BYPLAY by ROGER KAHN: Who Needs the Derby?


Jumbo jets screamed down through hairy April clouds, and Aqueduct looked gray and barren. The place is functional, not aesthetic, and now that off-track betting presides in New York City, crowds that once pressed to see horseflesh and jockeys' silks have shriveled. Half deserted in a spattering rain. Aqueduct was no classic backdrop for young triumph.

But this day, as most days lately, the place was alive with wonder. Stevie Cauthen, the most exciting 16-year-old jockey anybody can remember, was continuing to transform elderly platers into Pegasuses....

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