Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph: June 27th, 1957
“I had the horse at Belmont Park, and she was about to get her final serious workout there before shipping to Delaware. I planned to work her a mile on the training track to keep her sharpened for speed, and told the exercise boy to do the mile in about 1:40. Maybe he got the instructions wrong, but whatever the reason he worked her in a slow 1:43.”
“After that slow trial which didn’t serve my purpose as a speed sharpener I was dubious about the filly’s chances, figuring she wouldn’t be thoroughly tightened up for the mile and a quarter Delaware. We were going to van her down to Delaware that afternoon, but I still wanted to get in that speed workout without delaying the trip, so I did something any other horse trainer would call ‘crazy’. Thirty minutes after that 1:43 mile on the training track, I sent her through five furlongs on the main track in one minute flat.”
“Well you know what happened, Flower Bowl went to Delaware Park and won the richest race of all filly and mare races, coming up from 13th in a field of 15 to win by two lengths.”
Even this Hall of Fame conditioner was doubted by the press – as the above anecdote was preceded by this comment: “He (Burch) trained Flower Bowl in such a way as to set orthodox methods back 50 years.”
The immortal Mr. Burch has been featured in this blog for his handling of 1951 Preakness Winner Bold, and provided detailed conditioning plans within his book – which I reviewed:
And just what type of ‘horsemanship’ was the focus of this year’s Delaware Handicap won by Royal Delta? She did it without Lasix.
(big thanks to blog reader Jared for this gem)