Omaha, Rosemont Gallop Today in Belmont Stake

Damon Runyon

Reading Times/June 9, 1935

NEW YORK, June 7.

JAKE KARPF, one of New York’s best known sports editors, commenting on the writer’s wonderment that the Belmont Stake does not attract the attention and publicity of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, says:

“It’s because no winter book is made on the race.”

Now this may be the right answer, at least as far as the Kentucky Derby is concerned.

As soon as the entries, which sometimes number as many as 200, are made public, usually in mid-winter, bookmakers in St. Louis and elsewhere open their future books, taking bets on any horse nominated for the race at odds that run anywhere from even money up to 1000 to 1.

The future book is, of course, a delusion and a snare. Horsemen say that it ought to be 20 to 1 against any horse even getting to the barrier at the time the entries are announced, and the future bookmaker keeps the wagers on the non-starters. For example, the winter book favorite for the derby this year was Chance Sun. Considerable money is said to have been wagered on this horse. It was withdrawn shortly before the race and the money went to the bookies.

The gambling fever is so great in this country that the future book prices are always eagerly awaited, and this advance betting on the derby keeps interest in the race red hot from February until May.

Yes, it may be that Jake Karpf has the correct explanation.

In any event, this is Belmont day, and upwards of 30,000 spectators will be at beautiful Belmont Park to see the great Omaha, and Rosemont, and Cold Shoulder, and Plat Eye, and other star three-year-olds compete for the famous old stake.

Cold Shoulder, owned by young Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, turned in a startling work-out for the event the other day, and if he did not leave his race in the work-out, as sometimes happens, may be a formidable contender.

Students of the game have been studying the blood lines of Rosemont, and have decided that there is no reason why the horse that beat Omaha at a mile cannot carry on his speed to a mile and a half.

If a horse called Whiskolo starts in the race, he may be dangerous, as he came from far, far back, and was going great guns in third place at the finish of the Kentucky Derby.

ALFRED GWYNNE VANDERBILT, a handsome, unobtrusive, and very pleasant youth, who came into the ownership of his mother’s Sagamore stable when he reached his majority something over a year ago, is having great racing luck so far this year, though mostly with his two-year-olds.

Under the guidance of his trainer, the able “Bud” Stotler, young Vanderbilt enlarged greatly upon the stable passed on to him by his mother. He began buying and breeding horses to carry his colors. The day will come when he will have the most powerful racing outfit on the American turf.

This young man has a real love for horses and for the racing game. He is the greatest acquisition to the racing game in recent years, because with him racing is just a sport.

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