WITH plenty of time yet in California for speed miles before the new season gets under way and an opportunity to arrange my personal affairs, it didn't take long to accept an invitation to drive over east with friend Robert A. ("Bob") Smith, to be gone for an indefinite period and an indefinite destination. Five years it has been since my last eastern trip, so I was primed for the occasion. With the two of us feeling that we might be asked numerous questions about what California will offer at her tracks this season, we stopped on our way at the Los Angeles County Fair Grounds to visit with Jack Afflerbaugh, the manager, to get the latest dope. To those interested, the information in a nutshell is this: The Pomona meeting will again be on for seventeen days, will open this year Friday, September 18, and close Sunday, October 4. This means that there will be Sunday racing, as in the past, and it is likely that there will be a few nights of racing.
There will be around $26,000 in purses and the program will be the same as last year, with the exception that there will be four additional $1,000 stakes. With no news from the northern tracks as to their programs I cannot say definitely at this time, but I feel that they also will have about the same programs as last year and perhaps they, too, will add a few stakes. Stockton opens August 22 with $26,000 in purses and will run nine days.
Of course we couldn't head east without first stopping to visit with the fellows to see how they are getting along, with their charges. We found the place rather torn up in the path of improvements. The track looked to be in good shape, but there hasn't been any fast miles. All mounts appear to be in condition for better things within the next few months.
Frank Rees is keeping busy with his Bert Abbe colts, and we learned that Wagner's Evening Sun and Jean Morris have been transferred to Billy Murphy's stable. The Volomite and Protector fillies are now three‑year-olds.
Norman L. Philp was just leaving, but we stopped him for a chat and found him to be enthusiastic about his All Belwin two-year‑old filly, that he calls M. J. B. B. This filly is a nice made youngster—a trotter—and she recently worked in 2.35, with a half in 1.16. Philp told us that his Abbe K., by Bert Abbe, is a different colt this year and doing much better. In the past he has been rather sluggish, but he appears to be taking more interest in his business. This four‑year‑old worked a mile in 2.23, with a half in 1.06. Frank Dutton, who has Mr. Philp's horses, told us that all members of the string were coming along nicely and nothing extravagant asked from any as yet. Peter F. J. 2.011/2 is looking fit as a fiddle and taking life easy for a while longer.
Art Blackwell, the early bird, had been and gone, so we didn't see him, but his man told us that he had been going miles in 2.20 and 2.25. Abbedeen 2.0211/4, as I understand, will not be bred as before stated but will probably go back in training.
George Parker still has his stand‑by, Rondo Guy 2.063/4, that he has worked in 2.30, with an eighth in .16. George expects to have two head for Mrs. Riddle of Pocatello, Idaho, this season, namely Lone Eagle, said to be a very fast pacer and Donna Direct. From another patron he expects to have Senator Scott.
Bi Shively has moved his string from the new barns down to the end of the old row of barns. The Truax filly, out of Hollyrood Abigail, has worked in 2.20, with an eighth in .151/2, and appears to be a high‑class pacer in the making. Bi hasn't done any heavy sampling as yet and a few have not done as well as others; several have not been so, well. Bertha Spencer 2.031/2 was laid up a while, but is coming along now. The full sister to Volomite is now being educated to the straps.
As we were in a hurry and anxious to get going we didn't take time to inquire about all the horses at Pomona. The eighth of a mile straight‑a‑way looks to be completed and the new building near the entrance to be used for meetings and banquets is fast coming to completion.
. . . .
It was noon when we finally got away (Wednesday, May 6) and as we were not out for any speed records, arrived in Tulsa, Okla., Sunday morning.
Naturally our first stop in Tulsa was at the J. E. Crosbie Farm, but before I tell of our visit there, will tell of the racing and horse show held at San Francisco Sunday, May 3, by the San Francisco Riding and Driving Club, the first show in several years. This meeting was held at the old stadium in Golden Gate Park. There were 5,000 persons in attendance with the grandstand packed to see harness and running races on the three‑quarter track. Also to see jumping, and show horses.
There were two nearly‑tragic accidents during the day's racing. The first was in a running race when a saddle loosened and clung to the horse's belly while the rider rode bareback with the frightened animal running wild and jumping a five‑foot hedge, throwing his rider and running away. In the second heat of the free‑for‑all pace, Belvoir, owned and driven by Thomas Taggart, after winning, the first heat was making a strong bid for the second, when a tire came off on the back stretch. Taggart handled his mount in time to avoid an accident and drove on to finish in fourth position.
The first heat of the three‑year‑old pace was won by Lady P., owned by J. W. Donnelly, and driven by Thomas; Jay, driven by Woodcock, was second; Ratta P., driven by Jones, was third; Princess Middy, driven by Camirand, was fourth. The time was 1.56 for threefourths of a mile. The, second heat, Lady P. won; Ratta P. was second; Jay, third; Princess Middy, fourth. Time, 1.55.
The free‑for‑all trot was won in the first heat by Wattswood, owned by Donnelly and driven by Roberts; Blossom Pegasus, driven by Lazenby, was second; Wanda P., driven by Hansen, was third; Tulare Express, driven by Camirand, was fourth. Time, 1.38. The second heat was won by Wanda P., Hansen up; Wattswood, Roberts up; Blossom Pegasus, Lazenby up; Tulare Express, Camirand up. Time,, 1.42.5.
The free‑for‑all pace, first heat, won by Belvoir, Taggart up; Monna Pointer, Camirand up, second; Hallie Logan, McGrath up, third; A. J. Boyle, Hansen up, fourth. Time, 1.39. The second heat was won by Monna Pointer, Camirand up; Hallie Logan, McGrath up, second; A. J. Boyle, Hansen up, third; Belvoir, Taggart up, fourth. Time, 1.39.
