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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, August 18, 1907, Image 14

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KEENE THE NAPOLEON OF THE RACE TRACK
FOR a moment or two Tames n.
Keene.. with a deliberate air,
stroked his beard gently, ' gased
in a faraway manner ahead ot
him and then, in reply to a question
which had been put to him. said: "I
think my stable this year Is without
any question the best that I have ever
owned at any one time in my life. Colin,
Peter Pan, Superman are great colts
great colts and fine colts all of them.
And there are some which have not
been well tried as yet. and we do not
know how good they may be. It Is a
pleasure, a rare pleasure, to any man
with the love of the thoroughbred in
his nature, to be able to rear a family
of noble horses from as stout hearted
an ancestor as ever raced In bridle."
This reference to the grand sire of
Mr. Keene's most famous horses — the
great Domino, matchless two year old
of his time — was In the singularly af
fectionate tone of voice by which ths
master of Castleton «ver refers to the
horse that won his slncerest love and
admiration.
"Domino." continued Mr. Keene, "was
a great and a wonderful 2 year old.
a loyal horse and a brave one. He never
had the opportunity as a 3 year old
to show what he could do. But how
well he made up for It by the brilliancy
of his 2 year old careerl And now
marching through time his 2 year old
and 3 year old grandsons are establish
ing beyond any cavil the value at
which I placed their progenitor when
he was a 2 year old racing In my colors
in 1893."
"Mr. Keene, what In your opinion is
the best horse that you have ever
owned?"
The answer was somewhat surpris
ing. "Colin." eaid he. Andt Colin had
but Just won a splendid race when the
reply was made. "I fancy that Colin
Is the best horse that has ever been In
my stable. What is more, the boys
in charge of my horses are of the same
opinion. He has won for me this year
on overnight sweepstakes the National
etalllon. the Eclipse, the Great Trial
and the Brighton Junior. He has not
Veen beaten. His winnings will be
well over $50,000. Splendid achieve
ment that for a 2 year old. I don't
consider that I have begun to see the
limit of his possibilities. Howe says
lie Is a wonderful colt, and Rowe has
had more chance, possibly, than any
body else to realize the strength and
the fleetness of the horse."
This usually- emotionless man, who
stands by the rail of the clubhouse year
after year and watches his colts and
fillies race for stakes valued at thou
sands of dollars with seldom an ex
pression of apprehension or approbation
on his face, was so much moved from
the ordinary by the victory of Colin in
the Brighton Junior that he walked to
the paddock, congratulated the Jockey
and grasped the trarner. "Jim" Rowe.
by the hand, with a low but sincere
"Thank you!" Turfmen standing about
opened their eyes in astonishment, and
one said to another: "Keene must- be
wrapped up In that horse. The colt
must be a good one."
"We are breeding bettor horses in
America," said the owner, of Castletoft
cb he recounted the principal races of
the season. "Our type, is Improving.
"We are getting both speed and stam
ina. It means much for the future
of the horse. He Is a noble animal
And ao animal worth cultivating."
Men of long experience In tho affairs
©f the turf, who hay« accumulated wis
dom through more than two decades
as to the merits of the American thor
oughbred, are even more radical than
Mr. Keene in expressing praise for his
stable. The owner believes that It Is
the best he ever owned. His friends
say that not only Is it the best in the
united States, but more likely. If the
age of the horses be considered, the
greatest in the world at the present
time, and unquestionably one of tho
teoat wonderful in the history of the
racing horse on either side of the At
lantic
An "All Star" Stable
It Is not a stable of one star. Bur
rounded by a few tallow dips burning
feebly, but a collection of superb win
ners and promising" youngsters. • any
one of which would grace the stable
of an owner less fortunate.
To date it has earned this year more
than 5200,000. Before the racing sea
eon is over It may have earned more
than a Quarter of a million of dollars
In 1906 the winnings of Mr. Keene'a
thoroughbreds were more than $150,000
and the year previous to that they won
more than $150,000. The record of the
stable has been one of financial victory
from. the days of Domino, the. famous
black colt that won more than $190,000
as a 2 year old. One of Mr.. Keene'a
closest friends says his horses have
woo for him 1 1,000,000 in tae last five
years, and during his long career as
* successful breeder end sportsman the
total of his winnings will amount to a
\u25a0urn co far In excess of a million that
unless a record has been kept of the
amounts for the owner's gratification
It Is doubtful whether he knows the
exact figures.
