April 3, 2005

Last week just kind of alluded to the ET scenario relating to the New Jersey Sires Stakes. This week we’ll address it. In that USTA officially registered ET foals are indeed eligible to race in The Hambletonian and other major stakes, it seems archaic and discriminatory to exclude them from The New Jersey Racing Program.

Moreover, it is costly in terms of lost business

One of the more reputable harness families declined to breed an aging though extremely productive broodmare to a leading New Jersey stallion simply because the resultant foal would be not have Sires Stakes eligibility. This is a top producer who just can no longer term carry though she can be inseminated and the resultant embryo is transplantable to a surrogate. The mare is of the caliber so welcome in any stallions book that for a stud to lose her is indeed regrettable..

Then there’s the living hall of famer who so reluctantly passed on an otherwise acceptable New Jersey sired embryo transplant yearling at Harrisburg primarily because the lack New Jersey eligibility would have precluded his driving the colt in NJSS events- which so often serve as Hambletonian stepping stones.

This yearling was an impeccably bred half brother to one of the better fillies of the last few years but the guy passed for lack of Sire Stakes eligibility.

Needless to say this was costly to the consignor as it removed a major player from the bidding and it could be costly to be program should the colt become a major star forced to Hambo prep outside his state of birth..

Address this please!

It was Maltese Artist (Artiscape-Hula Dancer) in the Four Leaf Clover final after all. Time 1:49.3.. Artiscape is having another top year and with Rainbow Blue set to debut in short order there should be no shortage of headlines for Delinquent Account’s best son… Yeah we know the Play it Again “line came from Casablanca not Maltese Falcon.

Congratulations Jack McNiven for the Hall Of Fame nomination in Canada…
So well deserved…Right Albert!

Speaking of the Hall of Fame- happened on a bunch of old TROTTER MAGAZINES from 1964 and it remains a mystery why editor-publisher Wally Rottkamp is NOT in the writer’s hall of fame… Don’t believe Woody Lawless Bruce Gordon, or Warren Pack are either and they right well should be being such significant journalistic contributors at the time.

Can still remember the poignant believed to be Woody Lawlis tribute to Adios Butler under the non de plume of “a friend “in which the byline was declined so as not to infringe on the majestic accomplishments of the then incomparable “Butler”

Seen them all since Jamin and to these eyes Revenue is far more reminiscent of Roquepine than Une De Mai due to his sheer speed and maneuverability. Roquepine could leave and control a pace instead of just grinding as so many French breds were noted for. Didja notice the 27.1 final quarter Revenue tossed in at Lexington after rating the third panel to :29.4

Incidentally Une De Mai is a daughter of Kerjacques, grandsire of Revenue’s own sire Reve D Udon

Actually Revenue is only half French as his maternal side traces right back to Scotch Love whose son Speedy Scot kind of influenced the trotting breed via his SON Speedy Crown…

Among the races I’d love to see again would be the American Pacing Classic from Hollywood Park staged on 10/31 of 1964… Also that dual heat Poplar Hill Pace from The Red Mile in 1963 especially where Skipper outgamed Overtrick after being headed at the tunnel.

Got a gorgeous Muscles filly from Ruby Crown which makes her a half sister to Scarlet Knight and Mohammed Mali. She looked like she could trot a quarter 20 minutes after standing and nursing…

The name Scarlet Knight was kind of a natural with the RUBY CROWN connection though it did come to mind that the sporting teams of Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey are known as The Scarlet Knights.

Jack Baggitt has a Dream Vacation filly named MOTHRA from Giant Gypsy who can trot some so we hear… Not surprising as there’s lotsa good reports about these Dream Vacations.

Mr. Muscleman is back and graced the Su Mac Lad this weekend. Speaking of Su Mac, got to see the old warrior in action thanks to Dom Rebelo’s video magic… And yes, Sumie just about wired the field as he and Stanley so often did.

Shouldn’t we be promoting the heck out of the fact that purses in some locales are rather excellent and that owning a racehorse might be profitable as well as fun.

Frank Cotolo the excellent editor of Times Standard back when it was still viable mentioned how Russell Rash used to bring home so many good priced in winners in New York., Still would have loved to have had Rash catch drive Itchy Byrd and let Freehold’s Larry Lefkowitz provide the race call

Commissioner Scotty Tickets back from Vegas will be holding mandatory chair day sessions at Freehold each Saturday for the balance of the meeting. Actually “The Commissioner” is one of the few contemporary railbirds who would have fit right in with the many Damon Runyan characters that used to inhabit Roosevelt and Yonkers on a nightly basis during the glory days.

