the entire horse racing fraternity speculating over the prospects of another
meeting of Nashua and Swaps, it was good to see the owners of the two fine
champions officially get in the act—as they did last week. From Lexington,
where he had just finished playing host to Rex Ellsworth during the Keeneland
yearling sales, Leslie Combs II, front man for the Nashua syndicate, announced
the eastern champion's late summer and fall racing schedule, and just to make
sure that all hands understood what he was talking about Combs topped off the
announcement with an obvious challenge to his departed house guest: Here's our
schedule, gentlemen. If you want Nashua, come and get us. The schedule calls
for four races: the Atlantic City Handicap this week, the Saratoga Handicap
Aug. 25, the Woodward Stakes at Belmont Sept. 29 and the Jockey Club Gold Cup
at Belmont Oct. 13.
Nashua's racing schedule, Ellsworth issued a few comments of his own from
Chicago's Washington Park. He said Swaps was being pointed for the Washington
Park Handicap Sept. 3 and the United Nations Handicap at Atlantic City Sept.
15. However, Ellsworth, in his first public reference to another match race,
had this to add: "...there will be ample time...this fall, aside from these
two events, should Nashua and his interests care to meet Swaps in a special
This sort of
cross-country talking is all very well, but with Ellsworth and Combs feinting
for position SPORTS ILLUSTRATED still maintains that the ideal race in which to
bring Nashua and Swaps together—along with the leading 3-year-olds Needles and
Fabius and any other deserving runners-would be a special mile-and-a-half
invitation event at Belmont some time this fall. In other words, the "Dream
Race" (SI, July 30).
This much is
apparent: Combs is openly challenging Ellsworth. Ellsworth is challenging
Combs. Since both have admitted that they would like to match their colts in a
rubber event, it is to be hoped they will get together and agree on a date and
place (if not Belmont, why not Garden State?). What an announcement that would
be for the racing fan!
GOLF ON THE
Every time his