Jamaica Race Course

Chart of the week: Double Jay wins the 1948 Idlewild Handicap

The New York Times, 04/10/1948

“Ridgewood Stable’s Double Jay, which won no races and $35,600 at Santa Anita last winter, won one race and $4,905 at Jamaica yesterday, as he spread-eagled the field of the Idlewild Handicap at a mile and a sixteenth. He was the third consecutive favorite to win, gave Eddie Arcaro another double, and paid $4.30.

William Helis’s Elpis, which also campaigned at Santa Anita last winter, trailed the field for nearly six furlongs, then ran past the others to be second, four lengths behind the winner, a bit more than a length ahead of Sunshine Stable’s Lets Dance. Bug Juice and Reckon completed the field as named.

The field finished into a stiff wind which held the time to 1:47 ⅖, and held the crowd to 23,124. The race began with Lets Dance sprinting away to lead by daylight around the first turn, but Arcaro and Double Jay never let him get far away, took him when it was time to go and had nothing to beat off in the stretch.

Double Jay, four-year-old son of Balladier, was bred by John W. Stanley, who bought his dam, Broomshot, privately for $800, a few minutes after Ed Janss, of California, had bought her at auction for $700. He sold Double Jay privately to the Ridgewood Stable – James Boines and James Tigani, of Wilmington – for $30,000, and a year later sold his full brother, the recent winner, Jet Black, for $26,000 at auction.

The first race of record for Double Jay came when he was a yearling. He was running in his paddock near Lexington when one of Stanley’s peacocks came into the enclosure. Double Jay raced it to the fence, won, got most of a peacock’s tail as a trophy. But officially he did not start until Feb. 22, 1946, at Hialeah. Next Monday is his actual fourth birthday.

At two he won four stakes, going up to a mile, and in the Free Handicap of his year he was rated at 126 pounds, in a tie for first place with Cosmic Bomb and the filly First Flight. Last year he won four stakes, including the Riggs Handicap, and was placed in six others. This came after a shaky start since he trained badly for the pre-Derby races. For the first year and a half he was trained by the veteran Walter (Duke) McCue, but for about the last year has been handled by Claude Veitner.

Last winter he did not win in five starts at Santa Anita, but was third in the $100,000 Maturity Stakes and Santa Anita Handicap, and second in the San Antonio. Through yesterday his record included thirty-three starts, thirteen victories, and earnings of $213,130.” (Joe H. Palmer / New York Herald Tribune, 04/10/1948)

Chart of the week: the 1947 Empire City Stakes

The New York Times, 07/06/1947

“C. V. Whitney’s stretch-running Phalanx, perversely fond of Jamaica’s short stretch, carried his top weight to an easy victory in the Empire City Stakes yesterday, adding $38,500 to his already considerable earnings, and a bit of pessimism to the owners and trainers of the three-year-olds which seem condemned to chase him through the season’s other rich specials.

Two lengths behind him, aided by a big saving of ground on the last turn, was King Ranch’s good filly, But Why Not. She had stretched Phalanx to his utmost in the Dwyer stakes three weeks earlier but she was no match for him yesterday, despite a ten-pound concession by the weight scale. A half-length back in third place was John J. Watts’s Harmonica, and Greentree’s Tailspin was another head back.

Phalanx’s success, his fifth this year and his fourth in succession, ran his earnings to $275,010, and lifted him from thirty-fourth to twentieth place among American money winners.

Matters were proceeding evenly until Ruperto Donoso rapped Phalanx with his whip on the final turn. Thereafter there was a flash of the Whitney Blue on the outside, and $2 tickets on Phalanx became worth $3.40.

Harmonica, winner of the Coaching Club American Oaks this year, made the running at first, with Tide Rips, surprise second in the Belmont, outside her. Donor, But Why Not and Brabancon went along a couple of lengths back of the leaders, racing almost together. Tailspin seemed to be waiting for Phalanx, which was in no hurry.

The order held for nearly a mile, though the field bunched. Donor was the first to yield, and he swerved out as he tired. Inside him, but outside the others, came Phalanx with his familiar burst, and he went stoutly to the front. In the upper stretch he lugged in slightly, and for a moment it seemed he might interfere with Tailspin, which was still well in the battle. But Donoso pulled the favorite straight again and he finished some twenty feet from the rail, going easily. Donoso said later that he hit him once, “to wake him up.”

A son of Pilate and the crack race mare Jacola, Phalanx was bred in Virginia by Abram Hewitt, who subsequently sold a half-interest in him to Mr. Whitney, in whose name the colt races officially. Both owners were present yesterday. Phalanx won two stakes last year when the distance for two-year-old races lengthened out past a mile, and he was expected to be one of the top stayers this season.

He won the Wood Memorial in such fashion as to suggest high class, but he was beaten a head by Jet Pilot in the Derby and he ran third in the Preakness. Tailspin and Brabancon beat him in the Peter Pan, both getting heavy weight concessions.

