What Dancer was able to accomplish with his first lame horse is the story of what he has been doing ever since. Candor repaid him by winning $13,000 in three years. Two other lame horses, Volo Chief and Titanic, won him $30,000 and $16,500, respectively. Earnings like these were put into a farm, a house and stables and today, eight years later, the Dancers have a 100-acre establishment at New Egypt with stables for 80 horses and a dormitory, cafeteria and recreation room for his winter staff of grooms and trainers. With his training fees and share of purses as a driver, Dancer's annual income is estimated all the way up to $60,000. The Dancer prefers not to say.
Admirers of Dancer say that he has a unique communication with his horses; they know the touch of his hands on the reins and he knows thoroughly the little peculiarities of each one of them.
In accounting for his brilliant performances at Roosevelt so far this season, Dancer credits the thoroughness of his training. He also concedes that perhaps his horses have an advantage at the start of the meeting because they are trained in the north all winter; Florida-trained horses, he says, require a little time to become accustomed to the change of climate. As for his technique as a driver, he says, "You have to know the horses. Some need a firm hand and expect it. Others, you have to just let go." Does he talk to his horses? "Well," he says, "I tell 'em to get up and go."
Dancer has two trotters, Something Special and Worthy Pride, eligible for the Hambletonian, and a pacer, First Discovery, eligible for the Little Brown Jug. Of more immediate concern to Dancer these weekend evenings is getting back to his farm for Sundays with his wife, their two children, Ronald, 5, and Susan, 4, and a certain aging character who acts like he owns the place: Candor, the now-retired trotter who started it all.
HYMN FOR HEROES
The Official hymn for the 1956 Olympic Games has been chosen and was written by a man who smokes cigarets and wears tortoise-shell glasses—Michal Spisak, Polish-born composer. He does not look like an athlete. More like a composer.
His hymn, chosen by a 15-man international jury, which listened to 392 scores submitted by composers of 39 nations, earned Spisak the $1,000 prize donated by Prince Pierre of Monaco, a member of the International Olympic Committee. The hymn will not make the hit parade but, when it is played next year to open the Games at Melbourne, it will lift the hearts of athletes and spectators. The words go like this:
Happy the man chosen for fame!
The palm of victory on his brow
Shows him to the crowd's acclaim.
He shall taste for his reward
The divine joys.
Let the Muses set a crown
Upon his hair.
And let an immortal song
Add to the glory of triumph
And to the beauty of youth
The victor's name!
DREAMS OF GLORY
Between bouts of office work, President Eisenhower had the kind of week that golfers lie awake through the winter nights dreaming about. First of all he was at his favorite course, Augusta. On top of that, he had a round with Cary Middlecoff and Billy Joe Patton, and it turned out to be Ike's best during his stay at Augusta.