If the horses which Mr. Keene has In
training this year should win for him
the sum of a quarter of a million dol
lars, as seems probable, it would be
through the successful running of four
legged aristocrats, only- one of which
is more than 3 years old. That to
turfmen Is as much the marvel of the
present stable as the manner in which
the high stepping colts and fillies :have
captured, one after another, the .huge
sums of money that have been at stake
on the metropolitan courses.
"Mr. Keene lias an ambitious sta
ble," eaid Andrew Miller in a.compli
mentary vein Just after the Brighton
handicap was won by Peter Pan. "Not
only do his horses win the events espe
cially arranged for their years, but
with courageous spirit they dash into
the specially prepared handicaps for
the older horses and snatch all the lau
rels away from them."
This is not the first season in which
Mr. Keene has yon a race like the
Brooklyn Handicap or the Brighton
with a 3 year old, but it happens to be
the special year in which his victories
in the stakes, for classes of a certain
age have been augmented hugely by
capturing the rich handicaps which are
open to horses of any age above 2 years.
Xor Is it quite. certain, as' Mr. Keene
says, that he has shown to the public
all the best that there is In his stable.
There are rich races for the 2 year olds
which are to be run later, and of the
horses that have been put In training
by him for the Reason there may be
some coming Domino or another Syson
by, for aught one knows.
When the racing year began Mr.
Keene announced that his 2 year olds
in training would.be Anonyma,;by Dis
guise; Besom, by\Ben Brushy Celt, by
Commando; Chaplet affd Charmante.
both Ben Brush progeny; Citizen, by
Voter; Colin, by Commando; Cool, by
Disguise; Defiant, by Commando; Earl's
Court, by Kingston; Flower of the For
est, by Commando; Frlzette, by Ham
burg; Incognito, by Disguise; Infanta.
Masks and Faces, Masque and Masque
rade, all by Disguise; Mayfair and
Meggs Hill, by Ben Brush; Mufti, by
Disguise; Peter Quince, by Commando;
Red Bonnet, by St. Slmonian; Resti
gouche, by CommandOr Selectus, -by
Voter; Sepoy, by St. Leonards; Singa
pore, by Disguise; Ean<lol, by Dlsgulso;
Transvaal, by Commando; Twigs, by
Ben Brush, and Wild Refrain, by Ben
Brush.
This list of youngsters has been thus
run through to call attention . to the
fact that out of the lot Mr. Keene has
started ! Besom, Cbaplet, Citizen, Colin,
Earl's Court, Frlzette, Incognito, Macks
and Faces, Masque, Meggs Hill, Res
tlgoucbe, Selectus, Sepoy, Transvaal and
Twigs. There are others yet to make
their appearance in public, and turfmen
are wondering what the outcome of
their efforts will be. >
The blood of Domino runs, thickly
through the stable of the man .who has
dared . both Wall street and the race
track — Domino, the trusted four footed
friend In days when trouble .ran; thick
est, where bulls and bears fought their
fiercest battles to' crush each' other to
sudden financial death. •\u25a0";':
Disguise is a son of Domino. So was
Commando,' a most , promising elre,
whose early demise, gave his owner
much" sorrow. Indeed, li has been ' the
misfortune of Keene to lose threo such
great horses as Domino, Sysonby and
Commando long : before " the * time. In the
natural ; order, of * things, that it : would
have v been * expected - they would * i have
surrendered their - lives. Syoonby * left
no progeny, ; but ? his skeleton ;will v; be
set up In the Metropolitan Museum of
Art aia perfect type of thoroughbred
racehorse. . : -
Of all . the : horses that he \u25a0 has owned
It is probable that (there ia none which
Mr. - Keene idolized Mike » v Domino.
Sysonby was great, wonderfully great.
