Brooklyn (126 lbs.) tops the 1936 Experimental Handicap

“Edward Riley Bradley’s Brooklyn is rated at the head of the list at 126 pounds in the Experimental Handicap weights fixed by Jack Campbell, official handicapper of The Jockey Club and published in the current issue of “The Racing Calendar,” official organ of the The Jockey Club. Campbell considers Brooklyn one pound better than J. H. Louchhiem’s Pompoon, while still another pound lower comes Reaping Reward.

Brookyn is a well-made colt by Blue Larkspur – Knockaney Bridge, an Irish mare. Brooklyn started only four times and won two races, including the Walden Handicap. He finished third to Privilege and Matey in the Pimlico Futurity, but was moved up to second place on the disqualification of the winner.

Pompoon won six out of eight starts, including The Futurity at Belmont Park and the Junior Champion Stakes at Aqueduct. He is the leading money-winning two-year-old with a total of $83,420. Reaping Reward won five out of fifteen starts, including the United States Hotel Stakes at Saratoga Springs and the New England Futurity, in which he came from behind to beat Pompoon by a neck. He is by Sickle – Dustwhirl, by Sweep.

Case Ace, winner of the Arlington Futurity, is placed at 123 pounds, while Privileged, second in the Futurity at Belmont Park, is next, together with Bottle Cap at 122. War Admiral, highly regarded by many handicappers, follows at 121.

Apogee, winner of the Fashion Stakes at Belmont Park and the Lassie Stakes at Arlington, is rated the best of the fillies under 112 pounds [NOTE: The honor actually belonged to the Insco filly Rifted Clouds at 115 pounds]. Goldey F., winner of eleven out of fourteen starts, and Wand, a winner of only three out of four, which, however, included the Matron Stakes in which Apogee was unplaced, are put at 110 each. Apogee led fillies in earnings with $33,965.

Talma Dee, winner of the Selima Stakes, is listed at 108 pounds, one less than Maecloud, well thought of during the Saratoga Springs meeting.” (New York Herald Tribune, 12/10/1936)

List of weights for the 1936 Experimental Handicap:

126 lbs. – Brooklyn
125 lbs. – Pompoon
124 lbs. – Reaping Reward
123 lbs. – Case Ace
122 lbs. – Bottle Cap; Privileged
121 lbs. – War Admiral
120 lbs. – Flying Cross; Maedic; Matey
119 lbs. – Airflame
118 lbs. – Fairy Hill; Moonton; Optic
117 lbs. – Clodion
116 lbs. – Billionaire; Sir Damion; Tedious; Yellow Tulip
115 lbs. – Forty Winks; Grand Play; Knight Gallant; No Sir; Rifted Clouds (f); Orientalist; Supply House
114 lbs. – Black Look; Charing Cross; Heelfly; Nation’s Taste; Advocator; Rough Time; Scintillator
112 lbs. – Apogee (f); Dawn Play (f); Dogaway; Flying Scot; Manatella (f); Rebellion; Rex Flag; Traulove
110 lbs. – Betty’s Buddy; Chicolorado; Clingendaal; Flying Trapeze; Galsun; Goldey F. (f); Merry Maker; Murph; Remolino; Wand (f); White Tie
109 lbs. – Drawbridge (f); Knight’s Plume; Maecloud (f); Ocean Roll; Rudie; Supremador; Fair Lead
108 lbs. – Eli Yale; Mr. Blaze; Mosawtre; Talma Dee (f); Tattered; Zostera; Challite (f)
106 lbs. – Biologist; Coramine (f); Juliet W. (f); Planetoid (f); Post Meridian; Prairie Dog; Proph; Regal Lily (f); Rosenna (f); Your Honor
105 lbs. – Camisado; Dellor; Devil’s Banner; Devil’s Pace (f); Duel; Dressy (f); Fitter (f); Gosum; Grey Count; Jewell Dorsett (f); Knave High; Old Nassau; Ptolemy; Riparian; Sun Capture; Scrooge; Siam; Tarpwood; Third Count
102 lbs. – Count Atlas; Crow’s Flight; Melodist; Golden Era; Rouge et Noir (f)

*(f) Filly

Overall, sixty-three sires were represented among the one-hundred horses weighted, with a total of eighteen stallions having sired more than one horse on the list. In what was becoming tradition, Sir Gallahad III once again led the list with six horses listed. Sickle (GB) was next with five, followed by High Time, Man o’ War, Pharamond (GB), and Reigh Count with four, and Ariel with three. Bostonian, Challenger (GB), Display, Haste, Jean Valjean, Pennant, Sortie, Stimulus, Teddy (FR), The Satrap (IRE), and Whichone each had two horses make the list.

“Jack Campbell has proved himself a master in rating and handicapping horses, so that any of us who are wondering why he put E. R. Bradley’s Brooklyn at the top of his Experimental Handicap should withhold criticism until such time as his judgment is proved sound or unsound.

One of the charms of racing is the difference of opinion which constantly arises in the rating of horses. Personally, my regard for Brooklyn, son of Blue Larkspur, is high as expressed in this column two or three weeks ago. He runs like a stayer and is a bright prospect for our historic three-year-old stakes next season. Still, on my rating he is below Reaping Reward, Pompoon, Case Ace, Privileged, War Admiral, and Matey; not above this group. The difference in poundage is not much but all of six pounds under Reaping Reward, which happens to be my top colt.

Just before The Futurity was run I was standing on the roof of the stand at Belmont Park with Jack Campbell, who remarked: “Pompoon is almost sure to prove himself the best colt of the year in the next two or three minutes,” and none could question this when the son of Pompey raced to commanding victory.

Later Reaping Reward came from behind to beat Pompoon in the New England Futurity, but that did not change Campbell’s rating. It is a little surprising then that he puts Brooklyn at the top in considering the fact that the last named won only two races in four starts, including one stake – the Walden Handicap, in which he beat No Sir a length at a difference of only four pounds.

Plainly, Campbell’s Experimental Handicap is not a rating of the two-year-olds as they raced this season, but rather a declaration of what he thinks about their chances as three-year-olds.

The Experimental Handicap, of course, is never run. It is like the Free Handicap of England, simply an expression by the official handicapper of how he thinks the horses should be weighed as if for a race in the future.

Campbell thus boldly calls Brooklyn the best prospect for next season, and he may be right. Such a good judge as Tom Shaw expressed the opinion a few days ago that Reaping Reward and Pompoon should be equal favorites at 10 to 1 each for the Kentucky Derby and quoted Brooklyn at 15 to 1.

When the future books are opened Campbell’s rating may influence the quotations and make Brooklyn the choice or close to it. It will be interesting to see.

Incidentally, in the Experimental Handicap a year ago Red Rain was in the post of honor, with Bold Venture in tenth place six pounds away and Granville in thirty-fifth place at the light weight of 113 pounds. The form of horses oftentimes change in a surprising way from one season to another.” (George Daley / New York Herald Tribune, 12/14/1936)

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