The Labor Day weekend offers an excellent opportunity for a horse player tired of Timonium and the tediousness of the trotters to head north in search of big-league excitement.
The first stop is Delaware Park in Stanton, Del. today for the $100,000 Delaware Handicap. Only five fillies and mares will complete in the mile and quarter event but three are top quality - Mississippi Mud. Our Mims and Lucie Manet.
Mississippi Mud. a 4-year-old Deta Judge filly, carries weight of 124 pounds. Lucie Manet is assigned 121, with the 3-year-old Mims pegged at 117 pounds of actual weight or 123 on the scales.
Our Mims. from Calumet Farm, captured the Alabama Stakes at Seratoga and the CCA Oaks in New York in her last two starts against frmales. Lucie Manet was one of the best distaff runners on the West Coast last winter, along with Cascapedia and Bastonera II.
Mississippi spent much of the spring and early summer losing stake races by narrow margins. Then, in the $100,000 Matchmaker Stakes at Atlanta City early last month, she suddenly learned to win. "Young Miss" took the Matchmaker by five lenghts, shipped to Delaware and won a prep for today's handcap by eight lengths.
Lucie Manet better than her third-place finish in the Matchmaker would indicate. Our Mims loved the 10 [long distance Mississippi] Mud never has been asked carry her speed more thana a mile and an eight. She could be huffing and puffing inside the 16th pole, but I plan to make a little traveling money - to Atlantic City - by backing her in the totalisator.
Delaware park enjoyed a good meeting this summer thanks in large part to its solid Sunday trade. The lovely countryside course was free of major competition from Maryland or Pennsylvania much of the time, and Atlantic City operated at night.
Mondy, the New Jersey resort track will present its only datlight card of the season.
The closing-day feature at Atlantic City is the $100,000 United Nations Handicap, a turf contest taht more of ten than nor result in an invitation being extended to its winner for the Washington, D.C. International at Laurel.
This year's UN lineup lacks a standout runner. Majestic Light, for example, passed the mile and 3/16ths test in favor of the Woodward Handicap at Belmont Park on Sept. 17. This left Hunza Dancer and Quirk Card heading the field of nine. Hunza Dancer has won four of five outing since coming to the United States from France early this year. Quick Card has ripped off four straight stakes successes.
Quick Card is the starting top weight with 124 pounds: Hunza Dancer [Word Illegibles] 121. Demo under 116 pounds also will attract a strong play. I intend to take my Mississippi Mud winnings andd go for broke on a couple of 12 to [Words Illegible] Dan Horn and Alias Smith. They receive 11 and 14 pounds, respectively from Quick Card. Both horses are in clever hands and appear to be particularly dangerous at the weights neither Quick Card nor Hunza Danza has completed since late July.
Should I lose I will consider the wagers a gift to the Atlantic City track that so desperately needs the money. Business at Atlantic City has been drowning in recent years, to the point the plant's continued existence is in doubt.
Track owners hope the gambling casinos will begin bringing more bettors into the area next year, when racing probably will be returned to daylight hours leaving the evenings to the roulette wheels, the 21 tables and the Vegas-type stage shows.
No one is terribly confident concerning the race track's future.
One reason for the concern is the restructuring of New Jersey's thoroughbred racing than figures to follow quickly upon the success of the Meadowland's programs this fall. Meadowland's harness meeting was a rip-roaring achievement. Now comes flat racing starting Tuesday night.
There is nothing with Jersey's thoroughbred sport that Meadowlands can't correct. The new track in East Rutherford enjoys a superb location four miles west of the Lincoln Tunnel and dynamite direction from Sonny Werblin and Jack Krumpe.
With Garden State Park having burden to the grounds last winter, with Atlantic City dying and with Monmouth Park struggling to stay even. Meadowlands is about to take over as the state's finest operation. The $100,000 Paterson Handicap gets the meeting off and running Tuesday night.