In the turf world. Mr. ; Keene • said *of
him 1 that' he \u25a0 considered { - him Ito \u25a0 be ': the
greatest horse that \u25a0 had ever, lived, and
Sysonby, is immortalized In the museum
Qf natural history for that reason. ? His
skeleton !s the framework of an anl
mal that stood above all I bis kind la the
estlraat!on;ofiOompetent?JudgeaV} ;
But the affection: of his owner for
Domino was }. that : which 1 man-attaches
in some way or another to some four
footed animal.* either; in: boyhood cor in
more - mature ;, years, when r? be "£: almost
feels dependent ' upon his cherished pet
for '; sympathy and f? eompanlonshi p. ; -
It , has \u25a0' frequently been'-: said 'i of Mr.
Keene f that * next" to* his S family .' there
was nothing In the world that he prized
more than > the i great black % colt;,; that
was a s on of Hlmyarland a descendant
of Eclipse. ' Eunday mornings he visited
the .; stall of - Domino, at : Sheepshead
Bay,- visiting? t or f houra>with -> Domino,
Juat as he has since .visited .with.Syson
by, with ; Peter: Pan! and '.with :. Colin , as
these colts have warmed 'their, way -into
hls^heart^'-^V:-:^'-::. .\u25a0;,; :^-\ ..." ,;\u25a0'\u25a0"- \
./When ' Domino . died \ in \ Kentucky . in
1897:1 his "owner caused ; to. be V-erac ted
over his grave a' monument bearing an
inscription : fcwhlch7;testifled£tofhls3love
f orHhe i horse land . toj his
as i a V racer. v^.The'v inscription % reads:-—
"One of the best friends I ever had and
the fleetest i horse , ev*rl foaled I is ;; dead."
\u25a0?.- It r .was Jin > 1893 that ] Mr. ; Keene »,was
threatened' - with , downfall ; in ,-.,: .Wall
street. " The financial foundations were'
reported to be slipping from under his
feet." "'Domino won for him more than
$150,000. A stanch friend that, and Mr.
Keene * never .-» forgot, v He- loved the
ground that the; hor3e- stepped on. He
praised hlnvto his friends,' and the man
who.praised Domino In his hearing or
out of his hearing was a friend to him.
Brooklyn: handicap was about to
be t fun {this J year at Gravesend. —When
the horses went; to the post a man with
a gray beard stepped noiselessly to
the rail of the clubhouse with a pair
of field glasses In his hand. - . ,
He 'was tall,: with a V well shaped
head, bushy eyebrows, eyes keenly ob- ;
servant and fastened closely to the
long yellow, track • that stretched away
ln*frqnt : of -him. c. By ; implied (consent
other! of • the clubhouse , contingent
made" no . effort : to converse with \hlrn,
end drew back that; he might have a
clear view of 'the course in front of
him.'^:/; \u25a0\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0•.: \u25a0..-: \u25a0\u25a0-':\u25a0 - U
Tho horses were. not lons at the post
bef oro they • started. The = t ac© of the
man with the flold glasses was expres
sionless. It did not change when 'the
roar - of .; the crowd ; reached : his : ears
shouting > the : changes \in 'the: race.
The i man was James sR. Keene, older
and grayer than Ihe was , In - 1893 .when
Domino (\u25a0 raced & for;, costly 1 stakes, -i but
his V gaze % was : dlreoted ;to a grandson
of Domino that was ' In the race—Su
perman, a : 3 ; year : old, : by . Commando,
ridden by Miller,* the best jockey. of the
Any. \u25a0\u25a0:\u25a0-''\u25a0 y' ; ;..\u25a0\u25a0'..:]-\u25a0:\u25a0''. "=- : %--.''j •/•. . j\
IThe horses rounded the bend oppo
site" the- clubhouse. The attention -of
Mr. Keenetwas ; fastened closely .upon
the"; Oeld. 4 The j white with / blue polka
dots,^ the ". colors fof i the "I Keene stable,
could? be /seen r bobbing \up* and'down
in the cortfuslon of horses, but not In
front.
th el backstr«toh\the ; field- iwept
along, and y : still Superman was '-£ far
from being; In UheUead. - Hl« position
was i not ; bad, however. '\u25a0;. Borao on* ven
tured toTsay • that , Superman - seemed ita
ho outwelghted by the field. \u25a0- Just for
a moment Mr. Keene broke hta silence,
although he never: took his eyes from
the race. "Walt," said be> "it is too
early." Going to .the lower turn Su
perman began to gain on his field
stride by stride. Some who were sur
rounding Mr. Keene were elated, and
expressed their . satisfaction In excited
shouts of approbation.
