“The simple tactic of going to the front and staying there all the way resulted in victory once more for Jack Dreyfus’s Beau Purple yesterday.
The 5-year-old son of Beau Gar, overlooked in such illustrious company as Kelso and Carry Back, thrilled a getaway-day crowd of 33,026 at Belmont Park by winning the mile-and-a-half Man o’ War Stakes by two lengths in record-breaking time.
A field of 12 competed in the $114,800 race, including a pair of campaigners from France. Bill Boland, riding Beau Purple, didn’t get a look at any of his opposition as he sped along in first place.
Finishing second was the highly favored Kelso. It was just these two at the finish, for the third horse, The Axe II of the Greentree Stable, was 6 ½ lengths farther back. Carry Back was fifth, back of Wise Ship.
Carrying 126 pounds in the weight-for-age test, Beau Purple covered the distance on the soft turf in 2 minutes 28 3/5 seconds. This knocked 3/5 of a second off the track mark made by Amber Morn as a 4-year-old, under 118 pounds, two years ago. In contributing the upset, Beau Purple rewarded his packers with a $43.30-for-$2 payoff in the straight wagering.
Beau Purple’s opposition, or rather the trainers of his opposition, refused to believe the “book” on the Dreyfus colt. He has a history of going to the font and staying there, contrary to all expectation.
He did the same thing in the Suburban Handicap, when he upset Kelso, and in the Brooklyn Handicap, when he finished well ahead of the fourth-place Carry Back. And last week, in the Gold Cup at Hawthorne, he did it again, on a sloppy track.
His fractions in the Man o’ War were 0:34 4/5, 0:49, 1:14 2/5 and 1:39 1/5. The one big “knock” against Beau Purple was that he had never been on the turf before, but he demonstrated that any footing suits him.
Ismael Valenzuela, aboard Kelso, contributed an even enough performance after getting away in fifth place. He gradually picked up those in front of him and when the field reached the stretch he had only Beau Purple to beat. The favorite players had only the smallest hope that Kelso could do it, though, for Beau Purple was moving with assurance and gave no indication of weakening approaching the wire.
As for Carry Back, he did not do any better than the betting board indicated he would. Sent off at 9 to 1, this 4-year-old colt owned by Mrs. Katherine Price moved in the pack all the way, improving only from seventh to fifth and just failing to get into the purse payoff. He was ridden by Johnny Rotz.
The winner’s share of the purse was $47,620. Kelso, as the runner-up, earned $22,960 for his owner, Mrs. Richard du Pont. A 5-year-old gelding, Kelso was the horse of the year for 1960 to 1961. The other purse payoffs were $11,480 to The Axe II, who was ridden by Bill Hartack, and $5,740 to Wise Ship, who was guided by Heliodoro Guistines.
Raymond Guest, the owner of the English Derby winner, Larkspur, made the presentation of the trophy to Dreyfus, while Boland and Hal Jerkens looked on. Jerkens is the 32-year-old trainer who has been so successful with Beau Purple. Dreyfus, 48, is the head of an investment firm.
The race was started from the gate, with all the contestants leaving from it. Val de Loir, one of the two French representatives, propped at the getaway, but managed to wind up in 10th place, ahead of Nasomo and Monade.
Boland gave a plain enough description of Beau Purple’s performance: “I just let him run early and he went to the lead like he likes to do. He was going easy on the backstretch and into the far turn. I hit him coming into the stretch when Kelso came along and I thought Kelso would eat him up. But I kept hitting him and he kept running and Kelso never got there.”
Jerkens said: “Boland knew the horse and I left it up to him what to do out there.”
Dreyfus and Jerkens said that they would be glad to send Beau Purple into the Washington, D. C. International at Laurel on Nov. 12, “if he is invited.” There is no reason to believe that the horse will not be asked to the $125,00 race.
Beau Purple’s 1962 record shows eight victories in 19 starts, with earnings of $342,205. The 5-year-old horse is a Kentucky home-bred, whose mare was Water Queen.”
(Joseph C. Nichols / The New York Times, 10/28/1962)