We don't often feel obliged to inform our readers of impending pregnancies, but this one may well affect the whole future of an international sport. Roquepine, undoubtedly the greatest trotting mare in history, has been brought from France to the Hanover Shoe Farm in Pennsylvania to be mated with Star's Pride, whose sons have already won seven Hambletonians, including five of the last six. Their children and children's children should be supertrotters.
Since the French studbook has been closed to American blood since 1937, Roquepine brings to the union something special—an outcross, or lineage not in Star's Pride's immediate breeding. (Her great-grandfather, The Great McKinney, was bred in Ohio.) She won 51 races over a six-year career—23 straight in one period—two consecutive Roosevelt Internationals, and more money, $956,161, than any other trotter. As for Star's Pride, 14 of his progeny have broken 2:00 for the mile, and his son Nevele Pride is the fastest trotter in history.
It's a good bet that the bidding for the first yearling colt by this pair will start at $100,000.
In Salvador the previous Sunday the fans had hoped he would lead a carnival procession through the city to the ancient church of Nosso Senhor do Bomfim, where he would offer his boots to the Church. But Pel� of Santos did not score his 1,000th goal that day. He was blanketed, as he had been ever since that milestone came into view, by opponents who did not want to be remembered forever for something they yielded. It fell to the Vasco da Gama team—which had as many as five men on him at once—to suffer on Nov. 19 the monumental goal (a world record, almost twice the next-highest career total) of the world's greatest soccer player.
With 12 minutes to go before the game ended, Pel� looked sure to score, when a Vasco player tripped him. For five minutes Vasco da Gama argued against the penalty free shot, and at first Pel� refused to take it. But the fans would not leave him alone, 90,000 of them, chanting "Peh-leh, Peh-leh...." Finally he picked up the ball. There was a hush. Pel� placed the ball, stepped back and, after hearing the referee's whistle, ran methodically, took his characteristic brief halt and then with his right instep shot the ball low, just inside the left goalpost and into the net. The Vasco goalie, shamed so publicly, fell on his face. Pel� dashed right after the ball, past the goalie, into the net, picked up the ball and began to kiss it. The press—139 reporters in all, one behind Santos' goal and 138 behind Vasco's—-rushed right into the net with him, snapping pictures, jamming mikes into his face and pounding him with questions. Sobs racked Pel�'s muscular, soaking-wet body and tears streamed his face. Perhaps haunted by his extremely humble origins, the world's best-paid athlete blurted into the mikes:
"I only ask one thing: think of the little poor children, think of them during Christmas for the love of God."
The newsmen carried him on their shoulders to midfield, where his teammates and foes were lined to shake his hand. Then he jogged around the field as the fans roared, holding up the game for 12� minutes. President Em�lio M�dici of Pel�'s Brazil, who watched the historic game on television in a corner of his lonely Palace of the Dawn in the hinterlands capital of Brasilia, sent Pel� a telegram saying, "I embrace you" and invited him up for lunch at the palace.