Th« horses came into the. stretch.
Suddenly Superman appeared through
an opening. Mr. Keene leaned back
and* remarked. "Miller will win the
race." That was all. He was the
least concerned- of anybody on the
clubhouse veranda, so far as appear
ances went for anything. Superman
finished In front, earning more than
$15,000 for his owner. The moment
the horses passed the wire Mr. Keene
was another man. His face was
wreathed in smiles. He was. ready for
congratulations, and he showed that
he enjoyed them.
Perfection, Not Money
"What is the enjoyment of being
the owner of a successful race horse,
a> horse with the . reputation of Peter
Pan or : Sysonby - or ' Commando X was
asked of Mr. Keene, - \
. "It. is the gratification of possessing
•omethlng that you know is a little
better than that possessed by anybody
else. At least, that t» the winner's way
of looking at it. Beyond that it is a
matter, of Intense personal pride. One
man Is devoted to his yacht because
It is a faster yacht than that pos
sessed, by any of his friends. Perhaps
it embodies some of his own ideas
about construction, and for that reason
he' is fonder of it than he would be
If it had been designed and built. for
him by others. Another man Is at
tached to an automobile because he
thinks. that it is a little better than
the automobile of any other owner or
maker. The man who has the * best
hunting dog takes pride in that dog
because he can do certain things in the
field which are . Impossible for other
dogs. 6o it is with a wonderful race
corse. It la not the' sum that the horse
may earn, it Is not the possibility that
he : may be employed for. speculation
that makes him desirable. Racing for
gambling Is not sport * It is the fact
that he Is a wonderful work of nature,
a fine, high spirited, perhaps gentle
and intelligent, animal that is a little
superior to all others of his time and
whose courage Is tested by the races be
runs and the results which follow."
'TWhat is the* gratification that comes
from winning races?" • '
"An exaltation of spirit that Is stim
ulating and healthy. A man who has
looked upon bis horses from : the time
that they were foaled until they walk
Into the paddock after a bard race, vic
torious over everything which could be
run : agralnst . them, '. glows with enjoy
ment. ; How. can one help It? Hare Is a
handsome, clean coated, sure footed
animal which you have seen perhaps
from the earliest days when he sham
bled awkwardly after his dam, who
has developed every quality that It was
hoped would be produced when be was
bred. It- may. b« that the colt which
was selected as a yearling to be tha
star of . the stable will happen tob« the
disappointment. I.1 '. Some uncertain gal ted
youngster that did not appear at- ttrst
sight to be as well advanced as another
that has ?been foaled ; ln. s the same year
suddenly; manifests qualities which In
dicate ' grand ; possibilities. It ; Is as In
teresting to develop him for speed con
tests as, lt; ls to develop the handsom
est \u25a0 youngster that may , be bounding
around, th»* fields. If wins \ln\ In some
contest which Is to become a part of
turf r; history r- your t blood : tingles and
you are proud of your results ••
; ; There are stables which ; are operated
solely , to succeed In the betting rln* if
It < la possible : to do ; so.
breed « horses, - more frequently 'pur
chase horses, with the Idea of gather-
Ins a collection , that shall be invincible
in^certain contests in which they desire
to >w*»-er their, money against the book
makers. The matter c* stake racla*;
and racing for panes Is seldom given
consideration. They plan from waelc
to week to brinr off some successful
coup by which they may beat the book
makers, asd very frequently they ar«
not overscrupulous as to how they do It.
Such methods are repugnant to the
owner of Castleton farm. He will have
none of them. He races his horses for
the enjoyment that they gtve'hlm fairly
and squarely to win the staks* or
pCnes, as the ease may be, and for
. that reason the publlo never hesitates
to express Its enthusiasm when a horse
from his stable wins one of the richest \u25a0
prizes of the season.
