The colt in question is a tremendously rugged and handsome animal named Ridan. Although stuck with a name that sounds like some form of home-brewed laxative, Ridan can show a record that is peerless. Never close to defeat, he is 6 for 6 and will be odds-on to rack up No. 7 in this Saturday's $100,000 added Washington Park Futurity.
As big already as a mature 3-year-old, Ridan is a bay son of Nantallah (himself a son of Nasrullah) and loves to run, off track or on. A terror to contain in the mornings (it has taken two exercise boys to cool him out), he's murder on his opposition in the afternoon. Although not owned by blue bloods with names like Widener or Chenery, Ridan is in thoroughly competent hands—and has been all his young life. His listed owner is Mrs. Moody Jolley, wife of the trainer for Claiborne Farm. The Jolleys bought Ridan for $11,000 and turned him over to their 23-year-old son, LeRoy, to train.
The two young colts, Ridan and LeRoy, have worked well in tandem. In Ridan's last victory he caused some speculation by running in four bandages, and a few observers thought they noticed him bearing out in the stretch—usually a warning that something might be hurting. This week's Washington Park Futurity at Arlington should provide the answer to that. Oh, yes, about the name, Ridan. "Easy," says Moody Jolley, "He looked so much like Nadir, the colt I trained to win The Garden State in 1957, that we just named him that—only spelled backwards."
At California's Del Mar track this month the struggle for supremacy of the West Coast is going on. Rattle Dancer, the Whitney colt, will try to duplicate his Hollywood Juvenile Championship victory in the September 9 Del Mar Futurity, and a respectable showing would send this Native Dancer colt east to represent the Whitney stable (see page 50) in New York's Champagne Stakes and The Garden State. Also on the coast are such colts as Two Demand, Indian Blood, Private World and Donut King, and although none of them as yet looks like another Warfare or Tomy Lee—or even a Four-and-Twenty—the next two months should tell.
On the whole, this crop of 2-year-olds, from Belmont to Del Mar, may be the best bunch since 1956, when such horses as Bold Ruler, Gallant Man, Round Table, Gen. Duke and Iron Liege first began to flex their muscles in earnest. That year, however, only Bold Ruler was a standout as a 2-year-old, the others reaching a peak of performance at 3 and 4. This year there seems to be a high average of ability throughout the country, and the colts are running the way one would expect from their pedigrees.
Most importantly," there seems to be a return to the classical pattern of fall racing in which sectional champions are shipped east to see which one is the best of all. Such races as the Futurity, the Cowdin, the Champagne, The Garden State and the Pimlico Futurity will decide. It is good to see these decisions reached, not on paper, but on the race track.