Big Bowie Improvements: Money Made at the Last Meeting Invested in Track Betterments, Daily Racing Form, 1915-12-15


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1 ■ « ! s J * 1 C « ! J I I ! 1 [ J I BIG BOWIE IMPROVEMENTS MONET MADE AT THE EAST MEETING INVESTED IN TRACK BETTERMENTS. Great Steeplechase Course Planned — Former Ben- ning Long-Distance Stake Racea to Be Revived at Bowie Next Tear. Baltimore, Md.. December 14. — About all tbe profits of the first financially successful race meeting the Southern Maryland Agricultural Fair Association has conducted at the Bowie track are going back into the plant this winter in improvements. General Manager James F. OHara baa contracted for the enlargement of the grandstand and betting ring, which were crowded uncomfortably by tlie heavy patronage on big days in tbe course of the meeting, which came to a successful finish on the last day of November, and for the cutting away of the elevation in the center of the Infield. It is estimated that thirty or forty thousand loads of earth will be removed from the infield. It will lie used to till in the gorge at the lower end of the old grandstand and make a foundation for the extension. Full advantage has been taken of the good weather that has prevailed hereabouts since the wind up of tbe autumn meeting and tbe work already is well advanced. The improvements will have been completed long before the time for the beginning of the new racing season, about the first of April. Thanks to the careful management of Thomas Strahan, the old Helming superintendent, tbe Bowie track is in tip-top condition now and the horses wintering there are galloping daily. Not once has the going been in the least affected by freeziug weather, nor will it he. Tlie light, porous sand holds no moisture to freeze and may tie galloped over with safety even in zero weather. In this respect the Bowie track is better than Benning used to be and, for this reason, tbe newest of Maryland race courses is destined to great popularity as a wintering and early spring training place. In respect to stabling facilities. Bowie is not surpassed by any track in the country. Appreciating the popularity of steeplecbasing with tbe people of Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia, it is the intention of the management to build at Bowie the best steeplechase course In America. And the association has the land on which an unusually good one may be constructed. It owns many acres round about the track and much of this land is the best sort of hunting country. It will not be necessary therefore to keep the jumpers in races of two miles and farther within the narrow confines of a mile course. But creating a steeplechase course this winter will be impossible. It cannot be done, in fact, until a good sod has been obtained in the infield and superintendent Strahan will devote his energies next year to the development of a sod. He hopes to have one by next fall and, if he is successful, the old steeplechase specials of the Washington Jockey Club will be revived at Bowie and a new stake for three-year-old fencers designed to bring the winner of the Harbor Hill at Piping Rock and the victors in the three-vear-old specials of the Pimlico meeting together under conditions that will decide the three-year-old championship. Bowie, having fallen heir to Benning spring and autumn dates aud having taken the place of the old Washington Jockey Club iu the eastern racing schedule, it is the purpose of the Bowie management also to call back into existence the old Washington autumn long-distance races, notably the Dixie, Maximum and Washington Cup Stakes. Bowie went farther last fall than any other track of the east, toward encouraging long-distance racing. I»e it remembered, aud the experiment turned out satisfactorily. The most Interesting races of the meeting were those over considerable distances of ground. Believing that the curtailing of two-year-old racing by prohibiting the starting of the youngsters before the first of April, will tend to develop a more numerous and better breed of long-distance runners, the Bowie management heartily approves of the action of the Jockey Club in adopting the Cassatt amendment to the rules of racing which, after 1910. bars from eastern race tracks horses that have raced before the first of April in their two year-old year. ________--_

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