A two-year-old can represent $100,000 when he first goes to the post. He is green and can easily be hurt. No one likes to see that much money go out the window. But I'm against 'qualifying' races, even though they have been the unwritten rule of horse racing for centuries."

BEN JONES, Trainer and Manager
Calumet Farms
"Jimmy, that's a tough question. Take a promising horse who had something wrong and didn't get his early form. Let's say he's a three-year-old. I don't believe in holding him, but he should be allowed to run on his own courage. If you push him to win you can easily ruin him."

ALFRED GWYNNE VANDERBILT, Owner and Breeder
President, World Veterans Fund, Inc.
"An owner should always try to win. Sometimes he might enter a horse without much hope of winning because the horse needs the competition and experience he can get in no other way. But the horse must be allowed to give his best effort so the public can realize his true form."

HARRY WISMER, Radio and TV Personality
New York, N.Y.
"Most stables do it. They won't say so because racing stewards oppose the practice. Only Andy Crevolin was brash enough to admit it. For his honesty, he was suspended. It is unfortunate if bets are placed on a horse that isn't running to win. But I've heard it said that you can't beat the races."

DR. CHARLES H. STRUB, Exec. Vice President, Santa Anita Park
"No. Suppose an owner instructs a jockey to run his horse just for experience. Some might bet on him, thinking he's running to win. That's dishonest. If an owner wants to run his horse for experience, he can enter him with instructions to let him run his best but not to punish him."

HARRY F. GUGGENHEIM, Owner and Breeder, Sands Point, L.I.
"I never run a horse unless I think he is able to win. But an occasional horse will not exert himself in training, no matter how much he is worked. We know he's good and believe he will exert himself in competition. So we enter him, believing he has a chance. Very often, he wins."

HIRSH JACOBS, Trainer
Isidor Bieber Stables
"It's true that a young horse is often raced for experience, but winning is important, too. Sometimes a couple of races are needed before a young horse gets into the winner's circle. Two-year-olds are hard to figure. But even though experience is necessary, I like it better when my horses finish in the money."

HERBERT BAYARD SWOPE, Past Chairman
N.Y. State Racing Commission
"Certainly not. Unlike bygone days, betting is now a prime characteristic of racing. Entering a horse is notice that he can be bet on freely. My commission returned a parimutuel take of $3,000,000,000 without a breath of scandal. Experience races might be a solution to the 'qualifying' problem."

ELEVEN PHOTOSILLUSTRATION

NEXT WEEK'S QUESTIONS:

Which has a greater element of danger, automobile racing or motorboat racing?