ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.
It rained disappointment in Atlantic City last Saturday. A good part of the crowd turned out at the race track for the United Nations Handicap in dripping weather to see the Princess of Monaco, but only a few had a glimpse of her as she and Prince Rainier, with every good reason, soon took shelter from the weather. Certainly as large a number had come to see Swaps, the heavy favorite, in his first invasion of the East. As all the world now knows, Rex Ellsworth and Mish Tenney found a flare-up in Swap's famous right forefoot on the morning of the race and again, with every good reason, Swaps was scratched from the entry list. To make matters more dismal, Swap's old Derby rival, Summer Tan, who has run some gallant races this summer, was scratched too.
Nonetheless, for every disappointment there is usually some compensation, and at Atlantic City the happy compensation for the absence of Swaps and the presence of rain was a devastatingly exciting horse race in which Career Boy, the only 3-year-old among the nine starters, "finally lived up to all of the brilliance expected from him throughout the season. The dark brown colt, whose style of running is similar to that of Kentucky Derby champion Needles—a dead-last start, followed by a slow chase of the leaders and then a furious finishing kick—had been missing the big ones too often. First it was the 1955 Garden State by a nose to Prince John, then the Belmont by a neck to Needles. There was great potential in this colt, but where was it? It turned up last week. So did a gallant assist from Career Boy's stablemate, C. V. Whitney's little Fisherman.
"Our strategy this time," said Trainer Syl Veitch, "is obvious. Fisherman will go on the lead to kill off the early speed. I think Find will be out to steal the race and if we let him open up a four-length lead Career Boy will never catch him."
Veitch turned out to be the day's best prophet and the race a fortuitous example of perfect strategy working perfectly. Fisherman, used to running from behind, was sacrificed to take just enough out of Find during the first mile so that Career Boy, starting last, as usual, but moving steadily up on the backstretch, nailed him by a length at the wire as two other familiar names, Mister Gus and Dedicate, were just heads behind. The good time of 1:56 1/5 just missed the track record by two fifths of a second.
The next venture for the Whitney entry is the Are de Triomphe at Longchamp on October 7, with Eddie Arcaro probably joining the invasion to ride Career Boy and the great Australian internationalist Rae Johnstone possibly on Fisherman. The biggest obstacle in the way of Europe's richest race won't be an unfamiliar track or the mile-and-a-half distance—or even the clockwise direction of running. The real threat to U.S. hopes could be an Italian colt by the name of Ribot. Most Europeans consider him better than Nashua and Swaps combined. They have good reason. He's never lost a race in 15 starts.