"The race is not to the swift..."

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Dec 16 19:32:45 UTC 2013

My apologies if Garson or Fred has already dealt with this famous saying

I mean, of course, Damon Runyon's line about that being the way to bet.

Based on a 1936 citation, YBQ advances the lpossibility that the true
originator, or at least the first noted utterer of this wisdom, was not
Runyon but the hournalist and racing enthusiast Hugh Keough (1864-1912).

Here is corroboration, published long before Runyon's usage:

Franklin P. Adams, in _Collier's Weekly_ (Feb. 8, 1919) p. 9:

"My observation has been that there is more injustice, misfitting, and
unfairness of promotion and retardment in civil life than there is in the
Army. As Hugh Keough used to say, 'The race is not always to the swift, nor
the battle to the strong, but that is the way to bet.'"

If Keough ever committed his saying to print, I've been unable to find it.
Or any earlier attribution to anyone.


"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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