Will Ask for Dates, Daily Racing Form, 1903-11-29


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WILL ASK FOR DATES. St. Louis, Mo,. November 28. A new racetrack, handsomer and better appointed than any St. Louis has had, is being rapidly built at the junction of Union boulevard and Natural Bridge road, and a week hence a committee will go to Chicago to seek racing dates for the season of 1904 from the Western Jockey Club. The Union Jockey Club is the name of the new organization, which is composed of 120 business men of St. Louis that have taken more or less stock in the club and selected as president Joseph A. Duffy, a capitalist and real estate dealer representing some millions of capital. Mr. Duffy probably will head the committee that will seek dates from the Western Jockey Club. The Union Jockey Club is capitalized for 50,000, and it is proposed to expend that sum in making the new racing park the handsomest west of Saratoga, The site is a beautiful park of 102 acres of rolling woodland and includes a small lake, around which the mile track has been built. The timber is mostly grand oak trees, of which many in the infield had to be felled, as they obstructed the view of the back-stretch from the paddock and the grandstand. Building the mile track was alone quite an expensive piece of work, on account of cuts and grades having to be made because of the rolling nature of the ground. It was built by Michael Hannick, who undertook the contract for 6,000. The track was completed two weeks ago. A 5,000 grandstand is nearing completion, the time for the contract expiring December 15. Contractor M. B. Roundtree, who put up some of the largest buildings at the St. Louis Worlds Fair, says he may be a few days late in finishing the stand, as there has been some delay in lumber arriving. The structural iron work was completed three weeks ago, and the great expanse of granitoid flooring has been done some time. When finished it will be one of the finest stands in the middle west. Its length is 370 feet, width 140 feet, and the height to the top of the towers that will surmount the roof will be 85 feet. The betting ring is 265 feet by 90 feet. It stands on rising ground, so there will be a fine sloping lawn from the stand to the track. The paddock lawn is large and sloping. Captain P. J. Carmody, who is general manager of the new park, says the paddock and offices will cost S10.000 extra, and 0,000 is to be spent on building stabling for the first meeting. A tract of 35 acres on a high and healthy plateau back of the paddock and along the first furlong of the homestretch has been set apart for stables, so there will be plenty of room to build more later on if necessary. In fact there is room to put up stables for 3,500 horses, for this new park is a large place. It is wonderfully well situated in the matter of transportation facilities, as it is reached by six street car lines and the Terminal Belt Railway runs right along one side of it. It is a mile and a half nearer the heart of the city than Delmar is, and all of ten miles nearer than the Kinloch Park track. The location and the natural beauties of the place make it an ideal site for a race course, and its promoters predict a great future for the new track. There is one obstacle to be surmounted that may prove more difficult than they realize, and that is the securing of satisfactory dates for next year. They desire thirty days in the spring and thirty days later in the sea- con, and as the Missouri law allows ISO days of racing at St. Louis they feel their request to the Western Jockey Club will not be unreasonable. President Duffy voices the sentiment of his fellow members by declaring: "This is a St. Louis enterprise, backed by St. Louis money, and if anyone thinks we are not entitled to a share of the racing dates that person will do well to remember that we are from Missouri. On what just grounds can the Western Jockey Club refuse us dates? Can that organization conscientiously award dates to tracks like Kinloch and Del-mar and refuse us?" That the Union Jockey Club means business is evident. People do not build a mile track at the cost of 6,000 and a grandstand for 5,000 just for amusement, and the leaders in this new enterprise declare they will race next year. State Senator J. P. Collins, who has put ,000 into Union Jockey Club stock, sizes up the situation thus: "There are a lot of us, and every man has a pull somewhere that will count. We may not look like much to the stewards of the Western Jockey Club in Chicago, but we count for a whole lot in St. Louis." There seems to be an evident determination to break the hold of the syndicate that for three years has enjoyed a monopoly of St. Louis racing, and it may be well for the Western Jockey Club to consider carefully the claims of the Union Jockey Club before flouting this young and vigorous organization. A lease for eight years at ,000 a year, with an option to purchase until July 1, 1905, has been secured on the park, which is part of the old Clark estate, lying well within the city limits and only a mile and a half beyond the Fair Grounds race track, which, it is rumored, must soon be cut into streets and blocks.

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1900s/drf1903112901/drf1903112901_1_2
Local Identifier: drf1903112901_1_2
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800