At this stage Phalanx’s trainer, Sylvester Veitch, remembering how kindly Phalanx had run last year for Donoso, switched from Arcaro to the thirty-five–year-old Chilean rider, and Phalanx has not been beating since, winning the Belmont and Dwyer stakes, and a condition race here last Monday.

However, Donoso’s association with Phalanx has not always been pleasant. In the Walden Stakes last fall Phalanx, in the midst of his closing run, stumbled and pounced Donoso solidly on the Pimlico track.

Phalanx now takes the three-year-old leadership beyond dispute. Jet Pilot, which beat him in their only meeting, has been permanently retired. Faultless, which defeated him soundly in the Preakness, was soundly vanquished in the Belmont and has not been in action since.

The mile and three-sixteenths was run in 1:57 4-5, this being the slowest time since the race was put at its present distance. However, the Jamaica track seems slower this year than it has been in previous seasons.

But Why Not, which has a fair claim to the title of leading three-year-old filly, got $10,000 for her second and has now won $63,230. A grand-daughter of the brilliant racer, Black Helen, she went to King Ranch in the split of the E. R. Bradley horses. She is trained by Max Hirsch, whose son, Max Jr., trains Harmonica. The latter, which won one and lost one in her two meetings with But Why Not in filly stakes, has now earned $77,755.

The writer, shortly before the race, asked the Hirsch father-and-son combination if they intended to flip a nickel for this one. Their answer was fairly prophetic: they said they couldn’t find a seven-sided nickel.

A crowd of 32,314 was out, about 3,500 under that of July 4.”
(Joe H. Palmer / New York Herald Tribune, 07/06/1947)

Chart of the Week: The 1957 Queens County Handicap

On October 19, 1957, the 3-year-old colt Bold Ruler (Nasrullah (GB)) defeated 3-year old colt Promised Land (Palestinian) by 2 ½ lengths to take the Queens County Handicap (8.5f) at Jamaica Race Course.

CHART - 1957 Queens County H. (NYT 1957.10.20)

The New York Times, 10/20/1957

Chart of the Week: The 1950 Westchester Handicap

On November 11, 1950, the 4-year old colt Palestinian (Sun Again) defeated 3-year-old colt Sunglow (Sun Again) by a neck to take the 31st edition of the Westchester Handicap (9.5f) at Jamaica Race Course.

CHART - 1950 Westchester H. (NYT 1950.11.12)

The New York Times, 11/12/1950


PHOTO - 1950 Westchester H. (NYT 1950.11.12)

The New York Times, 11/12/1950

Vexatious (1916)

Vexatious – 1916 b. f. by Peter Pan – Contrary by Hamburg
Breeder/Owner: Harry Payne Whitney
Trainer: James Rowe

Record: (7) 2-1-1 / $27,940
(Retrospective) Co-Champion 3-Year-Old Filly of 1919
1st: Alabama S. (1 ¼ mi.,SAR), Lawrence Realization S. (1 5/8 mi.,BEL)
3rd: Montague H. (1 1/16 mi.,JAM)

A H. P. Whitney homebred by the Commando stallion Peter Pan, Vexatious was the first foal out of the young Hamburg mare Contrary. Vexatious was said to be a “strappingly big filly” and a “well grown, rangy bay” who favored her sire in appearance and conformation.

Even though Vexatious was kept out of training as a 2-year-old due to a bad leg, she was considered to be the best 2-year-old filly in the H. P. Whitney barn and was nominated for a number of high profile baby stakes, including the Albany Handicap at Saratoga and the Futurity at Belmont. Trainer James Rowe even went so far as to think he “possibly had a duplicate of Regret” in the 2-year-old Vexatious.

1919: (4) 2-1-0 / $27,930
(Retrospective) Co-Champion 3-Year-Old Filly of 1919
1st: Alabama S. (1 ¼ mi.,SAR), Lawrence Realization S. (1 5/8 mi.,BEL)

While having been nominated earlier in the year to the both the Kentucky and Pimlico Oaks, as well as the Paumonok Handicap against males, Vexatious would ultimately debut as a 3-year-old at Saratoga in a one mile maiden race on August 5. Finishing in second place, three lengths behind Huttontrope in the fifteen horse field, Vexatious had been well-regarded prior to the race, and remained so afterwards.

“The sixth brought out as good looking a lot of maidens as has been seen in months. There were 15 of them. Huttontrope was the winner over H. P. Whitney’s Vexatious, a fine big filly by Peter Pan, who followed close upon Huttontrope, but could not get up.” – Harry N. Price (The Washington Post, 08/06/1919)

Off the maiden effort, Vexatious would immediately jump into stakes competition, as “When beaten last Tuesday by Huttontrope she was worked out the mile and a furlong in 1:30 2/5, good enough, Rowe thought, to give her a royal chance in the Alabama.” – Harry N. Price (The Washington Post, 08/08/1919)

Vexatious - Alabama (NYT 1919.08.08)

Thusly, two days after her maiden win, Vexatious would make her stakes debut in the Alabama Stakes (1 ¼ mi.) on August 7, where over a “drying out” track rated slow, she would defeat Milkmaid by four lengths in a final time of 2:09 1/5.

