Proposed Sale of Kentucky Tracks: The Absorbing Topic in Turf Circles-Doubt Deal Will be Consummated, Daily Racing Form, 1919-01-01


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PROPOSED SALE OF KENTUCKY TRACKS The Absorbing Topic in Turf Circles Doubt Deal Will Be Consummated. "The absorbing topie of conversation in turf circles the last week has been the proposed sale of the Latonia and Douglas Park race tracks to Kentucky interests," says a Kentucky turf writer.- Continu"-ing, he says: "Slany well-informed men are of the opinion that the breeders and horsemen who are back of the new syndicate, or rather, who are the syndicate, will come across and complete the deal, while there is an equal number who do not believe that the sum, said to 0,000, for the two plants can be raised. , "The argument of the latter runs something like this: They contend that it would be a hard matter to induce any big capital to invest in an enterprise as precarious as a race track and have their dividends limited to ten per cent. The" say that the ten-per-cent proposition is all right if the race tracks were as stable as United States Steel and several other stocks listed on the New York Exchange which net more than ten per cent right now. But a race track-is a sporting proposition, which is subject to the mercies and whims of every legislature. That body can wipe it out at any time it sees fit. "Therefore, the argument is that big capital will hesitate about going in on such a proposition. Oil stocks and copper mine securities pay big dividends some times. The risk is so great that it is necessary that the capital lie able to pay itself out in a few years. Big theatrical promoters will not invest in a theatrical proposition unless they can see at least twenty per cent, for they claim their original capital must be earned in five years or else the proposition is a poor one. If such is the case with theatricals, which are not subject to anti-legislation, how about race tracks? is the query of those who do not believe the necessary capital can be raised. "On the other hand, those who believe the deal will go through declare that the men who are going to put up the bulk of the money in the new enterprise are not doing so through any exiiectancy of obtaining big dividends, but solely to see the tracks owned by home talent, believing that if such a. condition exists there will lie far less chance of any anti-racing legislation. The question has been frequently asked If Latonia is such a good proposition why are the present owners so willing to part with it? The present owners are sincere iu their desire to sell. There is no question about that, for they have asked a certain sum, and if that amount is produce 1 they are willing to retire. "Latonia now is at the zenith of its glory. It was made so by high-class management. If the track changes hands the same class of management must Ik? exhibited iu the newcomers or it is going back. It is not so many years ago that the gate receipts one daj- at Latonia were ?1S0. Poor man-, agement had put it so deep in tlie mire that the outlook was hopeless. But by dint of hard work and a liberal policy Latonia today takes its hat off to no race course in America, and nine-tenths of its success is due tq the policy of the present management. "In the first announcement of the pending deal there was a decided hint that economics were to be practiced; that certain salaries and offices were to be either cut or abolished. No race track which employed cheap officials was ever successful. That plan of running a race track lias been tried and found wanting. The horsemen must not expect every dollar which is taken iu to go to them. A liberal j policy with others, as well as the horsemen, Is needed to make the enterprise a successful one."

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