LET'S SHOOT POLITICIANS, TOO
We live in an era when entrepreneurs of professional sports like to elongate their seasons to the point of both conflict and boredom. One of the newest schemes is that of New Jersey politicians who want to stretch the thoroughbred season at the state's three tracks—Garden State, Monmouth and Atlantic City—to bring the year's total racing dates to 300, which virtually amounts to year-round racing.
If the proposal is passed it will, of course, be fine for the track operators, the state treasury, bookmakers and a handful of successful bettors, owners, trainers and jockeys. What it will do for overworked racehorses is something else again. Horsemen tend, often against their better judgment, to race their horses if the opportunity is there. The more that horses run (particularly the slowly maturing two-year-olds) the less likely they are to develop the durability so necessary at three or four.
Over-racing of young stock is one reason why the handicap division is more depleted annually. A few years ago Southern California, which needed them badly, was granted additional racing days and its two major tracks, Santa Anita and Hollywood Park, used them beneficially; many of the dates were used to build up the handicap division to a point where Santa Anita could offer such a star-studded handicap as last week's mile-and-three-quarters San Juan Capistrano. Eastern horsemen, with year-round targets to aim at in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and in New England outposts, do not need any more racing dates. And certainly not at Garden State, Monmouth or Atlantic City, no matter what the operators and the politicians say.
The Dallas Cowboys and Houston Oilers got together for a little game of basketball in Houston one night last week. Some of the results:
?Seventy fouls were called.
?Six players fouled out.
?Three more players were ejected for fighting.
?Ron Widby of the Cowboys spent the night in a hospital with a broken nose.