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Author Topic: 1969 Michigan Derby  (Read 575 times)
wilderness
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« on: March 21, 2010, 01:44:58 PM »

This Metro Detroit Newspaper has a few old article online in PDF format, which I was able to convert.

Wednesday, July 2, 1969
Observer Newspapers
Pg B

Northville Trotters Clash In $18,550 Michigan Derby

Northville Downs, in its 26th year of operation, will present its richest stake in history Wednesday (tonight) in the 15th renewal of the historic Michigan Trotting Derby.

This year's renewal carries a purse of $18,550 $15,000 guaranteed by the track management and the balance coming from the nomination and starting fees. It is scheduled for a distance of one mile and is listed as the ninth race on Wednesday's program.

The Derby attracted a field of 10 including a powerful two-horse entry from the Gene Riegle stable in Greenville, O. The starters come from the east, midwest and Canada and include many of the better middle class trotters now in competition.

While Executive Manager John Carlo was telling of plans for the Derby, NorthvilleDowns fans learned Saturday night that Philip Brian, the eight-year-old pacer from the Mijal Stable in Westland, isn't washed up as many have believed.

PHILIP, GENERALLY considered the fastest and best of Michigan's aged pacers, finished up the track in starts on two previous Saturdays in $5,000 preferred events.

In each he paced to the front from the starting gate and led to the three-quarter pole where he wilted under the pressure of the fast clockings and faded out of contention.
He came back with a vengeance Saturday in surprising fashion since the feature was scheduled for a mile and a sixteenth with a purse of $6,000, Few thought Philip would last and as a result he went postward as the 5-2 choice. But he raced like anything but a third choice, taking the lead on the first turn and holding it all the way under clever handling by Driver Jim Merriman Jr.
Merriman didn't turn Philip loose as he did in previous starts. He turned the first quarter in :30.4 and the half in a rather slow 1:02.3 which was a tipoff that Philip would have plenty left for the second half Robbie North, the Canadian star, moved up to challenge at the three-quarter pole but was parked outside and never did quite catch up. Sweep Up another  Canadian speedster, tried to catch the leader in the stretch but didn't get the job done either.

As it was, Philip swept under the wire with a half length on Robbie North with Sweep Up, another head back in the third spot. The time of 2:l0.2 was only three-fifths of a second off the record of 2:09.4 set by H. D. Hanover in 1952.
. . . .
TURNING BACK to the Trotting Derby, there'll be new names and new faces on the track when the field goes to the starter.
Checking in from Blue Bonnets Raceway in Montreal is Third Edition with Del MacTavish scheduled to drive. Riegle has entered his duo of Little Master and Tilcan, who were top contenders in the rich Merchants and Manufacturers at Wolverine Raceway.

Joe Marsh, Jr., who was one of the leading reinsmen in the Motor City before shifting his activities to Chicagoland, has entered Mighty Poplar, one of the better trotters in the Windy City.
From the trotters quartered at Northvllle Downs come Lady Missile, from the Gene Brown stable in Adrian who won two preferred trotting events at Northvllle in the past two weeks; Tommy Dorwood, who won a Derby preview Saturday; Blue Water Goldy, Oak Grove, Daring Dude and Randy D.

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Regards Don
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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2010, 01:47:35 PM »

Where's Frank O'Mara?HuhHuhHuh
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JBCSFL
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2010, 01:51:49 PM »

Ahhh....memories of yesteryear. I remember watching Philip Brian, he was my first "Favorite horse" as a Kid growing up. I also remember Oak Grove on the trot.  Thanks for the article Wilderness.    Jim
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wilderness
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2010, 02:01:53 PM »

Wish I had a decent pic of Phillip Brian Sad
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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2010, 02:07:07 PM »

I remember going to Northville Downs with my Dad in the sixties. They had a summer meet or a meet at least when there was warm weather.
 The grandstand was "open air" then and not enclosed. The stands and apron would always be packed with fans. We would have to park two blocks away and walk to the track as the parking lot and adjacent homeowner's yards were filled up well before post time.
 The Grand Circuit used to come there and we were treated to Stanley Dancer, Billy Haughton, George Sholty, etc. It was up close racing as the track surface was literally twenty feet from the edge of the grandstand.
Talk about up close and personal.......I loved it.   Jim
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wilderness
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« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2010, 02:27:35 PM »

Jim,
     Those Summer meets at Northville were absolutely the BEST.
 Outside they had wagering at the top of the srtetch. There were chairs there and you could even purchase beer and food outside.

 It wasn't near as crowded up there as the grandstand was either.

 
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« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2010, 03:12:23 PM »

I always remembered a certain smell and aroma in the air as the horses went by, it was a smell that I only sensed when I was at the track.
 It was not until ten years later when I finally got into the business that I found out what the smell really was.....it was DMSO.   LOL.     Jim
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wilderness
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« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2010, 03:30:15 PM »

Did you know that DMSO was one of the major ingredients used in Agent Orange?
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« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2010, 03:51:15 PM »

Did you know that DMSO was one of the major ingredients used in Agent Orange?

Nope, I did not. It does make sense though as it probably assisted and aided in the absorption into the skin.     Jim
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wizard78
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« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2010, 10:13:06 PM »

I was unaware that Joe Marsh was one of the top drivers in Detroit before going to Chicago. This truly is a fascinating article. 
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