The San Francisco Riding and Driving Club put on an interesting show, and it is hoped that this will be the first of many meetings to be held in the Bay City which has long been known as a horsey center. By presenting a program of such a variety much will be gained in this section for the different types and breeds. It would be well for other cities to plan similar meetings and to hold them frequently so as to help educate the public to the sporting possibilities in owning horses.
The California Horse Lovers Association, after several years of getting established, is about ready to get the ball rolling. A non‑profit organization, it will become a valuable aid to the horse world in general.
. . . .
Soon after our arrival at Tulsa, Bob and I were out to the Crosbie Farm to see the Grattan‑at‑Law horses and from all appearances and glances, we found the place to be a well equipped lay‑out with horses ready to race.
With Sunday a bad day to see any action, it was our hope to get in the thick of things the following day, but rain changed our plans. However, we had an opportunity to talk horse with Mr. Crosbie and trainers Dennis, McQuaig and Donnelly. Across the track, we visited with George Davis and Billy Taylor, and learned that they are coming along easy miles before they leave for California which will be about the middle of June or the first of July. Their best mile has been in 2.20. Among the horses in training at the Davis stable are as follows: Billy Spencer, green trotter, by Spencer; Joanne, 3, green pacer, by Peter Henley; Buddy Maxey, p, 3, 2.041/4, by Judge Maxey; G. S. Maxey, p, 2.061/4, by Judge Maxey converted to the trot by Taylor; Maxey Lass, by Judge Maxey, and Grace Laurel, 3, by The Laurel Hall. Bill Taylor brought several down from Kansas. They are: Dr. McElwyn, 3, 2.121/4, now four, by Mr. McElwyn; Deora Chimes, green trotter by Zombro Chimes, and
Rex Maxey, by Judge Maxey. Betty Ann Maxey 2.031/4, has been bred to Mr. Crosbie's young stallion, Bradford's Peter.
Tuesday morning, Mr. and Mrs. John P. Scripps of San Diego, Cal., stopped at the farm on their way home to the coast. Mr. Crosbie put on a show for the visitors with a number of horses led out for inspection.
Tuesday night, Margaret C. Brooke, p, 2.101/4, by Baron Brooke, produced a filly foal by Peter Brooke, Jr. This is a well bred miss, her dam, Margaret C. Brooke, being the dam of Margaret Vonian, p, 2.05, Marvin Brooke, p, 2.04, Chubby Grattan, p, 2, 2.10, J. E. Brooke, p, 2.10 and Marty Grattan, p, 2, 2.241/4, while the sire, Peter Brooke, Jr., is a full brother of Tilly Brooke 1.59.
There have been fifteen foals at the farm this spring, with a few more expected shortly. There are a number of weanlings and yearlings by Peter Brooke, Jr. and several yearlings, also a weanling by Jack Vonian, son of Favonian. Grattan‑at‑Law is well represented with all ages. The black stud is a sturdy and handsome individual that is proving to be a great pacing sire. All his colts are clean limbed with sturdy constitutions and the work they show on an ordinary farm track classifies them as doers. Peter Brooke, Jr. and Jack Vonian are well thought of and colts by them have shown well. Bradford's Peter by Peter Volo, now four, is in training and has worked the farm track in 2.151/2. Several mares have been bred to him.
The two‑year‑olds in training have worked from 2.131/2 to 2.25; the threeyear‑olds from 2.12 to 2.18. The four Fox Stake colts have worked as follows: May C. Grattan, in 2.15; Eddie C. Grattan, in 2.14, last half in 1.04; Lucy C. Grattan, in 2.20 and Goldie C. Grattan, in 2.131/2.
The McQuaig and Donnelly string that will race in the K. & O. Circuit will include the following: Marvin Brooke, p, 2.04, best mile in 2.161/2; Grattan Brooke, p, 2.031/2, best mile in 2.161/2; Oklahoma Grattan, p, 2.10, best mile in 2.171/2; Mickey Grattan, p, 3, 2.22, now four, best mile in 2.171/2; Blondy Grattan, five, best mile in 2.151/4; Lulu C. Grattan, two, best mile in 2.20; Lucy C. Grattan, two, best mile in 2.20; Grace Grattan, four, best mile in 2.171/2; Ruth C. Grattan, five,, best mile in 2.17; Ramsey Grattan, four, best mile in 2.131/2.
Warren Dennis is taking about fifteen head over to the Grand Circuit. Those likely to make the trip are as follows: J. E. Vonian, p, 1.593/4, best mile 2.14; Guy Grattan, trotter, best mile 2.19; Bradford's Peter, 4, best mile 2.151/2; Judge Huse 2.071/2, best mile 2.25; Worthy Grattan, p, 2, 2.041/2, now three, best mile 2.15; Heir‑at‑Grattan, p, 2, 2.05%, now three, best mile 2.15; Thais Grattan, p, 2.05, best mile 2.14; Ideal Grattan, p, 2.031/4, best mile 2.14; Patricia Grattan, p, 3, 2.06%, now four, best mile 2.13; Gratitude, best mile 2.15; Ida Grattan, 4, best mile 2.13; Smackover Grattan, 3, best mile 2.13; Warren Grattan, 3, best mile 2.14; Baldy Grattan, 3, best mile 2.14; John Grattan, 2, best mile 2.13, and May Maxey, 5, best mile 2.17.
J. E. Vonian 1.593/4, the sensational pacer owned by J. E. Crosbie,
Tulsa, Okla., and being prepared for a Grand Circuit campaign by