In his years on the turf, but In this
country and on the other side of the
Atlantic. Mr. Keene has been tho win
ner of some of the richest prizes in the
turf world. Foxhali captured the Orand
. Prix at Paris, the Grand Duke Michael's
stake, the Ascot gold oup. the Cesare
witch and the Cambridgeshire, all threat
events In Europe.
The money maker of the stable this
year is Peter Pan. Once again the
blood of Domino Is triumphant. Peter
Pan, a son of Commando and a grand
son of Domino, at 2 years old was a
rather clumsy colt that looked as if he
might be a fair race horse and that
was all
Today be is one of the most talked
about horses of the year, and he is only
3 years old. Perhaps this is to be his
best year as a race horse. His grand
slre did most of his best racing as a 2
year old. He has at least surpassed
Domino in his ability to produce speed
at a later period In HfeJ >
Peter Pan, the Great
He Is no longer a long legged, loos*
Jointed, big headed horse, clumsily feel-
Ing his way from one point to another.
He has developed Into a fine barreled,
stout limbed, thick boned chap, with a
look In his face that seems to say. "I
fooled you, didn't I?" and If hl3 growth
of the last year Is any Indication of
his future and the limit of his speed
has not been reached Peter Pan may
be a winning 4 year old as well as a
winning 3 year old.
To date this season he has won mor«
than $33,000 for Mr. Keene. He cap
tured the rich Belmont. worth $21,675;
the Standard, at Gravesend, worth
35.300; the Brooklyn Derby, worth $10,
475; the Tidal, worth 314.550; the Ad
vance, worth 311.750. and the Brighton
handicap, worth $19,730. Fine work
for a 3 year old. There Is a small far-,
tune by Itself In the winnings of tt&t
chip of old Domino.
" Some have said that Peter Pan is the
best horse that Mr. 'Keens ever owned.
; Perhaps another year will go further
toward proving that. In any event, he
is one of the most popular horses that
Mr. Keene ever owned. There has been
no victory this year that was hailed
with such a wild outburst of approval
as. his in the Brighton handicap. The
'vast crowd cheered and cheered again
.and again. There was a roar of grati
fied applause when he swept by tha
grandstand in the lead^asd there was
a popular demonstration when hts
Jockey Jogged him back to the Judges'
stand to dismount. Domino would
have given a neigh of approbation if he
could have been on hand to see hts
grandson's reception.
Of the 3 year elds that have been
raced^by Mr. Keen* this year Colla,
another Commando, has proved to be
the best. At the Belmont second meet
ing he won a moderate purse of $949.
Then. he was started in the National
stallion stakes. He won that. ~* and
earned $9.«52 for Mr. Keene. H» fol
lowed it up by capturing the Eclipse,
and that netted $3,735. At Bheepshead
Bay he beat out his Held for the Greats
Trial and won $19,550. On top of that <
he captured the Brighton Junior and
won $11,750. Wonderful work for a^
3 year old.
The only winner for the Keene
stable that Is more than 3 years of
age is the filly Suffrage. 4 years old,
by Voter. She has started In quite a
number of minor events this year and
has won about $6,000. Except for that
amount all the winnings of the stable
ha\ # c been through 3 year olds or 2
year olds. The 3 year olds other than
Peter Pan which have been successful i
are Superman. Philander. Zambesi.
Grimaldi. Court Dress. Cabochon and
Ballot. . The Domino blood predomi
nates among the a y*ar olds.
Mr. Keene's breeding farm — Castle
ton — is near Lexington. Ky. There the
youngsters romp orer the blue grass
until it Is time ; to send them to New
York to be trained. There are housed
some mares which .were slrsd by
Domino. It Is said that one breeder
asked. Mr. Keene if he would sell one
of them to him. There is not a
Domino mare for sale at any price."
was the reply. .Turfmen wonder- what
the outcome of the Domino family
may be. Perhaps it will sweep all the
American racing world before it.
Meanwhile the owner of Castleton
Journeys to the racetrack now and
then, as time. will permit him: visits
his wonderful colts and miles on Sun
day, as he did In days of the past; ad^
mires his four footed pets as they
whinny In thair stalls or nibble surar
lumps now and then when the trainer
permits it. But he never forgets Dom-

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