?A 5 in the hand is worth two in the crib.—ED.
We were playing cribbage this afternoon, and this hand came up. Would Mr. Goren care to tabulate the score for us? The starter was the 7 of diamonds. Play was as follows. Open—4. Dealer—4 for pair. Non—4 for pair royal. Dealer—3 for 15. Then in order, 5, 2, 3, ace. We tabulated the hands and the crib without trouble, but it was, by our tabulations, unnecessary, as both of us went out (one too late) during the course of play.
ROY KELLY AND WARD DOERING
Prairie du Chien, Wis.
?Non-dealer's hand is worth 12 points and he scores 9 more in the pegging. Dealer's hand is worth 6 points and he scores 12 points in the pegging.—ED.
We enjoyed especially Charles Goren's article on cribbage and would like to know where the new type cribbage board illustrated can be found.
MRS. BLAIR BAHRET
?The Lowe board can be obtained by sending $2.40 to Parker and Battersby, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York 20, N.Y.—ED.
TURF: A MATTER OF JUDGMENT
There is no better racing writer in the. United States today than The Morning Telegraph's Bob Horwood. His comments on the balloting for this year's Horse of the Year ("Some of us will always think that Gallant Man's three victories in major stakes should count at least as much as Bold Ruler's one. And if Bold Ruler was brilliant in the Trenton, what was Gallant Man when he set an American record for a mile and a half in the Belmont under 126 pounds while winning by eight lengths?") are worth some thought. Taken together with recent reflections on baseball balloting, with special reference to Ted Williams, they raise an interesting question about sports polls. Personally I prefer the "aristocracy" of good critics to the "democracy" of the poll, especially as there is no pre-election campaign to enlighten the "voters."
The racing secretaries vote, as they should, every racing day, with the weight they put on horses. What weights would they now assign to Bold Ruler and Gallant Man in two handicaps at a mile and a quarter and mile and a half respectively? I would be fascinated to know why any handicapper would make Bold Ruler give Gallant Man two pounds at a mile and a quarter (reversing the Trenton weights) and astounded if he didn't make Gallant Man give a couple of pounds to Bold Ruler at a mile and a half. Just what does the sports poll mean but that Bold Ruler must give weight even though Gallant Man beat Bold Ruler in two of the outstanding classics for 3-year-olds in which they met, in addition to the Woodward Stakes?
Racing as a championship game has suffered from growth and dispersion, and racing owners and trainers showed superlative sportsmanship this year in bringing together the best of a great crop, when they could easily have ducked and left the issue untried so far as the late season is concerned. Especially is this true of Trainer Johnny Nerud who commented bitterly that if Gallant Man was not voted Horse of the Year he would never again train a horse for the Belmont Stakes and Jockey Club Gold Cup. This statement cannot be laid to mere temperament. Mr. Nerud didn't cry over Willie Shoemaker's error in the Derby.
The poll is not a matter of error, but of point of view and soundness of judgment. The question Mr. Nerud raises goes to the heart of American racing: What does it pay to train a horse for the Belmont Stakes? Here is a man who did and now rues it. So, shall we speed up to a mile and quarter at most and continue to go to Europe for proven stamina? The writers' poll shows that this weakness in American racing and breeding is in the brain of the critics (who confer fame) as well as in the bias toward sprints and middle-distances held by most race tracks.
?For wholehearted agreement with Mr. Macdonald's comments on the general merits of polls and the comparative merits of Bold Ruler and Gallant Man see Whitney Tower's Horses oj the Year, page 28.—ED.