Christmas Handicap Today: Will be First Stake Event Ever Decided at Oriental Park, Daily Racing Form, 1917-12-25


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CHRISTMAS HANDICAP TODAY Will Be First Stake Event Ever Decided at Oriental Park. Evenly Balanced Field Named to Start Paulson Pays Big Sum in Mutuels. Havana, Cuba, December 24. The first Mondays racing of the meeting saw a surprisingly large crowd present at Oriental Park today. There was little if any improvement in the condition of the track, but the heavy, sticky going did not affect the siort to any appreciable extent. AVhile the fields were small, they were evenly balanced, resulting in closely fought races. Paulson, which accounted for the closing race of the afternoon, paid SS0.10 in the mutuels. She was ridden by Humphries, who kept her close to the inside rail all the way, moved up with her in the stretch, where the filly caught and passed Thomas Callaway, the favorite and beat him by a nose. The opening dash was hotly contested from start to finish, with the filly Dash moving up strongly in the stretch and outgaming the leader in a fast losing drive to win by a small margin. I olden List appeared to have the third race at her mercy, but tired badly in the stretch after making a fast pace and Evelina, which ran for-wardly throughout, caught and passed her in the last eighth to win drawing away. Lytles victory in the fifth was only achieved after a desperate closing struggle with Lady Ro-wenu, which finished gamely after falling back momentarily on the turn for home. Speculation was keen and of heavy volume for an off day. Seven races are carded for tomorrow, with the Christmas Handicap of ,200 added, the first Tftafce race- of themdeling, as the principal attrac- tion. SUNDAY PATRONAGE OF BIG PROPORTIONS. The sport loving people pf Havana patronized the racing .at Oriental Park on Sunday last as on no preceding day since the opening of the racing season. The attendance was estimated at close to .1,000 and speculation, both in the mutuels and books, was of greater volume than on any previous day. The day was ideal for the enjoyment of outdoor sport and grandstand, lawns, paddock and betting ring presented a scene of the most animated and pleasing description. The social gathering by far exceeded in brilliancy anything seen at the track this season. Conspicuous among the distinguished personages iu attendance was Mrs. Menocal, wife of the president of the republic, who occupied the presidential box in the grandstand with a party of guests. She was charmingly attired and held levee in the gracious manner for which she is noted. President Menocal was not present because lie is in mourning for the death of his brother. Among other distinguished gentlemen present were Senor Luis Azcarate, secretary of justice in President Menocals cabinet; Gen. Rafael Montalvo, one of the big men of affairs in Cuba; Senor Celestino Raizan, governor of the province of Havana; Senor Alfredo Hornedo, president of the city council of Havana; Senor Antonio Pardo Suarez, secretary of the provincial government of Havana, and Brigadier General E. Pujol of the Cuban army. It was a gala occasion and furnished a striking demonstration of the popularity of racing with the Cubans. HORSEMEN LIKE THE TRACK. The schedule of every day racing, to continue until and including Monday, January 7, has been entered upon. This week the mud runners have been afforded one of those occasional opportunities that come along for them here, as an aftermath of the drenching of the track on Monday by showers. The soil of which the track Is constructed is of such a consistency that even with the brightest of sunshine several days are required for its thorough drying out once it is thoroughly wet. Horsemen like the track to race over immensely. It is kept in the liest of condition at all times and much intelligent an? Is constantly being bestowed upon it. The success with which horses of advance age race here, affords proof of the efficacy of the methods -followed iu the treatment of the track. Frank J. Bruen, who fills the dual role of auditor and supervisor of the pari-mutuel department, is one of the busiest of the Oriental Park officials. The attaches of the pari-mutuel offices are mainly experienced operators from the United States. Among the employees of this department are Vic Arne, S. P. Barnard, L. H. Baxter, Emillo Bovies, "Walter Burke, W. C. Carbery. Roy Dillard, W. Dondas, C. H. Elrod, W. Feuehter, C. Hanhauser, H. S. Hinkle, S. Holman, J. Kelly, W. Kries, E. Krugel, L. W. Kuier, A. Livingston, J. Lobert, I. Mehaney, M. Meffert, F. Melter, .7. D. Molter, M. J. Quinn, Charles ltespess, Frank Roach, C. II. Salmon. W. F. Schulte, W. Shipke, F. II. Shriner, II. Kteinbrecker, John Sullivan, Roger Sullivan, A. Weinberg and 0. A. Wells. Jockeys Eddie Taplin and T. McCullough are among the latest additions to the riding talent at Oriental Park. Senor A. Lezama, one of the most prominent of the Cuban owners, who recently suffered the loss of the good horse Shooting Star by death while en route from the United States, has met a further severe loss iu the death of the filly Narcissus, whose leg Avas broken while being exercised a few days ago. Fred Schelkes Olyn G. crashed into the track rail after running away while being worked and killed himself.

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