Perhaps they should dub a section at Freehold as The Commissioner’s Corner…

Here’s how it was back in Long Beach where I grew up some 25 minutes from Roosevelt.

The immediate neighbors were horseplayers. My accountant was a horseplayer and so was my lawyer, who eventually morphed into the Judge Tepper forced to ship to Marv Bachrad where he could weekend anonymously in the Brandywine grandstand..

My dentist, Dr Jerry Cohen specialized in filling teeth while reading a Doc Robins program at the same time. Then we’d hit Roosevelt in time for the double.

There was Gil the oral surgeon, Jerry and Howie at the pharmacy. Bill and Tony at the tire place., Big Richie the deli guy and sometimes bartender and the bakery guys who brought bagels.. Whatever you did, horse talk was a major part of it. . It was a way of life.

And at approximately 10:10 on summer nights the call of the feature race would blare from an exterior speaker at Whitey’s Fascination concession on the boardwalk and they’d even hold the game noise so we could hear better...

Horses like Tar Boy, Mr. K Braden and Fireweep were household words.. So too were Bye Bye Byrd, Widower Creed (Hi Howard) and Speedy Pick. You saw Su Mac Lad and Mr. Budlong more often than you saw uncles and cousins. You were never quite sure at which gait Steamin Demon might race for he was equally adept at both. So too was Great Pleasure.

You got well with Bell Hughie that is-especially at Yonkers. Whenever Stanley started a 3-year-old in C1 or C2 it was READY… First time. Every time.. And Stanley’s green horses didn’t “nurse classes” as so many like Winning Adios, Adios Ronnie, Meadowaire would immediately embark upon prolonged winning streaks until maybe leveling off at A1 or A2 class.

Toss brother Vernon’s Yankee Express into that category. When Adios Ronnie finally met Irish Napoleon after each had reeled off prolonged winning streaks there must have been an additional 5,000 fans at the track. And it was a Tuesday if memory serves.
Irish Napoleon won it. That I know.

You always had something to do. Six nights a week there were 20,000 plus people at the track. There were the finish line guys.. The upper stretch guys The second floor guys.. The clubhouse guys and the sharpies hanging round the owner boxes. If you actually got up to the Cloud Casino you won bragging rights. Every night there were guys from the neighborhood so there was always a ride home no matter how you got there. Even from Yonkers.

Afterwards it was Gam Wah or The Texas Ranger depending upon collective mood and
Financial State.

Speaking of Stanley never totally appreciated what his nightly schlep from New Egypt to Roosevelt must have been like till I moved over to Jersey.

There was Tony Abbatiello and stable of ultra dependable Gene Abbes. Like Skeeter Brooke, Actor Pick and of course Rex Pick. Also Loosh with Pocomoonshine and Hodgen Special.

Those Tar Heels Sampson Hanover and Adios Harry pacers were automatic in the mud. Mr. Chappie’s Ricks Colt (Adios Harry-Poplar Vicki) could seemingly win at will in any class up to JFA. You never respected a fast Lexington time trialer until they actually proved they could beat somebody…

If there was anyone scraping the outside fence on a five wide sweep down the backstretch, chances were even money or less it was Earle Avery and Meadow Skipper.

Who could forget the goosestepper trotter Grateful Vic so automatic in B1-B2 classes except when he made a break-which was just about every other start. Considering his win price always exceeded double figures you had to use him just about every start knowing if he didn’t break he’d still get parked to the half and win anyway. .

There was Meadow Tarport (Jamie-Lady Ann Reed) who despite the breeding was a pacer and a breaking pacer at that. However when on gait, he could fly home-especially at Roosevelt.

Pinehaven Flash a Darn Flashy pacer was lethal in the stretch till about A2. Another Darn Flashy pacer Public Affair thrived for Skip Lewis in the AA-JFA classes for years.

Del Insko’s Jackavin was never the same after getting swept and left for dead by Romulus Hanover in the 1968 Messenger.

It was a way of life that got in your blood and just never left. Right Jeff Gural?

Just for you Stew Firlotte, His Mattjesty’s Breeders Crown epic from Greenwood will get site posted within the next couple of weeks. Can still hear Frank Salive’s dramatic and poignant stretch call

And who could ever forget Earle Avery’s dynamic little Muncy Hanover??? Or Dominick Macedonio’s Under The Rug who couldn’t have been more than 13 hands .Or George Berkner’s Argyle Laddie who may have been 18 hands and was an early Meadowlands favorite.

Yogi Bare from Daretobebare is such a clever NAME….

That’s it for now….

More next week

Bob Marks



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