“Vexatious, a daughter of Peter Pan and Contrary and a mare of splendid physique, probably is the best of the 3-year-old fillies. After making a creditable showing in a maiden race against Huttontrope, a really good distance-running 4-year-old, she made Milkmaid look cheap in the Alabama stakes.” (The Washington Post, 08/31/1919)

In preparation for the Lawrence Realization Stakes (1 5/8 mi.) at Belmont Park on September 6, “Vexatious and Thunderstorm both worked between the races yesterday, the Whitney filly doing a mile and a quarter in 2:08 in a fashion that has made many friends for her…” (The New York Times, 09/05/1919)

Vexatious - Lawrence Realization (NYT 09.17.1919)

While Vexatious would finish second by four lengths to Over There in the Lawrence Realization, interference by Over There against fourth place finisher Thunderstorm at the 5/8 pole would result in the stewards disqualifying Over There to last in the field of five, with Vexatious deemed the winner.

Vexatious’ 3-year-old campaign would span only a period of eight weeks, as her fourth and final start of 1919 would come in the Maryland Handicap (1 1/16 mi.) at Havre de Grace on October 2. Battling rumors of unsoundness, she would finish last in the field of four. The Porter would win, with Midway and Royce Rools taking the place and show.

“Vexatious had been working fast since she came down from New York, but she wore a badge of unsoundness on her front legs, which were plastered with antiphlogistine…” – Harry N. Price (The Washington Post, 10/03/1919)

With total earnings of $27,930, Vexatious would end the year as the fourth highest earning 3-year-old and the fifth highest earning overall horse of 1919, ranking only behind the 3-year-olds Sir Barton ($88,250), Mad Hatter ($54,991), and Purchase ($33,710), and the 2-year-old Man o’ War ($83,325).

While she would only compete in four races during 1919, with one of her two wins coming via disqualification, Vexatious was retrospectively named Co-Champion 3-Year-Old Filly of 1919 alongside Milkmaid.

1920: (3) 0-0-1 / $100
3rd: Montague H. (1 1/16 mi.,JAM)

Vexatious’ first start of 1920 would come in the Montague Handicap (1 1/16 mi.) at Jamaica on June 17, where after a bad start, she would finish third behind Cromwell and Thunderstorm. Two days later she would run back in the Long Beach Handicap (1 1/8 mi.) on June 19, finishing fourth and last behind Exterminator, Cirrus, and Naturalist.

Her final start of June would result in a last place finish in the Gazelle Handicap (1 1/16 mi.) at Aqueduct on June 30, finishing behind Pen Rose, Milkmaid, Lunetta, Edwina, and Ormonda.

While nominated for a number of races later on in the year, the Gazelle H. would ultimately prove to be Vexatious’ final start, as she was retired to the breeding shed and bred to Broomstick in the spring of 1921.

The Vexatious Handicap was run at Jamaica in at least 1925.

Vexatious had six foals between 1922 and 1927.

Trifling (1922 ch. m. by Broomstick)
Trifling was sold to Coldstream Farm as a 2-year-old in 1924.
Record: (2) 0-0-0 / $0 in one year of racing (1924)

Acrostic (1923 b. h. by Broomstick)
Record: (34) 4-1-4 / $4,325 in four years of racing (1925-1929)

Kinkajou (1925 ch. h. by Whisk Broom)
Record: (37) 4-12-5 / $5,385 in three years of racing (1926-1929)

Diavolo (1925 ch. h. by Whisk Broom)
(Retrospective) Champion Handicap Horse of 1929
Record: (29) 10-4-3 / $107,540 in three years of racing (1927-1929)
At 2YO: 1st Tremont S.
At 3YO: 2nd Lawrence Realization S., Brookdale H.; 3rd Belmont S., Brooklyn H.
At 4YO: 1st Dixie H., Jockey Club Gold Cup, Pimlico Cup, Saratoga Cup, Saratoga H.; 2nd Aqueduct H.; 3rd Hawthorne Gold Cup

Following his racing days, Diavolo would enter stud, siring 198 foals. An incredible 91% of his foals (181 foals) would make the starting gate, with 78% (154 foals) winning at least one race. Diavolo notably shows up in the pedigrees of Bobby Brocato, Quadrangle, and Bunty’s Flight, among others.

Vexing (1926 b. m. by Broomstick)

Angry (1927 b. g. by John P. Grier)
Record: (49) 12-9-7 / $14,115 in four years of racing (1930-1933)
At 3YO: 3rd Quebec Derby
At 4YO: 1st Hialeah Inaugural Handicap